BLAST 2017: 9 tips for attending a tech event
BLAST 2017 is getting closer and closer: are you ready? As you know, BLAST will be a tech event, focused on 5 topics (VR/AR, AI, Fintech, Foodtech, IoT & Industry 4.0) but it will be also a networking event. So you should be ready to attend an event that will connect you with other big professionals of your field, as entrepreneurs, investors, business angels and technology leaders. Here below some tips for you to be well prepared.
1. Set your goals
What are you interested in? Are you looking for potential investors? Would you like to reach more brand awareness? Are you thinking you need a workshop focused on your sector? Every goal needs a specific strategy: are you interested in BLAST speakers, partners or specific stakeholders? Choose the best way to engage them.
2. Do your homework and prepare yourself
In the last weeks, we published and shared the names of speakers, partners, mentors and guest stars of the event on our website and on our social channels and we are going to provide you other useful information in the next days. So you have enough material to understand who are the “key professionals” linked to your sector. If you take part as a Startup, you have also enough time to schedule a meeting with some of them, if you want. In fact in the 5,000 sqm area of the event, hosted in Nuova Fiera di Roma, you will find also a Meeting area, for one-to-one meetings and mentorships.
Furthermore, we’ll provide you an APP that you can use to plan your agenda, contact the professionals and influencers you are interested in, be a part of a real community. Follow us on our social channels (Fb, In, Tw) : there you can find a lot of the BLAST protagonists and start to follow or contact some of them. Your network can grow even before the event starts!
Don’t try to simply meet as many people as possible, focus your attention in building few but strong connections.
3. Don’t forget your business card and the promotional material
It can seem a redundant advice, but it isn’t. How many people have you met who told you: “Damn, I’ve just given away my last business card…”. It shouldn’t be your mistake as well. Get hold of as many business cards as possible and when you think you have enough of them, add another one in your pocket. But be careful: don’t become a “card spammer”.
You have to think about what kind of promotional material you will need and bring it with you.
4. Choose your specific conference or workshop
During the BLAST days there will be also many panels, inspirational talks or workshops (that you will attend in our Startups Academy). Just to give you some examples, Peter Szanto, founder of SpringTab.com and Szanto.co, will speak about “Data driven user experience”; Scott Arpajian, CEO at Softonic, will explain more deeply the relationship between “Kids and Tech”, bringing on stage all his professional experience. Arpajian in the past was also VP of Disney Interactive and co-founder and senior vice president of Download.com as well.
Peter Lazou, Co-founder & CEO at PItch60, will join the Startup Academy to explain “The Art of Creative Pitching”, but there will be more topics on our agenda, that we will officially reveal during the next weeks.
You can also discuss with your colleagues who will not attend and choose with them which is the most interesting conference for your activity, planning your personal agenda.
5. Have you got an effective pitch?
Probably you are looking for a meeting with a key person who could be interested in your activity. Well: are you able to introduce yourself in 30 seconds (more or less)? Are you prepared for the probable questions about your company and about yourself?
You could have not so much time to speak, so think about your pitch, try it many times before the event. A colleague of yours can surely help you
6. Organize your work in advance
Try to have as more relaxing time as you can: being behind on your work it could be an obstacle, you could have your mind more focused on your working troubles than on the real moment. If it’s possible, plan your working tasks in order to be more concentrated on the event, the networking and the conferences.
7. Be yourself, be friendly and listen to the people
Business relationships could be not so different from friendship, as far as honesty and respect are concerned. So you should be yourself (but don’t forget that you are there for business and not just for fun!) and you should respect the people you meet: don’t interrupt a conversation to introduce yourself and pay attention to whom is talking to you. During the conversation, don’t look for the next interlocutor and, if it’s possible, don’t check your phone.
We know it’s quite difficult, especially for someone who works in tech fields, but try to switch off your phone, listen to the people you meet and take a note if you think that something in your conversation is relevant for you.
8. Use social media channels
Let the people know you are at the event using the social media. Take pictures or a video at the event, using the official hashtag: it could be a good way to be remembered by the people you meet and be noticed by who is around you. But pay attention: avoid embarrassing pics of yourself, please 🙂
9. Follow up
After the event, don’t forget to send a follow-up email to anyone you met that you consider interesting, reminding him the reason why you had a talk with him during the event. Another good way to not lose your contacts could be adding a person on your Linkedin network. Don’t forget that BLAST has a Linkedin page: follow us to stay current on our program, news and stakeholders.
Last but not least…HAVE A FUN!