As you leave the classroom behind and jump headfirst into your career, there is an unexpected quality that will make or break your time in the events industry. Picture this: you’re walking into a jam-packed conference room. Drinks are pouring, music is playing, and the decor is obviously phenomenal. How do you feel? Excited to make your rounds and chat people up? Sweating bullets?
Whichever camp you fall into, relationships are everything as event profs. We have each other’s back, collaborate, solve problems together and keep each other sane. If you let shyness get in your way of forming these fantastic relationships, you’ll miss the opportunity to create your best work and have a great time on the journey.
We wouldn’t say all that and then not have good news. Ready for it? You can build confidence. Consider us your moral support team. We remember feeling like newbies and have four quick tips for crushing it in and out of the conference room.
Treat people like people. Want to get a convo flowing? Picturing everyone in their underwear is old news. There’s a better (and more practical) way. Get curious! Before pulling out a list of interview questions, ask questions to know someone personally. If there’s someone out there who doesn’t want to tell you all about their pet, we haven’t found them.
Phone a friend. The events industry is filled with fantastic folks who thrive by sharing their tools, tips and networks. Once you’ve hit a stride with someone new, take the initiative to introduce them to someone you think they’d hit it off with. The more people, the easier the conversation flows and the less pressure there is on you. Plus, now you look like a networking rockstar.
Tough pill time. We’ve all met someone we just could not click with, and that’s okay! There is power in knowing that not everyone will be interested in you and becoming super fine with that. Networking is sorta like Tinder—just keep swiping and move on when it’s not a match. Trust us, your people are out there.
Practice, practice, practice. Nothing life-changing happens without a bit of elbow grease and stepping out of your comfort zone. In Calgary? Join a local Toastmasters and freshen up your skills with a pile of people with a shared goal. From your desk, tune into a TEDEd to learn about the magic – or so it appears – of conversations and grab some tips you can start practicing today.
Even if you have to fake it until you make it, building your confidence is worth the awkwardness. You’ll pull off your best events with a handful of brilliant collaborators on speed dial, work through a tricky problem over cocktails, and land your dream gigs by boldly sharing your pitch to a room of execs. Take it from us, letting down your shyness and letting people into your circle will take you everywhere in the events world.
Have a resource we should know about? Don’t be shy. Hit us up!