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Three Tips for the Introverted Conference Attendee

January 24, 2012  

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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  • by Jeannie Beckett Tue Jan 24, 2012 via web

    I am far from an introvert, but there are times when you don't know anyone at an event, even for us extroverts that can be intimidating. These suggestions are a good practice for all at a large meeting such as a convention

  • by Jim Markisohn Tue Jan 24, 2012 via web

    I agree with your comments Jeannie. While I agree with the guidance of the original posting, the author makes a common error which is to confuse the "introvert" and "extrovert" labels with "shy" and "outgoing". The former two terms refer merely to where you get your energy. Introverts can go to the beach and and spend the entire day reading a book - in fact they prefer it. The extrovert gets energy from those around him or her and tends to go crazy when forced to do something by themselves for an extended period of time. There are plenty of "shy extroverts" (like me) for whom the guidance above is helpful. Likewise, there are those outgoing introverts - happy to spend time keeping to themselves, but very comfortable in social situations.

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