How to be unsocial at Lotusphere and have a horrible time

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Sure, the IBM trend at Lotusphere 2012 this year is about the magic social business.  But this has nothing to do with that I am talking about social interaction with people.

With about 6,000 people hitting the conference in a couple days, I am amazed each year by the number of comments about how someone hardly 'met' anyone or could not find and interact with a blogger, speaker or just forum friend. You have to take the initiative in many instances and step outside your normal cube dwelling.

All the speakers pictures can be found in the amazing Lotusphere Sessions database, with links to their public social profiles.  Send a note, DM or IM asking to have lunch, grab a coffee or even just say hi.  Most will quickly set a time and place that works for you both.  The rest will give you a list of times they will be planted somewhere at the conference.

Do not be afraid
to walk up and just introduce yourself.  Sure they always look busy and deeply involved. Doubtful, as they are there enjoying the conference as much as you.  If they are in the middle of something see the above.

Make friends at the lunch table.  I site year in and out trying to talk to people at the lunch tables.  Amazingly about 50% really do not want to talk or interact.  This is the time to find those with similar interests or even awesome ideas.  You would be shocked at who you are sitting next to many times.  I have been.

Make sure you get out at night.  I know being at a large event alone is tough.  I still find myself in that scenario at some newer ones.  Make friends.  Heck even pretend you know them and sit down if invited.  Within a short time you get the feel of who is around and can decide to move on or hang out longer.  Remember there are thousands more.

Lastly, watch the social streams to see where everyone is.  Twitter, Foursquare and even some of the Facebook and LinkedIn networks will list parties and gatherings you are unaware of.

Don't go home whining that geeks are very unsocial.  You were part of it while here.