Networking when you’re an introvert doesn’t have to feel like you’ve just stepped into a horror movie.
Networking can actually be fun and enjoyable if you familiarize yourself with the different types of events and know how to pick the ones that will work best for you.
Know the Difference: Single Track or Multi-Track
Single track events have one thing happening at a time. You might listen to one speaker, have lunch, then listen to another speaker. Everyone is following the same schedule, so there’s a good chance you’ll be able to connect with other attendees.
But multi-track events may have several speakers presenting at once so you have to choose between which sessions to attend and which ones to miss. Multi-track events can be overwhelming and make it harder to find time to interact with other attendees.
Whether you choose a single track event or a multi-track comes down to your goals. If you’re looking for a relaxed pace and a chance to connect with others, then opt for a single track. If you’re trying to absorb a lot of information on a particular topic, then a multi-track event might be a better match for you.
Size Matters: Choosing Small Events vs Big Events
Networking events come in all shapes and sizes. Some conferences boast thousands of attendees while a small retreat may only have a few guests. Smaller events like the retreat allow for more intimacy and more one-on-one interaction. Since you aren’t trying to memorize dozens of names and faces, you can relax and focus on getting to know other attendees on a more personal level.
Larger events may allow you to meet dozens of people but you’ll have to work extra hard to remember who’s who. This can make it hard to bond with other attendees and form deep relationships. If you’ll be attending a big event, try to choose one with plenty of down time included in the schedule so you can spend time with other attendees and really get to know them.
Talk It Out: Contact the Host
Reach out to your host if you really want the inside scoop about a networking event that you plan to attend. Your host can tell you about the flow of the event, how much down time will be in the schedule, what the seating arrangements will be like and anything else you need to know.
When it comes to selecting an event, be choosy. Look for one that excites you and makes you feel energized when you think about attending.
Networking doesn’t have to be scary when you download your free workbook, Networking for Introverts!