How To Master The Art of Attending Industry Events Solo

How To Master The Art of Attending Industry Events Solo

In a realm, where every industry soiree holds the promise of new opportunity, dealing with the pressure to network can often feel deeply overwhelming... especially without a plus one.
Throw introversion & anxiety into the mix and the idea of being added to the guest lists of even the most exclusive of events, dinners & brand trips, could leave you inclined, to flee from those unanswered PR invites filling up your inbox, quicker than SvdW fleeing the scene of her latest scandal.
You may not think it… but I know the feeling.
And despite my numerous sources, even I have to leave the comforting anonymity of my inner sanctum every once in a while & make appearances amongst high society IRL.
So with the start of a new social calendar upon us once more, I thought it would be the perfect time to share how even the most reserved of us, can master the art of attending industry events; solo.

What Would Blair Waldorf Do?
Despite what those clueless social media trolls may say, in our world, any successful endeavour, takes a meticulous plan (at times even a well executed Waldorf level scheme or two) behind the scenes.

Start by being intentional with what you’re hoping to gain by attending the event. Is it friendship, business connections, a boost in confidence, social media content, the experience, all of the above?
Whatever it is, use that as your drive to keep going even when your instincts are telling you to exit stage left.
Use your intentions to form your intro conversations ahead of time. Whether you want to make a point of who you are, what you do or why you're the greatest Trendsettr of all time, having a main talking point in mind will make it a whole lot easier.

Utilising your digital domain in the run up to an event will prepare you for whatever lies ahead….
Is the guest list available? If it’s not public, then ask your host. Once you’ve got it, use it as an opportunity to get to know a few of your fellow guests. Again don’t forget your original intention for attending the event.

Engage with the content of those whose acquaintance you’d like to make & see if you can discover a glimpse of common ground. A casual DM could turn into the start of an alliance or two before you’ve even made it through the door.
Once you’ve established that online connection, there’s no reason not to take it off-screen and seal it all with a drink & an Insta-story at the photo wall.

And just in case the thought of that has you raising an eyebrow in uncertainty, keep reading - there’s always a plan B…
Picture this:
You’ve arrived at your destination solo & as expected, it’s filled with the industry's crème de la crème.
Glasses are clinking, cameras are flashing, those coveted branded gift bags are overflowing, chatter, music, laughter & the sweet click of a dozen selfies echo through the air…
And you ask yourself... 'Why didn’t I arrange to have an escape Uber on standby?'…


Do I really need to remind you of who you are?
When have you ever needed anyone else in order to shine?
You deserve to be there & you deserve to get as much from the experience as the next person.

Start by visualising yourself confidently navigating conversations and with that, make your way & introduce yourself to your host. They invited you, they want you there & they’ll be elated to see you. Thank them for the invite and while you're doing so, they may even introduce you to another guest who feels the exact same way as you do.

And if not? Having that little boost of validation may give you the extra confidence you need to start introducing yourself to others.

And if not? Take a minute to soak in your surroundings, take out your phone & capture everything you see (before time takes it toll) and share it with your audience. Your perspective may start to shift once you start to see things through their eyes.

Once you’ve had a moment… here’s what you're going to do next:

I hate to use that age-old adage but… if there was ever a time to ‘fake it til you make it’ the time is now.
Dial up those confidence settings like it’s your favourite TikTok filter. Engage in meaningful conversations that leave a lasting impression, ensuring your name & your brand linger long after.

But whichever tactic you choose to use, don’t forget, there’s nothing wrong with having a graceful exit strategy planned out for those moments when the social energy just becomes too overwhelming.

And after the final farewells fill the air…
and you’re nestled under yout bed covers with a face full of day old makeup & a bag full of celebratory fries (don’t worry I’m not one to judge 👀)… it might be time to start to formulate the final part of your plan.
The follow ups.

Think about who you were able to connect with & craft the personalised messages you need to send - not next week or next month, but the next day.
Follow up while you’re still hopped up on confidence & the memory of you is still fresh in their minds.
Think back to your original intention for attending the event in the first place.

And in your messages?
Your authenticity is everything. Figure out how taking it from a fleeting connection to a lasting friendship and/or partnership, would be mutually beneficial & focus on that.

In this fiercely competitive world, networking is one of the strongest power moves there is & with these strategies... you’re poised to leave a lasting impression wherever you go.

So go forth, make those connections & let the whispers of your success echo through the rooms you were once hesitant of entering.

And above all else?
Those invitations in your inbox?
They don’t come easy.
Have fun & make the most of it.
You’ve worked so hard for it, you deserve it.

And who knows... maybe just maybe, your next IRL connection will be with yours truly 🥂