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An Introverts Guide to an Awesome Summit Experience

While hanging out in a large group of fellow AUG leaders after Barcelona Summit, my best kept secret was exposed.  Amid the shocked intakes of breath and the involuntary cries of “that’s Not Possible! I Disbelieve!” It was revealed that I’m an introvert.  Despite the beliefs my friends had held, seeing the way I interacted with *everyone* at Summits over the past 3 years, it is deeply true.  I’m a well-established introvert with my books and blanket forts. 

books and blanket forts.jpg

Not Mine, but ah, that is totally my kind of place!

So let’s establish what being an introvert is to me.  While I like, and need my alone time, I am a social creature.  I like people!  I like meeting new people and I like reconnecting with those I have met before.   I even like parties, especially with good music!  But I find being in large groups exhausting, and I have to take time away from all that’s going on, either to recharge myself, or just pause and look about to see where I want to be next.

With that in mind, you might wonder how I survive 4+ days surrounded by some of the most outgoing people I know, and the long, people filled days of Summit.  Here are my top tips:

  1. Arrive a day or so early, if you can manage it.  It is nice to get acclimated to a new space and make it yours.  I try to pack a nice pair of slippers and a pair of really comfy loungy clothes.  I hang things up in the closet, arrange my bathroom items a bit, and put my plushy travel companion on the bed.  I always travel with one, because it is nice to come “home” to someone.  I go out and see the world around me on my own.  Eat some place cool, do a little shop browsing, hit up a museum, zoo, or nice outdoor space.  Vegas is a little more energy than a lot of place, but there are still some really neat quieter places to visit.  The Venetian is nice, and so are the Forums at Ceaser’s Place.
  2. Make sure I tell myself, it is ok to take care of myself. If I get overwhelmed, tired, hungry, etc.  I can excuse myself from the group at any time, because I have to make sure that I am running at my best when I am around people.  Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the moment and either, forget to pay attention to our own needs, have the fear of missing out, or disappointing people by leaving the event/group.  I remind myself, that no one is going to have a good time if I am too tired or hungry to have a good time. The fear of missing out is really mitigated by all of the Social Media options!
  3. Which rolls right on into the next tip. Make use of the Summit app. It is a fantastic way to keep interacting with everyone on a low energy level.  I can go back to my room, put on those comfy loungy clothes; Scroll, Like, & Comment to my heart’s content, while catching up with something on the TV or YouTube video on my Laptop.  My fellow AUG leaders make sure I know the goings on with communications though Slack and WhatsApp.  If I recharge enough, I can meet up with them later or not if I don’t.
  4. Take breaks and people watch. There are several rest areas about the Conference. There is the University Certified Lounge and the Community Lounge, if you are a ACP certified or an AUG member, you can stop by there to hang out for a bit, or there are often chairs and rest areas around the conference.  Drop down for a moment and relax.  It is also a great time to spend a bit of time in the Summit App.  If someone stops by to talk with me, in these places, I’ll often let them know that I’m taking some quiet time, and just need to regroup.  They are welcome to sit with me, but I’m not feeling chatty.  Sometimes its nice to just be quiet, with a friend too.
  5. Sometimes, we just have to be alone and unplug. I have found that sometimes, even if I know it is only going to be for a few minutes, I head back to my room, or someplace really unpopulated & quiet and just unplug. Sit, close my eyes, and listen to the quiet. Those 10-15 minutes can be super refreshing and reset me just enough to keep going.

In Summary, make sure you listen to what you need.  Give yourself permission to take care of yourself, because being at your best, means you will get them most out of the experience.  Take time for yourself, make time to do your thing, schedule Spa time, wander though shops, have a coffee in a cute café or take a good nap.  Make sure to do things for yourself though out the event. 

If you have other ways to make it though a high energy social event, would love to hear a comment from you. If you know some great quiet places to visit in Las Vegas, drop a comment here and if you see me around and want a quiet time buddy, I’m all up for it.  Have a great event and see you around Summit.

9 comments

Stephen Sifers Atlassian Team Apr 10, 2019

Excellent article, great insight and information.

This is the great content that makes community amazing.

Like Kimberly Deal likes this
Kimberly Deal Community Leader Apr 14, 2019

Thanks @Stephen Sifers !  I glad you enjoyed this article.

Do you have anything you do to help keep yourself at your best during the long Summit days?

Stephen Sifers Atlassian Team Apr 15, 2019

Hey @Kimberly Deal

I've been to a lot of conferences and this is always a great question to ask people for tips and tricks. I've learned a few tricks here and there from others and by trying things myself, here are a few I use to help me stay 100%.

  • Eat lite and drink lots of water and stay away from sweets (Sugar crash is a real thing).
  • Take 10-15 minutes breaks to sit still, do nothing and talk to no one (This helps to recenter).
  • Take your vitamins (Sounds silly but Vitamin C and B can go a long way during a conference).

They may sound simple enough, but these generally help me to stay awake, rested and healthy during a conference.

Like # people like this
eric mumpton Apr 15, 2019

Wish, I had read this earlier, especially the rest, Vitamin C and B.  Had a great time at Summit but now back home and picked up a cold.  Still, I would do it all over again.

 

-Eric

Like Kimberly Deal likes this
Rachel Wright Community Leader Apr 17, 2019

Great post @Kimberly Deal ! I'm in the introvert club with you.  There's nothing I love more than Summit (seriously, nothing) but I agree that it can be exhausting if you don't take care of yourself.  Thanks for posting this.  I'll retreat back to my Jira cave now...

Like Kimberly Deal likes this
Kimberly Deal Community Leader Apr 18, 2019

@Stephen Sifers I love your comment about Vit C & B.  I am going to add that to my Conference packing list!  Totally catching up for missed time with those buddies this week, and it is making a real difference now.  Absolutely should have been doing that during!

Kimberly Deal Community Leader Apr 18, 2019

@Rachel Wright It was great seeing you at Summit!  We have to wait a *whole* year for the next one :(

Kristine Garcia May 08, 2019

Awesome post! It was my first time at the summit this year so it was pretty intimidating. To add on to that, I went solo and I always found myself wanting to go to interesting sessions that happened to be scheduled at the same time. I definitely had to remind myself to sit down, take a break and grab a snack. It's difficult to concentrate when you're hangry! 

Like Kimberly Deal likes this
Kimberly Deal Community Leader May 08, 2019 • edited

@Kristine Garcia 
I'm glad you liked it!  I hope you had a fantastic time at Summit, even if it is a bit overwhelming!  Look me up at the next Summit and we can say Hi!

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