A few weeks ago I went to the ARIDO (Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario) Annual General Meeting and Conference. I was really nervous; my confidence is not very high when it come to putting myself out there. I put on a pretty outfit and headed out to my very first “grown-up” conference. I had a snacks in my bag and a list of four things I needed to accomplish to make the most of the day.
1. Meet 5 people and get their business card. I actually came home with 8 cards and found a study buddy… a fait accompli for sure… I am still not sure how I made it through the small talk… It always feels so disingenuous to me.
2. Try and hand out a couple copies of my portfolio and/or resume. I handed out four!! I truly did not expect to meet this goal. Whenever someone asked for my “card” I gave them my portfolio instead. Though maybe I should have a few cards printed too for future use… just incase.
3. Learn something new. I went to two seminars the first was “How to Draft a Great RFP (Request for Proposal)”. I know sounds boring, and it kind of was. The funny thing was, it taught me how to write a better cover letter. How do could that be? Currently I am not writing any RFP’s but I found the writing techniques very similar to writing a cover letter and I am writing quite a few of those these days. The second session was an exam cram for the NCIDQ exam. Ugh… I am not excited about this. I did a quick 30 question multiple choice test and bombed it (as did most people in the session). I guess I have a lot studying before I write the first exam in the fall. Codes… ugh…
4. Have Fun! And fun was had and maybe a few cocktails at the end of the day…
I managed to do it all! I came home so proud of myself for accomplishing it all. Then came the hard part… the follow up. Within 24 hours I had sent “it was nice to make your acquaintance” emails along with a few “we should set up a meetings as per our conversation” emails. Then the waiting began. My confidence grew a little shaky. I did not hear back from a single person. After a week I sent out a second batch of emails. Still I have not heard back from anyone. Now it is 3 weeks since the conference and I want to know if I should send out a third round of emails? My husband says yes, but my instinct (or low confidence) says no. Is a 3rd round too desperate? Or is it considered persistent? Or both? Guess I’ll find out. I’m going to draft up the 3rd round in a few minutes… Desperation be damned! Wish me luck.
Cheers – Carrie