A conference, especially ones that have a huge audience, can be a daunting prospect for an introvert. However, surviving one of these massive business meetings isn't as difficult as you might think. Just like all things that require interaction, we need to be able to work around the issues we may have when dealing with other people. Conferences are huge social events most of the time and while some of us do enjoy being social in short bursts, we usually doesn't include so many people in our game plan. Hopefully, by being aware of a handful of these tips, you will be able to cope with massive conferences a little better.
One of the defining parts of a role-playing game is the ability to perform quests for others in order to achieve rewards. In the case an introverted conference attendee, setting goals like quests has its draws. Challenging yourself to stay in a conversation, especially at conference venues with accommodation with someone is a good way to develop some rapport with another person as well as overcoming your natural aversion for long discussion with others. It can even be used to grow your self-confidence in the long run by increasing your belief in yourself for discussing certain topic.
This isn't like high school where you prepare a report and recite it in front of the class. No, this is an industry that you are a part of, and things that you know, other people in the room know as well. use that to your advantage to build a few talking points that you can discuss from a position of strength. Inc.com notes that introverts display many of the traits that are recognizable in leadership candidates and defining the conversation is a good way to show that you know what you're talking about and belong. Don't feel like you're out to sea without an anchor. Be prepared for when people ask your opinion on things and don't be afraid to lead the conversation yourself.
Being in any sort of social engagement situation drains introverts of their will to interact with others. Forbes has already stated in the past that introverted entrepreneurs usually need some time alone to charge their batteries but in a major conference, that is simply not a viable request. However, by carefully planning your time schedule and taking the opportunities where they present themselves, you can go through an entire conference without feeling like all of your energy has been sapped. There are places near to the conference that provide an ample escape from the hustle and bustle of the constant industry talk. Having a quiet coffee at a nearby coffee shop is a good example. There's no way to guarantee that someone you met earlier on the conference floor won't walk up to you and want to engage in some small-talk, but a single person requires less emotional output than an entire room of well-informed experts.
It's easy to fall into the trap of wondering what you're doing in a gathering of experts because we tend to forget that fact that the reason we're there is because we're also an expert in the field. You belong to this group of people and you deserve to be there. Your hard work paid off by getting you to that point. As Truity notes, introverts tend to be hardest on themselves, and this makes for a very tall mountain to climb to accept that you've done a good job in coming to a conference. Nevertheless, it is very important to remember that, as thinking that you don't belong is a slippery slope that can lead to not just an emotional slump, but rather a collapse that might be very hard to recover from.
This might seem insane...you can barely survive one conference, yet you should attend more? What madness! It's not so mad actually. Introversion can be managed successfully and whole conferences are very draining, with more and more practice they become even easier to deal with. There is a certain minimum level of energy necessary to really make a go of things in a conference, but that minimum level becomes reduced as we attend more and more conferences. So what are you waiting for? Stick a toe out of your comfort zone and go visit some conferences. You'd be very glad you did in the long run.