How we created a conference where introverts can thrive
If you’ve been looking at creative conferences, you might have been thinking that you’d like to attend one soon. Maybe you want to find one that fits your personality. Many of my clients are creatives and are introverts. In my experience, I’ve found that my introverted clients are exhausted by the idea of days-long go-go-go conference that’s packed to the gills with information and people. We wanted to create the best conference experience for introverts.
It feels exhausting to have to meet a whole slew of brand new people.
It’s too much to have to go from 8am to 10pm with activities with little breaks in between.
It’s just too much information being thrown at you.
But the flip side is that there are so many benefits from going to an in-person conference, retreat, or event. You’ll deepen friendships that you had with people you knew online. You get to have more in-depth discussions. You meet influencers, educators, mentors who you might not have access to without attending. Plus you’ll learn a lot – whether it’s from the keynotes and workshops or in what I call “hallway talk” (which is the time between sessions when you get to dig into a topic with somebody).
So how do you decide which event to attend that will allow you to be you (and respect your energy levels) and where you will be able to learn the information you want to learn?
In the Spring of 2016, I was talking to one of my clients about her desire to go to a conference but how it felt overwhelming to pick a conference, figure out the childcare situation, pause all of her client work, and go to an event where she probably would know nobody. I asked her why she’d want to go to something that sounded like would just stress her out. She simply said, “I’ve heard the connections are valuable.” Yep. That’s totally true. There something about being in person at an event or conference that I can’t quite place my finger on. It allows you to get to know people as a person, not just a persona.
My event-planner eyes lit up by the thought of putting together an experience that would not only be beautiful but a full experience was exciting to me. I put out a teaser to the Heart Centered Biz Bosses community to gauge their interest. Let’s just say that people were pumped about it. I wanted to create a retreat that had intimacy and intentional slowness at the center of the experience. From here, I realized that there was a need for people who love people but get nervous around big groups of people to get to know each other before the “big day” aka, the retreat.
I created Introvert’s Paradise for a few reasons:
- People want intimacy in the relationships they have with their business friends
- They want to learn but not things that aren’t applicable to them. They want to know what exactly to focus on and how it pertains to their business.
- Entrepreneurs work too hard and often burn ourselves out. I wanted a retreat experience that was a solid mix of play and work.
- I wanted introverts to show up “as they are” and not have to worry about taking time to step away or not answering right away
- The mastermind ahead of time was created to foster connection and understanding of each other’s businesses and lives before the in person retreat took place.
In April 2017, we had our first Introvert’s Paradise Retreat. The mastermind started in February and we met in person in April in sunny, beautiful San Diego. During the mastermind, the women worked on creating a plan for a project to execute on and executed their projects with accountability from the group. The mastermind served as a way to get feedback from others and get people’s perspective. It was also a great way to get to know each other before the in person retreat. It was a small group of 12 women and don’t get too jealous, but we were in a beautiful house overlooking a lagoon.
With me were two other coaches (Lacey Craig and Jessica Rasdall) who co-facilitated and they were available to answer questions the whole time, even when it wasn’t their “presentation time” which the retreaters got a lot out of. Free reign to ask coaches questions, so valuable.
Since one of our values in the Reina + Co brand is to create sustainable and profitable businesses, it makes sense to not only talk about business (so they can get profitable) but to also think about sustainability of our businesses. That often means that we have to, as business owners, take care of us, prioritize rest and play.
I loved getting to support our clients in a meaningful way, not just as a coach but in getting to know them as people and friends. Events have the power to humanize people quickly in a way that seeing people online cannot.
Don’t just take it from me. We’ve gotten permission to share the experience of two of our lovely retreaters:
“I’ve been a solopreneur for 4+ years. When people would ask me, “Don’t you get lonely working by yourself all day?,” I would laugh. As an introvert, I need time to process information and sit by myself to be creative and effective — so I always thought running solo was just how I worked best.
Until I took part in Introvert’s Paradise. In this amazing, intimate environment, I realized that I was really missing out by not connecting more regularly and deeply with other female entrepreneurs. I finally saw how much community could benefit not only my business, but also myself as an entrepreneur and a mom.
Over the course of the mastermind, I learned so much from the group and made some amazing business besties. Being able to finally meet them in person was such a gift. The retreat was the perfect mix of recharging and learning, of fun and strategy. It was an experience I will always cherish — and I can’t wait until the next one!”
– Emily Cretella
“Because of the incredible teaching and coaching throughout the retreat, now I understand what makes me the best in Brand Design. Seemingly complex marketing and sales tactics now seem so simple and easy to implement. I am holding myself accountable in a brand new way. I feel bold, focused and in control of what happens next. I am forever changed and incredibly grateful for the experience.
Introverts, this retreat is designed specially for you. Reina understands that the world is structured for extroverts, and she creates a safe place for us to realize our strengths and qualities. She believes we have a place in the world and that we are needed. Never have I attended any event designed to help form deep connections, recharge on your own and support you right where you are in life and business.”
– Illiah Manger
Since the women were so excited by the experience, we are planning another event in the future. I’d love to invite you to our next one in the Spring! I’m very protective of the group that joins us for this retreat and hold this group to have a sacred safe space for sharing and bonding so this next step is vital. Please fill out an application form and we’d love to learn more about your business to see if it would make for the perfect match!
We can’t wait to see you there!