You know the drill.
The day opens with a breakfast of bagels, muffins and oranges (I mean, really… does anyone at an event actually take the time to peel and eat an orange?!), with a side of small talk while you juggle your teeny tiny paper plate and lukewarm coffee.
Someone who has no right to be so peppy first thing in the morning welcomes you from the stage. You take your seat, making sure to leave a few seats between you and others – after all, you might be forced to talk before the caffeine kicks in. After a little more blah, blah, blah, the featured speaker starts and you settle in for the session.
But the room is cold. And then it’s hot. And then you’re wondering how obvious you would be if you got up and went to the restroom. You peek ahead at the schedule for the day and try to decide if there’s anything you can skip so you can take a breather (that “Happy Hour” after the final session looks like a promising place to jump ship!).
You’re also looking around, assessing whether you’ve under-dressed or overdressed. You’re wondering if everyone’s looking at you thinking, “what a mess!,” while they’re all thinking the same thing about themselves (so it helps to remember that no-one else is thinking of you… shew!).
Ah, the joys of conferences!!
I have a great deal of admiration for my friend Patty K, who goes out everywhere – from the grocery to a national conference – in her PJs. She’s comfortable in her own skin (and flannel!) and doesn’t want to be distracted by all of the surface trappings that accompany putting in a “perfect” appearance. The PJs are also her “Purple Cow” statement.
Now, I’m not advocating that we all start wearing our PJs to conferences, and I know that some people enjoy conferences. I’m one of them! I love to learn and be inspired by new ideas.
The fact is that as an introvert, I can learn and be inspired if left to my own devices, alone with a stack of books and a journal (and preferably, wearing my PJs!). That can sustain me for a while, and then I need interaction and outside input to refine my thinking. Conferences and workshops can certainly fill that need.
But then there are the potential downsides: Conferences are expensive. Time consuming. Exhausting.
So what’s an introvert to do?
Besides these tips that Patty K and I put together for attending large events, you can take advantage of another way to connect and learn coming up in October: The 2011 Virtual Introvert Conference.
I debated about using a blog post to invite people to this event. Ultimately, I decided that it was too good NOT to share… I wanted to be sure this opportunity made it to you for your consideration!
We’ve dedicated the month of October to learning more about how we can understand, own and honor our strengths as introverts, all from the comfort of the telephone and computer in our own home or office… and in your PJs, if you want (not recommended for more formal work environments; only try this at home 😉 )!
No ice breakers. No bland, hot/cold conference rooms. No traffic or expensive parking. No uncomfortable chairs. No lunches of rubber chicken.
Just great information to support your quest for success, introvert style!
Where did this idea come from?
When I launched The Introvert Entrepreneur, friends and colleagues would ask me, “how are you going to reach introverts?”, which was a great question. It’s not like there’s a National Introvert Association that has annual conferences (LOL!). But that planted the seed. I’ve found that introverts are out there, and they’re hungry for community (which I find not at all ironic!). Over the past 15 months, introverts have come together on Facebook, and through my blog and podcast, and we’ve learned from and empowered each other. It was time to take the conversation and learning to a new platform, and from that, the Virtual Introvert Conference was born.
This is an opportunity for us to interact with information and each other in a style that’s “introvert friendly.” And what makes this conference different from others – besides the format – is that the topics and presenters have been intentionally chosen to reflect the perspective of the introverted personality. The four topic themes were determined by a survey of potential conference attendees, and the Call for Presenters was an open process, resulting in a fabulous range of speakers who bring varied experiences, view points and approaches to the table.
Registration options range from single sessions starting at $10 to the whole kit-n-caboodle for only $69! (Bonus! Sept. 29 ONLY I’m offering a 15% discount on all registrations!! Use code “OneWeek2Go” at checkout)
Here’s a quick overview with links; full session and speaker details are at www.IntrovertConference.com.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
1-2:15pm EST/10-11:15am PST
Panelists: Angel True, Paula Renaye, Leslie Irish Evans
Session Sponsor: Joan Shulman, Full Circle Coaching
Single Session Registration / Full Conference Registration
See anything there that you like? Good, I thought you would :-). Thanks for indulging me in sharing this fabulous learning opportunity with you. We’re going to have a great time, and I invite you to join us.