After lunch I was a bit down. I was having a hard time meeting people at the conference. I called my girlfriend for a peptalk.Â She said “You did this all the time in highschool and college, just act like you belong”. I hung up on her in mid conversation because I saw someone from Dow Jones walking by. I started talking to him and he was nice.
Emboldened, I decided that I was going to buy a pack of cigarettes and stand outside the hotel smoking (I quit smoking 3 months ago). Smoking was always a great way of meeting people. When I had a cigarette with someone, I was normally good for a 3-5 minute conversation, much better than an elevator pitch. While I was walking towards a convenience store I saw Tim O’Reilly walking with another O’Reilly employee.
Me: Tim, Hi I’m Paddy I’m a big fan of yours. Thanks for putting on this conference.
Tim: Thanks. What do you do?
Me:I’m the founder of chartWidget we build licensable interactive charts.
Tim: We might need some charting work you should talk to [...] at the conference, Brady can introduce you. Thanks for coming to the conference.
Me: Well, I didn’t exactly come to the conference. I’m hanging out in the lobby. I don’t have tickets.
Tim: We can take care of that. Brady can you get him registered?
Me: Wow, thanks.
That made my day.
I spent the next day and a half at the conference and met many many people.
Thank you Tim.