How event organisers can help the reluctant networker

by | Dec 5, 2017

One simple step to make an event better for everyone

Entering an event can be daunting for anyone, especially as a reluctant networker. Event organisers can help overcome this issue. 

I have had 6 weeks of intensive networking in different international locations. I've also run workshops on networking to both large and small groups. One common concern from introverted personalities, men and women alike - but more frequently women, is the fear of entering a room and seeing an ocean of people chatting. All conveyed a feeling of isolation and nervousness taking those first steps. But although there are strategies, individuals can learn to overcome the fears of the reluctant networker, there is one thing that organisers can do. They can hire or use employees in the role of "official greeters."

If you've had a recent career break, use our Returner Roll-Up Session to get back on the networking horse.

Helping the reluctant networker

One event I attended was a corporate cocktail party at an up scale address in Dubai overlooking the famous fountains. I happened to be positioned by one of the staircases where guests would enter the main area of the party. I watched one reluctant networker after another hesitate at the bottom, blanche, visibly drawing breath, before entering the fray and heading for the bar. Smart move! I was a guest, so it probably wasn't appropriate to take the initiative and make them feel at home.

Reluctant networker

At another event in Amsterdam I saw people standing on their own looking and probably feeling very uncomfortable and isolated. Here I was the presenter so went up to the individuals, introduced myself and walked with them to a table of people who had already formed a group. It only took a few minutes and is very effective.  In a Brussels networking workshop, 50% of the room described themselves as introverted and said making that first move to enter the room was the hardest and put many of the participants off going at all.

Male coded events

It is especially difficult when the reluctant networker is a woman and the event is male dominated. And frequently they are, especially if the guest list is composed of senior players in any sector, where there are almost always more men than women.  To walk into a room to a wall of grey and blue suits can be especially daunting. Having greeters who can ask the guest if she knows anyone and accompany her to a group of people to make an introduction will help her feel at ease. This will go a long way to breaking the ice and boosting the success of all events.

Is your company ready for the demand for high potential women? Use our Executive Search and Recruitment workshop to get prepared.

Dorothy Dalton Administrator
Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she joins the dots between organisations, individuals, opportunity and success.
follow me

Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services

Individual services

Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.

Corporate services

The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)

Upcoming events

We currently have no events planned.

Join our mailing list to get notified about our upcoming events.

Download and listen free podcasts

Related articles

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
3 Plus International Call Back Request