Whether you are a tourist wanting to experience the South Austin lifestyle, a local business owner hoping to network, or an Austinite looking for margaritas and tacos, South Congress’s First Thursday will leave you more than satisfied. Uniting local shops, restaurants, musicians, and artisans, the once a month block party provides a balance of SoCo culture and business opportunities.

Jennifer Nowzaradan, Owner of Zaradan Fine Art, and the First Thursday Event Coordinator for Vespaio, has experienced South Congress’s big changes over the years with waves of tourists, construction, and new Austinites making the event an evolving celebration.  “Each month is completely different so you can never predict what the atmosphere will be like” said Nowzaradan. First Thursdays are a big hit for businesses and curious locals alike according to Nowzaradan because “All are welcome” and she  encourages “new vendors and artists to take advantage of the wonderful opportunity to display and sell their hard working creative talent.”  And you would be surprised by success that can come from a regular booth rental at the Art Festival.  Nowzaradan has seen many success stories over the years the recalling the popular stores Mana Culture, Storyville T-shirts and Limbo Jewelry, all getting their start at First Thursday.


The primary goal of events like First Thursday is to unite people for food, fun, and self promotion.  Many larger companies sponsor different events at First Thursday for face-to-face marketing.  A terrific example of this is Southern Comfort supplying free signature cocktails at numerous SoCo boutiques, giving shoppers a taste of their product while taking advantage of foot traffic. When it comes to local businesses represented, people expect more networking between artists than accountants, but that does not mean non-creatives have to miss out on this opportunity.  No matter what industry you represent, you can benefit from socializing with South Austin entrepreneurs. Much like the interactions you would have at a Networking Austin event, there is a lot to be said for being friendly and genuine first and seeing what can boost your business second.   On the more crowded and chaotic Thursdays it can be overwhelming to track down  contacts you are hoping to make.  If a business stands out to you, make sure to compliment the manager or owner either in person or by email.  By mentioning your First Thursday experience you are giving them valuable marketing feedback and opening up communication with a possible lead or future client.

First Thursday will be one of your favorite events each month.  Between enjoying street performers, indulging in drink specials, and purchasing South Austin art, you will find dozens of businesses and people who are looking to expand their career network. By showing up with a block party attitude and a stack of business cards, the first Thursday of every month can also be one the best nights for your business.

For more information on First Thursday and booth rentals you may contact Jennifer Nowzaradan at jnowzar@yahoo.com or by phone at 512-571-8388.

Original Source: https://www.networkingaustin.com/austin-news-events/austins-first-thursday-a-local-business-block-party

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