I had a lovely time at an event the other night — Lindsey Pollak’s book launch party for Becoming the Boss: New Rules for the Next Generation of Leaders. It was a good group, and a nice venue in the Lower East Side. But I had a “near miss” on a conversation that I’ve been thinking about.
I was standing near the cheese table during the toasts (it’s a common place to find me at parties, really). The venue was packed, and a woman leaned over me a few times to grab cheese. She apologized and laughed about this. She looked slightly familiar, but I wasn’t sure. After the toasts, she started talking with someone else in a way that seemed like they went back a while, so I probably would have walked away to find someone else drifting between conversations, but the other person said “Manisha,” and so I stuck around and nudged in and introduced myself: “Hi, I’m Laura.” She said “Wait, are you Laura Vanderkam?”
I had met Manisha Thakor, a personal finance writer and now owner of a wealth management company, shortly after 168 Hours came out. She and I have kept in touch via social media since then. It was wonderful to catch up with her (and tag along as she talked to Gloria Feldt — also cool to meet.) Manisha lives in Santa Fe, I would have kicked myself if I’d found out on Twitter or some such that she’d been at the party and I hadn’t said hello.
Indeed, it turns out there were a few other people at the party that I knew from social media — and saw tweeting about the party after — but I didn’t see. I’m not sure the best way around this. I don’t really like pulling out my phone in social situations, even though seeing tweets with the party hashtag would have then led me to hunt around for those folks. But my take-away is that even if other people aren’t “labeled” with a name tag, I might start carrying one around to stick on in these situations. Yes, I may look a wee bit less glamorous (not that I look glamorous anyway) but since I have a distinctive name, maybe people I’m connected with on social media would see the name tag and say hello.
How do you try to maximize on bumping into people you know virtually?