As another year approaches, investors usually dig into conference calendars in search of most valuable events to attend the following 12 months. To achieve the best results, they need to think about a proper preparation beforehand, perfect execution during, and correct summary after the event. What are the top hints to consider when planning a fruitful business trip to a conference?
Connection between attendees
Let’s take Wolves Summit as an example, since it’s an event we organize.The tips below, however, can be used at any event you as an investor are going to attend. To make it even simpler, we split the article into 4 easy-to-implement steps.
Wolves Summit is an international conference for startups, investors, and corporates. They come from over 60 countries around the world and represent different industries within the startup/tech ecosystem. It focuses on innovations in technology and networking, which stays at the core of the event. So the main goal remains linking the right people with the right companies. Creating a strong connection between attendees and making sure the conditions for establishing new partnerships is at the highest level. All that thanks to the matchmaking tool available before and at the conference, as well as the fact that we want to push the participants into networking. These are only two days and we always want our attendees to maximize their time and develop strong business connections. The investor experience at Wolves Summit is aimed at meeting the right people and the right founders to create better investment opportunities. As an investor, you attend many events, so it’s good to go through and consolidate a few rules to follow before going for the next trip.
1. Get your startup list
Many conference organizers prepare detailed list of attendees, but they often miss out on specific information about startups. These young companies are probably the biggest reason you want to be present at a particular event, so having detailed information about the attending startups is of great value. Because of that you know who to expect, what companies are worth looking into, and if the organizers provide long descriptions and expectations of startups, even better. Make sure you have access to the database ahead of time, so you can examine it and determine, who to contact directly.
A list of startups is also convenient, when you plan your calendar for the event. We will elaborate on this topic in the next points below.
Wolves Summit provides investors with detailed startup information, so that investors can read it a few weeks prior to the event. This gives them the time to think and maybe find exceptional startups to meet up with. Such startup lists also often show the current market trends. Depending on your area of interest, you may be more into blockchain or IoT companies, but once you have a complete catalogue, you may spot the opportunity in other industries, for example mobile, AI, or hardware. Plus it gives you the chance to consult such ideas with your investment team.
If you have the option of getting startup information, don’t wait till the last moment, you most probably will not be the only one showing interest in some companies, so you might want to schedule your meetings earlier.
2. Join all sub-events
Investor ticket’s scope usually includes the most perks. It’s also the most expensive one, but when you calculate the time you would require to reach certain people, it definitely pays off. One clear advantage is the pass to all accompanying events the conference holds. It includes evening parties and often meetups before the actual conference begins.
One way to meet startups, other investors, and corporates is visiting the networking and VIP areas available at the venue. You can take a breath and relax in a quieter space, have your lunch, and at the same time make business. Another option is to join evening events. See what the organizers offer, and confirm your attendance. Professionals from many industries and countries come to these meetings. They create a more casual atmosphere. Discuss your next startup deals over a glass of wine, talk to people in a less formal environment. It’s also a great showcase on how people behave in different situations. Approach others, find common topics to elaborate on. Such sub-events are often limited to a certain group of attendees. There are investor-only meetups, VIP, and general ones. When you join them all, you instantly have all relevant people at hand. Whether you want to hear how other investors make their deals, or talk to a startup worth investing in. Being an active interlocutor will surely win you some new invaluable connections.
3. Pack the calendar
You do not need any advice on how to save your time on a daily basis. Being an investor forces good time management and attention to priorities. However, what is sometimes seen on networking conferences, such as Wolves Summit, is the attendees wandering around the venue without much plan on what to do next. Don’t let this happen to you, get the most out of the event.
First thing you want to do is check the startup list (it was mentioned above) and the attendees list. Do the organizers provide a matchmaking tool to set up meetings and check the participants? If yes, register as soon as you can and choose people that are relevant to your current business goals. The tools offered usually have tags and short descriptions, so the choice you’ll be making, is much easier.
Next, send out the invitations. It is applicable to investors, too. It’s common to think investors are the ones receiving invitations, but it might be a good idea to send a few meeting requests to interesting companies. Don’t ignore all the inbox messages, though. read them carefully, try and set up those meetings, so they don’t overlap (if the software doesn’t have any bugs, this is not a concern). Respond to all of them, even if you have to decline a meeting – this way the other person will not waste your and his or her time.
The two days of Wolves Summit give you about 40 slots to set up 15-minute 1:1 meetings. Try and schedule them in blocks, so that you have time for lunch. Keep your notifications on, so that you get the alert about the upcoming meeting. Don’t be late, unless you want to be considered an unreliable investor. Respect everyone’s time, just like you respect your own.
4. Stay active
Frankly, this one is not so obvious. It might be difficult to stay in focus for two or more days straight. But the bad thing is, that’s why you came to the event. Remember to actively search for new opportunities and emerging startups, be responsive to messages sent out at the event by other participants. Investors that are considered most valuable to startups, are active and give them added value. Apart from just offering the funding, they need to be mentoring and ready to share experience. You can read more about it in one of our articles.
Staying active throughout the event also means you’re not hiding from everyone in the VIP lounge or sink into your smartphone screen. Make yourself visible. Not only does is show you’re a trustworthy investor, but also proves your brand is worth checking. If you have a break between 1:1 meetings, join the audience and listen to discussion panels or lectures. You may draw some new conclusions from others’ investing experiences. If there’s a pitching competition at the event, offer to be in the jury. This makes you and your brand instantly visible and renowned. Making such effort will win you startups’ attention and position you as an expert in your field.
4 Verified Tips for Investors:
- Check the startup list ahead of time
- Join the accompanying events - investor-only, VIP, etc
- Pack the calendar with valuable meetings
- Stay active
LIST OF INNOVATIVE STARTUPS
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of innovative startups that attended 10th edition of Wolves Summit