Some folks aren’t sure how to act when meeting people at an event. Some haven’t really attended many events in person. Here’s just a really quick list of ideas on how you MIGHT consider your social experiences in person at PodCamp Boston, with some thought given to the shy:
- In an event with over 1200 people coming, expect that people will be a bit frenzied.
- Lunch is the worst place to start meeting people. Before the first sessions is the best.
- It’s really easy to say hi with a smile on your face, and THEN see what happens next.
- Bring business cards, but don’t launch them at people within seconds of meeting them.
- Instead, meet people by smiling warmly, saying hello and introducing yourself with your name, and what you’re passionate about. (More fun than saying what you do, or the name of your show).
- Ask the other person questions about themselves. Ask which sessions interest them (safe ground). See what they say.
- As things go along, and if there’s a contact, offer a card to follow up at some later time.
- Move on and meet some new folks.
- Remember, some people are bad with names. Be courteous and offer your name as if the other person knows it. Makes it easier for people who forget not to feel stupid.
- FOR PEOPLE AFRAID AND SHY: It’s okay to use “life raft” friends to move and meet new folks. But at PodCamp, we LOVE people, and you have permission to pretend to be un-shy in small doses.
Some Advanced Techniques
- Consider recruiting people to do something fun at the event.
- Look for wallflowers. See if you can include someone who looks a little more shy than you.
- If you see someone being creepy, see what you can do to dissuade the situation politely and without drama. If it’s ucky, get help from an organizer type (they’ll have long sleeved shirts with the PodCamp logo).
- Try mixing and matching up people you get to know. See if you can make NEW cliques, break them up, and make newer ones still.
- See if YOU can become a hub and connect people together with mutual interests. Everyone loves a connector.
One Last Trick
Take a REALLY recent new shiny photo of yourself, put it on Flickr (or wherever), and BLOG IT. Show everyone what you look like, so they can match the name to the face.
Permission to Try
Above all else, try it. Dare. It’s okay. We’re not going to judge you. Or rather, at least we’ll judge you less than other events might. Give it a try.
And I’m always there, so you can say you know me, at least. Right?
See you Saturday.