• Hey you big goof, very pertinent article……….just kidding of course, I can tell you have your ‘stuff’ together.

    If I saw you for the first time, I better get a hug; but I know you a little bit better than a complete stranger (and that person still might get a hug from me).

    I think you miss out on so much if you don’t take the time to ‘engage’. Easier said than done for a lot of people who are just uncomfortable going up to strangers. And I would say most of the people there are feeling the same way and would welcome someone coming up and introducing themselves even if it is just to say ‘hi’.

    Back in the day, I was pretty shy and introverted. Somewhere along the way I have flipped and I’m the total opposite now. I actually like going into a room or conference where I don’t know anyone and taking the time to reach out and meet someone (or two). But I am a big goof so maybe that makes it easier for me………..

    I would say the best approach is to make eye contact, say hello, introduce yourself and ask one or two open-ended ‘softball’ questions to get the ball rolling and just take it from there. In your minds-eye just picture it like you are talking with one of your friends.

    Good luck w/ your conference……….you know that’s right down the road from me; you just never know where I might show up…………….:)

  • As someone who attended LMA for the first time last year, I was one of “those people” who walked right up to Nancy and friends and said, “Hi, I’m Laura and I’m on Twitter.” They knew who I was from following the Twitter hashtag, and we’ve all been friends since. I must say, it’s one of the best moves I’ve made! 🙂

    Twitter seems to be the ice breaker – the thing we have in common. We tweet our location for a reason, so take advantage and stop by to meet us.

  • This makes me really, really wish I was attending the conference!

  • Hey Nancy! I will do this with the hug part and I hope that you and I are going to find a little time to catch up with each other.
    And I hope that any newbies at LMA will also come up and talk to me. I am somewhat introverted, but none-the-less, I lost my voice after both of the last 2 LMA national meetings talking (my head off?) to everyone I so rarely get to see.
    See u all there!
    Amy

  • Great post Nancy! I’m definitely an introvert, even when I know people (I think this will be my 6th conference!). Laura’s right – Twitter really helps – I felt like I knew a lot more people well already, and we fell in as old friends.

    I’d be more than happy to put a hand out for any newbies – I remember my first conference too, and they’re big enough that it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. Definitely feel free to find me (I’m usually with Nancy, so that won’t be too hard :)).

  • Lydia Bednerik

    Very nice, Nancy. Count me in as one of those folks who will happily talk to almost anyone. Don’t be shy. I found that I met a bunch of new folks at last year’s conference because of pre-conference and during-conference engagement on Twitter. Even though I had been to a number of conferences over the years, it was great to branch out and meet new folks, rather than staying within my comfort zone. Looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones in Orlando.

  • Jenn Johnson

    Nancy – you’re so awesome to think of this! When we first held the first-timers gathering several years ago it was attended by a few people and has now grown to be a must-attend event! One of the things that newcomers will figure out quickly about the LMA community is that we are just that – a community! Such amazing people who are open and friendly. As I attend my 10th LMA conference this year, I am looking forward to greeting and welcoming the first-timers – remember we were ALL first timers once! See you soon! -Jenn

  • This is such a wonderful post, reflecting the abundant collegial instincts already evident in your blog posts and Twitter-style. I have yet to attend an LMA conference, as I only recently switched from law practice to business generation and other career development coaching for lawyers. Twitter and the blopgosphere have opened a fascuinating world of new people, almost all of whom I have yet to meet in person. Sadly, I cannot attend the Orlando conference, but I very much hope to be at the 2012 event. Is there an event between the two that you would recommend? Boston seems not to be on the tour route for LMA members, but I would love to meet you and Samantha and Lance and so many others.
    Cheers!
    Betsy

  • Count me in too! In fact, we started off that way a few years ago when @RossFishman said to meet this wonderful person! Then it was @heather_morse @lancegoddard @lindsaygriffith @lalaland999 and so many more LMA friends. Thank you for posting this.

