How to Prepare for Startup Conferences

By Patrick Collins

How to Prepare for Startup Conferences

Within the first 6 months of starting my first job in the startup space, I had the opportunity to be part of a team pitching at startup battlefield at TechCrunch, New York. Being very young and inexperienced at a time, I had no idea what to expect, how to get the most out of the event and how to make sure I really enjoy everything on the way.

With so many startup conferences coming up this year, I thought my lessons learnt could help you also! Read on find out how to prep for your next startup conference to get the most out of it.

Before the event

Define ONE Goal

This is your starting point. Before committing to the event, you must set up a strategy and your goals. Ask yourself, what do you want to achieve from the conference? The main reasons why companies decide to have a stand usually are:

  1. Acquire new clients
  2. Make new investor relations
  3. Recruit new staff
  4. Product branding and awareness

Try to choose only ONE goal to focus on and plan your master-plan strategy around it. Why just one? Well, if you decide to equally distribute time for every goal, you’ll end up being all over the place without any set plan, no results and zero success. Choosing one main reason to attend the event will help manage your time much better and focus on building the right strategy for it.

Set up a Strategy

OK, so you have set yourself a goal – what’s next? It’s time to sit down and develop the strategy of how you are going to achieve it. Having a checklist is the best way to make sure you have everything planned and not drifting away from your schedule. For example, if your goal is to attract new clients, make sure to prepare handouts, business cards and invest in creating a visually attractive booth.

One secret that every startup should know is – real relationship building happens at the event and not the exhibition floor. Instead of waiting for the clients to approach you, go and get them yourself – attend the speakers’ panel, interact with everyone, be knowledgeable and invite professionals to check out your booth when the exhibition starts.

Mark Cuban at TechCrunch Conference in 2016 said – “There’s no sport as competitive as business”. This is the analogy that every startup company should go by. You have to prepare a plan of action and think strategically to get results.

Plan your Pre-event Outreach

As most startups, I assume you’ve already established a small but solid client base and have a website with little traction. It never hurts to reach out to your existing customers and business partners to let them know you are attending TechCrunch.

Pre-show marketing is serious business and can massively impact your ROI. Sarah Leung, Demand Generation Manager at Handshake.com, wrote a detailed blog post about the importance of planning your pre-show marketing strategy. She highlights the fact that 70% of attendees plan a list of booths to visit before the event whereas only a small number Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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