When I started our Slack Channel it was – amongst other things – meant to also be for those of you, who come to beyond tellerrand on their own, but maybe want to meet people online before the event to kind of know someone already.
Mirjam Bäuerlein had the exact same issue, when she thought about attending events. She wanted to go, but thought she’d need a conference buddy, she thought, to feel more comfortable and not alone.
I totally understand this, and sometimes feel the same when I enter an event with a lot of people and am on my own. In the example of beyond tellerrand you are with 500 other attendees and as much as the familiarity of beyond tellerrand is nice and people often mention this, the danger is, that people who are returning attendees know each other and maybe, without wanting this, create a clique-feeling which makes it difficult for new, single attendees to enter these circles. I highly encourage people in my emails upfront as well as from stage to be open, meet new people and make new friends. I tell them to introduce new people they know to their group and to follow the Pacman Rule But it still is not easy for someone who is on their own.
Mirjam now though, that she wanted to help and create a platform called Conference Buddy, where you are able to break the ice online before you even are at the event. Wonderful approach and of course I simply wanted to tell you about this. Maybe you are one of the people who do need a ConfBuddy, who likes to meet new people, but not. She describes Conference Buddy as follows:
Conference Buddy is for everyone who wants to attend a tech conference but is afraid to go alone. It's for everyone at tech events who is not comfortable being on their own all the time. It’s for all you first-timers, Introverts, socially awkwards, timid and shy people out there who are just like me!
Even though beyond tellerrand is not a pure tech conference in it’s core, it still is an event. But I think what Mirjam thought of does not only count for tech conferences anyway. So check out ConfBuddy and maybe you’ll find it use- and helpful.