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Originally asked by Tomek: Is Arctic15 a good place / community / conference for service providers? We _may_ be pitching / doing “sales”. Is it welcome? Or is it rather a place for startups <-> investors relationships?

Answer:

Will do my best not to sound “salesy” and to detach myself from being the main organizer, and hopefully give an answer that is useful for other events too.

Whenever you go to an event, I find that the most crucial question to answer whether your target group is actually there. If so, how many of them are you targetting? We have been to conferences where we were doing a “mass-attack” style initiative, trying to simply get as many leads as possible. We have also gone to events, where our goal to meet a single individual from a single company. Both have worked out with proper planning. So if you think your target audience is at Arctic15, then that’s a good first indicator.

Then, of course, is the question of how exactly are you going to reach them. Now, this is the part that I think many people get wrong. They think that the only way to reach people is by the means of the tools that the organizer provides. Very often, that is not very many, as most events are targeted to educational content, or perhaps an exhibition style where people who have booths are selling to those that are roaming the floor. That’s the two major types. Very few events have organized matchmaking, such as the Deal Room.

Still, when your target audience is in the venue, you are open to a lot more options than that. Here are a few examples we have done:

– E-mailed potential clients/contacts way in advance and asked for meetings.
– Created campaigns AROUND the event, both on social media and in a live setting (and will be doing one for SLUSH for example).
– Sent social media requests to people and asked meetings there.
– Hacked the speaker area and met all the speakers we needed to.
– Invited our existing clients to an event where we are going, so that we can meet there (especially if we go international).
– Organized meetings with people in town, outside of the conference, just because it was convenient.
– Hacked secret after-parties and met one of our biggest future clients.

With that approach, you can get to people no matter what the system provided is. That being said, at Arctic15 – we promote ALL networking – not just between startups and investors, although for many – that is an important focus. Still, there are a lot of people who come for sales, get booths, do networking in the deal-room and outside of it.

The important part is to think through your approach. How do you write a meeting request text in a way that would be more attractive than an investor meeting? How do you approach the startups who have a demo booth and make sure they are interested? How do you get investors to introduce you to their portfolio companies? etc.

You seem to have a development house, and that puts you in a peculiar situation – most of us get spammed with development service offers from all sorts of places, so whenever we see the words “development service” it is almost an automatic spam filter. Therefore your copywriting, your offer, your marketing, your actual pitching/sales style will determine your success.

If I were you, I would try to come up with an easy to buy the first product that is not per say standard “development service”. Something in the 1-2k range, easy for investors and startups to buy. Maybe “startup code due diligence” for investors, or “investor tech savyness” for startups 🙂 Just an idea, but find something that is relevant for the event and you will be golden.

My favorite traction is sales, so whenever people do sales at Arctic15, I am all for it.

D.

P.S. If you have a question that you would like to ask or that is bothering you, just ask away here.