Tech startup conferences are tremendous opportunities for growth-oriented companies to recruit talent, and attract potential clients and investors. However, they are often very crowded and tough for companies to standout. To help tech startups make the most of their time at conferences, I have put together a list of five tips that will better ensure that you meet the right people and make a lasting impression for your business.
- Bring your extroverts– Leave the shy ones at home. Tech conferences are all about networking; meeting the right people in a collaborative environment. You want to bring along your employees who will leverage the opportunity in the room, and meet as many people as possible. Going the extra mile to mingle, or have dinner or drinks with those that you meet, can reap rewards on an individual level, and a business level.
- Animate your pitch– Bring energy into your gestures, time your words and animate your emotions. Additionally, you should end the conversation before the other has the chance to get tired of you. This will prevent you from being stale, which can make the other person forget you in an instant. These are essential tidbits to keep the focus of those that you speak to and pique their interest in what you are saying.
- Scout the event– This can be done ahead of time, either on the conference website, or on the physical site. Knowing the layout of the conference, as well as who will be in attendance is important to optimize the limited time you have. Additionally, being familiar with the company placements and booth arrangements will ensure that your time is maximized, and you do not get lost in the vast space.
- Hand write thank you notes– Everyone knows how important the follow up email is after meeting someone of significance, but there is a major flaw in that emails often get lost in a person’s inbox behind many other messages. That’s where a hand written thank you note comes in. You will stand out and be remembered in a way that an email cannot accomplish. An efficient way of accomplishing this is bringing branded note cards along, and writing out the note right after you meet the person. The immediacy will make the note easier to write because the conversation will be fresh on your mind.
- Tweet and tag– Take selfies with those that you meet, then tag and post them. Additionally, one should know the conference hashtags and retweet or quote the speakers on Twitter. The speaker will be flattered that you are quoting them, and may repost the message, or revisit it at a later date. This is a great way of cross promoting, while keeping a connection with others at the conference.
The key takeaway which I have learned time and time again, is that every small gesture counts. You would be surprised at how many individuals or companies with a great product, miss out on potential opportunities. Keeping in mind these basic rules of thumb will ensure that the time and energy spent on these conferences are not in vain.