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Attending Events Alone: How to Make Them a Bold Experience

Posted on 01/31/2020 at 12:41 PM

Attending Events Alone: How to Make Them a Bold Experience

By Carina Woodward, VP of Communications, AMA Iowa

When an event rolls around and you want to attend, is your initial response: Who do I know who could go with me? This is a common reaction. What do you miss out when you can’t persuade anyone to go?

With the American Marketing Association’s annual Experience event, you’ll miss a Bold Fusion: Where insights, innovation, and creativity collide in a bold fusion for marketers.

Roughly 15 million Americans are affected by social anxiety and a common trigger is talking to strangers, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Karen Albritton, owner of Thinc Strategy in North Carolina and a 2019 Experience speaker, recently shared one of the best ways to make the most of our upcoming event is to sit with people you don’t know and create new relationships. For those who may hesitate to register, talking to strangers is even more intimidating. So we asked her to give advice on how to accomplish that and can help you make the commitment to attend in 2020!

Read the Room

First, scope out for the most open table or group. You can see it in their body language. If they are standing, they’ll be standing with their shoulders slightly open to the room, leaving a space for others to join in. I always do that at events and I know other people like me who want to be welcoming. Be one of those people and look for them when you are at an event. When sitting, the open people are having a group conversation, not looking at their phone or notes.

Getting the Conversation Started

If you’re just going up to a table cold, simply ask if you can join and then start to introduce yourself around. Walk to everyone, extend your hand, say who you are and who you’re with. From there you’ll be surprised how often you know someone in common or how a comment or question comes up to break the ice. If there’s a need for conversation, go in ready with some questions. Things like, “Have you looked over the agenda? What sessions look most interesting to you?”

Get Involved

This is also an area where getting involved can put you at ease. I’m an AMA volunteer and that helps. I’m often able to introduce myself to someone new and say something like, “I’m an AMA volunteer and help with chapter planning. What are you hoping to get from the event?”

Social anxiety is more common than we know. While it’s becoming discussed and talked about, it can still hold people back from learning opportunities and growing their connections.

I encourage everyone to register for this event and take these concrete steps to mentally prepare themselves. 

Register soon for Experience 2020

Be Bold at Experience

 

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