5 Ways To Rock A Conference When You’re An Introvert

5 Ways to Rock a Conference as an Introvert

If you ever want to see me act completely awkward, put me at a conference with several hundred women who are changing the world with their words while I wander around trying not to get lost in the crowd. Or trying TO get lost in the crowd I never know which I would prefer!

Here’s the thing. I’m an introvert. Give me a computer screen, a keyboard, and a few minutes to put my thoughts together (with some heavy use of a backspace and several moments to stare blankly into space) and I can come across like this social ninja who has it all together.

In reality? Walking into Allume last year by myself was the single most terrifying thing that happened to me in all of 2012. I knew no one. If the conference hadn’t been 45 minutes from my house, I probably would have talked myself out of attending because of the fear of being by myself in a crowd of hundreds. And I’ll admit, while there were some fabulously amazing, life changing, God-inspired moments, there were also times when I wished I could melt into the walls. At one point I remember contemplating skipping lunch just to avoid the crowded buffet lines, or sitting and pretending to be on the phone rather than admit that I didn’t have anyone to hang out with.

If you’re an introvert and I’ll have the blessing of meeting you at Allume, I want to encourage you. We can rock a blogging conference! Here are some tricks I learned last year:

1. Show up.

This is key. You can’t rock it if you aren’t there! Can’t be there in person? You are officially in charge of keeping the Twitter party going!

2. Connect before the conference.

If this is your first time attending, join the “newbies” Facebook group. Put yourself out there online before the conference so that you already have friends you can look forward to meeting when you get there! Read the blogs of the other attendees, connect on Twitter, start putting real names to faces (you know..instead of Twitter handles..because it’s not awkward at all to only know someone by their Twitter name..ahem..). Connecting before the conference is also a great way to find roommates!

3. Do your homework.

If you’ve ever taken a DISC assessment, you’ll get what I mean when I say I’m a “high C.” Like a 99 on the scale. Mama loves her some information. So one of the things that helps me feel a little less anxious before a conference is to learn everything I can about the agenda, the speakers, the sessions, and the other attendees. Last year I even made a fabulous binder so I could remember who I wanted to meet, what sessions I wanted to go to, and where I needed to be at what time. It gives me a focus – so when I’m overwhelmed about meeting 300 women, I can take a step back and look for the women on my list first, to make the room seem a little smaller.

4. Give yourself grace.

Sometimes, it’s ok to take a break. The entire conference is going to be jam packed full of incredible information and resources. Even if you wanted to, you wouldn’t be able to be at everything. Need to leave the socializing time a little early to go grab a quiet shower and regroup? Snag a cupcake for the road and go for it. Feel God nudging you to take some quiet time for prayer? Follow His lead. It will be ok.

5. Ask questions!

Wondering if you should bring business cards? Or what to pack to wear in South Carolina in October? Or how breakout sessions will work? Ask us! Ask on these blog posts, ask on Facebook, ask on Twitter – we’re here for you. No question is too small or too silly.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? What are your biggest concerns about going to a big conference? I’d love to answer your questions or know how to pray for you!

Crystal

Crystal’s heart is to encourage women through the written word. She is a toddler mama dedicated to her family, pursuing God Sized Dreams & her jobs as a Virtual Assistant, (in)courage Community Leader Coordinator, & Raising Generations Today team member. Follow her on Twitter at @CrystalStine.

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On The Move

On The Move, by Crystal Stine; www.allume.com

It’s been over four years since I started blogging. Four years, 536 blog posts, hundreds of thousands of words given to me by God to use for His glory. It’s been a testimony of God’s faithfulness, the power of persevering, of discovering who I am, Whose I am, and why I write. It’s been so much more than a hobby.

Without my blog, I would not have:

  • Been introduced to the power of online community
  • Discovered my passion for encouraging women
  • Chased a God Sized Dream to become a Virtual Assistant
  • Met some incredible, life long friends
  • Been brave enough to go to Allume by myself last year
  • Watched God open – and close – doors to completely change my life

In my story, more than anything else, God has used my love for writing to bring me closer to Him. He has called me to stay in it, in faith, when I wonder why I should bother. In those moments when looking at blog statistics and comments and reach and all the other things that scream “success” whisper “failure” at me, God reminds me of the moment in middle school when a teacher saw my talent and invited me to join the school newspaper. He brings back the memories of the joy when I saw my stories in print for the first time. He reminds me that I once wanted to live in New York City and work for a magazine as an editor.

