This was our first Web Summit as Online Growth Team. We came prepared and we did have a very productive time at this most important Tech Conference in the world.
Why Did We Go Anyway?
It is hard to categorize our Online Marketing Agency as a startup, we have not (yet) developed any technological solution that would make some large group of people life easier, and we are definitely not in the phase of looking for investors. Why then we made the effort to go to this unquestionably most visited Event?
Well, as many people say.. Go where your customers are, talk to them, find out what they need, and offer it to them. That’s what we actually did.
For most of the time, we are trying to grow our company by looking opportunities and new clients online… that obvious isn’t it? Online services, online business development. Ha! And that part sometimes if very very tricky.
Even the mindset of startupers is sometimes very focused on having a proper office and the team of inhouse experts. Most of them are totally not into remote collaboration and I still wonder why (but this is a subject for another article).
Since it is challenging to convince our potential clients via email or phone conversation that we are actually a perfect match for their needs, we have decided to go and meet them face to face. Approach them, ask what is it they are looking for, what they are afraid of and what their daily obstacles are.
Rule Number 1 – Come Prepared!
As a Websummit virgin, I was not aware of how huge the event was. My business partner, Kamila she was totally obsessed with preparation. She said, we need to prepare everything in advance, meetings, know our schedule, events and places where we want to network. There is NO space for spontaneity as this is conference is just TOO big. I really thought she was exaggerating until I got to read some articles on ‘how to make the most of Web Summit’ and they were actually saying… the same thing as she did.
I put myself into work and did schedule few very productive meetings and others .. hmm less productive. That was really the key to our success there. We didn’t waste time on thinking who is who, where to meet, where should we go next. It was all planned (mostly) and we did make most of it. As for the first time attendee, I would say it was all quite productive (although it is hard to get rid of ‘fear of missing out’ feeling as there is so much going on from 9 am till 2 am every single day)
The most important advice apart from creating your schedule?
Take your sandwich with you! The coffee and water are free everywhere, but the food is totally overpriced, not tasty and of course, you have to queue when you actually get really hungry (which is when all of the people are as well).
All in all, conclusion is that the atmosphere of the event is really great. Everybody is very interested in what you have to say, or what is it that you working on. We have exchanged a lot of experiences and ideas with similar or totally different businesses than ours. And that is really what makes this event so special.
What We Learned In Lisbon?
That if you are vegan, there are a variety of options for you at the cafes in the city. Just simply ask:
- Do you have any vegan sandwich?
And then you will hear your answer, all with the smile on the face
- No, but we have tuna, salmon and chicken one… (??)
There you go! Just choose and enjoy 🙂
It is worth to look where nobody else is looking
Everybody was trying to book Uber ..of course (to get to or leave the conference every day). And Uber bidding system has changed a bit since last year. Apart of difficulties to find the car, prices at the peak hours were totally crazy! Even 40 euro for a trip which normally costs around 3-4 euro. This year we used MyTaxi instead and just by agreeing to sharing the taxi with other people (that actually happened only once) we paid 5 EUR everywhere we went.
What Are We Taking With Us After Web Summit?
Well, a horrible cold.. many business cards, contacts to follow up and what’s most important for me, a lot of inspiration. Sometimes it is a very good idea to leave your home office and get to talk to people. We met very very interesting entrepreneurs from all over the world, many of them are actually female startup owners (yes!), on the other hand, we found as well those let’s put it in this way … “slightly weird”. We came back full of ideas on how to grow our company, next steps, and conviction that what we are offering is very needed.
The story that really got me thinking was an interview with Paige VanZant, a martial fighter, she said: I want to be successful in anything I engage myself into. And this is my motto for the coming year.
Hope to see you all there in 2019!