How to network as an introvert: TBEX conference in Athens



My reason for travelling to Athens (should I have needed one) was for TBEX (travel bloggers conference).  It’s been two weeks already, time enough for the fog in my head to clear and to see the whole thing more clearly.  I did intend to write a ‘how to’ for anyone who is thinking about going to the next one, however I realized that would be futile because each person approaches things differently depending on individual skills and abilities.  My experiences can never be relied on as typical.

speed networking.  I've never been speeddating but it's the same idea.  Just as scary.

speed networking. I’ve never been Speeddating but it’s the same idea. Just as scary.

I said at the start that I can’t network to save my life and I wasn’t proved wrong by this trip.  No matter how many workshops I attend where I’m told to ‘just smile/be yourself/make more eye contact (or less), it doesn’t really change anything.  It’s just not in my genetic makeup to network and I find it too stressful.

eagerly awaiting the start..

eagerly awaiting the start..

However I still thought the conference was worth it simply to meet other bloggers, to attend the workshops and to see how it’s all done.   If I am still in Europe next April (looking unlikely but you never know) then I will certainly go to the next one.

So what did I do?

Well, I’ve doubled my twitter followers and my Facebook fans, but really I’ve just created more work for myself keeping up with them.  The time I used to spend writing (which I love) I now spend trawling through social media (which I hate).  Consequently I haven’t updated the blog in over a week, because I’ve been too busy updating all the tools I use to encourage more people to read the blog.   So that’s not really working for me.

Still taking notes the old fashioned way.

Still taking notes the old-fashioned way.

However I did come away with lots of ideas.   Probably I don’t have the ability to attract a lot of sponsors, but there are other things I can do with both my writing and my travelling that doesn’t require such amazing social skills and dedication to Twitter, and that’s something to work with.

So I’m still searching for the ever-elusive living wage that doesn’t require me to stay in one place to earn it.

Piling up a day's worth of conference freebies

Piling up a day’s worth of conference freebies

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