Startup Conferences, Workshops and Techie- friendly Events. Boost or Time Waste?
By Monika Roštárová 26/07/2018

Friday afternoon is my time period used for tidying my email box. I have to confess, it is fuller than I would like to. Invitations for several occasions create one fourth of my work related emails. Auch. It is quite a big number.

Nowadays, people suffer from chronic lack of time. Everyone can occasionally find an hour or two for a promising occasion. If you attend conference, you can analyse it in advance and maximise the prospective outcome as well. How? Prepare yourself. Check the speakers, judges, interesting projects and potential partners. Write them in advance to arrange a personal meeting during the networking part. Ask yourself: Am I  the right person from my team to attend? It basically means, you will be the one, who will benefit from lessons learned and will be able to present it to your mates later.

Opportunity Costs

There are invitation related buzzwords such as: success, efficiency, time management, tech, productivity or  hi-tech. It is difficult to identify an outstanding event. We have to distinguish with several events. I always consider three attributes: program, guests list and opportunity costs. A juicy program is a must. What is more, the opportunity to meet someone, who is usually inaccessible, can occur.

I attended some discussions, where it was almost impossible to have a small talk with speakers. They left very soon after their speech. If you consider the personal meeting very important, you can do your best to make it. If you do so, don’t hesitate to address him/her immediately after he/she delivers a speech. Maybe, you won’t have the chance anymore.

The formula is easy. You have to think about opportunity costs of different work or other activities instead of the conference. If you analysed the benefits of active participation, you should know where opportunity costs are higher. You can participate in many happenings. If you miss one, there will be another.

Speaker or Regular Attendee?

Do you have something to say? Say it. Speak up, if you are experienced in field and you believe your know-how can be beneficial for other attendees. Use a change to be a speaker and share your best practices and point of view with others. Public speaking and presenting is not for everyone. If you have interest in enriching your soft skills, start as soon as possible. Charlie Chaplin once said: “ Everyone is an amateur. Wo don’t live enough time to be professionals. “ This is a big truth, so don’t be afraid of active participation too much. Take advantage of being speaker in networking. A deep interest in your work and results is the best way of meeting new allies.

Work & Life Presence

Startups belong to my daily life. That's why I often attend workshops and discussions oriented on my other hobbies and interests. Sometimes it is good to switch off and get to know something new about foreign countries, nutritioning, meditation, fashion or politics. Many events, workshops, weekend sessions are organized in evenings or at weekends. I like to spend my free time to broaden my horizon of knowledge in so many topics and fields. I usually try something totally new for me and it comes out as awesome. Work-life balance is a buzzword today. It is not an easy job to distinguish in happenings connected with work or life issues or both. Technology has blurred all the lines. We have to be present in all we are doing. No matter if it is connected with our work or not.

So what is the message? THINK ABOUT line-up, quests list and opportunity costs.  PREPARE for the event. GO there. Speak up, PITCH or have small talks with influencers in our field. LEARN something useful and explain it to your colleagues or friends. KEEP interesting contacts.