Attending Conferences as a Startup? Questia Group Is Getting the Most Out of It!
Our Questia Group team has attended several conferences and events over the past two months and it has been a great opportunity and learning experience for us as a new company.
As we are trying to reach new customers and working on our brand awareness, we embraced the opportunity to leave digital aside in favor of getting out there and meeting people face to face.
We are glad to share our experience and learning from Webstock, Internet & Mobile World and Transylvania Insurance Days, three very different events, but all with a lot of business and networking opportunities for our team.
Webstock is the biggest social media event in Romania and it reunites the crème de la crème of the online content creators
The event took place in Bucharest on September 29th and it brought together bloggers, entrepreneurs, marketing specialists and influencers from various industries.
As a market research agency, we were glad to be reassured that research data is part of this year’s trends. Creative use of research data helps companies identify their costumers’ needs and deliver insightful and original messages that can become viral (Claudia Chrilescu, Spoon Media – Trends Panel).
Internet & Mobile World is the largest B2B expo-conference for IT & Digital solutions in Southern and Eastern Europe
This year’s Internet & Mobile World event was focused on offering B2B audiences digital, mobile or IT software & infrastructure solutions to prepare for the “digital invasion”. The framework set by the organizers was the perfect opportunity for Questia to introduce market research as an imperative for businesses when developing new effective strategies for digital transformation.
Our booth from the Digital & e-Commerce area was visited by numerous curious participants interested in Questia Group’s research results. Data visualization seemed to be an efficient trigger on capturing visitors' attention as Questia’s infographics were on trend. Decision makers are getting more and more concerned about how they can deeply understand the market, customers' opinions, and actions and turn market research results into actionable plans and strategies. This was a perfect chance for our specialists to inform the participants about the benefits of online market research and the importance of digitalization of traditional market research tools. We were very happy to meet and chat with a few devoted Questia Analytica blog readers among IMWorld attendees. Overall, IMWorld participants were mostly interested in understanding millennials, job automation and the internet of things.
Since we’re a diverse team interested in market research, marketing, and tech, our favorite keynote presentations covered a wide range of topics.
To be up to date with the latest technology, our tech team attended presentations on IPv6-based 5G and IoT Networking (Latif Ladid) or Accelerated Mobile Pages and Progressive Web Apps (Rowan Merewood).
We didn’t miss the famous human cyborg, Neil Harbisson, who enchanted us with the demonstration on how he perceives colors with his antenna via sound waves. The speaker promotes the use of cybernetics as a body part to extend human senses and perception.
Did you say what about market research? Of course, we kept our eyes open for presentations that apprised the visitors of the importance of collecting data and using it for building educated business strategies. Andrei Georgescu (White Image) compared marketing to a marathon and market research to the pre-marathon preparations. We absolutely agree that it’s necessary to practice if you want to win.
Transylania Insurance Days is the most prominent event in Transylvania dedicated to insurance
At the third edition of the TID conference, from the 5th to the 6th of October in Cluj-Napoca, Andrada was a keynote speaker and presented some insights on youngsters: attitudes& behaviors regarding new technologies, as well as three segments of the general population – values, behaviors and lifestyle.
Besides the presentation, we were receptive to the other information provided by the speakers. In this manner, our favorite presentations were from Jiří Paták (CEO, Chytrý Honza a.s), Victor Gavronschi (CEO & Founder @ Loopaa Marcom) and Razvan Gai (Product Manager, Accesa).
Jiří, who founded a company that became one of the most important players on the online market in the Czech Republic suggested that “there isn’t really a revolution in the insurance marker”, unlike other industries. Rather, people want human contact from insurance agents, especially when they make a life decision. Thus, digitalization should occur in small steps. Also, he suggested that technology has only a 20% share in their company, while marketing and thus understanding people’s habits and taste, as well as agents on the ground have a much larger share of activities.
Victor presented a marketing guide for business owners, general executives and sales executives. His focus was on what should the top management request from their marketing departments, as well as what they should offer in return. Their time (and budget), business objectives, inputs from the market and FEEDBACK – are top issues the executive should provide their marketing team. Another interesting aspect Victor made related the ups and downs of working with a marketing department in-house or a marketing agency.
Razvan opened our eyes regarding Artificial Intelligence and what is its impact on the insurance market. He guided us through the timeline of AI development: from 1955, its official birthdate, until 2016, AI-based hardware and economic boost. Also, he differentiated between AI (or making machines intelligent), Cognitive Computing (making machines that feel and reason) and Machine learning (or making machines that learn). Also, he stated what are the major implications for insurance, from back office (efficiency, lower costs of operation, faster results, improved accuracy, anomaly detection – to name a few) and front office/customer facing (customer satisfaction and retention, interaction improvement, sales, lower costs, personalization of content).
So how has it worked for us and what do we recommend from our own experience:
- Attending business events like a pro is focused on networking, which is not necessarily an easy thing to do. Prepare for all sorts of questions, be open to meet all sorts of people. Make sure you collect a lot of contact info or business cards.
Don’t expect all visitors to know your business or to understand how you can help their company. Prepare more presentations and deliver them differently depending on who is visiting your booth and what questions they might have.
- Write follow-up emails immediately after the event. Let your contacts know you have enjoyed meeting with them and set the grounds for future collaborations.