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10 Tips for Making the Most of the next Business Conference

Our experience in maximizing the value of conference attendance through networking and standing out.

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Written by Mirna, Ljubljana, 2023

New years, new beginnings, and new experiences to share from the past year.

2022 will surely be remembered by a lot of people, opportunities, and events. We even had a chance to present our startup Pablu at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon! We wanted to share what we've learned by attending, (& doing OFC) so ...

Here are Our Top 10 Tips for Making the Most of the next Business Conference

Big like Web Summit, or a private event. Attending any conference can be a valuable investment for businesses of all sizes, and in this article, we'll look at Shape's viewpoints on what's important when boosting your conference experience.

Preparing for a Conference

  1. Plan your conference days weeks before. Reach out to potential customers & investors weeks ahead of the conference and try to get a fixed meeting time with them at the event.

  2. When messaging investors, stand out. If you have traction, talk about that. If you have an investment, talk about that.

  3. Avoid extensive talks and focus on smaller meetups & side events. This is where the real value is. The main talks can be seen online later.

  4. Have multiple elevator pitches ready at any second. Different people attend the conference, and you can connect with them better if you approach them how they’ll understand you best. 👉 Prepare a “connect and follow-up” plan way ahead.

Making the Most of a Conference

  1. For intros, use the event’s app - it is much easier than LinkedIn, and no connection is needed. 👉 But don’t request a meeting directly - always write a message first.

  2. Do something that makes your startup stand out from the crowd. Stand at the investor entrance area and sing a song about your idea, host an impromptu stand-up show, prepare little presents for your visitors or simply write one big KPI you are proud of across your booth.

  3. Save some time by avoiding queues by being there before the summit opens (try to use entry 2 if possible) 👉 & stay close to the event venue to avoid spending 1h in traffic.

  4. Don't prepare too much & have an open mind. Maybe the most important conversation will happen while you wait on your flight back home at the airport. Who knows.

  5. Try eating outside of the venue and save some money too! (food inside is great, but the price/value is better just around the corner)

  6. Don’t take yourself too seriously; enjoy the days with your coworkers. You made it till here, so you got to be doing something right. 💪

In conclusion, attending Web Summit or other conferences can be a valuable investment for your startup or business of any size. By following the 10 tips above, you can make the most of your conference experience and increase your chances of making valuable connections and growing your business. Remember to plan ahead, stand out, focus on smaller meetups and side events, have multiple elevator pitches ready, enjoy the experience with your coworkers and never forget the 10th tip ...

Don’t take your conference experience too seriously

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We had loads of fun preparing and presenting our minigames to engage with visitors. While attendees were operating the claw machine, we had a chance to talk, and they had an opportunity to win top-tier prizes. Anything from candy to the 1000€ discount on our startup's solution - we had it all. Conference experience boosted!

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