Traveling solo to a 3-day conference with 500+ attendees you’ve never met before? Sounds like an introvert’s worse nightmare. Don’t get me wrong; we love socializing and meeting new people. In fact, we crave deep connections with others. However, 3 days of nonstop human interaction can often be too exhausting for us. If you imagine people as a battery, those who are introverted lose power with stimulation. We recharge by resting, spending time in solitude, and reflecting on our thoughts. Also, small talk is just plain awkward to us! Unfortunately, it’s necessary to get to those deeper connections we desire. Since I’ve dedicated this year to coming out of my shell (my husband always tells me I have become more social), I decided to throw myself into the craziness of the CurvyCon.
So what exactly is this spectacular event? It’s a pilgrimage for women who have been ostracized by society to embrace and empower each other. It’s a battle cry for respect. For the first time ever, plus size women can experience shopping from the privilege of a straight size person by having access to limitless clothes in their size. You will feel like every woman you meet is a friend who cares for you instead of judging you. Oh, and you get to partake in all the fun of New York Fashion Week by attending fashion shows, connecting with brands, and attending parties. Really, it’s a dream. As fabulous as the event is, an introvert could be hesitant to attend due to having a reserved nature. I’m so glad I pushed myself to go, but I realize that many women may still be on the fence. I’ve decided to recap the CurvyCon through the lens of an introvert and provide tips for catering the experience to your comfort level.
You Can Sit With Us
I really have to applaud the CurvyCon team for creating this genius idea. A few days before the event, they sent out a newsletter detailing that they have created “you can sit with us” sections. If a participant began to feel overwhelmed or lonely, they could head to this section with very comfortable seating and engage with others seated there. The email also asked attendees to approach a woman sitting there alone. This was so thoughtful and finally, as an introvert, I felt recognized! The event already had a built in safety net when needed. A few months ago, another newsletter was sent out empowering women to try things alone and attend the CurvyCon if solo. Sometimes, just feeling seen will make an event more appealing to me. I truly appreciate the team for remembering us in a world that often forgets us and putting in effort to ease our anxiety.
Don’t Skip the Workout
The energizing dance workout is the first event of the CurvyCon. This year, the famous Pretty Big Movement taught us a routine to “Juice” by Lizzo. I definitely recommend coming to this. It’s when everyone is meeting for the first time, energy levels are high, and people are more social from the sheer joy of it all. It’s also a really fun event! When we entered the venue this year, we were greeted by a live marching band performance. This act signaled the excitement and quality of activities to come. To top it all off, gin and natural juice was flowing, water was stocked, and a snack table revealed cupcakes, hummus, and popcorn. Come on, this is how we all want to exercise! You also don’t have to worry about much talking if you don’t want to. Everybody is dancing, laughing, and having a good time; it’s a great way to loosen up. Afterward, it turns into a dance party and before you know it, your comfort level has increased.
I know, the first emotion that comes to mind when you see a line is annoyance. However, for me, it served as a break, reason to be still, and easy way to make conversation with the person in front of or behind me. Sometimes us introverts are tired of floating around constantly being exposed to new faces. Again, a deeper connection is what we crave. So when you’re standing in line, you can relax and focus on the small group of people around you. Also, the lines were usually for some freebie or fun activity, which is a part of the experience. Torrid was giving out customized denim jackets, Dia & Co and Good American were passing out jeans, various brands had fun photo booths, and Anthropologie offered glitter face painting at their party. Basically, it gave you something to do if you were overwhelmed from talking and simply wanted to enjoy the event solo for a while. Looking for someone to take your picture? Simply ask the person in line behind you to snap a few pics with your phone while you take advantage of the awesome photo booth lighting. Many benefits can come from waiting in line.
If finances allow, I definitely recommend purchasing a Platinum ticket. You get access to a gifting suite with more goodies, a lounge with free flowing Crown Royal drinks and a masseuse, priority seating for fashion shows (hello front row!), and entry to the exclusive Platinum party. What made Platinum even more beneficial for me, though, was the option to be around a smaller group of people. For most introverts, the thought of interacting with 100 people instead of 500 is much more manageable. I met the most people at the Anthropologie cocktail party because it felt more calm with less attendees. I also chatted with a few people in the Platinum lounge while relaxing after receiving our gifts. It simply provides the opportunity to mingle amongst a smaller group; for us introverts, that’s always a win.
Leading up to the event, you can connect with others online who will be attending. I’ve built a relationship with a group of ladies from D.C., and they were nice enough to allow me to be an honorary member during their photo shoot! It was exciting to finally meet other bloggers who I have interacted with online, and it truly felt like I was meeting an old friend. The power of the internet allows you to connect with others before meeting and many women met up with or even roomed with those they built a virtual relationship with. A few weeks before the event, the CurvyCon team opened a private Facebook group for attendees to chat, look for last minute roommates, and get to know each other. Many women posted in the group that they were attending solo and were met with encouragement and love.
Although my nature is shier than most, I still had a fabulous time at the life changing event that is the CurvyCon. I left feeling empowered, inspired, and recognized. It was a chance to connect with so many women who could relate to me and had the same interests as myself. Going alone doesn’t mean you will feel alone because everyone is positive and ready to unite in person. I hope my personal experience and tips can inspire other introverts to take the leap next year. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
xoxo, Global Midwife