Introverts vs conferences

To get the most out of conferences you attend, you will need to step out of your comfort zone. This is good for you in several ways.

Introverts vs conferences

The biggest benefit of conferences really is the networking.


I spent some time in San Francisco 6 or 7 years ago, and went to a large conference.

There was an Austrian guy who was both relaxed and energetic in communication, easily leading the conversation among people he just met, many of whom were obviously very shy. I myself was very shy and feeling out of my place. Later, I mentioned to him how lucky he was, being a natural communicator. He laughed and said he was an introvert, and that communication is very hard for him!

He said, "But I do it anyway."

Connections with interesting people, however, are the real gold. Do not miss that.

Decide to be active

I have been on conferences with my wife, with my close friends. Don't do that - it is going to be very easy to stay cocooned in your circle and approach nobody.

Go alone or go with friends who understand that new relationships are the most valuable achievement. Approach people. If it's hard for you, do it anyway. It becomes much easier with practice.

If possible, become a speaker

Being a speaker at conferences is an incredible boost in network-building. Connections built between fellow speakers are much stronger than between random conference attendees. That is quite understandable, there are less speakers and they are usually the ones who do their best and try harder.

Find places where your tribe hangs out

If you are going to spend the money and time on a conference, make it count. Choose the ones with like-minded people, ones where you actually want to build relationships. For example, the conferences I love are Business of Software and MicroConf.

Don't be fake. Relax and be yourself. Successful self-made people will always be happy to share and help someone struggling with things they overcame.