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Secretly scared of Conference networking? You’re not alone.

Secretly scared of Conference networking? You’re not alone.

When we put together the Victorian Tourism Conference there are so many balls in the air every day it can occasionally feel a little hectic. One thing we never lose sight of however is the WHY. Why we are hosting the event in the first place and why must it be a success. Paramount to these and pretty much any other question around VTIC events is the delegate, our industry…YOU!

What I forget sometimes is that all of YOU are very, very different. Some of you run businesses in regional Victoria, others in metro Melbourne. Some are family operations, some government departments and some of you represent big big tourism or events operations. But no matter where you are from or who you represent, I often assume that every single one of you is the same in one respect – being super comfortable with networking in a room of 350 – 400 people…by yourself.

Having spoken to a few of you, is became clear that my suspicions were well founded and I have been wrong all this time. Yes, there are many (and we ALL know who they are) in our networks that live for networking and are exceptional at it. But there are also those of us whose idea of torture is having to make conversation with a complete stranger regardless of the common tourism link. Oh, it’s easy when you have a wing-man (or woman) to bounce off or run interference for, but solo can be daunting. This reluctance to step outside the comfort zone can also detract from the overall conference experience as some of you may have great questions to ask of a presenter, but are too shy to stand up and rock the mic.

To do my little bit, for the Q&A element, I’m looking at engaging Slido. It’s free, no APP required and can be ANONYMOUS if you like. I’d love to hear what you all think of this simple but efficient system and if anyone’s used it in the past. We also have a lounge area, or ‘quiet space’ where peace and quiet are the order of the day and you can legitimately relax and catch up on calls or emails, OR do some one-on-one meetings and warm into it.

As for surviving the networking events and break times I’ve found this helpful article from the fine people at Lifehack.org.

Check it out and remember to BOOK NOW to secure your place at the 2017 Victorian Tourism Conference.