Friday, October 29, 2010


Whether you're talking about a massive conference such as Oracle OpenWorld, or a smaller conference such as an industry trade show, the conference/show involves getting a whole bunch of people together. One of the underlying benefits is supposed to be the ability of the attendees to get together with each other and socialize and cross-pollinate and all that stuff. To that end, conferences and shows often organize social events to facilitate this.

But do these social events really facilitate this kind of interaction? Ty Unglebower says no. While much of his argument rests of the nature of introverts, some of his points apply to everyone. For example:

Get away from the bars.

I have spoken to some people about this recently on Brazen Careerist, and though a few were inclined to prefer the boisterous, loud and "stimulating" environment of a bar as the perfect place to make new contacts, most actually shared my disdain for such networking events. I can't say all of them were introverts, but I feel comfortable thinking most introverts are not going to be into such an atmosphere when it comes to networking and marketing. Too crowded. Too noisy. Too…unpredictable.

The solution? If introverts want to network, the strictly networking events should be the opposite of bars. Quiet. Intimate. Spacious. Relaxing. Hold a meet and greet, networking style event in the local independent coffee house perhaps. Rent a whole room if they have one. Or perhaps a conference room at the local library. Anywhere an introvert can actually think, and process what is going on before reacting to it. They need that in order to thrive, so let them have that by meeting in a location suited to such.

As Unglebower noted, the majority of his contacts - not just the introverts - preferred the less boisterous events - ones where you can actually TALK to somebody.

Of course, if your goal is to create an Event with a capital E, rather than a networking opportunity, then loud stuff is just fine.
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