Does the word networking make you cringe? We totally get it. As an introvert or someone with social anxiety, going to professional events can sound like the last thing you’d like to do.
However, just because you are an introvert doesn’t mean you can’t make long-lasting professional relationships. Here are some tangible steps to not only survive but thrive at events and meetups!
Arrive early so you can meet the organizers. They will serve as great contacts and introduce you to other people. Joining a big group deep in conversation can be daunting. It’s easier to enter a small group than break into a larger one.
The purpose of events is to meet people, but the value comes from real conversations, not dozens of brief introductions. Think quality over quantity -- events are not a numbers game!
Focus on introducing yourself to people you want to meet. People remember genuine connections. It’s so much more worthwhile to talk to five people who will actually remember you than meet forty people who won’t.
Focus on the person you’re talking to. Listen to their needs and how your services / products / ideas might support them. This is a win-win situation! Your business is most helpful when you meet in the middle.
Going to the event with at least one friend means that you can check in on each other. You can introduce each other to people you are hoping to meet. This works even when you attend an event solo because you will meet someone who is also attending the event alone. You might double the amount of people you know if you have a buddy with you. But remember to not use them as a life raft!
Our favorite tip: Ask people for their contact info, but only after you’ve established a connection. The most valuable part of an event comes after. Keep the conversation going in the comfort of your home. Send a message and let them know you enjoyed the conversation.
We trust that you can take it from there!