What We Learned At Denver Startup Week 2016

From tricks to getting into full events, to networking tips we’ve got your Denver Startup Week 2016 rundown. Keep reading to find out what the Wishlist team learned at the startup world’s biggest week:

 

Go to the Parties!

Denver Startup Week hosts quite a few parties throughout the week. At the end of the day it can be tempting to skip the organized soirees, but if you take proper advantage of them they can be valuable. Use parties as an opportunity to mingle with like-minded individuals, learn about new companies, and network. Even brief conversations with others in a similar field can provide you with invaluable advice. Small tips, management advice, and general business savvy are often passed on after the work day is done.

 

Be Genuinely Interested

Startup week is what you make of it. To get the most out of it, you have to genuinely be interested in not only the events but the people too. Sign up early so you can snag a seat at top events, but also look at the more specialized speeches. Go to every talk with the intention to learn. While customer success may not specifically relate to you, it may still relate to your company or others on your team. It may bring up good points that can be used in different ways, or it might just provide a good opportunity to meet other people. Either way, to take the most advantage of startup week, go to as many events as you can.

 

Bring Business Cards

Everyone at startup week is meeting as many people as you are, so if you’re hoping to make a long-term impression bring your business cards. We wrote an entire post about Networking Like a Pro and included some fail-proof tips to giving and receiving business cards. Be sure to take a look so next year you can be prepared for every event.

 

Have Your Elevator Pitch Ready

At Denver Startup Week you have a lot of brief interactions with a lot of different people. If you have two minutes to talk to each other, be prepared. Have an elevator pitch ready of where you work, and what you do. Don’t stumble over simple answers if you want to get the most out of every five-minute conversation.

 

Provide Feedback

Denver Startup Week is an annual event, which means there’s always an opportunity for improvement. At the end of the week provide honest feedback about the quality of events so it can get better every year.

 

Become More Active

Again, startup week is what you make of it, and there are many ways to get involved beyond attending events. If you have a good idea for a panel, or if you’re an authority on a subject others might like to learn about, pitch them! This year, Wishlist hosted a panel on Employee Rewards. It was a great way to connect with other experts on the topic and helped spread knowledge we’ve learned the hard way. Every startup in Denver is interconnected, what’s good for one is good for all.

 

Show Up Early

With events in the middle of the workday, you may have a habit of slipping in at the last minute. If possible, though, show up early. You never know whom you’ll sit next to. Strike up a conversation; ask about their company and what they do. Again, these quick interactions can be meaningful if you take advantage of them. Be concise, nice, and open-minded. Even people in dramatically different roles than you can teach you something.

 

Engage on Social Media

You can’t make it to every event, but there are still tidbits being shared on social media throughout Denver Startup Week. If you can’t make an event you really wanted to attend, the next best option is engaging on social media. Ask questions, respond to comments, and ask for notes. People are generally willing to share what they learned. Use and follow the #DENstartupweek.

 

Go to Events Even if They’re Full

A lot of events book up early, but if there’s something you really want to go to, show up early and see if you’re still able to get in. Often on the day of the event, people are unable to come and you may get lucky. More often than not, staff will let you in so long as you join.

 


 

What did you take away from Denver Startup Week 2016? Let us know by commenting below.

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