It’s 4 PM and work is coming to a close. Nothing too crazy coming into the email, things seem to be settling down for you to make it to BASHH. Normally, I myself would be pretty nervous to be around so many people wanting to brag about their careers and level up with new connections, but BASHH just is not, and has not ever been like that.
Usually BASHH is in a bar or brewery with beverages, food and ambience available in addition to the given – interesting and unique people who may also be nervous like you but hide it well.
It would only be fitting that Austin’s favorite tech happy hour would contain such a variety of people with careers in every industry and aspect you could imagine. BASHH, or BATHH as it was once known, brings together all sorts of individuals, companies, and networks alike.
The happy hour event allows you to take networking at your own pace with no strange themes, pressure to meet EVERYONE or any other typical, pejorative connotation of “networking” events.
You wait in a short line and get to a registration table where friendly faces will help you fill out a nametag with your name or really, just whatever you want to display openly to people.
They will also take your email too if you are into that sort of thing; I like it for getting notifications for future events.
From there, the world is your OYSTER.
By oyster I mean, I have created an acronym for you to make BASHH easier or more straightforward. While our society’s given rules apply in any public setting, we have these general guidelines:
Order a drink! Nothing eases nerves like a nice cool lager, a fizzy cider, or even a sparkling water. The Brewtorium has an amazing stack of in-house brewed beers, ciders and even mead for getting your viking on.
Yeet yourself into the crowd. – Not literally, just don’t be afraid to join a group in discussion or ask another’s name (even if on their nametag). I’ve done it and so many others have too, why not you!?
Stop worrying about impressing people. – We are all glorified children in adult clothing and plus, people usually keep it pretty casual and may revolt if you try showing up in a tux.
Tell others about yourself. – There is a middleground to this as everyone loves to speak but also, everyone needs to be listened to.
Eat some food, Tina! – Brewtorium has some amazing food and not even a llama would pass it up. Not a requirement but certainly a recommendation, gosh!
Register. – Yeah the first step of BASHH is the last guideline, but does it being OYSTER seem totally logical to you?
All goofs and gaffes aside, BASHH has been an incredible opportunity for me to develop connections here in Austin. As a newer Texan, it has introduced me to the world of tech industry in the city and opened my eyes – or closed them depending – to career possibilities just from hearing others’ experiences. I have had the opportunity to take photos for the event and practice with my newfound hobby and digital camera for better or worse and hope to capture some of the “vibe.”
Everyone has been down to earth and eager to converse about everything from the icebreaking with the possibility of ghosts existing, to debating if Crocs can really pull off business casual. I’ve come to know many regulars and always appreciate seeing how newcomers are brought into the groups and have experienced it myself many times.
In past events, I have heard folks in need of work in a particular role who quickly had someone empathizing with them and offering suggestions or connections if they had any with openings.
Similar to the city, BASHH is composed of many different people in all different sectors and a great place to speak about your career experience or hear others’. Even if just to feel heard about your struggles, advice on a pivot, or a business idea, as it is very likely you will find someone who has been in a similar position or can very well relate.
Though mentioned earlier, the venue for BASHH is currently and for the foreseeable future, at The Brewtorium and needs to be mentioned. Brewtorium has been a great place to attend the event, beyond their delicious offerings. Their staff is so friendly and familial, eager to help but laid back and approachable. Gregg for example, has always been happy to see us BASHH-goers there, and is one of those people who the regulars there know and love, and he just somehow seems to be everyone’s friend – for good reason.
We fill the place up, but there is some serious square footage available for chillaxing. There is even indoor axe throwing in the same building! Don’t worry, the lounge area is not in the range. When it’s not 1000 degrees outside, there is a beautiful beer garden section out back with ample seating, as well as outdoor taps to supply you. The inside is rustic with a clean, modern feel and it’s fun to see the tanks and line of taps.
Located slightly (relatively) north in the Highland Mall area, I think Brewtorium will become a new BASHH staple and provide a place for many more great memories to be made. Come out and make some connections, but leave your suit and cards at the door – I mean no pressure if that’s just what you wear or are rushing in after work, though be courteous and socially aware about pitching (it’s not r/entrepreneur).
Overall, I have had a blast at Austin’s number one tech happy hour ever and am sure you will too. There are new faces ready to meet you and remember, an OYSTER will get you through! Hope to see you there!