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Read My Lotusphere Story - Especially You First Timers and Wallflowers

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ls2009Logo.gifMy "Lotusphere Story" has been added to the collection over on the LotusphereBlog courtesy of Stuart McIntyre. Setting aside the boring history bits, I'm rather proud of my tip for first timers and think it might be helpful to anyone looking for easy ways to "network" and meet new people:

EVERYONE appreciates someone willing to listen to whatever they have to say, which thankfully for you means they will eagerly share advice and tips with "the new guy" because they get to show off how much they know. So my top tip for newbies is DO NOT be intimidated. Ask the dumb questions. There are many things that seem overwhelming to those just trying to find their way around. Everyone else seems to know everyone else, which compounds outsider anxiety. Speakers and bloggers you've followed for years MUST be way too busy to care about l'il old you.

The fact is, speakers and bloggers LOVE when you come up to them even if just to let them know you appreciate the work they do (especially because it doesn't happen as often as one might think). If you don't know a lot of people, take every opportunity to change that. If you find yourself in the Dolphin lobby during a break checking email, strike up a conversation with whoever is sitting nearby. Same thing when you're eating lunch and find yourself at a table full of strangers. No need for fancy pickup lines here - something as simple as "How's the show going for you so far?" works really well. And don't forget to talk to the vendors at the Product Showcase, where you don't need any pickup lines at all.

Everyone has a name tag, so keep an eye out for familiar names when you're in line for food, hanging at the lobby bar, or anytime you're both standing still long enough to read the name.

If you've come with a colleague, whatever you do avoid the temptation to hang out together all the time. It might make you feel less socially awkward, but it also makes you far less open to talking to others.

Read the rest here.

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