At the start of this month, I was lucky enough to be invited to Ice Lolly’s Blog At The Beach, held in Lambert’s Yard in Leeds city centre. I had never been to a blogging event like this before, but I’ve been feeling in need of a bit of inspiration so RSVPd yes. I know these events can be intimidating so I thought I’d pull together a few tips on how I think you can get the most out of attending, especially if you’re an introvert like me.
Before you arrive
One thing I loved about the Ice Lolly event was that they made a Twitter list of everyone who was attending the event – so I could scroll through, follow some new people and check out who I might be bumping into on the day. It’s a great way of starting to get the hang of names and faces and catching up with everyone’s latest news and could give you the perfect ice breaker.
Wear your name badge
I am an introvert. I’m not on the extreme end of the spectrum, but talking to people – specifically new people – really drains me. Because of that, I always approach events with a little bit of trepidation and nerves. So it was with Blog At The Beach – I had never met anyone who was going before and I felt a bit silly turning up to an event on my own. Even more so when I walked in and everyone seemed to be stood in groups already. Nightmare.
I am also terrible at remembering names, so I was glad that everyone was given a badge to wear! I constantly found myself checking out people’s badges and showed them mine when I said hello so that they had more chance of remembering it.
*Tip* don’t get at all offended if people forget your name – just smile and remind them, they will probably be feeling really awkward about it!
Breaking the ice
I grabbed a drink, plastered a smile on my face and looked around the room, scanning for anyone whose face looked familiar, or who was in a similar situation to me – standing on their own. Bingo! I saw the lovely Sarah (from Sunshine Sarah), who I recognised from Twitter, and made a beeline to say hello. I introduced myself and chatted about how awkward I felt. Sometimes externalising how you’re feeling can really help!
Throughout the day, I found a compliment was the best way to break the ice and, even if it didn’t develop into a conversation, I picked something I loved about what every one was wearing and used it as a way in.
Give yourself a break
For introverts, all this socialising can be tiring. So give yourself a break! Pop to the toilet, refresh your makeup, order a drink, get out in the sunshine – just grab a couple of minutes to yourself at some point during the day. It might just give you that little pep you need to reassure yourself you’re doing pretty damn great actually.
So those are my top tips for surviving a blogging event as an introvert. What do you think? Do you enjoy blogging events? Do you think you are introverted or extroverted?
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Great post. CURRENTLY sitting in the Spiegeltent on Gateshead quayside listening to BLOGGERS success stories. Part of my day job is to go to events, network and speak. Sometimes I can sit in a room of people and feel so isolated, even though I can get up on stage and speak, making an approach or try and CONVERSE is so hard with some networking GROUPS being so cliquey ! I feel for those who come alone to such events. I recently spoke to a now successful business owner who admitted They ACTUALLY went home and cried after trying to engage with a few people and having a closed circle. Great post, my general advice to the start-ups I work with is as long as you are polite, smile and don’t interrupt a conversation, you have done nothing wrong!
I am sat in the same event!! Hope you’re enjoying it ? I totally agree with everything you’ve said – I can seem confident but inside I can be really drained. It sounds simple but being polite, smiling and not interrupting are great points. Thanks for commenting!
This is really refreshingly honest to read! I am yet to attend my first blogger event, as I’ve not been blogging long myself. However, I have been to plenty of business networking events in my career and it never seems to get much better – even with experience! It’s always daunting walking into a room alone, especially when people are already in groups! That said, just remembering that there will also be lots of people in the room who feel exactly the same as you can help lift that feeling of apprehension 🙂
Sam | North East Family Fun says
Fab tips, especially the name badge. `I am terrible at remembering names. like chloe, i was also so shy when i first started blogging. i felt sick to the pit of my stomach when i attended my first event but bloggers are a lovely bunch and it was fine. blogging has really increased my confidence and im so grateful for that. i now find it much easier making small talk with strangers – it’s especially easy when you have blogging in common x
I agree, it’s totally helped my ability to make small talk! And yes having blogging in common really helps 🙂
Oh wow! Youre so brave, im not sure id have been able to do this! I sometimes find blogging so Hard because im painfully shy and socially awkward in large groups of people i dont know. I found it so tough in the early days of blogging when I went to events, there were times id be outside crying too scared to go in. Im jusg so thankful i pushed passed my Comfort Zone to make lots Of ne blogger friends!
Honestly Chloe I’d never have guessed it! You’re always so friendly and chatty! It can sometimes be hard to tell when people are finding things difficult. I’m so glad you pushed past that and I agree – one of my favourite things about blogging is meeting new people ?