Acknowledging your strengths, your source of energy, and your contributions in large conference settings is an important first step to making the most of your investment. If you are planning to travel all the way to a conference or other networking event, you might as well have a plan that leaves you feeling energized and inspired to make positive changes in your organization.
Here are ROI’s tips for introverts and extroverts as you prepare.
- Acknowledge WHY you are attending and set a measurable goal
Before you arrive, set your intentions. Decide what role you want to play to represent your organization and what you want to accomplish by the end of the week. Write it down and refer to it often to get the most out of the event and to see YOUR value in being there.
- Accept your innate ability to observe
Introverts are well known for observing their surroundings, body language of other people, and translate meaning better than most introverts. Use this super power to capture information that will help your organization to benefit from the investment. Have 1:1 meaningful discussions and ask questions that are really important to you and your team. Take those answers back home and turn them into action.
- Understand logistics and carve out “me time”
The week will go by quickly. To stay present and energized when transitioning from one event to another, please carve out time for yourself to think, processes, and get recharged. This will benefit you and those you encounter.
- Dress comfortably
Conference room floors are often hard on feet, posture, and overall comfort. Please wear comfortable shoes and clothing to maintain a healthy temperature and allow you to focus on achieving your goals for the week.
- Stay hydrated
Bring a nice water bottle and continue to re-fill throughout the week to keep yourself hydrated and full of clarity to take in the wealth of information that will be shared with you and your peers.
- Practice deep breathing
Deep breathing can alleviate stress, create focus, increase confidence, and keep you more awake/alert. While Starbucks will most likely be around the corner, don’t underestimate the power of your breath at large conferences.
- Find a buddy
Plan to have someone to connect with that you already know and enjoy being around. While he/she may not be available the entire time, ensure you have a safe place during the week to keep you calm and optimistic about the many events going on around you.
- Prioritize your time
Extroverts are well known for being the life of the party, enjoying group discussion, and attempting to attend every event possible to participate in important functions. This week will be packed full of events, so make sure to prioritize your time wisely. While you may want to say yes to every request, decide which events will help you to achieve your goals and offer something beneficial to your organization.
- Seek out the right people
Look through the list of sponsors, presentations, keynote speakers, and event requests to prioritize the people you would like to spend time with. At a minimum, decide who you want to sit down and have a coffee with. Make sure those conversations get scheduled and confirmed ahead of time. Anything else above and beyond this list is icing on the cake.
- Plan for 1:1 connection
While you may be very comfortable in groups, decide on the intimate connections you wish to have that result in deep discussion, clarity and new possibilities that leave you feeling inspired.
- Build with an introvert
Who else is joining you? Are any of your team members introverts? Take a few minutes to find out what would make a positive difference to them. Introduce them to connections that would enrich their experience. Ask them what they have observed that could make a difference for your organization. Never underestimate the power of introverts in large conference settings.
- Have a realistic follow-up plan
Whether you connect with existing contacts, build new relationships, take notes during a keynote presentation, or participate in a product demo, you may experience information overload. Take the time to jot down and highlight the most important aspects of the week that need to be turned into action. Have a sturdy notebook that you can use during your downtime.
- Help your team to have a great time
As an extrovert and the life of the party, consider that your team members and fellow attendees may not have the same experience. Take the time to notice the people around you and ask questions that really bring them out of their shell. This is your gift and you would be surprised how this small gesture can benefit you in a big way.
- Savor the moments
Take photos, grab memorabilia, laugh, and make the most of every moment. Have high expectations and put effort into make those expectations become reality for you and your team.