The Grace Hopper Conference is a great opportunity to meet and connect with incredible women from all over the world, but networking can be difficult sometimes, especially when you're an introvert (like many of us).
I came across this article on "Learning How to Work a Crowd". In this Ignite Talk, Alexis Bauer uses an interesting analogy of planting a garden to networking at social events. One must "sow the seeds of conversation" around the room.
One important thing to always remember is that everyone is JUST as nervous as you are. Striking up casual conversations with strangers becomes less daunting when you have something in common with each other. The beauty of conferences like GHC is that everyone already has at least one thing in common with everyone else: the conference! So the next time you spot someone near you, strike up a conversation about the conference itself (your hotel, seminars that you'll be attending, cool swag, etc). You can use anything related to the conference as a conversation starter. And remember, "bystander is just another word for a friend you don't know yet".
Hope to see some of you working the GHC crowd this year!
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6 months ago