Ask any successful startup hustler and they’ll tell you they attend a lot of networking events.
Events are super valuable for startups in particular, who are typically knowledge hungry and looking for that ‘low hanging fruit‘ to boost their business.
Events are a great opportunity to:
- Learn valuable insider tips from experts you wouldn’t normally be able to talk to
- Meet people who can open doors for you
- Spread awareness about your startup and get the details of people who indicate interest
I encourage all Buzinga’s clients to attend events in their niche.
That’s the reason why Buzinga App Development has started holding our own quarterly events for startups, Pollination.
Unfortunately there are so many events available for startups, that often you leave these events feeling a bit underwhelmed.
Here are 3 tips for how to choose the right networking event for your startup.
Look in the right places
You know that feeling when you hear that someone went to an amazing event that you had no idea was even happening?
FOMO at its worst.
Make sure you always know what’s going on and when by signing up to receive notifications for relevant events, from sources you trust.
Here are some of the best resources for startups looking to get their hustle on:
- Startup Smart
- Startup Victoria events page
- LinkedIn – has an Events section listed right on your homepage. And keep an eye on your Groups!
Don’t forget to also ask your connections every now and then if they’re going to any events coming up.
This keeps you in the loop with the right people.
2. Must be in your niche
Don’t just go to events for the sake of it. It’s a waste of your time to go to events that don’t offer something relevant to your startup’s niche.
Many startup events are quite broad in terms of the content they deliver.
“Hear from [some big multinational company totally unrelated to what your startup does], on how they went from rags to riches [10 years ago operating in a completely different market]”.
While interesting, they don’t actually offer those valuable takeaways you can apply to your own startup, and they’re probably not going to be attended by any high value potential customers.
Stick to regularly going to events that go deep into a topic that will be useful to you.
For example, Buzinga App Development builds a lot of apps in the health tech sector. That’s why I make a point to regularly attend events I see on MeetUp organised by the Startup HealthTech group.
Once you become consistent with the sort of events you attend, you’ll start to recognise the same faces and be able to build valuable connections.
3. Invite your own people
Get more out of each event you go to by inviting potential prospects, investors, etc to accompany you as your guest.
This is a great way to build a professional relationship.
It encourages active discussion around a topic you both have an interest in, and they’ll feel valued that you thought of them.
You’ll get extra points for registering them or paying for their ticket, but even extending an invite alone will deepend the relationship!
It’s also really valuable to invite members of your own team – they are your greatest ambassadors!
The more people you have spreading the word about your startup and absorbing knowledge they can apply to improve your business, the better.
4. Don’t go to ‘networking events’
Events that don’t really offer anything other than ‘opportunities for networking’ are a big waste of time.
Everyone there will just be handing out business cards and pitching you all day.
Instead, go to events with speakers or seminars that actually:
- Teach you something new that you can apply to your startup
- Offer value
- Encourages active discussion. Networking is a given!
Hopefully these tips help you suss out networking events that are a productive use of your time, and have a real impact on your startup’s growth.