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I’ve met some of my best friends at BASHH

Why does BASHH have such a chill vibe? What keeps people coming back after a decade of monthly events?

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BASHH started over a decade ago, and to many in town, it is more than a networking event, it’s home.

That sounds lame, but it’s true. It’s an event that many people have made the only thing they ever go to (because let’s face it, adulting is hard).

And every month, there are many new people that are welcomed into the mix, because at heart, we’re all just glorified children that are expected to do adult things like network, so why not do it in a place that’s not intimidating, not fake, and everyone else is secretly feeling at least a little nervous (or maybe that’s just me).

I’ve met people at BASHH that have entered my very tiny inner circle of friends, others have been insanely helpful to the growth of our company through their advice, and I’ve seen several companies start on a napkin at our events. Marriages and babies (some on purpose, others not so much) have resulted from BASHH. Funding has happened because of BASHH. Commiserating during chemo has happened because of BASHH.

Why?

There are no cliques. Just a bar full of people that are there to meet other non-robot humans that won’t throw business cards at you like a lame Chinese fighting star.

Humans first, business second. It’s the most simple recipe of all time.

And we invite you to join us at the next Big Ass Social Happy Hour!

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BASHH Event

BASHH is back! We’re going to give it a shot at Austin Beerworks

BASHH is back and we’re leaving downtown – here’s where we’re headed and how we’ll do it. Yeehaw!

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Big Ass Social Happy Hour August

In January of 2020, COVID wasn’t yet considered a pandemic, and we cancelled BASHH. We got a LOT of hate mail about it. We were accused of overreacting. The rest is history.

We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from y’all and we hear you loud and clear – you want BASHH back.

We’ll follow whatever the current requirements are at the time, and if things get to wild, we’ll cancel, but as it stands now, we’re ready to rock and roll.

This last year or so has been extremely difficult – we’ve all lost people we care about, we have all had to adjust our lives, and while online is amazing, there’s still something about kicking back with a drink and some fellow nerds.

To mark a new era, we’re trading in the posh downtown venues for the more laid back brewery environment. Our first foray back into the offline world will be at Austin Beerworks (which y’all have NO idea how pumped we are about that, we’re huge fans)!

There will be PARKING. That’ll be nice.

There will be a FOOD TRUCK. That’ll be nice.

There will be BEER. That’ll be nice.

If you have questions, we invite them any time. And we’ll see you in August!

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BASHH Event

Conversation starters for people who hate networking events

Networking can be a pretty annoying part of a successful career, but it doesn’t have to be if you ditch the ol’ “so what do you do?” question and try these conversation starters instead.

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One of the things we all hate about networking events (even BASHH sometimes) is the dreaded and immediate, “so what do you do?” question. Most of it ask it, and we have to wade through murky waters to answer it, and both sides tend to abhor the entire process.

So why not ditch it already? It’s still part of the ol’ song and dance of networking, but it doesn’t have to be so icky.

Extroverted or introverted, there are better conversation starters. Trust me on this, I rarely utter the dreaded phrase and I survive at least one networking event per month as an extreme introvert.

While my methods aren’t always best (I reflexively bring up stupid stuff like ghosts or injury stories), there are conversation starters that normal grownups can use.

  • Stick to the edges. Grab a drink and find someone sitting alone. Walk right on up and be honest. “These things are so intimidating, mind if I hang with you for a bit?”
  • When I get nervous, I resort to compliments or talking about something they’re wearing. Never ever tell someone “you look good/great,” but it’s safe to say “your necklace/ring caught my eye, is there a story behind it?” and then pray it isn’t something like this:

  • Non-political current events are an option if you’re careful and sometimes sports can be an icebreaker, but tread lightly here.
  • My favorite is to literally just walk up to someone and say hello. “Hi, I’m Lani,” and then it goes where it goes, even if my heart is up in my throat.
  • An easy one is about attendance – “hey this is my first time at one of these, how about you?” or “so, how’d you hear about this event?” and swap stories.
  • If your brain freezes, you can always resort to breaking the ice by talking about the venue or getting there. “I’ve never been to this bar before, how about you?” or “God I love the theme of this bar, but it is just SO loud, is it always like this?”
  • Asking how long someone has been in Austin always leads to a good conversation, as everyone has an origin story, even folks (like me) who grew up here.
  • If you really HAVE to know what someone does, asking alternative questions like “so how did you get into your line of work?” is always a less greasy way to ask what someone does for a living, and you’ll get a more interesting answer.
  • A great neutral question that I fall on quite a bit is, “so what is the coolest project you’re currently working on?” which allows people to talk about work or personal life and it’s their choice.
  • Nerd it up! Ask, “What’s the nerdiest or geekiest think you’re currently into?” and you could learn that they’re a D&D master or super obsessed with Star Trek, or maybe they just learned to crochet or something. We’re all nerds about something!
  • If all else fails, my final go-to is walking up to someone standing alone and admitting, “these things make me so nervous and I can’t tell one. more. person. what I do for a living – wanna talk about the most recent thing you binge-watched instead?” and 99.9% of people will gladly go that route with you.

Y’all, networking is tough. But store a few conversation starters in your pocket so you can meet new people without having to do the traditional and soul-sucking “so what do you do?” dance!

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BASHH Event

Grab your free tickets to the next BASHH

2020 will be our 12th year, and we invite you to join us for the next BASHH event to come meet like minds in a relaxed environment.

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Austin’s favorite casual tech networking event, BASHH is coming up on February 27th, and your free tickets are available here!

We’ll be at Hangar Lounge, which has a chill vibe, and a vintage airline motif. We’ve reserved all three floors – the first floor fills up first, then some of us need a more intimate, quiet area, so the second floor with sofas is a nice respite. Lastly, the rooftop deck, especially as it gets dark, is the hotspot.

Arrive early for a complimentary drink ticket while they last, and come meet people casually without being sold anything, without having to suffer through a boring speaker, and without being bombarded by people in suits selling you insurance products. It’s just a bunch of us nerds in a room, trying to act like we know what we’re doing.

Click below to join us!

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