How to make the most out of ‘event season’

Lulu Carter
Senior Account Director

I feel as though we have blinked and event season is upon us once again. Throughout May and June, the ecosystem descends on tech and investment events across Europe – from Dublin Tech Summit to Super Venture, NOAH24, South Summit and London Tech Week. In just two months, there are more than 15 major industry events, and such a busy schedule can take its toll. Last year I was so tired by the end of London Tech Week, that I swear I slept for two days straight. Whilst that is not a recommendation, it is a reality for many. So how can you get the most out of events this season while trying not to burn the candle (too much) at both ends? Here are my three top tips: 


Plan your conference (and side events) 

Do some research well in advance of the event and pick out which sessions you’re most keen to attend. Once you know the timings you will be able to figure out what time you have left to network, take calls and work in between. Remember, the main event isn’t always where the true value lies. Often, it’s the side events that offer the most rewarding experiences. Take, for instance, the renowned Backed VC party at Slush. It’s not just fun, but also incredibly useful due to the high calibre of attendees. These side events are often more curated in terms of subject matter and guest list, making them ideal for targeted networking. Most event websites now feature a ‘fringe event page’ where you can explore these additional opportunities. 


Questions, questions, questions

I get asked a lot about why I like events so much, and mostly, it’s because I get to meet some seriously interesting, fun and intelligent people. When talking to an early-stage business, my initial questions are always, ‘Tell me about the business?’, ‘Are you fundraising?’ and ‘What are some of your biggest challenges at the moment?.’ On the flip side, when I’m talking to an investor, I tend to ask, ‘What areas and stages do you invest in? And ’Who is your favourite portfolio?’. It may sound obvious, but for those who find it hard to network on their own, strike up conversations and find value, asking questions and getting other people to talk is a fantastic way to help build your network. 


How can you offer value? 

When networking, always consider what you can offer to the person you’re speaking with. Can you connect them with someone in your network who could assist with fundraising, talent acquisition, or potential customers? Shifting your mindset from self-interest to helpfulness can yield surprising results, as people often respond positively to genuine offers of assistance.