How to meet new people at tech events

How our Tech Social events make it easy to meet new people

by HackerNest


People come to Tech Socials for many reasons -- to meet new people, make friends, get advice, find jobs/contracts, learn about cool tech, hire, all kinds of stuff. ...but why? How is any of this stuff comfortable for a demographic that's stereotypically rather introverted? Simple: because Tech Socials make everything easy and safe by removing uncertainty.

To explain, let's put this in context of another typical social outing -- going out to a nightclub or bar. For many of us, that can be pretty overwhelming and intimidating; talking to strangers is scary because we don't know who they are, what to expect, or how to behave to ensure positive outcomes.


The typical nightclub experience



You see a group of people chatting. They look interesting. Should you say hi? Can you join in? What if there's nothing to talk about, or they don't like your clothes, do you walk away awkwardly? Do they want to meet new people or just hang with friends? Are they there to pick up romantic (or not-so-romantic) partners? Would you be interrupting? What if they're mean and rude and nasty, what if they reject you? They're almost certainly not going to walk up and say hi, so it's up to you -- but it's so loud, you have to yell, so what if they interpret that as creepy or weird? What if they're bullies and get aggressive?

How do you overcome insecurity and be 'cool' under these circumstances? So much can go wrong.


Now compare that to our relaxed, down-to-earth tech events with an atmosphere designed to only appeal to certain kinds of people...



What to expect at any given Tech Social



You show up, a smiling volunteer writes you a nametag and welcomes to you to the event. You look around and see an incredibly diverse group of people standing around and chatting with each other. Here's what you discover:

  • there's no music; if it's loud, it's because people are excitedly having intelligent conversations
  • everyone's interested in some aspect of technology so it's easy to find common ground
  • folks are quirky, friendly, earnest, vulnerable, non-threatening, and actually there to meet new people (no dirtbags, misanthropes)
  • people generally have good intentions and are pretty smart, so they avoid hitting on and being drunk idiots around potential new friends/employers/colleagues
  • everyone wants you to drop the image and just be you, because if you can nerd out about stuff you like, it means they can, too (plus everyone's very forgiving of social awkwardness since they're quite used to it)

Easy, right?

It's like that awesome Van Morrison song, "Dancing in the Moonlight" -- except it's indoors and people aren't dancing, but you get the point.

In a nutshell, Tech Socials are safe. They're like "cheat mode" for meeting new people and making friends because they take away many of the unknowns and risks associated with social interaction. It doesn't matter if you come alone or bring a friend; that's not how 'cool' is judged. So come hang out, meet some people, chat up strangers. Chances are, you'll barely have to try.

See you soon, pal!