How to Attend Catalyst as an Introvert

Learn how introverts can make the most out of Catalyst 2024 with strategies for networking, goal setting, and wellness. Practical tips to enhance your conference experience.

Partnerships may not be the classic career path for introverts, but we do exist! Building and nurturing personable relationships is a classic introvert behavior. Rather than having a million contacts, we know the best people to collaborate within an organization. 

Networking and conferences, though, can run contrary to an introverted partnership professional’s strengths. As an introvert myself, I am both looking forward to and apprehensive about attending Catalyst this August. That’s why I loved my former colleague Jessica’s post on how to thrive at conferences as an introvert

Building on the excellent points in that post, I’ve got my thoughts on how to get the most out of Catalyst if you fall on the introverted end of the spectrum:

Set Clear Goals

What do you want to achieve from attending Catalyst? Do you have a list of people you want to meet? Do you want to learn about specific topics? Knowing exactly what you want to get out of Catalyst will help you focus your time and energy on activities and sessions that will help you achieve your goals. In turn, this can reduce overwhelming feelings.

My personal goals are:

  • Learn about the big questions Partnership professionals have.
  • Discover what gaps in knowledge exist in their industries. 
  • Meet many of the incredible Partnership Leaders members I’ve had phone calls, Slack messages, and LinkedIn DMs with. 

Customized Networking Plans

Plan your networking according to your strengths and goals. I’ll be focusing on one-on-one or one-to-few conversations where possible, and I’ll try to book time or at least agree to meet the key people on my list ahead of time. Catalyst is enabling this by making the conference app available around two weeks before the conference. If you’re a PL member, you can also join the Catalyst Slack channel and get familiar with other attendees ahead of the event. 

Catalyst is supporting introvert-friendly networking with roundtables and smaller dinners, as well as breakout meeting rooms. You could start with these kinds of conversations before diving into the main networking room. 

Introvert conference tip: at the beginning of a networking session, I’ll look for someone else who is standing/sitting alone and is potentially more nervous than me. The one-on-one conversation helps me feel more at ease, and it feels good to help someone else feel more comfortable, too.  

Strategic Positioning

You don’t need to be in the center of the room to network effectively. Sit near exits or quieter corners of the room so you can easily step out if you need a break. Personally, I’m usually parked near food, but maybe you’ll want to let other people get near the incredible food I know the Catalyst team has planned…

Get into observation mode. Networking for introverts should be relaxed. There’s no need to dive into conversations on the first networking opportunity of the event. At Catalyst, we’ve ensured there is plenty of time to network between sessions and in the evenings. So take your time, and listen in to other conversations to get a feel for the flow of discussions. You’ll feel more prepared and confident. 

Wellness and Relaxation

As well as using your own relaxation techniques, for example, breathing exercises like the 4-7-8 method, take advantage of the health and happiness activities that will be on offer at Catalyst ‘24.  An Intro to Wellness through Breathwork and a Sound Bath session is one of the ways we’re bringing calm to the conference. Throughout the event, there will be mini mindful moments in the Wellness Zone, so make sure you check it out. 


Take a few minutes at the end of each day of the conference to write a few points you’ve found useful, interesting, or entertaining. It will remind you of the benefits of being at a conference when your energy levels may need a lift.

I try to keep a note of the people I’ve enjoyed speaking to and what we spoke about. It not only feels good, but it also helps me organize my follow-ups once I’m home.  


Focusing on the reasons you’re attending Catalyst, and taking advantage of the opportunities for personal relationship-building that is baked into the conference will ensure you get the most out of your experience. 

And if you’re looking for a friendly face then you can always look out for me! I’ll be at Catalyst, probably standing near the food. Come and say hi! We can read our books together when we’re tired. 

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