It’s quite normal to be a little nervous when meeting a new group of potential friends, so we have put together a few pointers for you:
- Arrive earlier than the suggested meeting time, but not too early. It’s easier to greet people as they arrive rather than walking into a group of people and being new. Some of those people arriving will also be new to the group, or perhaps have only attended a handful of events previously. Don’t arrive more than around 10 minutes early though, otherwise your nerves might get the better of you!
- Introduce yourself to the host when they arrive, they might not recognise you (but don’t take that personally!).
- Take advantage of the early arrival by speaking to as many people as you can, this is your opportunity to choose who you’d like to sit near to during the meal.
- Of course there’ll already be friendships within the group, but that doesn’t make them cliquey & unapproachable, otherwise they wouldn’t be at the event. Go say hello & introduce yourself, you might be walking into your own new circle of friends.
- Don’t wait for others to approach you, or expect the event host to do the introductions for you. Social events such as this provide you with the opportunities to meet new people, however you still need to be able to have sufficient confidence in putting yourself forward and making the introductions for yourself.
- Be prepared to speak by having some topics ready. Been to/going on holiday? Interested in music or movies? Hobbies? Even some of the more seasoned networkers sometimes run out of conversation, or even feel the nerves of being around new people – so being able to spark new conversations will make everyone feel more comfortable.
- Look ahead at future events. This is a great conversation to have with the others for when you’re planning on your next event – once you have got over the ‘first event’ hurdle it’s good to know who’ll also be attending the next meal that you book onto.
- Are you interested in other social groups? There’s many other groups out there that members are likely to be involved in, these include walking & hiking, book clubs, football, rugby, theatre, movies, nights out and all other sorts of events.
- Remember that it’s not a dating agency. This isn’t to say that you might not meet a prospective partner at an event, but this isn’t the aim of the group. Keep this in mind when interacting with others at the event, as being overly attentive can be off-putting and make other guests uncomfortable.