Let me preface this by stating that I don’t generally promote events. There are just so many of them at any given time to do so.
But one event stands out so much in what it is bringing to the community that I am compelled to bring it to your attention.
Techsyvlania: get it, or get lost. I mean that in the nicest possible way. Sorry, this week has been too exhausting to be overly flowery or diplomatic in making my intended points. Moreover, I am very frustrated and exhausted with watching people lose or disregard opportunities because they either don’t understand or are unwilling to invest.
Even if you bought the $1,500+ plane ticket, grabbed a hotel, and leveraged all your connections, chances are you couldn’t get meetings with the speakers that are somehow coming to Cluj. We are talking about people from Google, 500 Start-ups, Dropbox, TechStars—some of the leading names in tech, and others that are just as important but that you don’t know about. I, for one, am especially ecstatic to hear from Joyce Shen from Thomson Reuters—the multibillion dollar information and news organization that I’ve relied on throughout so much of my life for secondary research.
In just one year this event has grown from 19 total speakers to 40+, including 25+ international speakers. That kind of growth takes a year round effort on behalf of the organizers, who have truly done something wonderful for this community with this conference. This event is helping to put Cluj, and Romania, on the map. Our turn out for this event will define the future opportunities that come to Romania and Cluj. We have the chance send these international influencers back completely blown away by the engagement and potential of this community. Do not take this opportunity and responsibility lightly or for granted.
With this in mind, I would like to give a few pointers on how to make a good impression on our guests based on some cultural differences I saw at other events with international speakers.
2) Ask questions! Especially for an American, it is hurtful to spend time on a presentation and then no one have any question at the end. It sends us the message that we are so boring you just want us to leave as soon as possible. We know we cannot possibly address everything in our presentation. Questions show us engagement and respect. Please, please ask questions!
3) Ask GOOD questions! Don’t ask small talk stuff about how they like Romania, etc. Do research into the backgrounds and experience of the speakers to come up with compelling and relevant questions that aren’t a waste of time.
4) Don’t mob the “stars”—okay, yes, there are always stars at these events that everyone is waiting to talk to. The problem with stars is that everyone wants to get at them and they never have time for you. Be strategic with your networking. Don’t spend hours of waiting to get 3 minutes with someone just for the sake of being in their presence. Use the time to develop more engaging connections with people who may not have as much star power, but can surely be an asset to your network.
You read some further tips here: http://techcrunch.com/2009/09/20/greetings/
But tip #1: get a ticket and go. Opportunities like this will not exist in the future if we don’t support and invest in them now. The numbers are good so far on attendees, but I will personally be disappointed if any of the aspiring entrepreneurs or techies I know don’t go.
PS: I would like to remind you all that they have drones.
Techyslvania: 25+ international influencers, drones, and more.