How not to waste your time at a global conference: 7 life hacks from the Ukrainian startup Stripos experience of Web Summit

How not to waste your time at a global conference: 7 life hacks from the Ukrainian startup Stripos experience of Web Summit

And what's worth knowing when preparing to present your product

How not to waste your time at a global conference: 7 life hacks from the Ukrainian startup Stripos experience of Web Summit

This year, the Web Summit was held in Brazil for the first time. 500 investors, 970 startups, and 21,000 guests gathered for the technology conference. Ukraine was represented by 9 startups: Anna Maly, UBOS, Spendbase, FuelWell, Mosqitter, Kycaid, Orderry, Uspacy, and Stripo. Mind reported about them before.

For the Stripo team, which develops a platform for email design without coding skills, this is not their first experience. Last year in Lisbon, the startup presented their project along with other Ukrainian teams. How did the startup prepare for the summit? What's worth knowing about the event? What are the pros and cons of holding the summit in Brazil? And what's important to consider when planning to present your product at a global summit? Mind talked to the startup team about all this.

Two months of preparation

"Web Summit in Rio or Lisbon is an arena of opportunities where one can get lost without proper preparation. Especially if you are attending such a large-scale conference for the first time," says Stripo founder Dmytro Kudrenko. As in Lisbon the previous year, the team presented Stripo in Rio along with their other products – Reteno, Yespo, eSputnik, Claspo.

The startup began preparing for the conference two months in advance: planning meetings, researching potential partners and products. However, unlike the Web Summit in Portugal, the team received a low conversion in meetings after invitations through the app or LinkedIn. Therefore, the startup created a plan for each day of the conference on who to approach at the summit. "That's how we collected quite a large contact list for future partnerships right at the conference," Kudrenko explains.

Every visitor is a potential client

Kudrenko says: it's important to actively work with those who approach the stand on their own. It's better to have a prepared table for each day of the conference with a list of potential companies for communication and set priorities. "Such a format of looking for uninterested clients may have a relatively small conversion, but in our case for success it's enough to get a few leads for large paid packages or at least tell in detail about the product so that people remember us in the future when choosing among alternatives," the founder says.

Market field research prior to expansion

According to Kudrenko, it was important for the team to understand the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Brazil and Latin America. "Expanding in the global market, we noticed that these countries show much better conversion rates than others," says the founder of Stripo. At the summit, the team found answers to their questions and further outlined the measures needed to compete in this market. The startup now has a list of planned stages: localisation of the product, website, support and sales, work with WhatsApp, and a desired representation in Sao Paulo.

Organisers' bugs are not a reason to throw in the towel

"The overall impressions are very mixed. On the one hand, it's a conference we're already familiar with and the usual format of the event, since we've been to Web Summit before. On the other hand, it's the incredible and world-famous city of Rio. We were warned in advance about security and told to be prepared even for a robbery. However, we managed to avoid any unpleasant incidents," Kudrenko shares his impressions.

But he adds: there were negative aspects to the organisation of the summit. The hosting staff did not speak English, so they couldn't assist participants without an interpreter. This complicated communication and slowed down the speed of problem-solving. Other issues Stripo's founder mentions include loud noises that interfered with communication, and slow internet speed.

There were also logistical problems. Getting to the pavilions and leaving was a Herculean task for the team. Over 20,000 participants began to gather around 17:30-18:00. It was impossible to call a taxi within the location for more than three hours. "The attempt to leave the summit on the first evening was a real disappointment. We stood hungry and tired until 21:00, before we could leave. In Lisbon, there were plenty of shuttles for this. And overall, we felt safer even in public transport, which is not something you can say about Rio," says Stripo's project manager, Dmytro Kulaksiz.

However, there were positive aspects. Among these was the Web Summit mobile app, which simplified networking and attending talks. A smaller number of pavilions and visitors allowed us to cover everything in two days and meet potential partners and customers.

Doubling meeting requests in LinkedIn

Web Summit is first and foremost about networking. You can find all participants in the conference mobile app: from speakers and visitors to investors and journalists. It's worth starting preparations in advance, searching for interesting people, and setting up meetings. "Double your requests on LinkedIn. Even if the meeting doesn't happen, the person will remain in your network," advises Kudrenko.

Clear definition of the trip’s purpose and the role of each team member

These could be leads, seeking investors, or simply for "inspiration". For example, not just "get new leads", but "get 30 new leads from sectors X and Y". Then it's important to distribute roles among the team. "The flow of people at the conference is large, so it's worth having well-established processes and synchronised actions," the founder explains.

And finally, language matters

It's very important to have excellent conversational English. "In the case of Rio, it's also desirable to have some level of Portuguese," Kudrenko concludes.

This project uses cookies from Mind to deliver its services and to analyze traffic.Learn moreOK, Got it