How can startups benefit from attending international events?
With 62,000+ tech events in Europe every year it can be difficult for startup founders to decide which ones to attend, or if they should attend any at all. It's essential to understand both your needs as well as the market you are playing in as a startup in order to make educated decisions on how to effectively spend your limited resources.
Sebastien Toupy (Head of Startup Relations at The Next Web) uncovered certain misconceptions widely spread in the European tech ecosystem as well as highlighted a few important questions to ask yourself as a founder when considering spending some of your marketing budgets on attending tech events.
So, how to get the most out of tech events and tech conferences?
Firstly, when you go to an event or a conference you should really know what you need to accomplish there and how to do it.
What are your goals and objectives? You may raise funding or look for new corporate partners, or willing to get exposure to the media. It can be launching a new product or a new service. This consideration will help you to figure out which conference you need to attend.
The second thing you are to consider — people primarily connect on an individual basis before they connect for business. Take part in side events. Be it an opening party or afterparty with a lot of people around the bar. If that's not your thing that's fine, since you may possibly join those morning runs. Such events have found an alternative at the virtual events — there are also parties, round tables, chats, and much more.
You really need to focus on side events and then sometimes you get the chance to join those really fancy dinners where you can sit next to the speakers. And it may serve as a really valuable way to connect. While for the remote conference, don’t hesitate to request the meeting with the speaker and don’t miss the important round tables with them.
In the offline world, dinners and receptions are more for personal communication than for product presentation. That’s usually not the best time to come and pitch your startups when a person is having a cup of beer in their hands. But online - the stage is yours to present and show off.
And one more little advice. People will give you their business cards, you’re going to meet 5-10-20 people. It might be hard to recall what you were talking to each of them. Therefore, it will be handy to write short notes between conversations. Use remote event platforms’ feature of making notes about the attendees too, and use each chance of speaking with them right here right now.
You must have the latest and most current information — whether we're talking about customer acquisition costs, turn rate or something else that might interest a potential partner. You have to be really prepared, be yourself, be spirited and act professionally. It attracts people.
Investors and corporates are estimating teamwork more than anything else. While answering the question about the most crucial things they value in startups and what makes a startup stand out from other companies, the team is more valuable than the product itself.
The last tip is to define the things that you need and allocate your time very seriously. Logistics, booking tickets and accommodation, transportation — these items will take a long time, rest assured. You will be grateful to yourself if you take care of them in advance.
Online conferences will be easier in this regard, but will still require some preparation — get familiar with the event platform before the conference kicks off, bookmark the talks and side events you want to attend, search through the attendee list and arrange calls with them in advance to catch their free time while available.
So, now you know more about preparation for tech events. Don’t hesitate to open your google or any other calendar and schedule a few for the nearest future.
Oh, and one last but not least important tip! Don't miss the Touch Platform events, coming soon :)