As Jess mentioned earlier this week, I spent the weekend at Texas Style Council. It was my first year attending, my first large-scale blog conference, and to be honest, the prospect of it was REALLY overwhelming.
Especially when you're pretty introverted.
Which I am. (No, really, I am! Once I feel comfortable, I'm a pretty open book… but getting there? I'm a little hermit crab.)
When you're trying to network, it's easy to fall back on opening lines like, “What's your blog?” or “I love your shoes/purse/shirt/hair!” But that doesn't always make you memorable, and a lot of times, once that conversation is over, you're left going…. Well shit, now what do I say?
So here are a few clever ways that I found people began conversations while we were there, and that left a lasting impression on me.
Did You Do This?…
“Did you actually bring your tripod for this panel?” This was one of the most memorable introductions I had at Texas Style Council. We were getting ready to go into Delightfully Tacky's Self-Photography class. And you know what? The conversation was great. We discussed the pros and cons of whether or not to bring it (or why we didn't), and this led into other conversation topics. Once you get the conversation flowing about something thoughtful and meaningful, it's super easy to transition it into other topics.
Just be sure to interrupt it at some point and say, “Oh, by the way, I'm Ashley!”
“That was the dress I dropped off! I was wondering who got it…”
My best friend, Mallory, used this line as an introduction at the swap. She was wondering who had gotten her gorgeous Trashy Diva dress, and when I spotted it in a gal's hands, Mallory bee-lined over. It happened again as Mallory picked up a Babysitter's Club book — it became a conversation starter with Linda, one of the conference organizers, who we'd met earlier in the day.
This is a great way to meet people because you instantly have something to bond over – a great item of clothing, a book, shoes, or whatever. This can lead into a bigger and longer conversations like, “How do you want to style this?” or “Have you read any other books by AUTHOR?”
OMG, you were so cute at X,Y,Z!
This happened a lot to Mallory on Sunday at the conference — she'd TORN up the dance floor Saturday night, and so many people came up to comment on it. This is to say, be yourself in your favorite environment. People will take notice, and use it as an excuse to come up to you.
(This isn't to say get super wasted/ or act like a diva, but if you're giving networking and mingling time, play up your best assets. Be memorable. But if you can tear up a dance floor– do it!)
Be an Instagram Ninja (or Stalker).
I was KIND of hypnotized by a blogger's shirt during a class. She had no idea I was sitting behind her, but I took a picture of her shirt, tagged in with the #TXSC13 hashtag, and would you know… another conference member recognized the shirt and tagged the blogger. Then the blogger commented!
I was worried I'd seem creepy, but she was flattered someone liked the shirt so much, that another blogger recognized her, and that it all trickled its way back.
So… if you're shy, sometimes the power of social media can help you say hello (when you're too shy to just tap them on the shoulder & compliment their shirt.
All right ladies and gents — I know I'm not the only one who has attended a conference (and perhaps some of you were also at TXSC – hello! Sorry I missed you!). Let me know some clever, memorable, or alternative ways you'd said hello! to your fellow bloggers that left an impact.
[Image Credit: Shutterstock.com]