I know that one of the tips from my previous post was to start preparing for the event a month before or so. And yet: there's no such thing as “too early” preps for the Web Summit 2018
The future belongs to those who plan ahead, especially if you're a startup founder!
Nevertheless, irrespective of a company's size or for how long it's been on the market there's plenty of networking potential to be seized and to be leveraged at the conference. For everyone.
So, why not start your pre-conference preparation by going through my handful of valuable advice and top tips based on my experience there representing OPTASY? Tips on how to create your own networking opportunities and how to fully “exploit” them.
Hence, today I'll be sharing with you some of my experience at the Web Summit from a company's perspective, along with insights and advice from the standpoint of OPTASY's assignee there (me).
1. Do Your Pre-Conference Homework Like a Pro'
Plenty of research here included!
My advice, from the previous post on this topic, to take your time to properly prepare for the event applies, all the more, if you're attending the Web Summit 20918 as a company.
With so many big names and start-ups striving to maximize their opportunities to build connections and meet potential partners — before and while at the conference— reaching out to people and scheduling meetings long time in advance becomes... common sense.
Read bios, make yourself a list of the people you'd love to “chat” with and... drop them a line. Make contact, schedule valuable meetings...
2. … and Do Show Up At Meetings With All Your Homework Properly Done
By “homework” I do mean 2 things:
improvisation is definitely overrated; instead of relying solely on your personal charm and persuasion skills to win them over, try to collect (and to memorize) as much key information about the people (and their companies) you'll meet as possible: projects, shared values, success story, objectives, approach to disruptive technologies etc.
don't deliver them just plain, rigid numbers and statistics, but tell a story, your company's unique story; in this respect, again, don't rely exclusively on your spontaneity, but craft and repeatedly polish your story long time in advance
3. Write Down Notes After Every Single Meeting: They Are True Lifesavers
“Specific” notes I should add. You can even write them down (the notes) right on the business cards that you'll receive.
OK, so you may not be interested, at first, in someone's plans to travel around the world or in his golden retriever's name, but, believe me:
These seemingly insignificant details will turn out to be powerful information once the summit ends and you go back to the office!
This is the kind of personal information that will “fuel” your follow-up emails to those people, helping you add that personal touch that's not to be underestimated.
Take these on-the-spot notes as the surest way to remember all those people that you'll chat with. To quickly put a face on each name written on a business card.
4. Follow Up on The Very Same Day
The best way to “carve” a meeting in your interlocutor's memory is to send him/her a follow-up email the very same day. One where you express, once again, your intention to help him/his company.
Patience might be a virtue, but when it comes to fully exploiting your networking opportunities at the Web Summit 2018, quick reactions, real-time follow-ups, are a must.
5. Be Alert, Meet and Mingle
Once at the web summit: sharpen all your senses!
Keep your eyes “wide shut”, ready to:
“detect” any “big” company/startup celebrity name on a badge
listen to people chatting around you
mingle with the crowd
Networking opportunities are “floating” there, everywhere, the cafeteria here included!
6. Set Up a Goal and Never Lose Sight of It
Why do you plan to/will be attending the Web Summit 2018? What are you hoping to get out of your attendance to this major tech conference?
Is it for getting your company's name out there? Is it it for promoting your brilliant, innovative business idea? Is it for meeting potential clients/finding investors?
Or are you looking for an inspiring mentor maybe?
Just don't show up there without a goal! With nothing but pure... enthusiasm.
Define your main objective long time in advance and build your powerful strategy around it!
7. Try Out Different Networking Methods While at the Web Summit 2018
Remember: your time in the spotlight, when you get the chance to exhibit, lasts for just one day.
Therefore, it's crucial that you plan out the other 2 days left in detail. A highly effective approach to planning is to try a mix of different networking strategies:
hand out fliers
take a tour of all the booths there
go to your scheduled meetings
attend conferences and try reaching out to speakers after
And, most of all, as you “juggle” with all these networking methods, stay creative and you'll stand you! You'll get noticed!
8. Don't Formalize: Meet People Over a Drink
And speaking of “meeting and mingling”, don't hesitate to invite your interlocutors to chit-chat over a drink at one of those night events at the Web Summit 2018.
Turn the Pub Crawls, get togethers and, most of all, private dinner parties into some great (if not the very best) opportunities to make connections.
Mingle with the crowd, a glass in your hand, and interact while trying to have some fun, too. To enjoy your experience there, as a (startup) company attendee!
And this is it! OPTASY's 8-step guide on how to network like a champ', how to seize and value all the opportunities of making new, valuable connections, as a company, at the Web Summit 2018. Good luck with that!