How to Rock the Conference Circuit
In my 20+ years in Capital Markets, I have attending countless conferences, manned booths, been a panel speaker, hosted roundtables. But at the end of this month, I will be attending the massive RISE 2016 startup conference in Hong Kong as a first time Entrepreneur. For three days, Hong Kong will be the center of attention in the startup universe. This is a golden opportunity and needless to say, it is imperative that any startup maximize their potential to showcase their startup to media/investors/clients/potential partners.
So how does one get noticed?
For starters you can organize and schedule meetings beforehand, and fortunately the RISE team have an app that enables this to be done with ease. So let’s assume that this is done, what next?
These are ideas I am putting to our team, and if you have any more, do share in the comments below –
Dress code is smart casual, but Team Quimojo will wear matching T-shirts with the Quimojo logo in addition to matching sunglasses and big smiles. A friend suggested we all wear graduation caps (since our company business is Global Campus Recruitment). Perhaps a mascot teddy bear with the T-shirt and cap sitting pretty on our stand?
Many booths may have a small plasma screen or laptop with demo running. I suggest we have a laptop with demo ready, but not running. Instead the screens will ask a question in big bold letters. This question is intended to lure in curious visitors.
Subliminal guerrilla marketing – Our booth will be one of hundreds of booths at the conference. How do we get people to seek us out? One method suggested by someone who recently attended the Dublin sister event was to bring Post-It stickers and a sharpie marker, and post around the conference venue, on pillars and meeting places, cryptic messages designed to peak curiosity and lead people directly to your booth. He suggested not to put Post-Its on tables, but perhaps on chairs since people will pick them up before sitting down.
Freebies and gifts – We will have freebies to give away, but I suggest we do not leave them on the booth for people to just take. They are to be given AFTER the conversation.
The one sentence “blow your socks off” sales pitch. Well this is a given as I mentioned in my previous article – Twelve things you shouldknow as an Entrepreneur.
A pitch dance or singing routine? They seem to work on Shark Tank – but nah, not for me.
Social Media live blogging – I think this is a must do activity especially for startup conferences. Posting booth pictures, selfies with investors, Tweeting sessions, live snippets, summaries, reviews, coffee invites etc. Use of hashtags is a must.
Do feel free to share other ideas below.
I wish all the best of luck at RISE 2016, Hong Kong and am looking forward to meeting with many of you, if not at the conference, then perhaps on their infamous Pub Crawl.
Dean Owen is Co-Founder of Quimojo, a revolutionary new concept in Global Campus Recruitment.
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