Navigating Conferences and Events as an Introvert

Attending conferences and events can be really exciting and may be provided like an opportunity or an investment in the person. But, ask an introvert and they will tell you it seems like a daunting task. The thought of networking, meeting new people, and being in large crowds on top of back to back sessions can cause stress and even anxiety for many introverts. Approaching new people and doing small talk is something introverts generally struggle with, as we know. However, it is possible to navigate these situations and make the most out of them while still being true to one’s introverted self. Ask me – I’ve been doing it for years! In this blog, we will explore the power of introversion and provide tips on how to navigate conferences and events as an introvert. Yes, you can do it successfully without feeling exhausted by the thought of it.


First step before attending a conference or event is preparation. This is the most overlooked step, and is crucial to your success. Here are some tips to take into consideration:

Set Realistic Expectation

Conferences and events can be overwhelming, especially for introverts. It is important to set realistic expectations for what you can achieve during the event. Instead of trying to attend every session and meet every person (as you may have been told!), focus on a few key goals, such as attending specific sessions or meeting a few new people.

Research the Event

Take some time to research the event before attending. Look at the schedule and decide which sessions you want to attend. If there are specific people you want to meet, reach out to them before the event and schedule a time to connect. Technology can be a great tool as well. Use social media or event apps to connect with others before and during the event. This will help you feel more comfortable and prepared when attending.

Plan Some Alone Time

It is important to plan some alone time during the event. This could be as simple as taking a break in a quiet area or going for a walk outside. This will give you time to recharge and reflect. This one for me is a game changer to recoup my energy and come back to the event recharged.


Networking is an essential part of attending conferences and events to further your career, but it can be challenging for introverts. Here are some tips for successful networking:

Approach Networking as a Learning Opportunity

Instead of focusing on the pressure to make connections, approach networking as a learning opportunity. Listen to what others have to say and ask questions to deepen your understanding about them and their business. This will make the experience more enjoyable and less intimidating while building relationships; who doesn’t like talking about themselves! Plus, when taking a genuine interest in somebody without the expectation of receiving anything back builds bonds, and business.

Find Common Ground

When meeting new people, try to find a common ground. This could be shared interests or experiences, possibly related to the topic of the conference or the industry you work in. This will make the conversation more natural and less forced while sharing opportunities, knowledge and challenges giving you easy topics to talk about.

Approaching people

During breaks, people will grab coffee and snacks. Easiest way to approach people (and not stand alone or hide somewhere!) is smile and say ‘Did you enjoy the last session?’ while grabbing the pastry. This will enable you to continue the conversation once you’ve grabbed food and can instantly create a connection. Another way is to walk to a standing table where few people are already talking and join in (remember school playground? It’s just like that). You can also spot someone who is either standing alone looking around or on their phone; chances are they are also struggling and would love an opportunity to talk to someone.

Take Breaks

Don't feel like you need to be networking all the time or attend every session. It is important to take breaks and recharge. This will help you stay focused and engaged when you are networking or sitting in a session. Remember, the more present you are to people and sessions, the more it will benefit you. But in order to do that, you must manage your energy levels first.

Follow Up

After the event, follow up with the people you met. Send them an email or connect with them on LinkedIn. This will help you maintain the connection and build relationships over time. Most conferences have similar people showing up, especially if it’s a niche area. Remember who you met and make sure you seek them out in the following event!


You have many strengths that can be leveraged during conferences and events that perhaps you haven’t realised. Let’s explore some of them and how you can use them to your advantage.

Listen Actively

Introverts are excellent listeners. Use this strength to your advantage by actively listening to what others have to say and build on that to showcase your knowledge or position your product or service in front of a prospect.

Focus on Quality, not Quantity

You know you prefer deep and meaningful connections over superficial ones. Instead of trying to meet as many people as possible (what society teaches us and organisations expect us to do!), focus on building a few quality connections who are pre-identified as people you would like to get to know more. These few connections will serve you significantly more than wandering the room and meeting as many people as you can.

Participate in Small Group Activities

Introverts tend to feel more comfortable in small groups. Look for opportunities to participate in small group activities, such as roundtable discussions or workshops. This will help you connect with others in a more intimate setting while showcasing your strengths putting you at ease too.

Attending conferences and events can be a challenge for us introverts (I certainly struggled in my earlier years), but it is possible to navigate these situations successfully. By understanding your strengths, preparing yourself mentally and emotionally, and leveraging technology, you can make the most out of these events. Remember to set realistic expectations, focus on quality connections, and take time to recharge. BY putting these tips in practice, you can harness the power of introversion and thrive in any conference or event setting. Good luck!

Do you struggle to build a network that can help you grow? Are you visible enough such that your great work is recognised and rewarded? I have a free resource that gives you specific tips that enables you to build your network and your visibility the introverted way. Access it here.

Wonder what it is like to own your self and lead authentically without becoming an extrovert? I can help. Book your complimentary call where we can discuss what's coming in your way and how you can overcome it so you can continue to succeed in your career without struggling!

Categories: Personality types