It takes all kinds to make the world turn. Just like we need people who are not afraid to stand up and speak their mind, we also need people who are willing to sit back and listen. This balance of personalities helps the world keep turning.
I happen to be one of those “sit back and listen” types. While I always secretly hope to land an invitation to the big fun stuff, it terrifies me too. Last year at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration (Disney SMMC), I was lucky enough to have a couple of familiar faces attending with me. Prior to the event I tried to be active in the Facebook group where everyone was getting to know each other so I would be a little more comfortable saying hello to people when the big day finally came to meet everyone in person. This year, while I “know” some people attending, they’re more bloggers I’ve looked up to for years so it’s more a fan girl situation for me. Because I’m trying to be a better me this year, I decided to try a few things to keep me from standing in the corner by myself:
- Get involved early on and stay involved. Getting to know the other attendees via social media and their blogs is a great way to help make everyone seem like normal people you’d say hello to on any given day.
- Find some common ground. Through your interactions with others prior to the event, pick a couple of people you’d like to say hello to during the event and reach out to them privately. Mention how much you love their Twitter handle, latest blogging campaign, or adorable Instagram picture and tell them you’d love to say hello. Knowing you’ve got a couple of people to say hello to will give you something to look forward to and a couple of people looking for you too.
- Take time to recharge. People all day long can be super overwhelming and draining. Know what you need to do to help make yourself comfortable when you feel like you’re drained and need to refill your tank to finish out the day/hour/event. It’s alright to take a self-imposed time out to check in on social media, go for a quick walk by yourself, spend time alone in your hotel room between events and activities, or go lounge by the pool while you work on a blog post.
- Be brave. It will take so much energy and courage to sit at a table of people you don’t know and socialize with them. Sit with other people instead of picking the empty table all alone in the corner.
All of these suggestions are likely completely out of your introvert comfort zone. Trust me – I totally understand. You never know what can happen at events like this. I was lucky enough last year to meet some wonderful people last year that I still stay in touch with and I certainly count that as a win. No matter what, do whatever you can and don’t chicken out. It won’t be easy but in some small way you’ll look back and realize every little bit was worth it.