People who don’t know me well are often surprised when I “come out” as an introvert, because I’m not shy (introvert ≠ shy, people!) and I love going to all the Salesforce conferences. I love meeting new Salesforce-lovin’ people and reconnecting with old friends, but at the end of the conference, I’m drained.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry! You can still go to all the conferences without wilting into a puddle of introverted mess. Here are some tips that have helped me get my Salesforce networking on without neglecting my introvert nature.
Make a Meeting with Yourself
Seriously, give yourself some you time (and don’t feel bad about it). When I’m at Dreamforce, I always take time to get breakfast by myself. It allows me to re-energize and get ready for the day. Oh, and having an awesome cup of coffee always helps.
Go To That Networking Session (Again)
Almost every large conference has career-related sessions that have to do with networking and connecting with people. At the Southeast Dreamin’ Conference, the networking session was actually the keynote!
Even if you’ve been to so many networking sessions, you could give one with your eyes closed, GO TO THE NETWORKING SESSION. Why? Because everyone in there wants to meet someone new, and often part of the session is a prescriptive pause for some guided networking.
In short, it’s a way to network without expending as much energy.
Check Out the Regional Conferences
Thanks to some amazingly passionate Salesforce folks, several Salesforce User Groups have gotten together to set up regional conferences that are shorter, smaller, and usually have a fun component (skiing, anyone?).
This year, I went to Tahoe Dreamin‘ and Southeast Dreamin‘, and at both conferences people commented to me that they actually prefer these more intimate conferences to Dreamforce because it’s easier to meet and connect with people. Other regional conference to check out include Snowforce, Midwest Dreamin‘ (upcoming), and Forcelandia (upcoming).
Make One Real Connection
People are not the enemy when it comes to introverts. In fact, we love people so much that we want to have deep, meaningful relationships. These relationships make social situations go from draining to energizing, but you can’t make a bunch of real connections in just a few short days.
So make it a goal to reach out to someone and make a real connection. Maybe it’s a new person you have a shared interest with (Hello: Salesforce is most definitely a shared interest), or someone you connected with at a previous conference.
Having these real connections around in the crowd of craziness can be like a breath of fresh air.
And that’s it! Go forth and register for all the conferences.