Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, many of us can feel a bit nervous or unsure about going to events on our own. They may be events where ten other people are going or maybe hundreds will be there. What I call event anxiety is a very normal feeling. If you haven’t already seen it, don’t forget to check out my blog on top tips on networking. I’ve had to attend events on my own for lots of different reasons. Through my own experience of attending a variety of events in my media, corporate or freelance careers I’ve picked up a few tricks about going to events over the past 20 years. So here seven top tips about going to events on your own…
What do you need to know before the event? Research is queen! What would really you love to know about this event? What kind of things do you like to know about an event? What’s the venue like? What time will it finish? Who else is going? Is there an agenda? Is there feedback on previous events? So, work out what info and will make you more comfortable about going to an event. Don’t be afraid to ask the event organiser questions about the event and before you decide to buy a ticket.
Think about your event intentions…What is it that you want to get out of this event? It’s OK to have your own intentions. We rarely just go to events to hang about. Is it that you want to learn something, maybe be inspired, meet people, network, talk about what you do or just be social? If you keep reminding yourself why you’re going to an event and how you’ll benefit from it, this distracts you from any pre-event nerves and event anxiety on the day.
Connect online beforehand…These days, many events or conferences have email bulletins or Facebook groups to prepare people for different events. Join in online as it’s a way to get to know other attendees. Events may also have Twitter or Instagram pages. Check them out as they may help to boost your event confidence a bit.
Ask others who go to events on their own about their top tips…Do you know someone who often goes to events and seems to enjoy them? Ask them about what they might feel nervous about? What do they least enjoy and how do they get through it? What do they really enjoy about going to events on their own? How do they interact with people? I never underestimate how people feel when they come to the Lucky Things Meet Ups. Lots of people come to these events on their own. Even if people have been to one before, they may still have a bit of event anxiety.
Think of your conversation starter…This doesn’t have to be a cliche. Think of a question you can ask people when you first speak to them. Open questions are fab like “What interested you in this event?”. Closed ones are helpful too – “Have you been to an event like this before?”. Asking gentle questions shows an interest in others. Or perhaps it’s just a simple “hello, I’m…” and let the other person lead the conversation.
Enjoy your own space…Remember that not all events are about full-on networking, constant chatting or swapping business cards. Again, come back to your event intentions. If you’d prefer to keep a low profile that’s fine too. Just remember that people may come up and speak to you so be ready for that interaction. If there’s a talk in a room, sit in a space where you feel most comfortable.
Everyone suffers from event anxiety…Yes, even the most outwardly confident-looking people suffer from some level of what I call event anxiety. Will anyone speak to me? Will I see anyone I know? Will it be easy to mingle? Will there be a break? You can guarantee there will be many others at the event with similar questions or worries. Oh and what to wear? Talking of what to wear, always make sure you wear something you’re comfortable in or maybe something that makes you feel a bit more confident. My last tip is to think about what will make you feel better about walking through the door or into the room at an event? You might be able to arrange to meet someone else who’s going so you can literally meet at the entrance and stroll in together. These little things all make a difference.
What are your top tips for going to events? Are you going to any events over the coming months? What do you enjoy about going to events, meet ups, workshops or conferences? Let me know what you think too and leave a comment below.
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Sunita is a trained Business, Career and Confidence Coach and CIPD qualified HR professional with over 20 years in her field. To find out more about her recommended coaching services click here or you can browse forthcoming online meet ups and masterclasses right here. Need some expert advice on your CV or LinkedIn profile? Check out the options here.
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Sunita runs the Lucky Things®️ Meet Ups and Masterclasses – inclusive spaces all about looking after our confidence, careers (whatever we do in our week!) and wellbeing. Sunita’s colourful career kicked off in fashion and media, working with brands like Liberty, The Body Shop, Nike and Italian Vogue. Her coaching and professional development career now focused on helping others to feel confident so they move forward with their businesses.
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