Last week I went to a two day conference for social media professionals. If you’re like me, you’re thinking of the movie Cedar Rapids right now. I hoped against hope it would be that awesome. Sadly, but very expectedly, it was not. I’ve been to a few smaller conferences before, but this one was different because for the first time I was there by myself. It might surprise you, but I really suck at networking. I don’t do well with walking up to strangers and having an intelligent conversation with them. I usually come off sounding like an alcoholic amateur. Well, that part might not be surprising. Upon reflection, here are some of my more awkward moments:
In order to seem important and avoid conversation, I obsessively checked my mobile devices during breaks. This backfired on the seeming important aspect because my phone is old, decrepit and not of the smart variety. Possibly was saved by my iPad, though closer inspection would reveal I was really only surfing Facebook and Pinterest.
There was a happy hour after the first day wrapped up. I stayed exactly long enough to sip a whiskey ginger in the corner, which made me worry that people were judging me for drinking alone in a corner, which made me chug the whiskey ginger so I could leave faster because I don’t believe in throwing whiskey away.
I got really excited about all the free beverages. There was an entire fridge filled with soda that was constantly replenished. And good coffee, not the usual gross hotel stuff. I therefore constantly had to pee and subsequently sat in the back of the rooms so as to not interrupt the sessions with my frequent bathroom breaks. Unfortunately, the doors were really squeaky.
Lunch on the second day. That was painful. I sat at an empty table until a kindly vendor rep took pity on me and sat down a few chairs away. We conversed shortly until he was joined by his partner. Then two other guys sat down across from them and started talking. I sat in the middle and stared at the wall. Occasionally one of them would try to include me in the conversation, I would say something stupid, they would smile at me and continue on, I’d resume staring at the wall. But the food was awesome.
Occasionally, I would catch a cute guy’s eye and wink at him. Then I would remember I was not, in fact, at an appropriate venue to be winking at anyone and run away to the magic-filled fridge of free stuff for awhile.
I kept almost choking myself with my name tag lanyard that they gave everyone. I still don’t know how. Something with my cross-body bag strap, the two did not get along.