Yes, you heard that correctly. Ditch your plus one, fold up your security blanket and store it in your linen closet where it belongs. It’s time to get uncomfortable, put your big-girl pants on and go to an event all by your awesome self.
Odds are if you are awesome and drawn to an awesome event like the GEM conference, other awesome people will be there too, thus exposing you to other awesome individuals. It’s science.
Because we want you to get the best and most out of your GEM conference experience, we highly recommend you attend alone. Here’s why.
Why attend the GEM conference alone?
- Better focus- You’ll naturally listen, understand and internalize more because you won’t be distracted or influenced by another person. You’ll have the capacity to actually focus on learning and applying it to your situation.
- Meaningful connections- You’ll be lonely, so you’ll most likely look for people that you are drawn to and start engaging with them. Because it’s more intimidating to break up a group, you’ll probably connect with others who also came to the event alone.
- Growth opportunities- Getting uncomfortable is part of everyone’s professional and personal development. Sticking to what makes you comfortable is self-sabotage, and no one deserves that.
- Unique experience- You’ll do all the things you want to do, and create a unique experience that is totally curated just for you, by you!
Now that we have convinced you to go stag and invest in a SOLO VIP ticket, we pulled together some networking tips to help you easily make friends at the GEM conference.
Networking tips for beginners or introverts
- Unless you are super confident, shy away from breaking up a group of people. Rather, find an individual, go up to them and say hello. Trust, it’s way less intimidating.
- Start a conversation by asking fun questions like “What’s new? What’s exciting? What are you working on these days?”. Avoid asking “What do you do?” that’s kind of lame.
- If you are not very chatty, just keep asking the other person questions. You’ll be amazed at where the conversation can lead. Not only will you leave a great impression, you might discover something truly remarkable about the person you’re talking to.
- Be a good listener, and try not to forget their name. If you are not good with names, repeat their name and ask for a business card as a visual queue.
- Just think about making friends, not potential clients. If the connection is right, then a second meeting may be worth it. Please for the love of everything, DO NOT mistaken a friendly connection with an opportunity to recruit people for your business.
- After your conversation or encounter, write down what you talked about, or write a few keywords on their card so you recall who they were. Don’t forget to write down any actions you intended to do.
- Set an achievable goal for yourself to meet at least 3 to 5 people. Odds are you’ll meet more, but give yourself a little challenge.
- Be prepared to chat and take notes. Bring a ton of business cards, a notebook, pen or two, mints or gum, your cell phone a charger and a backup charger.
- Wear comfortable clothes and a bag or purse that allows you to be hands-free and gives you easy access to your phone or business cards. Don’t fumble around for your stuff, it’s not a good look.
After the event is over, your work is not done. Here is a checklist of things you’ll need to do:
- Go through your action items from the notes you took at the conference (because yes, you took notes, and yes you starred your action items!)
- Go through your new business cards and make online connections on social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram).
- DO NOT ADD THESE FOLKS TO YOUR EMAIL LIST- feel free to send an email to the person you met, but please don’t add them to your mailing list. It’s tacky and also illegal because they did not opt in.
- If you got a goodie bag, go through it and USE THE PROMOS before they expire! Because that’s just good financial sense!
The most import thing is to have fun and enjoy yourself! We look forward to seeing you (Solo or not) at the GEM conference!
Want to win a VIP ticket to GEM conference? We got chu’- enter Chantsy’s Instagram giveaway!
Click HERE for the link to our insta giveaway
About Chantal @chantsy
Chantal Sarkisian (aka Chantsy) is a seasoned Marketing and Communications creative with expertise in Business, Digital Strategy, and Social Media. Chantal is passionate about her roles as a style blogger and Instagram lifestyle influencer. She loves sharing personal stories and is proud to be an Ottawa locavore, a beauty expert, a foodie, and an advocate for the empowerment and representation of plus-size women in the fashion industry.
A completely self-made woman, Chantal’s success on the local fashion and lifestyle scene was not achieved overnight. Taking advantage of her outgoing personality and the power of social media, Chantal effectively uses channels, like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, to engage her audience and build her network both online and in person.
In her not-so-spare time, she juggles being a wife, mom, and shopaholic.