  • Bill, I was waiting for at least one person to call me goof…thank you! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story about being introverted in a former life. I was too…in kindergarten…no kidding…but somehow adopted a bit of both that come out at different times. You are more than welcome to join our group in Orlando! We’re having a Tweetup on Monday evening if you’d like to come. Here are the details: http://tinyurl.com/6j4xwg7

  • Thanks Laura. We all felt like we already knew you because of Social Media, which made the conference much richer as a result. It’s amazing how friendships can grow by using these tools. You are such a treasure, and anyone who engages you, or vice versa, will discover that too. Thanks for adding your name to this “easy-to-meet” list!

  • Hi Mimi! You have plenty of time to register! 😉 It would be wonderful to have you, and to finally meet you F2F, although I feel like I have already met you. One day…soon, I hope!

  • Hey Amy! I look forward to catching up with you. These days fly by, so we have to make sure we do that, okay? I think familiar people and surroundings are more comfortable for introverts, or those who have introverted moments, which is why this networking before is so valuable. Thanks for adding your name to this friendly (and smart) group.

  • Thanks Linds! I hope I haven’t scared anyone away who isn’t a hugger. I don’t always hug, so don’t avoid me if you aren’t as I am not always forward. 😉 Lindsay, you are right. It’s very easy to get lost in the shuffle. I still have moments of feeling detached from certain groups of people, but I try to remember that’s okay because there are so many people to get to know, right? …and I’m glad we’re usually found pretty close together! 🙂

  • Lydia, yes, last year’s conference was different because of the way so many spent time getting to know one another in these spaces first. Hopefully we can catch up, and have that conversation we’ve been trying to have for, what, over a month now?!

  • Thanks Jenn. Can veterans come to the 1st-timers gathering to say hi, or is it more comfortable for us not to at that point? You are right…we were all first-timers once! See you soon!

  • Wow Betsy, thank you very much for your kindness. I look forward to welcoming you to your first LMA conference. The Quick Start programs might also be interesting. I’d have to check the LMA website to see when the non-LMA conference one will be held. Local LMA meetings are invaluable too. Agreed…we must meet one day soon!

  • Gail, or course, you are one of the friendliest people at the conference! I’m glad Ross said that, and I’m glad you came up and introduced yourself that year. The rest is history! Others will find you as friendly as we have, and will love you just like we do! See you soon!

  • Bettina Rutherford

    Yes, that introvert would be me! But there is so much great advice on networking written by fellow LMAers that I’ll be going back into the archives before I go. Even though I help the attorneys with their networking efforts, it’s time to turn the tables. Having attended my last LMA conference in 1999 (!), I look forward to making a raft of new connections. See you all in Orlando. And thanks Nancy, for creating such a welcoming atmosphere!

  • “Hi, Nancy. This will be my 1st conference. I just wanted to say hi.”

    You must have written this article with me in mind. I am generally an introvert in social situations, or at least until I get to know people. This will indeed be my first LMA conference. I’m hoping to get a lot out of this conference so I can come back to our firm and tell them it was money worth spent. But to be perfectly honest, the only thing I’ve been dreading is being in an unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar people. I just am not a naturally outgoing social person, especially among “strangers.”

    So, I will try to muster up the courage to come say hi to you, Nancy. It’s the least I could do after such a relevant article for me!

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  • Thanks so much Bettina. There are many who are introverts, and many who sometimes feel introverted. I’m glad you’re coming back this year! I look forward to seeing you!

  • Hi Brad! I think you will find the conference valuable, mostly because of the people you will find share your interests, your frustrations and your skills. I look forward to seeing you there in just a few weeks! Welcome!

  • Nancy,
    What a nice post. I’m looking forward to meeting you — more than ever.
    Looking forward to meeting everyone on Monday!

  • Robert, what an adorable thing to say…thanks! I look forward to meeting you too!

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