The ability to connect with people is a common trait among successful entrepreneurs. For the introverts out there, you may be naturally excellent at working your charm in a small group setting, but often dread meetups and huge events. You skip out on social gatherings so you often miss out on opportunities to expand your network.

These days, networks matter. Who you know can be the long-awaited opportunity to expand your business or the unexpected solution to a long running business problem. And for the entrepreneurs out there who just don’t have enough energy for prolonged social gatherings, here are some ideas to help you cope.

1. Arrive early


Often times, you delay going to the event so when you get there, the place is packed with the buzzing noise of people talking. This can be an even more intimidating or overwhelming situation. Arriving 15 to 20 minutes ahead of time will help you get comfortable while there are still a few people in the venue. You can then easily approach a few people and introduce yourself.

2. Look approachable


Don’t overlook the impact of body language and facial expression. There are moments in these gatherings where you might just be walking or grabbing a drink, and it’s best to be mindful of how you come across to people. Keep a smile on your face and avoid crossing your arms. Also don’t forget to make yourself presentable – great even. It will help you feel good about yourself and others.

3. Step in line


Whenever I’m in a queue to the registration or buffet table, what I usually do is turn back and strike up a conversation with the person behind me. I simply say "hi" and introduce myself. From there, I do a little small talk. I ask a question about the event or what company they’re from. That’s the great thing about being in a line – you’re forced to be near at least two people. So, you might as well talk to each other while waiting for your turn.

4. Grab a drink


I always take a bunch of calling cards with me to events and exchange contact details with a lot of people. I actually hired a freelancer from to help me and my team keep a database of our professional contacts. I reach out to those I met at these events a day or two later to simply tell them that it was great to meet them and we should grab a drink sometime. This simple effort of following up strengthens your connection with them and communicates genuine friendliness.

Enjoy our regular installment from Sebastián Siseles, the international director of, the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by total number of users and projects posted. View previous posts here .