Startup Events and Tech Conferences: Everything You Need to Know!
Did you know that attending leading startup events and tech conferences can transform your startup for the better? It’s true! Startup best practices indicate that exhibiting your startup at leading events such as Web Summit, TNW, SXSW, RISE, TechSparks, and TechCrunch Disrupt can boost its global visibility, especially in the early stages.
Startup events also double up as an amazing learning experience for new entrepreneurs. Most startups fail to sustain in the long run. However, by attending events and conferences you can acquire the tools and skills to ensure that your business doesn’t evaporate.
Learn all about the whys, which, hows, and how-to’s about startup events and tech conferences in this article.
Why Should I Attend a Startup Event?
You should attend a startup event to meet the right people, attract investments, get media limelight, get inspired, and because it is a fun experience.
As a business that’s in the earliest stage of its lifecycle, attending a startup events and tech conferences or exhibiting at one is the smartest way to get a feel of the industry and to get your name out there.
Here are some of the key benefits of attending startup events and tech conferences:
1. Meet the Right People
Finding the right people to network with and connect with is a supremely arduous task. Startup conferences and events are the best way to make new contacts, establish strong acquaintances, and nurture relationships. There is nothing better or more effective than meeting influencers, VCs, enthusiasts, potential customers, CEOs, and angel investors in person.
If you want some tips on how to become an effortless networker, here’s a handy guide.
2. Attract Investments
Startup events and tech conferences are known for hosting investors, VCs, and evangelists. However, investors don’t attend events with the goal of offering money to startups. And not many startups raise money by simply attending events. You need to participate in pitch competitions or present your product as an expert in your niche to attract the right investors.
As an entrepreneur, you need three ingredients to build a successful business from scratch: a brilliant idea, the drive to transform that idea into a profitable business, and the capital to get the wheels in motion. The last of the three is the hardest to acquire.
Startup events and tech conferences are packed with journalists, media professionals, and tech influencers. This makes for a great platform to get your startup’s name out to the world. Also, building a good rapport with media houses and PR agencies will help you in the long run.
While it’s easy to find inspiration on Google or via a YouTube video, attending events is a great learning experience. For startups in their nascent stages, you stand to learn from more experienced business and other veteran attendees.
You can learn how to make a good pitch by seeing how others are doing it. Scratch that, you can also learn how your competitors are going about their business.
Another important reason why you must attend startup events and tech conferences, or tradeshows is that it’s a lot of fun. Making new friends, learning new things, indulging in an intense conversation about your industry, and looking at all the crazy products and businesses around you is a fun experience.
Which Startup Events and Tech Conferences Should I Attend?
Here are some of the leading global events that you should definitely consider attending:
- Web Summit
- TechCrunch Disrupt
- Tech Sparks
- Startup Grind Global Conference
- Seed Start Summit
- RISE Conference
- EU-Startups Summit
- The Next Web Conference
- London Tech Week
- Wonder Women Tech Conference
- 4 Years From Now
- Startup OLE
Startup events and tech conferences do not come cheap. So, if you’re planning to attend an event, you should be absolutely sure as to which one you want to attend and why. Visit our startup calendar to learn about other exciting events to attend.
For your ideas to flourish, they need to be presented on a platform that exposes you to a receptive audience. One of the best ways to achieve that and highlight your startup in front of relevant people such as investors, customers, and other startups is to exhibit at mega tech conferences such as Web Summit.
How much do startup events cost?
Startup events and tech conferences can cost your startup a small fortune. So, be sure to shell out a major chunk of your startup marketing budget to attend an event. Add the event costs to the other miscellaneous expenses and you got yourself a pretty expensive trip. To give you an example, exhibiting at Web Summit (Lisbon, Portugal) with the ALPHA package can cost around 1000 EUR, a booth at CES can cost about $300, one at Startup Grind can cost upto $1995, exhibiting at TechCrunch Disrupt’s Startup Alley can cost upto $1995, and so on.
If you wish to exhibit your startup at these or any other events but have limited resources, you can sign up for the Startup League to get sponsored to attend leading startup events and tech conferences.
How can I get sponsorship to attend startup events and tech conferences?
The Startup League makes it easy for young startups to exhibit at startups events and tech conferences by offering up to 100% sponsorship for exhibit booths at these events.
Looking for sponsorships is a monstrous task, but the Startup League makes it really easy. Since the time it was launched in 2016, the Startup League has supported over 150 early-stage startups from across 30 countries to exhibit at over 25 mammoth events and conferences all over the world.
How do I make the most of attending startup events and tech conferences?
To make the most of startup events and tech conferences you should start by actively promoting yourself on social media, integrate high-tech solutions at your booth, invest in a wacky booth theme and be your best self at the event.
1. Actively Promote on Social Media
Ideally, you should go all out on social media to tell the world that you’re going to be at Web Summit (or any other event). Use the catchy hashtags and the right captions to create a buzz few weeks before the conference.
And once you’re at the event, use Twitter, Instagram or Facebook live to actively engage with the attendees. On-event social media activity will help people from all over the globe connect with you and tune into your event experience.
How and why does experiential marketing work? Experiential (also referred to as event) marketing gives brands an opportunity to directly interact with its consumers and educate them about the startups offering. This type of marketing provides an excellent platform to build a positive impression of the brand in the consumer's mind.
2. Integrate High-Tech Solutions
Your exhibition booth will be surrounded by hundreds of other businesses, brands, and startups. To stand out from them, you must consider implementing immersive tech solutions.
Harnessing the power of Augmented Reality to make your presentations more intuitive or using Virtual Reality to give product demonstrations will help attendees to actively participate with your startup.
3. Get a Wacky Booth Theme
The best way to stand out from other booths and draw attendees to visit your booth is to simply be visible. From a distance. Just like creating a buzz around social media is important, creating a buzz around your booth is absolutely imperative.
Keeping things in accordance with your brand tone, invest in creativity and ingenuity to stir the event with your booth design and theme.
Use loud and bright colors or fancy costumes or run a special contest or a magic show or play with lights. Your booth theme must invoke a sense of creativity and smartness that helps attendees remember you.
4. Be Your Best Self
Apart from this, be sure to come across as knowledgeable and likable. Ensure that your team is also well-versed with what you’re selling and why you are at the event.
Leading startup events and tech conferences such as Web Summit, CES, SXSW, Collision, RISE, TechCrunch, and others are packed with industry experts, leaders, and investors and striking a smart conversation with them is the best way to network and be remembered.
Make sure you have a concise and well-crafted pitch or brand story to go along with the introduction of what you do. After all, everybody loves a compelling story!
Who should I meet at startup events?
PR professionals, media agencies, tech influencers, students, enthusiasts, evangelists, investors, CEOs, ancillary business owners, potential clients, possible partners… the list is endless.
Based on the stage of your startup, the agenda of your strategy, and the best interests of your business, you should decide who you want to meet with.
For instance, if you’re attending an event with the sole purpose of meeting investors and potential partners, schedule an appointment with them beforehand. If you’re looking for media coverage and want to get your startup showcased to the industry, approach PR agencies, journalists, and influencers who have authority in your niche.
When it comes to attracting new investments, partners, or potential customers, simply present your product with confidence and ensure that your booth is jazzy enough to catch their eye and draw them to you.
Do participate in presentations, competitions, and attend fireside chats to learn from other entrepreneurs, leaders, and industry experts. You never know, you just might meet your next business partner!
There are many global events for startups to attend. You will need to do a cost analysis and visit the websites to see which startup event or tech conference will suit your purpose.
If you are looking for a sponsorship to attend leading global events and conferences, sign up with the Startup League now!