In 2016 I attended PASS Summit for the first time as an attendee. I was so excited and a little nervous. I was certainly not a stranger to the #SQLFamily but I was not really a member of it yet either. My intentions were to attend Summit, make a few connections, and learn as much as possible. I had no idea what was truly in store for me. I had no idea that some of the people I met there would become some of the best friends I have ever known. I had no idea how my life would be so enriched by meeting and talking to so many diverse people.
Talk to People!
As many conference go-ers will attest, the most important thing you can do at a conference is networking!
Look, Summit is like going to Disney World; there is NO WAY you will be able to see everything in that short amount of time. So prepare accordingly and schedule in time to spend in the community center and go out to after events. Summit is much bigger than you can imagine. I knew I would meet some really cool people and would learn some amazing new things. What I did not know is how vastly those three days would change my life!
I am very much a people-person gifted with the ability to talk with anyone about anything at any time. I am an extrovert. I thrive on meeting new people and gaining insights from others. While this is totally me, I understand that many in the tech industry are not as ready and willing to start a conversation. I am on a personal mission this year to help people enrich their lives one conversation at a time.
Calling all Introverts!
Sometimes all people need is an invitation to start a conversation. My trick to starting conversations with shy people is to notice something we have in common, or to compliment something about them. Example: “Hi! That is a great bag!” or “Oh hey, my hair is the same color as your backpack!” These are small little introductions that may or may not lead to a full-blown conversation and maybe an eventual friendship!
You may be sitting there growing steadily uncomfortable at this thought. (Mmmmm hmmm, I can see you squirming in your seat!) Don’t fret. I can help you! If you are not ready to be the one who reaches out, give others something to start a conversation with you! At Summit this year I will have a limited number of buttons to hand out to my Introvert Entourage! Come meet me, ask for a button, and join the coolest group around: “Angela’s Introvert Entourage!”
Come walk with me and we can meet new friends together!
*You don’t have to be an Introvert to receive a button. You can be an Introvert Ally!*