Tips & Tricks to Overcome Event Fear.
What happens when you arrive at an event? Do you dive straight in, start talking to strangers and mingle? Or, do you slowly work your way to the back of the room, get all hot and find it really hard to enjoy yourself?
For a lot of us going to events, networking and meeting new people can be t-e-r-r-i-f-y-i-n-g.
Maybe you’re a little bit of an introvert (like me) or have had bad experiences? Whatever the reason, it can be really hard to shift once the fear has already been installed. A certain level of nerves is normal, it shows that you care, but when it prevents you from attending or enjoying a social setting, that’s when you know it might be time to do something about it.
The good news is… It’s not an innate trait to ‘be good at events’ (hurrah!) It’s a skill that can be learnt.
I still get really, really nervous and sometimes a bit anxious, but it’s something that I want to get better at. So I’ve made it a goal of mine to do so.
I’m really very lucky and grateful to have had so many amazing opportunities recently, and events usually come as part of the parcel. It’s easy to hide behind a laptop or a phone (especially as a lot of what I do is online), but, you still want to make a good and lasting impression. We’ve all heard the phrase it’s who you know and that’s definitely the case in the health & fitness industry!
So whilst I still get anxious, and I know I’ve not figured it all out, I wanted to share some of the tips I’ve picked up from others at events in the hope that they might also help you!
1. Be selective.
You don’t have to go to everything! Focus your energy on meeting those who are more aligned with what you’re interested in or, focus on what you want to gain from going. It can be hard to say no, but remember you have to be selfish sometimes.
2. Do a bit of research.
See if you can find out who else is going to be there. The chances are you’ll probably know someone. Instagram is a great tool for this! This will allow you to start a conversation before you’re even there. You might even be able to arrange to meet slightly before the event time. Having a small bit of contact with someone before hand can totally take away the initial awkwardness.
3. Set yourself some goals.
BUT make them realistic! Maybe you want to speak to the event organizer or one particular person. Do it. You never know what that could lead to in a few months time. Remember you don’t need to say hello to every single person in the room!
4. Arrive early.
Walking into an event late is never fun. It’s like arriving at a class once the instructor has already taken the warm up. Its awwwwkward. The same applies at events. Conversations might have already started and groups might have been arranged. If you’re early, you can relax, suss the place out and get comfortable with your surroundings. You can then strike up conversation once people start arriving.
5. Bring a pal.
If you know someone who is also interested in the same sort of event, ask if you can bring a +1. Most of the time it’s a numbers game; the more the merrier! It’ll help you relax, and also act as another person who can generate conversation starters. Safety in numbers right?!
6. Be realistic.
There is often a huge amount of pressure to excel at events. You don’t need to fill every gap in a conversation – its not all your responsibility! I’ve done this before and completely cringed at myself. Don’t try too hard – just be you. Remember that you were invited for a reason.
7. Fake it ‘til you make it.
Not necessarily the best approach, but you know what, sometimes it works. Tell yourself you’re the chattiest, most confident person in the room and won’t be able to stop talking! Not only will it help with your confidence, it’ll pump a bit of adrenaline around your body which is sometimes all you need.
I hope these tips do help, and always remember, as much as the fear or worry is telling you to avoid something – don’t let it take over!
Don’t let a momentarily uncomfortable experience or feeling hold you back from success or enjoyment!
Do you have any go-to-tips for overcoming fear at events or networking socials? As always I’d love to hear from you. Please do feel free to send me an email, comment below or a DM on Instagram!