Who Is The Best Person To Approach When Feeling Uncomfortable At A Networking Event?

In the blog post of last Saturday I gave a tip to get rid of the uncomfortable feeling that many people have when they go to a networking event.

The tip was, use a sentence like: “It is my first time here and I don’t know what to expect from this event. Do you have any idea how this event works (or can you explain me how this event works)?”

The question I got afterwards is: who is the best person to approach to ask this question?

In general you can approach any other participant, 95% of the people you approach will help you.

But there is one person you are going to get the most help from: the organizer or the host. It is part of their role at the event to help other people.

However they don’t always know that someone doesn’t feel comfortable or can use some help.

So it is your job to tell them that.

One of my favorite lines in my presentations and training courses is: “Help other people to help you“.

As human beings we like to help each other (especially if it doesn’t cost us any money and just a small amount of our time), but we need to know how we can help others.

So if you want some help, just tell the organizer or other people!

Have a great networking day !

Jan

Jan Vermeiren is the founder of Networking Coach and author of the networking books Let’s Connect! and How to REALLY use LinkedIn (both in English and Dutch)

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6 Responses to Who Is The Best Person To Approach When Feeling Uncomfortable At A Networking Event?

  1. positiveground says:

    Hi Jan,

    I came across you on Twitter which lead to this blog. It immediately jumped out at me as we work as meeting and event architects.

    I agree, an event organiser is an excellent person to speak to at a networking meeting or any meeting/event for that matter as they can put you in touch with people in the room.

    However we do believe that hosts can help to support the visitors in the room (whether new or not) by making sure they have the right set-up.

    There is a great difference between an event organiser and a host at a meeting. Often when we speak with clients they believe that they can host a meeting themselves as well as organise it on the day. What inevitably happens is they have to run around sorting things out and don’t get a real opportunity to look after those people in the room properly.

    We believe it is imperative if running your own meeting to make clear distinctions between your host, organiser and team (often running some form of registration desk). By doing this people are more likely to be able to feel like they can come and talk to you as a host, or perhaps most importantly giving the host the opportunity to go and talk to/welcome new people to the meeting/event.

    You have raised a very important point, as at the end of the day its all about making the people who visit your meeting/event feel welcome and giving them a great experience.

    Would love to chat more on this – please feel free to contact us

    Regards
    Sara Beth
    Positive Ground
    sara@positiveground.co.uk

  2. Hi Sara Beth,

    thanks for this reply.

    Though the article was more towards organisations who work without event organisations/meeting architects (hence not the distinction between the organiser and the host) nowadays it is almost imperative to hire professional meeting architects for larger events to be successful.

    Unfortunately many companies and organisations still give more attention to the catering and location than to the concept and content of an event (= making people feel more comfortable, have a good speaker which can make a lasting impression,…). The people who are responsible for the events within companies most of the time don’t have a real “voice” and are more operational.

    So it is your and our job to help them to create an excellent event.

    Have a great networking day !

    Jan

  3. David DeFord says:

    Jan: My approach when I feel a little uncomfortable is to look for someone who looks less comfortable than me. They appreciate the relief. I always know at least a few people at every event, so I act as their host. This helps them and me settle in for some good networking.

  4. Hi David,

    indeed a very good way to deal with the situation.

    Playing the role of the host is one of the best things to do on events, whether you feel comfortable yourself or not.

    Have a great networking day !

    Jan

  5. […] How To Survive The 20 First Minutes of a Networking Event? By Jan Vermeiren The two previous Saturdays I wrote about solving the uncomfortable feeling that many people have when attending a networking event for the first time and who is the best person to approach to get help for that. […]

  6. Andrea, server dedicados…

    […]Who Is The Best Person To Approach When Feeling Uncomfortable At A Networking Event? « The Networking Coachs Opinion[…]…

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