Last week we talked about how to successfully attend events and network even when you’re an introvert (and the very thought of the word ‘networking’ used to make your stomach churn).
And now you know that being an introvert won’t hold you back from connecting with others in-person. It will actually allow you to create really deep connections with others.
Did you also know that it also doesn’t stop you from hosting your own events?
That’s right, being an introvert doesn’t mean you can’t put on your very own in-person events, whether that’s a 4-hour workshop, all-day seminar or 2-day retreat.
In fact, you might actually love doing them. And it could be a great lead and revenue generator for your business.
The key is to get a few of your ducks in a row before you start.
Here are my top tips for successfully hosting an event:
- Wear only one hat and have help on hand: you can’t go it alone on this one, even if you want to. So have another person or even a few people help you out for the day. It allows you to keep your focus on the presentations, while someone else worries about the catering, registration and room temperature.
- Get clear on the agenda: please don’t wing it or make it up as you go – this just sucks more energy and brain power. Give some thought to the intention behind the event as a whole, but also each exercise. Then, plan activities that are in alignment with that goal.
- Prime your attendees in advance on what to expect: Send a few warm-up emails before the event, which include such logistics as the food that’ll be served (you don’t need to get specific, but if snacks will be available throughout the day or if lunch is on their own, tell them so), how to dress, what to bring and if wifi will be available on-site. This way, you avoid those types of questions at the event, saving you in the energy department again.
- Set-up the event to properly kick-off: let your attendees do some of the energetic heavy lifting for you with effective icebreakers that allow them to get to know one another from the start. Consider using unique symbols on their badges and have the event start by asking them to find another person with that same symbol, introduce themselves and ask what they hope to get out of the event. They’ll be chatting up a storm and raising the room’s energy in no time.
- Sneak away for a bit: give yourself breaks throughout the event where no one can bother you. Sometimes, this means you need to hide away in a back room and other times you’ll need to leave the venue completely. Either way, use this time to regroup. Also, graciously hand off the event duties and let your attendees know who the new presenter is and who they should go to with questions, while you step away for a moment.
- Include plenty of solo and small group exercises: don’t feel you need to be ‘on’ for the entire event. Make sure your event includes some exercises where attendees have reflection time to think about a concept or question you just spoke on. And then have them share with one another in pairs or small groups, versus with the entire room, where you need to be the lead facilitator.
- Take the proper amount of time off before and after the event: this is the most critical of all of the steps because it sets you up and allows you to wind down with the most efficiency. Events take a lot out of us, so conserve your energy by keeping the day before light on activities. If you’re traveling for the event, consider arriving at least one day earlier than that to get your bearings and settle in.
Then, block off your calendar for a few days afterward, to allow you to re-energize. I like to keep my calendar clear for at least five days post-event. This may seem excessive to some, but have you ever tried to fight your way to a clear thought when you beyond tired and your brain feels like mush? It’s diminishing returns, so just make the smart decision for yourself and keep your schedule light in the immediate days following.
As you can see, so much of successfully hosting an event as an introvert is less about organized planning and dynamic presentations, and more about energy management.
You don’t need to escape to the safety of your computer as an introvert, thinking that hosting your own workshop or retreat is out of reach, or that you just don’t have the right personality type.
Set it up to work for you and with your energy needs.
Remember, this is your business and you get to be the boss of you!
Now that you know how to best host an event, what type of event would you put on? Tell me all about it in the comments below.
Photo by Antenna on Unsplash