As I mentioned the other day I attended the ChinwagPsych conference in London on Thursday. As I was walking to the venue — the Museum of London - I was evaluating how I felt about this. I’ve been practicing some mindfulness meditation recently so I’m not sure if that is why I even thought about this. Or whether it’s because we’ve been doing some emotional intelligence training at work. Or some other reason. Regardless of the reason, I realised that I was expecting to leave with the same feelings as I do when I visit museums or art galleries. I was expecting to leave feeling educated and inspired. And maybe a bit over-stimulated - I’m an introvert and that’s what happens to us. Also I was attending the conference alone, and I didn’t think I knew anyone else attending. I don’t mind going to a museum/art gallery alone. They are great places to go alone, or with like-minded friends. There were no barriers to me having a good experience even if I spent most of the day alone.

And I did enjoy the conference. And I did come away feeling like I’d learned stuff, and inspired to find out more about things. I don’t know how much of that is because of my expectations. (This psychology stuff is difficult!). Neither did I spend the day alone. I chatted to some interesting people, and caught up with some familiar faces.

It has made me wonder how much the venue sets the tone or expectations for the “feelers”, or introverts, amongst an audience. Does an event held in a theatre or concert hall come with expectations for entertainment, whilst those held in libraries, museums, art galleries or universities bring a focus on learning? And what about those held in the function room of a pub, hotel or restaurant? Are they more about chatting and networking?

I have no answers to these questions, but I am planning to check-in with myself and see what I learn through the rest of the year.