Connecting in-person versus online can be challenging when networking makes you squeamish.
In 2008 I bought a ticket to the eWomen Network conference in Dallas, Texas. It was the first big networking conference I attended after leaving the corporate world. Conferences are different in the corporate because you go with a group of you colleagues – rarely alone. You all sat together, you all ate together, you spent the conference together and that was how you “networked”.
All the people at the conference I attended in 2008 overwhelmed me – there were over 1,000 people there! I had never experienced anything like it before and I felt so uncomfortable. We had been told over, and over again not to go in pairs but rather to go on our own. Because you’re there to meet new people, not hang out with friends.
Friends were comfortable to me – new people were scary to me.