Over the past few months I’ve found myself attending more events solo as a blogger for Modern Mix Vancouver. Although I prefer to attend events with a companion, sometimes schedules don’t match up, and for the sake of not missing a great opportunity I attend alone.
Walking into a room full of strangers can be intimidating and it can be hard to step out of your comfort zone when there is a lack of familiar faces. Networking events are a great way to meet new people but if you’re feeling a bit shy, here are few tips that might give you that extra push to sign up for an event solo:
Give Yourself an Objective: Before attending an event, give yourself one or two things you’d like to accomplish. Whether that’s gathering 3 new business cards, making 2 new contacts, or telling 4 people about your startup idea its always helpful to have a few goals in mind.
Make a List of People you Want to Meet: Scope out the list of people who will be attending before you get there. Make a mental list of the people you have met before, their names and titles. It’s nice to feel remembered. Try to learn who will be attending so you can b-line for the people you want to talk to the most. Maybe is a CEO you admire or an inspiring entrepreneur you want to ask some questions. Bonus points for preparing a list of questions before hand. More often than not, people are more than willing to share their stories so don’t be afraid to ask!
Find a Way to Remember Names: I’ve only recently gotten much better at this and it has made such a big difference. People always smile when you can show the minimal effort you took to remember their name. Here are some great tips on how to remember the faces and names of people you meet.
Bring Your Business Cards: Remember, other people are attending the event because they likely have similar interests to you, so there is a good chance you will find more than one thing in common someone new. Bring your business card, and be prepared to share so that people can get in touch after the event.
Introduce Yourself: Last but not least, don’t be the person who stands in the corner of the room waiting for someone to talk to them. Initiate conversations, join groups, and make yourself known. Standing in a corner alone is not only awkward for you but the people around you.
Networking events exist for almost every category you can imagine from career and business to hobbies & crafts. Try to choose something you are genuinely interested in. Maybe it’s something that you have always been interested to learn more about.
Over the next month, I challenge you to attend a networking event solo. You’d be surprised at what you might learn about yourself from the way you allow yourself to interact with others in the room. Feel free to share your stories below!