5 Networking Tips for the Conference Introvert

Publish Date: March 3, 2017


Studies show that one-third to half of the U.S. population are introverts, which means there will be potentially 1,600 to 2,500 plus in attendance at our Global Surgical Conference & Expo 2017. As AORN’s Mary Ogg, MSN, RN, CNOR reminds us, “Don’t be afraid to say hello and start up a conversation with the person next to you since there’s a strong chance they may also be an introvert.” In the meantime, we’ve come up with a few tips to help make your time at the annual conference more productive as well as a lot of fun.

1. Plan Ahead

It may sound a bit hokey but prepare some conversation starters ahead of time. Ask open-ended questions as they tend to spark more interesting conversations. Most people love to talk about themselves, their work, and their hobbies. Ask questions like, “What’s your specialty?” “How long have you been a member of AORN?”, “How long have you been a perioperative nurse?” or “What has been your favorite educational session at the conference?”

2. Ask for Advice

People, especially nurses, like to help and offer advice. Don’t hesitate to ask a fellow attendee for advice on how to best navigate the conference if you’re a first-timer or ask someone how they would respond to a specific surgical situation that you have been in. Learning from your fellow perioperative nurses is one of the reasons you’re attending.

3. Show Off Your Listening Skills

Do you know the number one quality that makes someone memorable? Exceptional listening skills. Well, you’re in luck because introverts are known for their listening skills, right? Just be yourself. You’ll end up making important perioperative industry connections and learning a lot, too.

4. Recharge on Your Own

You’ll be surrounded by 5,000 plus of the brightest perioperative professionals in the world. Make sure you find some time to recharge on your own in Boston. Even if it just means stepping outside into the sunshine for a brief dose of Vitamin D – take some time for yourself.

5. Follow Up

If you follow the above steps you’re bound to connect with a lot of other interesting people in the perioperative profession. Use social media (#AORN2017) to reach out and stay connected. Let people know you learned from them and would like to continue the conversation. You never know, you may end up landing your dream job, finding a new mentor, or better yet, further bonding with your periop peers and making plans to meet up next year at the 2018 annual conference in New Orleans.

We look forward to seeing you in April. Check out all the fun social and networking events in Boston here.