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The secret to attending BASHH as an introvert

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I have a secret… when we started BASHH a decade ago, I was fairly extroverted. A little awkward, but still extroverted. Fast forward many years, and things have changed – now, it takes a tremendous amount of energy to be in a room full of people for a few hours, and I have to go home, turn the lights off, and have quiet time for the rest of the night (or sometimes next day).

Trust me, I understand the pains of networking as an introvert, and it’s tough. So I have some pointers for you!

1. Keep your goals low.

You’re not required to meet every person in the room (doesn’t that thought make your skin crawl!?). Before you even get into the car to go to the event, set a goal of meeting three new people. That’s it. You can do that.

2. Approach new people. No wait, don’t leave!

I have two methods for meeting my goal of meeting new people.

(1) I find someone sitting alone, fidgeting. They’re equally nervous to be there, so I can commiserate with them. I just go sit down and say, “Hi, I’m Lani.” They respond with their name, there’s some painful small talk, and then when it’s too awkward, I ask about food (“where’s your favorite place to be outdoors in town?”).

(2) I look for a group of three or four people that are smiling and walk over, butt in, and wait for a natural opening. It’s harder, but if you connect, learn their names and what they do, you’ve met your goal!

3. I try to skip past small talk.

The secret is that fellow introverts don’t hate talking to other non-robot humans, it’s the small talk that is just so awful. Yes, the weather is weather. Yeah, traffic is traffic.

So, I get past that with universal conversation that encourages others to talk and tell stories. Something like, “What’s the craziest injury you’ve ever had?” Everyone has an injury story.

4. Pace yourself.

You already know to pace yourself with drinking so the social lubricant doesn’t embarrass you, but I mean pace yourself with people. I have to excuse myself for a potty break or I have to step outside. Sometimes I just need a few minutes without interaction to keep my battery fully charged. Trust me on this one.

5. Let others help you network

Once I’ve met someone I get along with, if I’m feeling brave, I ask, “are there any interesting people here you think I should meet?” There are three possible outcomes. (1) They’ll say “nah,” and you’ll both move on to chit chat (or part ways). (2) “Ooh, so and so was over there!” and they’ll point you awkwardly in that direction. Later, go introduce yourself and say, “[That Person’s Name] said you were an interesting person to meet, I’m [your name]!” (3) They’ll say yes and immediately take you over and introduce you to someone interesting.

6. Worst case scenario…

Go find the volunteer(s) that helped you check in and just say hi. Even if you’re awkward (they may be, too), they’ll be a good comfort blanket as you gather yourself. Or hell, I’ll hold your hand through it (and we can talk about ghosts or cryptocurrencies or xbox or cats).

We can do this!!!

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Homer Hegedus

    March 14, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    These are some really great tips and I have read many articles on the subject of networking. I especially appreciate that you give simple and specific directions that are easy to remember and unlikely to result in utter humiliation or bodily harm.

    • Lani Rosales

      March 14, 2018 at 8:13 pm

      But only 90% unlikely 😉

      • Homer Hegedus

        March 14, 2018 at 8:18 pm

        Yes, of course nothing is 100% certain expect the big D&T.

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BASHH Event

Grab your free tickets to the next BASHH

We are celebrating our 11th year, and we invite you to join us for the next BASHH event to come meet like minds in a relaxed environment.

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Austin’s favorite casual tech networking event, BASHH is coming up on April 24th, and your free tickets are available here!

We’ll be at Hangar Lounge, which has a chill vibe, and a vintage airline motif. We’ve reserved all three floors – the first floor fills up first, then some of us need a more intimate, quiet area, so the second floor with sofas is a nice respite. Lastly, the rooftop deck, especially as it gets dark, is the hotspot.

Arrive early for a complimentary drink ticket while they last, and come meet people casually without being sold anything, without having to suffer through a boring speaker, and without being bombarded by people in suits selling you insurance products. It’s just a bunch of us nerds in a room, trying to act like we know what we’re doing.

Click below to join us!

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Sponsors – BASHH is the best use of your marketing budget

BASHH has been around for over a decade, offering creative options for companies seeking to meet the best and brightest in the industry.

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Are you tired of sponsoring events and getting little more than a link somewhere no one will ever see it? Are you annoyed at being oversold and leaving with no ROI?

We hear it all the time, especially in Austin.

So we keep your needs in mind throughout every event we host, and we’ve been at it for over a decade. Keeping anything alive for even half that time is pretty rare, but we’ve done it by rolling out the red carpet for our BASHH partners, and obsessing over making sure the right people are in the room come event day.

Whether you’re launching a new brand or looking to tap decision makers (particularly in tech), the best and the brightest, you’re in the right place. And if you’re hoping for a partner that’s ready to get creative, you’re still in the right place.

And what sets us apart is that we’re picky with our partners. We know our attendees very well, and we won’t take your money if we know they won’t connect with you meaningfully. If you’re selling medical devices, we’re not a match. If you’re hoping to hire yoga instructors, we’re not a match. If you’re selling hearses, we’re not a match. You get it. We won’t partner if it doesn’t make sense. It’s just one more way we’re different.

We’re happy to share demographic data, sponsorship goodies, and all BASHH dates – let’s get started!

Here is a sampling of our offline event sponsors, we’d love to feature you next:

contact BASHH

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I’ve met some of my best friends at BASHH

Why does BASHH have such a chill vibe? What keeps people coming back after a decade of monthly events?

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BASHH started over a decade ago, and to many in town, it is more than a networking event, it’s home.

That sounds lame, but it’s true. It’s an event that many people have made the only thing they ever go to (because let’s face it, adulting is hard).

And every month, there are many new people that are welcomed into the mix, because at heart, we’re all just glorified children that are expected to do adult things like network, so why not do it in a place that’s not intimidating, not fake, and everyone else is secretly feeling at least a little nervous (or maybe that’s just me).

I’ve met people at BASHH that have entered my very tiny inner circle of friends, others have been insanely helpful to the growth of our company through their advice, and I’ve seen several companies start on a napkin at our events. Marriages and babies (some on purpose, others not so much) have resulted from BASHH. Funding has happened because of BASHH. Commiserating during chemo has happened because of BASHH.

Why?

There are no cliques. Just a bar full of people that are there to meet other non-robot humans that won’t throw business cards at you like a lame Chinese fighting star.

Humans first, business second. It’s the most simple recipe of all time.

And we invite you to join us at the next Big Ass Social Happy Hour!

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