Introverts, steal this idea for your next conference!

Conferences can be shy financial advisors’ worst nightmares. You spend so much time among so many strangers. You feel intimidated if many attendees seem to know one another. As an introvert, I feel your pain. My shyness inspired an idea that may help outgoing as well as shy financial professionals.

Create a provocative badge.
“If I can’t strike up conversations about my professional services, can I make people ask me about them?”

This is the badge that helped me meet people despite my being an introvert.

That’s the question I asked myself before I attended the CFA Institute’s annual conference in Boston. So I created a homemade badge to spark conversation. My badge, printed on bright yellow paper and slipped inside a name tag holder, said “Ask me about top 10 tips for investment commentary.”

You can customize your badge to use any good conversation starter.

Offer an incentive.
Everybody likes to get something valuable for free, so offer a free report, consultation, or other benefit to the people who ask about your badge. At the CFA Institute conference, attendees who asked about my badge could give me their business card to receive a free special report via email. It was a win-win situation. They got tips honed by my investment commentary presentations to CFA societies across the U.S. and Canada. I got the chance to deepen my relationship with them.

Note: I tweaked this post on May 30, 2013.

Shy/Bold image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

5 replies
  1. Bill Winterberg
    Bill Winterberg says:

    Great idea Susan. I will give this a try at FPA’s annual conference this October in Denver.

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