Regardless of whether you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, student, or career woman, you’re – no doubt – expected to attend events every once in a while.
Maybe you even dream of holding your own events.
But then you think about the putting yourself out there, the small talk, the logistics of getting to and from the event, and the energy draining and all your desire to buy the ticket, plan the event, or launch your very own workshop gets lost in an overwhelming desire to stay at home.
You’re not alone.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. And if you’re using your introversion or ‘can’t be bothered’ excuse as a reason not to go to or host your own events, our very own event professional, Jade McKenzie of Event Head (yes, we’re claiming her) will definitely change your mind.
So, we’ve put together some of our best tips to get you out of those PJs and into the world (with a little extra help from Jade).
1 – Networking doesn’t have to be scary
You know it and I know it, introverts are notoriously not cool with networking. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Or that you have to do something you don’t like (cos if your heart ain’t in it, you may as well not bother in the first place!)
The IDEA of networking is actually more horrifying than the reality, as long as you go to the right events. Personally, the old-school definition and idea of networking events just doesn’t do it for me (shudder) but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other opportunities that don’t send me running for the hills. Shifting that mindset can make such a huge difference.
TIP FROM JADE:
Look for events where networking has evolved into something more warm and graceful, such as the Soul Sister Circle events, so you go in with the understanding that any connection happening on the day will be at an organic level of companionship, rather than the superficial level of handing out as many business cards as possible.
2 – Do it your way
This is fairly self explanatory, but makes sense when you’re mindful of what you need and how you best interact at social events.
Be aware of this. Go to events that feel right for you. Leave when you need to, not when you think you should. Say no when that feels better than saying yes. Sneak in and sit at the back of the room, if you’d prefer. Duck out in the break for some much needed alone-time. Take a friend if you feel uncomfortable. Pack snacks if you are sensitive to feeling too hungry at all-day events. Get a lift with someone if the idea of finding a parking spot or arriving alone makes you anxious.
Get my drift? Do it your way and see how much more you enjoy events!
TIP FROM JADE:
Events are there for your enjoyment, so do what you need to do to soak up the complete experience and get everything you want out of them. Set an intention before you leave as to how you want to feel or what you would like to get out of the event and allow that to help guide you through the day.
3 – Attend events that really light you up
I love the IDEA of going to a big event, but sometimes I realise at the last minute I’m not that into it, or worse, I want to be somewhere but it just feels too busy and overwhelming for me.
What I do know is that I love casual meet ups, one-on-one catch ups and events where I can sit and listen to a speaker instead of having lots of boring small talk conversations. I also know I’ll make an extra special commitment if the event is one I’m really excited about or the speaker is someone who totally floats my boat.
The key? Know yourself, know what you like and don’t like, and make event-attending and ticket-buying plans accordingly!
TIP FROM JADE:
Look for a person or business that runs events embodying the things that you are passionate about. Going to a series of events means you know exactly what you can expect every time and you can relax knowing that you are going to enjoy yourself and hear/discuss/learn about topics that you personally love.
4 – Find your people
I used to go somewhere with friends and then stand and talk to them for the whole event (I still do that sometimes). I also used to feel guilty if I went somewhere and only spoke to a few people, but now I realise that if I walk into an event and connect with just one or two people, those relationships are much more important and valuable to me than if I spoke to 50 – even if I never speak to them again.
I trust now that I will connect with whomever I was supposed to, and I always leave feeling good about that.
TIP FROM JADE:
Connection has nothing to do with the numbers and everything to do with being in the presence of other good human beings. Don’t feel as if you need to force anything and if you let the introductions and conversations happen organically, you will find that you naturally attract the right people to you.
5 – Create your own events
If you find yourself wishing for a specific kind of face-to-face connection, but it doesn’t seem to exist, maybe it’s an opportunity to create it yourself. Think an intimate gathering of like-minded souls, or a workshop that suits your introverted self, and you’ll probably be surprised to find that there are others out there searching for the same thing.
Plus, you get the joy of being distracted with the organising aspects of the event that you don’t have to worry about the things that might normally make you uncomfortable (like making small talk, or searching for the exit). You can just excuse yourself to check on a behind-the-scenes aspect of the event.
TIP FROM JADE:
There is nothing more attractive to an introvert than running a beautifully intimate event that you have full control over. If you can’t find events in your area that truly light you up, chances are there are people around you who feel the same. Give it a go!
There’s a bit of a limiting belief out there that introverts don’t like events or networking but I actually believe this to be untrue. It’s just about finding (or creating) events that work in your favour, instead of being a massive energy suck.
Anti-social we are not. We form deep and meaningful connections with people, and still have a need for that face-to-fact social interaction – just maybe not in the traditional sense.
I’d like to see more introvert-friendly events out there and I’m sure I’m not alone here!
If this is something you’ve always dreamt of doing, but maybe feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable with the idea that it’s not for you, you’re too shy, or maybe you don’t feel confident that you have the ability to pull it off, Jade (an introvert herself) has an award winning program to help you take your idea and make it into a beautiful event.
Workshop Wonderful is all about helping people who dream of creating amazing, heart-centred events and giving you the skills and tools you need to make them a success – on your own terms.
What do you like/dislike the most about events? Leave a comment below!