This is a cover from the TriMania ProgramI will admit, it was a little harder to find networking events than I thought. It is especially hard to find networking events in the area that are free, or at least discounted for students.

One of the events I heard about was through the Digital Media Arts Club, called “TriMania” at the TriMain Building on Main Street, Saturday April 18th from 8pm-1am, just a few-minute drive from campus. To be honest, I didn’t know much about the event, but I decided to go through DMAC. Boy, was this way different than a traditional networking event! (Unless you consider going to a bar a possible networking event!)

As I should have guessed by the title that “TriMania” things would be crazy! There were so many people, and 6 floors of different events, displays, and performances. TriMania was a chance for artists to showcase their art, for the public to view it, but also it was great for meeting all sorts of people.

This did not operate like a typical networking event at all, or at least not like I pictured! I went to the networking event on campus last year held by PRSSA, and I was expecting people dressed up in business-dress, casually sipping adult beverages, enjoying art, and talking about their work. This event was a little chaotic and a bit of a sensory overload. There were sky-dancers, belly dancers, music and noise everywhere, crazy art displays, and I did not really know where to start! I thought to myself that maybe I had come to the wrong place, or that I stepped into “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Across the Universe” at the same time. With so much going on, I felt overwhelmed and wondered how I would possibly network and meet people here. I was definitely out of my comfort zone, but I was determined to stay and make the best of it. I picked up a program, put on my big girl pants, and headed to the top floor and figured I would make my way down. While I was up there, I wandered a little, looking at a few of the art displays. At this point, still feeling a little shell-shocked and overwhelmed, I decided to grab some wine to calm my nerves and try to talk to some people.

Luckily, I ran into a friend that I frequently work on films with, Marianna, and she walked around with me for a little while. I met several of the artists who were displaying sculptures, paintings, interactive graphics displays, and more. I even ran into Dooley O’Rourke, a photojournalist from Channel 2 there!

Interactive Graphic Wall Art

This art installment changed geometric patterns to match music being played!

Of course while ambling around, I saw people riding by on tricycles, dancing around barefoot, and there were also some demonstrators walking around with mechanical birds, because why not?

Demonstrators walking with mechanical birds

Demonstrators walking through the building with mechanical bird artpieces.

As much as I felt out of my comfort zone, this event was also a lot of fun to be a part of. It wasn’t traditional by any means, but because it was out of the box, I was able to meet some really interesting people. I am not necessarily interested in becoming a renegade artist, but the people I did meet gave me some great advice before I graduate school. In addition, many of the displays and artists inspired me to get some story ideas for the future!

This event was definitely beneficial to me in so many ways. Although I don’t mind talking to strangers, big crowded events like this can definitely intimidate me. In some ways, I can be an introvert. In an atmosphere like this, it is so easy to be swept up in the crowd, but I was challenged to break away from that if I wanted to have a conversation with somebody. As someone who is into film and story telling, being able to go to an event like this is refreshing and inspiring. This was definitely a night to remember, and I am looking forward to going to more events like this in the future!