Are you ready for Denver Startup Week? The weeklong spotlight on innovation in Colorado is kicking off on September 16th, 2019. Denver Startup Week has been known to attract a sizable crowd in the past- over 20,000 founders, makers, and other startup professionals are expected to attend this year. With this many like-minded professionals under the same roof, there is no better opportunity to do some professional networking.
But how do you make the most of your time at each Denver Startup Week event and guarantee you stand out from the crowd?
We’ve compiled the best tips for networking at Denver Startup Week.
Before Denver Startup Week
1. Set Your Goals and Expectations
Whether it’s Denver Startup Week or just an average networking event, it’s important to act with intention. You’ve got to understand what you want to get out of it.
Imagine the best outcome.
Questions to ask yourself:
- What type of professional would you want to connect with?
- What would you want from your new contact?
- What services, contacts, or referrals could you offer?
Types of networking goals to set
- The number of events you want to attend
- The number of people you want to talk to at each event
- The number of business cards you want to give out
- The amount of follow-up coffee meetings you want to schedule with new contacts
- The number of people you want to make introductions for
This way you’ll have a clearer idea of your direction and purpose at the events.
2. Choose each Denver Startup Week event wisely
A full week of events means a whole lot of options to choose from.
The 2019 Denver Startup Week schedule includes every type of event for every type of startup professional.
Remember to look at your attendance strategically.
Denver Startup Week into eight functional tracks, to fit various roles within a business:
Denver Startup Week events are also broken up into five clusters, featuring popular topics and themes:
How to choose the right Denver Startup Week event to attend
Imagine your ideal client or business connection, what would they want to attend? Focus on their interests and needs instead of your own and you’ll be more likely to run into the right people at those events.
3. Do your research
When you have thousands of people to talk to in a short amount of time, you’ve got to be strategic with who you approach.
Look up each event organizer’s company and dig a little deeper. Check their social media sites to see who’s engaging with their posts. You might come across a few attendees you can make a note of before the event.
Look into the types of events they’ve hosted in the past or who has attended previous events. Although attendees lists are not often released to the public, doing a little digging on the web may give you a hint.
Or use the PEEKaMEET professional networking app to view users nearby and find out who has checked into the event. Search for the right people in the area who meet your business or career needs and view their digital business card. Now you’ll have a better idea of who to talk to before you go.
During Denver Startup Week
4. Have a memorable elevator pitch
Since there are so many people to talk to and dozens of events to attend, the time you’ll have in each interaction is limited. Make sure you can articulate who you are, what you do, and what you’re looking for in a way that’s both clear and concise.
According to IHire, an effective elevator pitch includes the following details:
- Who you are
- What you do
- Who you help
- What you want to accomplish
- A hook in bring people in and make you memorable
Although your time is limited, it’s important to make it count. If someone is trying to connect with you, it’s important that you give them your full attention.
5. Focus on who you’re talking to at Denver Startup Week
Avoid checking your watch or looking around the room.
Ask questions and get to know him or her as a person instead of just a potential client.
Showing genuine interest and engagement will likely make you more memorable and more liked.
Denver Startup Week ice-breakers:
- “What has been your favorite session you’ve attended so far?”
- “What are you most excited about at Denver Startup Week this year”
- “What other Denver Startup Week events are you attending?”
Here are some more conversation starters you can use to break the ice with other attendees.
6. Ditch the business cards and get connected IMMEDIATELY
The person you’re talking to is going to receive possibly hundreds of business cards over the week and your card is likely to get lost among the pile.
Avoid wasting opportunity (and paper) by finding a way to ensure you are able to connect right away.
Ask for their email and number at the end of the conversation and save it for yourself with a note about the person.
Have an email draft prepared that you can add the email and detail soon after.
PEEKaMEET can also be a useful tool to help you organize all your new contacts. Using the app, you can share your professional profile with those nearby. You can also save the new contacts in your own customizable folders so you don’t lose track. Plus, you can chat with them directly on the app to avoid missing any opportunity to connect.
After Denver Startup Week
7. Time to Follow-Up
Networking doesn’t stop when the event ends. Make sure you’re reaching out to those you hope to connect with within the next few days. Your follow-up needs to be personable and engaging. Mention a detail that was talked about during your conversation to remind them of who you are. Ask questions so that they have something to respond to. You can also find more advice on constructing an effective follow-up email here.
Logo image belongs to DSW2019
Whether you’re at a Denver Startup Week event, a different networking event, or on-the-go, PEEKaMEET makes it easier for you to connect with like-minded professionals nearby. Filter and find the right people to help you achieve your business or career goals. PEEKaMEET is free and available on both iPhone and Android. Download PEEKaMEET and start networking today.