Being at a conference is a great thing if you happen to be a small business owner and it is wonderful for making connections and networking.
Meeting new people and forging new relationships with them is important but how do you do that when the prospect of approaching strangers terrifies you? Here are some tips that you can use at your next conference.
As an introvert, it’s extremely important that you prepare. Problems happen when you are not prepared about what to say when you meet someone you really want to talk to.
So prepare a list of the attendees you are interested in and have conversation-starters ready. This may sound lame, but it is actually a very effective tip for people who have trouble thinking of something to say.
2. Connect with attendees beforehand
If you are planning to attend a conference in sometime, it is a good idea to connect with the attendees you are interested in beforehand. Today, the online world and social media has made it possible to do so with ease. Find out if there’s a Twitter hashtag or a Facebook page for the conference and use the platform to connect with people who will be attending.
The truth is that too many people in this world listen so that they can come up with something to say. As an introvert, put your listening skills to good use while at conferences.
People love to talk about themselves. So ask good questions and let them talk. It will be good for information-gathering and will make you look like less of an introvert.
4. Take a break
For introverts, it can be pretty exhausting to speak non-stop. That is why it is important to take a break once in a while. So it is okay if you want to go and sit in the washroom for a few minutes while you take the exhaustion off.
Taking a break will help you recharge your batteries so that you can take part in the conference once again.
5. Skip the party (if you don’t want to go)
The party after a conference is usually great. People are brimming with things to say, they have learnt a lot and want to share and they are usually feeling good about themselves. It’s a great place to be. But don’t beat yourself up if you don’t want to go.
For introverts, going through an entire day of a conference and connecting with people can be pretty exhausting. So if you don’t want to go to the party, just don’t. Instead, you will probably find some people who don’t want to go to the party either. Ask them whether they want to just eat out. It’s a great way of ending the day.