For extroverts the idea of a large get-together is an exciting one. Whether the group is meeting because of work or because of hanging out with friends, getting to spend time with others in a social situation is something that extroverts thrive on. For introverts though the opposite is true. The thought of speaking up, group activities, and meeting new people can be the cause of a lot of stress or concern. How can you make an event introvert-friendly?
The first step to making introverts feel at home at an event is making sure that the conversations will be something they can contribute to. If they feel left out of the conversation or not comfortable enough with the topic to speak up, they can feel miserable. Plan some topics of conversation that you know your included introverts will be able to contribute to.
Also make sure that there are small groups for the introverts to be a part of. Even if they are totally comfortable with the conversation at hand they are likely to be uncomfortable speaking up in front of a large group of people. By keeping the groups on the small side you can guarantee that they’ll feel more at home.
Creating a safe space for your introverts is another way to make an event introvert-friendly. Make sure that there are some spaces in the room where an introvert could go to collect their thoughts. Allowing them that time by themselves can often allow them to recharge and come back to the group excited and ready to talk. Allowing one-on-one connections during this time is another wonderful way to make an introvert feel more at home. When they have a connection with one person they’re more likely to open up in front of the group if that person is there to be supportive.
Creating an event where introverts feel comfortable and included isn’t very hard. Common sense shows that small groups, the ability to spend time with one other person, and safe spaces to catch their breath and collect their thoughts are all ways to make an introvert comfortable in a larger event. Keeping the event slower-paced and avoiding speed networking will allow the introvert time to connect with others on a deeper and level and time to come out of their shell. Don’t feel like you have to plan an event that’s totally different than you’d like – just make small changes to make it friendly for everyone in attendance.