As horrible as the pandemic was on a global, national, and regional scale many people began relishing the newfound openings in their calendars and the reduced pressure of attending business outings, networking events and weekly socials.
Businesspeople around the world allowed themselves to breathe a collective sigh of relief and while we all missed the human connection what many didn’t miss were the affiliated expenses, the awkward and forced conversations with people you might never see again and the time and energy exerted, sometimes with little ROI.
But alas, in-person events are coming back and overall, the consensus is that people are happy! While we recognize how nice it was to breathe a little over the past couple of years, businesspeople are actively throwing themselves back into the events and socials, desperate for real-life handshakes and sharing a drink with colleagues in 3D. We’ve packed away our work-from-home attire (cough pajama pants) and traded it in for new blazers and nice shoes, so we can look and feel good as we re-emerge into the wild.
Here are 5 tips that can help you as you re-learn the ropes of in-person events:
- Identify your anxiety: It’s been a while since you’ve seen many people, all at once, in one room and you’re not alone if it’s got you feeling a bit anxious. We’re creatures of habit so if we haven’t been in front of actual people for a while, it’s normal that you’d feel some jitters. Remember that almost everyone there is feeling the same way. Take a deep breath before your event, tell yourself some positive affirmations and remind yourself that if the anxiety gets to be too much, you can always leave.
- Understand your vibes: If you’re vibrating at a high frequency and excited about attending an event, you’ll automatically exert positive energy that attracts people to you, meaning you’ll probably have a better time. If you go into an event with negative energy, deciding beforehand that you don’t even want to be there, then you will undoubtedly have a bad time. Before and during the event, remind yourself that this isn’t something you HAVE to do but instead it’s something you GET to do. Find reasons to be grateful that you’re able to attend the event and your entire outlook will change.
- Look good, feel good: Let’s face it, we’ve all realized that working in comfy clothes can be amazing and not having to primp every day saves so much time. But, when getting back into the swing of things and attending an event, remember that the better you feel, the better your energy will be, and you’ll most likely have a better time. In-person events are a great time to update your wardrobe, find a fresh style and get back into the social scene feeling your best. You might be meeting some people you’ve only ever interacted with virtually, so if you’re meeting them in real life, be sure to be memorable.
- Gauge your energy levels: You’re not alone if you feel wiped out after (or during) and event. I’ve spoken to many extroverts who, before the pandemic, would get their energy from being around people but now feel drained after a couple of hours mingling with people. If that resonates with you, it doesn’t mean you’ve automatically turned into an introvert but again, we’re creatures of habit and it might take some time to build your energy levels back up. Remember, that most people are in the same boat and be graceful with others who might look more tired than usual. Just know that avoiding the events won’t build back your energy levels and the only way to do that is by literally just throwing yourself back into it.
- Have fun: Celebrate being with people again! Enjoy yourself; Smile, laugh and dance (if there’s dancing- or maybe even if there’s not). We’ve all been cooped up for far too long so let loose and simply have a blast. It’s hard to have fun if you’re dead set on not having fun, so have an open mind, introduce yourself to new people, shake hands, hug babies, find ways to really connect deeply and make a great impression on others.
Even though the world came to a halt two years ago, it’s time to celebrate that we all got through it and that we’re back together and face-to-face again. I know it’s easy to get in your head and feel overwhelmed by a new docket of events but remember when we were all complaining about being on Zoom calls all day long? Remember when we craved the human touch? Remember when we could not wait to be back to this point again? It’s not hard to forget so yeah, let’s never take any of that for granted again.
by Shannon Ferguson