I laugh now at those dreams because they are so far from where I are, a toddler mama writing blog posts in a small town coffee shop. But really? Though the journey has been different, the passion is still there. The desire to write words that bless others – it now looks like encouraging women instead of working at a magazine. The joy of seeing my story printed – it now looks like guest posts at my favorite sites and seeing friends sharing my words when they touch a special place in their hearts.

This writing testimony? It has God’s fingerprints all over it, but I never see them when I’m in the middle of the mess, the early mornings of writing, the deadlines and the goals. It takes a moment of intentional reflection to look back and see what God has done, how He has changed me, and where He has taken me. He has a plan for your writing too – a story He wants you to tell, a testimony of faithfulness, answered prayer, His glory shining through words typed weary and afraid. God is on the move – let’s take a minute to see where He’s taking us. 

Crystal

Crystal’s heart is to encourage women through the written word. She is a toddler mama dedicated to her family, pursuing God Sized Dreams & her jobs as a Virtual Assistant, (in)courage Community Leader Coordinator, & Raising Generations Today team member. Follow her on Twitter at @CrystalStine.

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One Day She’ll Know

There are stories that need to be told. Blog posts that God has put on my heart to share, important words about life, Scripture, encouragement, chasing dreams. But sometimes? Among the piles of laundry, making your toddler their third hotdog in two days, and trying to figure out what happens between your new 9-5 when the old normal has been striped away – those stories can seem so far away from reality, the words hard to find.

One Day She'll Know

But those normal, mundane moments – when you add them up and pour love into them? When you write the words of the day-to-day of motherhood and marriage and life? They become more. They become our legacy, our gift to our children to let them know what life was like when they were little. Words they can read later to their children, moments of childhood captured & shared, stories of love, laughter, temper tantrums and survival. My daughter? One day she’ll read the story of how desperately we prayed for her. And then, probably as a teenager, we’ll share the story of her toddler meltdowns and her hatred of the bathtub. And then, when she is a mommy and facing the same challenges, we’ll pass along the stories of midnight car rides with parents desperate for sleep and how we survived on coffee, prayer, and encouragement.

All of these moments, in themselves, will never make me a famous author with book contracts and thousands of followers. But together, they’re so much more. They’re our legacy and our testament to God’s faithfulness.

One day she’ll read about herself, but also about how God answered prayers for our marriage. How He provided in perfect timing in ways beyond our imaginations, and how He walked us each through a road of refinement so beautifully painful that we could only be shaped more like Him. One day she’ll know how God changed our lives dramatically in six short months, when we asked Him to reveal God Sized Dreams and He opened and closed all the doors to get us here. She will read how God knew our hearts, our loves, even down to small things like gifts for our favorite coffee when we could no longer afford it on one income.

And while I write the words for her, I write them for you, too. I write the stories because in some small way I hope that you feel like you can relate. I pray that something I share makes you feel less alone. We walk this road as sisters, hearts desiring to create a community of women and writers, mamas and wives, who love God and others. We can change the world, change generations with the words we write. God can use our simple stories to move mountains, to build community that extends beyond blog posts and Twitter conversations. I’ve experienced a sisterhood so strong that it walks through my front door with the Papa John’s guy, dinner sent from a friend across the country, and it makes me want to tell the story so someone else can hear that God is faithful.  So I write them for myself, to help me remember God’s provision in my life, His goodness and kindness and perfect timing. I write them for her, a legacy of words. I share them with you, my sisters.

And above all, I pray that my story never gets in the way of God’s glory.

Crystal

Crystal’s heart is to encourage women through the written word. She is a toddler mama dedicated to her family, pursuing God Sized Dreams & her jobs as a Virtual Assistant, (in)courage Community Leader Coordinator, & Raising Generations Today team member. Follow her on Twitter at @CrystalStine.

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