Every year I go to Creative South or another awesome conference or event, I find myself leaving having not gotten to talk to everyone I wanted to. Usually within a week, I get several messages from folks saying “I really wanted to chat with you, but I didn’t want to interrupt your conversation with someone or a group of people.”
I hate feeling bummed for missing out on time with old or new friends I’ve yet to meet, because they were afraid to interrupt. Here’s the thing… everyone can take 1 step backwards to make the circle bigger. At most events, Creative South especially, we’re about community and that feeling of family. Know that you’re always invited to the conversation. More often than not, the conversations get better with more people involved. We want to get to know you, to catch up with how you’ve been doing, to answer some questions you might have, to mentor you through something, or to just find a welcoming group to hang out with if you’re feeling alone.
I know we’re often introverts, but I really encourage you to step out of your comfort zone a bit this upcoming week. I promise you’ll get more out of your experience.
Remember, everyone you meet is another fantastic individual. Don’t be afraid, nervous, feel like a bother, or anything like that to have a conversation with a speaker, workshop instructor, a designer who you look up to, etc. They are regular, normal people, who more than likely would love to have a regular conversation with you. Ask them about their story, share yours. It’s amazing how friendships can begin ;).
P.S. If you’re headed out to Creative South this year, check out this overlay I made last year and consider using it this week so that folks know you’re attending and it makes it easy to connect with other attendees you may see online! Read that here: https://medium.com/@peterdeltondo/how-to-connect-with-new-friends-at-creative-south-2018-174b3c63aaaf
P.P.S. If you see anyone alone at Creative South, whether it be at a party, at a meal, or walking down the street, invite them to come join you or your group. Some of the best friendships I’ve ever made at this conference have been by inviting a stranger we saw on the street to come eat with us.