PantheaCon provides a great opportunity for meeting other Pagans, some famous and other known mostly in their local communities. One of the best things about attending a conference is getting to meet those people you always wanted to. So if you are attending PantheaCon and want to meet your favorite writer, ritualist, singer, artist, or just plain cool Pagan then here are some helpful hints for you.
Walk up and introduce yourself
Yes it can be just that simple. We are all human and in general enjoy meeting people. Here are some tips to be successful:
- If the person is with others, make sure that you introduce yourself to the group.
- Be your self. If you are trying to impress them with some grand title or heritage, it will fall flat. Of course, if there is a real connection, such as you have a common teacher, that would be fine. Finding something in common to talk about is a good idea.
- Keep it simple. A nice “good morning” or “Hello, is this seat taken” are good ways to start.
- Prepared to be brushed off. Rejection is not a bad thing, only realistic. Remember we are all human with good and bad days, other concerns, and the need stay both mentally and physically healthy. Many people at PantheaCon are overwhelmed with teaching, keeping up friendships, professional responsibilities, and enjoying the conference. Pay attention to a polite brush off and be graceful.
- Do not overdo the compliments. Yes, they may be great but if all you do is tell them that, it is hard to connect. Adding the why helps but keep it more engaging. Think about coming up with a statement like “your book is great, it made me rethink how I approach my own ritual style.”
Oh, dear…they are talking with me
Be prepared to answer questions. I have found that some of the most interesting people like to ask questions. Perhaps, they are interesting because they ask lots of questions. You may want to think about simple answers to questions such as what brings you to PantheaCon, what do you do, and what is your Pagan practice. We are all complex beings with lived experiences. I am sure that most of us can take at least an hour just to cover the basics of what brings us to PantheaCon. Avoid the hour long discussion by having an simple one or two minute answer to these questions. If they ask for more, then go ahead and fill in some detail. You may even want a very short 10 second answer ready for those elevator rides…okay for those of us who have experienced the elevators, you should have a little more time.
End on a high note
Remember that other people want to meet them too and it is best to leave when the conversation is going well. If you have been talking for about 15 minutes, you have done well and it may be time to move on. However, it this is a very engaging conversation, which means the other person is talking at least as much as you are then at the 30 minute mark think about thanking them for their time and even exchange contact information.
Bonus Tip — How to make friends at PantheaCon
First, everyone at PantheaCon is cool. We come together with common interests and share in a community of the conference. We meet people that we would like to become friends with and here are my simple tips on how to begin this process that will take time after the convention had ended.
- Be likable by listening, smiling, and being polite
- Do not monopolized the conversation
- Ask questions
- Do not try to “top” the other person’s story
Remember that if you try to connect to a person and it is not working, that is okay. We are all in different place in our lives. I have seen some of the same people each year who I would like to get to know but we either just do not click or the timing is wrong. However, it f you just talk with people, be yourself, apply some of these suggestions, you will meet interesting people which may turn into great friendships.