How to Reach the Introverted Attendee
Dec 14, 2011 by DeDe Mulligan

introvertEvent organizers know when attendees fully participate and enjoy the conference, they are most likely to return the following year. In addition, the attendee’s manager expects a reasonable return on investment, which equate to, many business cards and sustainable leads. This is not a problem for the extroverted attendee, but what about those introverts? How can they achieve the same results?

Lets define the personality traits of both an extrovert and introvert and identify some ways to engage the introvert at a conference so they can justify their attendance and, hopefully, return each and every year.

Extroverts…

  •  are interested in what is happening around them
  •  are open and often talkative
  •  like action and initiative
  •  easily make new friends or adapt to a new group

Extroverts in a conference or meeting are great at…

  • assessing the energy in the room
  • asking the speaker or facilitator a lot of questions
  • participating in interactive sessions
  • being the meeting ambassador or greeter
  • networking

Introverts…

  • are reserved, quiet, and thoughtful
  • have difficulties in making new contacts
  • like concentration and quiet
  • work well alone

Introverts in a conference or meeting setting are great at…

  • listening to the speaker and taking copious notes
  • one-on-one conversations
  • participating anonymously in the session
  • updating their social media profiles
  • following a structured schedule

So, in a conference or event that attracts hundreds, if not thousands of people, how do you keep the introvert engaged without overwhelming them? Here are some tips and techniques to keep them involved:

Pre-event

  • Encourage them to participate with social media and/or ask them to be a guest blogger to promote the event. 
  • Create an online community where all attendees can introduce themselves to each other and start to network virtually.
  • Post all the breakout sessions, general sessions, and networking events on your website and have attendees create their customized schedule. 

Educational Sessions

  • Assign an extroverted mentor to the attendee. Make certain they can be together especially during networking events.
  • Rent iPads for each attendee and preload all presentations and other pertinent applications onto it. Attendees can take notes from the iPad and email those notes back to the office. They can also tweet questions and comments to the speaker and/or event organizer.
  • Wireless Audience Response Systems allow for anonymous polling of the session content and evaluation of the meeting.
  • Placing computer kiosks in the hallway or foyer of the conference center allows the introverted attendee to gather information about the sessions while alone or during quiet times.
  • Have some sessions where attendees are paired up with one other person to complete an exercise.

Networking Events

  • Have extroverted ambassadors at the door or entrance of the event to greet attendees. 
  • Have structure to the event, such as networking discussion tables or icebreakers.

AV Event Solutions provides 1st and 2nd generation iPads, ARS units, kiosk rentals, and wireless network array rentals for organizations and associations in California. Give them a call today or check out their website for quick quote turnaround.

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