With countless happy hours and networking events taking place all over Austin on any given day of the week, you may wonder which ones are worth checking out.
Well, let me tell you that running the Austinot has us at networking events every single week, sometimes multiple times a week. Each month we’re invited to far more events than we can possibly go to. But there is one monthly event here in Austin that we make it a point to attend every month without fail. That event is called BASHH.
Why We Love BASHH
Unlike most networking happy hours, BASHH has a much different vibe. It’s casual, filled with the movers and shakers in Austin, and everyone has a good time. Why is the vibe different? There are no speakers, no agenda, and you won’t find any of those awkward curveball pitches. After having attended 10 or so BASHH events, I can honestly say that BASHH has remained consistent with this vibe and I’ve enjoyed every one.
BASHH is always free and if you get there right as it starts, typically 7 PM, you’ll usually be given a free drink ticket or two depending on who is sponsoring the event.
The whole point behind BASHH is to meet the folks you know online and connect with them in person. At the Austinot, we often get asked by folks to join them for coffee or lunch to talk about a potential article. Because our schedule is so busy, we can’t accept all of the requests we’re given. But we can invite folks to meet us at BASHH, and that’s exactly what we do. It’s a great way to get a bunch of casual meetings knocked out at once and introduce the people you are meeting to others you’ve met who they might find interesting.
Who Founded BASHH?
We’ve been really fortunate to become friends with the founders of BASHH, Lani and Benn Rosales. They have no idea I’ve written this article. They will as soon as I hit publish though, and that makes me smile.
Lani is the outgoing one. She looks like princess Leia – she’ll probably kill me for saying so, but it’s true. Benn is the quiet one, that is, until you get to know him. You’ll usually find him off in his own space at BASHH, looking like he’s plotting to take over the world.
Both are genuine people who created BASHH and keep it running as a labor of love for Austinites. Believe me when I tell you that they have their hands full with their company AGBeat and the Spark of Genius Camp and Conference, which we also love…but that’s another story.
What You Need to Know and What to Expect
Attending BASHH will have you meeting some pretty cool Austinites. Expect to see a photographer or two running around, like the delightful Annie Ray taking some zany and fun photos. Don’t spill your drink when you hear a giant Jenga come crashing down every 2 minutes or so, and ultimately expect to have a great time.
BASHH is free, but you should sign up. It’s simple to do; they use Eventbrite for their signups. Definitely make sure you RSVP because the place can get pretty packed. That way others who are attending can see that you are going. Click here to sign up for the next BASHH.
Parking sucks. But hey, it’s downtown Austin. There is usually valet parking available and a few pay to park lots nearby.
As far as what to wear, come as you are. Some folks like me come straight from work. For most that means suits or business casual. For me, that typically means pajamas or shorts and flip flops. Hey I’m a blogger. Seriously, wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Though if you have a suit and tie on, you might want to lose the tie and relax a bit.
Bring your business cards, but don’t shove them in people’s faces. That isn’t what BASHH is about. However, it’s not uncommon to get asked if you have one, so don’t come unprepared.
If you really want to get some more intentional networking done. Lani and Benn have launched an event called BizBASHH which takes place at 5:30 PM right before BASHH at the same venue. Here it is encouraged to pass out your business cards, pitch your ideas casually and get some brainstorming done. Once you’ve solved the world’s problems, you can stick around for BASHH and toast with your new friends.
If you are shy, one of the best ways to meet people is to volunteer for the check-in desk. BASHH always needs people to sign up, and it’s actually a lot of fun. If you’re interested, you can let them know by emailing them at bashhparty [@] gmail [dot] com
BASHH normally takes place on the second Thursday of the month, but with so many things going on in Austin, you’ll want to check the BASHH website to see when the next one is. Or you could always follow @theBASHH on Twitter.
Hope to see you there, and if you do stop by, make sure you track us down. We always enjoy hanging out with our readers.
Have you ever been to BASHH what do you like most about it?
Photos courtesy of Big Mike in Austin and Annie Ray.