I had not written for several days because I have had this post floating around my mind. A part of me wanted to share my fear, hash out what I am thinking and possibly discover some solutions to cure my fear. The other part of me wondered if it would be unwise to share my weaknesses with others, especially in such a public forum – what if everyone thinks I’m useless?
I am actually still quite nervous to admit how absolutely useless I was last week; I feel a bit of a failure to be honest. You see, I attended the Blogcamp seminar in London last Thursday in the hope of learning more about the fine art of blogging as well as meeting and mingling with other bloggers. I had been looking forward to this for weeks, and under the registration recommendations I had even designed and made some business cards.
I didn’t hand out a single business card. I didn’t take any photographs. I didn’t approach anyone new. I had the fear. The fear of networking.
I walked into a room of around a hundred people and freaked out. I am sure they were all lovely, but I clammed up, I panicked that I wouldn’t know what to say and in a manner of ways, I hid. In order to avoid talking to people I spent the first break on my phone to my boyfriend (well, it was the one year anniversary since we met), I spent the lunch break running out of the room to buy Thai curry (well, it is my most favourite place and I never get to London these days) and I spent the last break with my head buried in my notebook scribbling down lots of notes (well, I had to remember everything I had learnt).
I did, however, meet the lovely Sian Meades from Domestic Sluttery and Emma Cossey, both of whom I have chatted to rather regularly on twitter. So I wasn’t a complete social failure. But in both instances they had approached me.
Sian and I at Blogcamp – Photo from Amiando
But I failed at networking. I was scared, and I’m not entirely sure why. I am normally quite a confident and chatty person and always have something to say. But this situation caught me completely out of my depth. I just don’t get the networking technique. How do people work the room? How do you introduce yourself? How do you tear yourself away when you have had enough?
So I failed miserably at Blogcamp. I am a little disappointed in myself. But if anything, this proves that I need to improve on my networking skills.