Long hallways with mobs of people congregating around the coffee station are not exactly a warm and inviting environment for many introverts.
In this atmosphere, extreme introverts may find anything to latch onto to feel comfortable with their awkwardness.
Others put up a good front, forced to play make believe and pretend they are having fun.
I was a motivational speaker for a group of accountants when at the end of the motivational speech a timid lady came up and admitted that she was so shy that she had been waiting in the car for half an hour trying to build up the courage to come in. She hates large crowds and finds the whole convention experience a real energy drain. Listening to a motivational speech offers the only reprieve from the exhausting experience of constantly having to engage with others and just sit back and listen.
Introverts find energy in solitude more so than from the external environment. In fact, large groups that force you to interact can be very draining for an introvert.
Here are some ideas to help introverts feel comfortable at an event...
1) When possible, set them up for success by seating them with colleagues they know
2) Slowly let introverts open up
3) Build in breaks designed to give introverts much needed downtown to rejuvenate
4) If an introvert is sitting alone, don't assumb they are not having a good time, they may just want to be alone.
I enjoyed being a motivational speaker for the accountants, overall they weren't an introverted, shy group, many really appreciated the opportunity to interact and laugh together.