With 26 stages and more than 1200 speakers, 60 000 attendees, 2000 startups, four days and amazing Lisbon as a location, Web Summit 2017 - the largest tech conference in the world brought newest technology trends to participants and RedmineUP to the new audience. .
The event itself reminds more of a colorful music festival than a typical conference. It was an excellent opportunity to meet new clients, partners, enrich your network of contacts and test your product idea (if you are a startup).
With RedmineUP Cloud we got invited to an ALPHA programme, allowing startups to exhibit and present products.
It was an exciting experience. Many current and potential clients visited us, as well as people who were interested in Open Source software and what can be built utilizing its possibilities.
They have been testing, watching, clicking, sometimes asking challenging questions.
It was a pleasure to meet all of you. Thank you for visiting us!
OK. Now, let's get to another question: how can You prepare to get the most out of the conference? I would define three crucial steps.
Pick your goals and prepare
Plan in advance what are you most interested in obtaining from the conference. As a matter of fact, we place presentations low on our list. It is nice to hear speakers like Steven Hawking, Bryan Johnson, founder of Kernel, or CEOs of world biggest companies share their thoughts about the current and future state, but you can watch presentations later on YouTube. Whether you are a startup or established business, whether you are looking for new clients, partners, perhaps a new job, or just in testing the business idea, you can get the most of the conference from talking to people and businesses.
Once you have a goal, prepare. Do your research on the attendees, speakers, partners, that you would like to connect with before using social media (Twitter, LinkedIn), Web Summit app and get your questions ready. Approach them before the conference via the app to start the dialog before the time gets busy for everyone. However, don't send a generic message. Be specific. It is not likely that someone would like to "perhaps discuss some business opportunity," or "quick chat over coffee to discuss what we are both doing."
Connect, connect, connect
Web Summit, after all, is all about networking. In the venue and during night events, try to take the most out of it. People are really open. Just smile and say "Hi!" to start. Prepare few ice-breaker questions, here are few good examples. If you would like to get also closer connect with attendees from your homeland, most probably there is or will be a group and meetup planned. If not, take the initiative and organize one!
Use the App
Event app lets you connect with literally everyone! This is a unique chance to reach out to people that otherwise would be extremely hard to reach. App allow you easily scan QR code placed on the badge and adds a person to your contacts. From your side, take care to fill your profile, to make it easier for people you talked to, to recall and recognize you, identify you from the crowd and hundreds of contacts. What is more, the app lets you plan your schedule for presentations.
Enjoy the Lisbon
Lisbon is such a beautiful and vibrant city. Make sure to have time to see and experience all it has to offer. Many people take their partner and discover the city together. You should definitely try wine, food, go for a Fado performance and go for the sightseeing. Looking for an insporation for the next year? Take a short look at tips from the organizers what to discover in Lisbon, (they are quite good) or this blog and these tips.
Have you been at the Web Summit? We would love to hear your thoughts and impressions about the event.