TIFF 2013: Party Tips From The Pros

As much as the entertainment industry is all about the work, the parties are important as well – and not just for the free booze. As we know from many young professional (YP) careers, networking is an essential element of career growth and success. The TIFF parties are all part of the job for those in the entertainment industry, and, although they are there to have fun and celebrate, there is strategy involved. We caught up with some homegrown red carpet and TIFF party pros at The Producers Ball for some inside advice on doing a party properly.

TIFF Party Essentials:

 “Gum. You’ll be doing a lot of talking. You don’t want to be breathing bad breath over people.” – Drew Scott, Property Brothers.

“Lets see, tissue, lipstick, phone, money, cards. Anything that fits in your purse.” – Shannon Tweed, Gene Simmons: Family Jewels.

Those Awkward Moments When You Have No Clue Who You’re Speaking to:

 “I discreetly nudge my girlfriend and she takes the cue. She usually has a pretty good memory. If she isn’t there, I guess all you can do is go along with it. ” – Jonathan Scott, Property Brothers.

“This seems to happen a lot. I usually go along with it and then ask them to put their number in my phone, then hopefully their name triggers something. If not, hey, you have a new contact.” – Kris Higgins, Devil’s Knot.

On Working the Room:

“Don’t be an owl, looking around the entire time, doing the whole “who,” “who” thing. Take the time to engage with friends that you haven’t seen in a long time.” – Meghan Heffern, The F-word (TIFF 2013).

“Have your 30-second elevator pitch, your 5-minute pitch, and your 30-minute conversation pitch down.  Don’t drink too much – you want to stay sharp.” – Kim Poirier, No Ordinary Hero.

“You definitely get used to the party and networking aspect. I try not to think about it too much anymore and just go in and do my thing. I’m looking forward to some of the films, especially Mandela film and The Fifth Estate.” – George Stroumboulopoulos, George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight

On Red Carpet Jitters:

“This is our first time doing anything of this scale. I compare it to that feeling of riding a rollercoaster and about to reach the drop; you’ve already signed up, can’t get off and have to face the inevitable. I was definitely jittery on the way over.” – Cara Gee, Empire of Dirt (TIFF 2013) and TIFF 2013 Rising Star.

On What Makes a Memorable Party:

“A memorable party is always one where you can catch up with people you haven’t seen in awhile and it’s nice to have everyone in one place. Networking is part of the job, but it doesn’t have to be viewed so black and white from socializing. So much of this business is about relationships. People want to work with people they like.” – Lauren Lee Smith, Cinemanovels (TIFF 2013)

 “A memorable party ties back into the film, whether through film clips, images or theme. The overall energy will make or break a party though. Watch your drink; you don’t want anyone to put anything in it, then you’ll never remember it!” – Bruce LaBruce, Director Gerontophilia

“TIFF parties are great because of the city itself. I love the culture, the scene and the beautiful people in Toronto.” – Sophie Simmons, Gene Simmons: Family Jewels.


Click here for the full gallery and stay tuned for more TIFF 2013 coverage!


Images: Nick Merzetti