Dopefest Etiquette

There looms a Dopefest in Southern California which I am hoping to attend. Now, being a painfully shy individual, and not a particularly social one (due to said bashfulness), I’m not sure how to act at one of these functions. OTOH, I don’t want to miss out on meeting my fellow Dopers.
If I just kinda stand around in the shadows, am I going to be perceived as a snob? Is there usually a sitdown-type of dinner or just folks mingling? Should I bring something? I’m also kinda hoping that this isn’t an opportunity for people to “network” in the business sense, but rather just a chance for individuals to hang and get to know each other.
Any advice for me? I’d really appreciate it.

Though I’m far from shy, I am attending my first ChiDope later this month, and I have no idea what to expect (other than Omni asking me about vibrators.) I certainly expect it to be like your second description - “a chance for individuals to hang and get to know each other.”

Advice? Uh, drink excessively? :wink:

Ok, this really depends on the meeting itself. Us Chicago types worked hard at developing a reputation for drunken debauchery and we’re proud of it, but from what I hear, the other Dopes can be more mellow. So, until you get a feel for where it’s being held, etc it’s sort of hard to say.

I can say though that all the people I’ve met have been quite friendly. Yes, we drank and some drank a lot, but if you don’t drink, no one is going to make you. Likewise for conversation. I notice that a lot of the pre-drinking conversation was rapid fire bon mots and joking put downs and if you’re not the fastest wit (not stupid, just not quick witted with clever retorts), you might feel a little outgunned and afraid to speak. Don’t worry, people loosen up a little and I’m sure you’ll find other folks to speak with. Try to cycle through them all and I’m sure you’ll find some redeeming quality in each of them :wink: I don’t think you’ll be thought of as a snob for being a little aloof, but if you don’t talk to people you’re sort of missing out on the point of gathering up Dopers.

Every DopeFest I’ve attended has been held at a bar or dining establishment. If someone is having it in their backyard or the local forest preserve, I certainly hope it’s well planned enough that you know beforehand to bring some macaroni salad. Having it at a bar or dinner means that you at least have your meal/drink to focus on if you’re feeling a little intimidated. No business networking goes on, it’s just fun, conversation and perhaps the chance to watch otherwise respected Dopers do REALLY stupid or embarassing things. Sometimes you can make a dollar in the process.

I don’t know your situation. If you suffer from some sort of severe shyness or disorder, I don’t want to belittle your abilities. But if you just feel like you’re a little socially inept, I say don’t sweat it. I can’t think of a more friendly environment to practice your “party skills”, so to speak such as making conversation, meeting people and feeling comfortable in a crowd. If you go and you just HATE it, you can always duck out and besides a possible “Poohpah had to leave early” in the offical meeting minutes, I doubt anyone will even think of commenting on it.


Ok, I like the sound of this.

Uh, meeting minutes? :confused:

Yeah, porcupine, minutes. As in “Omni & porcupine disappeared, and a knock on their door produced only a steady bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz sound from within. I sure hope they weren’t being attacked by killer bees.”


Jophiel just about summed it up. I’m about to start shaking the hustings to get my 14th Doper meeting together and I’ll add that I was quite apprehensive about my 1st, 2nd, 3rd…

Somebody noted that previous meetings have been largely in bars, which excludes younger Dopers. That’s not a problem if noted in the gathering thread. That’s not your problem. Just meeting some strangers in a neutral public place is no big deal and I’ll bet, based on my limited experience, any and all who actually show up will welcome you. We’ve had a variety of personalities pass through the HouDope gatherings and the other city gatherings I’ve attended and the general rule of thumb is - if you show, you’re OK!

Just 'cuz I’ll be sober DOES NOT MEAN I’LL TAKE MINUTES!

Well, maybe. But only if you people get real embarassing.

Apparently, if you attend a Dopefest with Satan, the first one that arrives has to record the minutes.

Or maybe he just pulled one over on me…

Aw, nobody will think you’re a snob, especially after they’ve read this! I’m a somewhat shy person, well not shy exactly but it takes me a while to feel comfortable around people and I’ve found it helps me to be the first one there. That way, I can meet 'n greet the first two or three people there on a more personal level and get my confidence going. Way less intimidating than walking into a room with half a dozen or more people who already know each other.

The only Doper’s fest I’ve been to was only four people, and I think we had a great idea by going to an amusement park. The rides gave us something fun to do and an instant conversation starter. Riding the roller coaster a few times together definately broke the ice!

A Dopefest is the perfect venue for working on getting over your shyness. Every Doper I’ve met has been very nice, polite and great to talk to. I think converstionality (love them big words :smiley: ) is a (generally) shared quality of the posters here.
But the most important part of your OP is this:

I’m going to give you the best advice I can give anyone - I hope you take it to heart.

No matter where you are or what you’re doing - always be yourself. Never put on an “act” for anybody else’s benefit. Unless your an asshole - then try to act nice. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. :slight_smile: