I was informed about another charity event where many wealthy Austinites would be Saturday night for drinks, a fashion show, dinner and dancing. I always jump at chances like this to meet powerful people, so naturally I decided to crash it.
Crashing this party was a little different because it was black-tie attire only and held at a secure venue. Three days before I had a tuxedo tailored at K&G Men’s store. The entire ensemble including the tux suit & pants, cufflinks, bowtie and cumberbund cost me around $200 after tailoring. Not too bad, especially since there will be lots of black-tie events during the holiday season.
Now that I have a suit AND tuxedo, I’m properly outfitted to attend upcoming events. Looking the part really helps when attending a fancy-shmancy party. When I was checked at the front of the base, they checked my ID, saw I was wearing a tux, asked me if I knew where my table was (I said yes) and they handed me a gift bag filled with Grey Goose, assorted bottled waters, pens and all sorts of other goodies. “Bob” had given me a table name to use, I was wearing a tux, sounded like I knew where I was supposed to be and acted as if I belonged there…and it worked.
I pulled up to the event, and my car was valeted because there was no self-parking. A photographer at the front entrance took my picture by one of three huge tanks, and I asked him to also snap a picture with my own camera:
I ordered a martini, Grey Goose of course because they were partly sponsoring the party and began to mingle. I found the crowd very easy to talk to, and striking up conversations was simple, especially since UT had just won a football game an hour earlier.
After cocktails, the crowd entered a large aircraft hangar (I think) which was converted beautifully into a large fashion show runway. There was loud music playing and the whole place had a very New-Yorky feel to it.
After the fashion show, which was actually pretty cool, everyone was ushered to several enormous and connected tents for dinner, dessert and dancing. There was a silent auction, a live auction, and raffle. The main prize for the raffle was one of three Mercedes cars. I found out the event was being coordinated by the Four Seasons, so it was very nice, and MUCH more elegant than the pictures show:
I knew a few people before I came to the event, but their table was already full. Also, my whole goal of attending this was to meet NEW people, so after some mingling with the crowed I was invited to another table for dinner.
After desert, coffee and some dancing people started to leave. The valet area was around several M1 Abrams tanks….I couldn’t resist climbing on top of one and getting a picture!
I left the party with several contact numbers, new friends, some interesting business ideas, a full stomach and having had a great time.
I must remember to thank “Bob” who told me about the party in the first place. He’s one of the people “In the know” about all these events, and is always gracious enough to inform me about them and help me get in. He also introduces me to his well-established network of friends and mentors, he’s a really great guy…always smiling!