Right now I’m in Philadelphia for the CIEE conference. I find conferences exhausting, but I think I’m getting better at them. I’m certainly getting better at networking.
There are 5 of us here from my office. Most of the staff are sharing double rooms, but I booked my room super late, and all of the double rooms at the conference hotel were taken, so I have my own room. I kind of feel bad about that, because the hotel is pretty pricey, and in retrospect I feel like I should have booked a room at a nearby but cheaper hotel (there’s Holiday Inn a couple blocks away), but I didn’t think of it at the time and what’s done is done. As long as I have my own room, I might as well enjoy it!
Actually, it has been quite good for me to have my own room. First of all, of course, it makes it easier for me to get the down time I need, away from people, to recharge. But also, it enables me to get out on my own a lot more. I’m pretty independent and like to do my own thing, but if I were rooming with someone from work, we’d probably be going to all the receptions and things together. Instead, I’ve just been going on my own and meeting people there/on the way there to hang out with during the event. I am actually quite proud of myself because I haven’t been hanging out with the other people in my office a lot here. Most notably, I went to the reception tonight alone, met someone on the bus on the way there and then sat with her and some other people at dinner. I briefly said hello to other peeps in my office, but many of them were hanging out together– and I’m the extreme “I” that no one thought could handle these types of situations! On the bus on the way home, I met another new colleague and talked with him (a very charming guy from London… love that accent!!). Last night, I went to a dinner hosted by DIS, and met a few lovely people who were at my table. I’ve also been introduced to a few people by my office colleagues here, and had perfectly successful networking-type chats with them. I am very tired, and I’ve had to take an afternoon nap between daytime events and evening receptions, both today and yesterday.