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How to Approach an A-Lister at NMX

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Attending NMX gives you the unique opportunity to meet the people who inspire you. I’ll never forget being at my first conference and getting to thank the people who inspired me to become a blogger. That kind of in-person connection just can’t be beat.

But these kind of meet and greets can be a little awkward for some people. I’ve actually overheard conversations between fans and a-listers that were downright cringe-worthy. So if you’re planning on saying hello to your heroes at our next show (and you should!), keep these tips in mind:

  • Be respectful of others’ time.

Whether you’re saying hello in the hall or standing up to ask a question during one of the sessions, keep in mind that there are others hoping to snap a moment of attention from a-listers as well. Be respect of this and keep your conversation or question short, especially when others are waiting. After all, you can always follow up after the event. Once you’ve made that initial in-person connection, it’s a lot easier to get a response via email or social media.

  • Introduce yourself, but avoid being salesy.

I’ve seen people so excited to meet their hero that they forget to introduce themselves at all. But even worse, I’ve seen people who introduce themselves for a solid five minutes. It’s important to have an elevator pitch, but someone you’re meeting for the first time didn’t ask for it. If someone is interested in your site, they’ll let you know. Otherwise, stay away from the hard sale and definitely don’t walk up to someone business card in hand unless you have a clear reason for giving it to them or, of course, if they ask for it.

  • Don’t overdo the gushing.

It can be exciting to meet someone who inspires you, and while it’s fine to be complimentary, it’s not okay to gush too much. It makes the other person really uncomfortable if you overdo it, and it can even come off as insincere if you aren’t careful. So try to contain your excitement! After all, a-listers are just people like anyone else.

  • Be polite to others in the group as well.

One major faux pas I see is a fan walking up to an a-lister to say hello and completely ignoring the other people in the group. It’s impolite to interrupt a conversation, but if you can break into the group politely, which is often the case at networking parties when the atmosphere is more casual, don’t be so rude as to not introduce yourself to the entire group. At NMX, everyone is an a-lister in some respect, so you’ll miss out if you have tunnel vision. It also makes you come off as a snob to others in the group because you’re essentially saying that they aren’t important enough to talk to.

  • Save the ask for later.

Once you’ve made an in-person connection with another person, it’s much easier to ask them for favors. People who are inaccessible otherwise might be happy to give you an interview, publish a guest post, or otherwise help you out in some way. However, be careful not to ask for too much or put the other person on the spot. It’s extremely awkward for someone to be relentlessly asking you for favors the second you’ve met.

Lastly, always keep in mind that even people who have tons of fans are, at the core, just people. Don’t be so nervous to talk to someone that you avoid saying hello at all. There are a few divas out there, like in any industry, but the vast majority of people who attend NMX (especially our speakers) are extremely nice and welcoming. They love meeting fans and colleagues, so don’t be shy – say hi!

You can’t meet your heroes if you aren’t at the event! Make sure you register today to avoid missing this opportunity of a lifetime.

Allison Boyer freelance writer and content marketing consultant. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister. You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (@allison_boyer) or contact her at allisonmboyer@gmail.com.


Feedback

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  • Peter P

    Just so y’all know, I’m a BIG time A-lister…

    I don’t look like it and nobody else on the planet but me knows it yet but trust me, I am. My mommy says so.

    … Over-exuberant gushing is perfectly fine with me, as is giving me a small percentage of what you made last year from whatever it is you do due to the fact that I was the one who inspired you to do whatever it is…. Even though neither you nor anyone else has ever heard of me…. and I’ve never done anything of note.

    Just thought I’d better clear that up before the event arrives and you miss your chance to get giddy and excited at my presence ;-)

  • Peter P

    By the way… Great post, Allison. I don’t get stupid around a-listers, except when I do, so it’s good advice to remember.

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