Three Tips for the Introverted Conference Attendee
Conferences are ideal venues for plugging into the zeitgeist and networking with colleagues. But they're also expensive. "[And] if you happen to be an introverted marketer, which likely means a conference is not the most comfortable of settings, you'll need a strategy for ensuring your company gets its money's worth—in a way that is comfortable for you and honors who you are," writes Lisa Petrilli at MarketingProfs. So if you want to achieve maximum ROI, follow this advice:
Avoid avoidance. Introverts instinctively react to a whirlwind of sessions and mixers by thinking of reasons not to attend at least a few. Overcome this impulse by planning a full schedule ahead of time—with a formalized itinerary, attendance will feel less optional, and excuses will sound less convincing.
Use the buddy system. It's easier to face crowded spaces when you coordinate attendance with people you already know. "For example," she suggests, "arrange to meet one person for a cocktail the night before the conference begins, one person for breakfast the next morning, and another person in the lobby of a major presentation prior to its start."
Work the room one person at a time. Don't be overwhelmed by the crowd—stay in your comfort zone with a one-on-one strategy. Find someone who seems to be standing on her own, introduce yourself, and ask a few questions that spark quality conversation. Then do it again. And again.
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