The Web Summit is one of the biggest tech conferences in Europe and we were able to secure a booth to exhibit on the 3rd day of the Summit.
The experience was amazing and we received a lot of positive feedback strengthening our conviction about the lifestyle change we can bring to the workplace. We also learned a few tips that can make your next conference more successful.
1. The first day of the conference is not your first day
As soon as you can validate your ticket, log into their mobile app and start working your way through the attendees. The Web Summit this year had 70.000 participants from all around the world. It takes patience as well as organization to go through the participants, identify who is a good match for your services, and who to connect to.
2. Timing is everything
So many people, so little time. Come early if you want to make the best out of your day. It took us almost 90 mins to get in on the day we arrived late. Generally, it’s better to come early in the morning, as soon as the conference officially starts.
Standing in line for food did also take a significant amount of time. Going to the food carts early can save you more than 30 mins of waiting time – also in the rain at times. The alternative is to get a sandwich with you and spend a maximum amount of time meeting people.
3. First impressions matter
3 days of exhibitions, with most exhibitors rotating every day. This means the attention span is short and you need to be able to stand out. You will see lots of people pass in front of you, throw a glance at your stand, and just keep it moving. For next time, we will make sure people understand directly that we’re a desk-surfing platform. Being labeled under the category “HR services” did require extra effort to attract people.
We were so proud of the t-shirts designed by our very own George El Khoury. Yet it was even more impressive to see people walking around in a NASA uniform, or Sebastien Le Bosser from Pricing-Pact in his superhero costume with cape.
We also had our own little tricks for icebreaking, calling people by their first name as if we knew them (thanks for the tags) or asking them to pick a card from our identical brochures. As long as it is done with lots of positive energy and a big smile, be as creative as you can.
4. Let them scan you
Every Web Summit participant has a QR code that allows you to connect to someone. Every connection needs to be approved by the second party, so it’s always better to let them scan you (so you’re the one who has to approve). Another alternative would be to come with your own printed QR code and let them connect directly on linkedIn.
5. The last day of the conference is not the first day
During the conference, we met tons of people, each for a few minutes. The days after the conference were the hardest.
That is by far the most challenging stage of a conference, because all the excitement is gone, the day-to-day tasks take over your schedule again and it’s business-as-usual.
My trick is to block 30 mins every day for follow-ups. I tend not to be as realistic as possible, and if I spend more time, I can be proud of myself.
I hope this helps you make the best out of your next conference. If you missed out on us and you’re also excited about desk surfing and working efficiently from all around the world, go to worlk.com and sign up now!