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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Startups, Networking and Growth – The Arctic15 Experience

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As a business, you probably wonder at which point you should include event marketing in your strategy. Does it add or bring anything to your business? If you ask yourself at least one of these questions you’re probably like me. I’m not going to go into the reasons why you should go to events and include them in your marketing strategy, because I wrote a blog post on this topic, which you can read here.

In this particular post, I would like to talk about one of the events I’ve been attending for a few years now.  There are a few reasons I choose smaller events over bigger ones. 

If you do business in the Nordics you’ve probably heard of Arctic15. If you haven’t heard of this conference, you can learn more on their webpage. Finland is host to a few major events, including Nordic Business ForumSlush, and Arctic15, throughout a year and these are just some of the most well-known meetings. There are quite a few events in the Nordics for start-ups and scale-ups to choose from. However, in this blog post, I will focus on a particular event I feel gives you the most for your money. Like with any event you have to experience it personally and see the value it brings to your business. 

Arctic15 gathers around 2000 attendees, from start-up founders and investors to employees and awesome speakers. What makes Arctic15 the best event for “getting deals done” is its size and how it is organised, as well as the volunteers helping you to get the most of the two days. Like most events these days, Arctic15 has a matchmaking tool where attendees can create a profile and approach other participants for a short 20-minute meeting. The “deal room” is located on the second floor of the cable factory, and the whole floor is sprinkled with small numbered tables where attendees with pre-booked meetings can provide a 20-minute pitch of their products or services. In many cases, people are looking for funding, co-founders or partnerships. You can also exhibit at the event one or both of the days, and depending on your budget you can go “as wild” as you want with the stand. 

I mentioned the size of the event plays a major role in the event’s success. Let me expand on that a little bit. Over the course of two days, the event brings together approximately 2000 attendees. Badge holders are given access to a networking tool powered by Deal Room Events where you can book 20 minutes with another participant to pitch your need or offer. This gives you 10 minutes to scratch the surface.

Due to its size and location, the chances are high you will meet the same person you had a speed date with at least 2-3 times. With these multiple encounters, you have a greater chance to continue to expand on the conversation you recently had. I find this extremely valuable, especially in comparison to larger events, where you often meet someone once and never see them again for the remainder of the event. . Sure, you might say that if there is an interest you can follow up and meet after the event. However, it has been proven that we tend to forget the details of a conversation quite quickly after it happened. If you are anything like me, you probably have quite a few meetings scheduled in a day and then by next week, you do not remember all the details.

Another perk of attending Arctic15 is that the event is full of VC’s and accelerators looking for the next thing in which to invest. Last but not least, Arctic15 provides free food, coffee, and drinks throughout the entire event. They offer a “street food” type of catering, which was delicious both years I attended. Kudos to the catering company! Oh, did I mention the event is small and cozy? Guess what happens during lunchtime? You meet some of the people you had a meeting in a more informal setting. Ok, you get my point.

Here are some tips to consider when attending Arctic15:

  1. Make sure you subscribe to their newsletter to receive a notification when tickets are on sale. Early bird tickets go fast.
  2. Have a goal or several goals for the event. This will help you measure your ROI.
  3. Do your homework before the event and research all companies you plan to meet.
  4. Reserve some free time after the event for the parties and city tours. 
  5. Be ready to help and give back. 

We didn’t just go to the event for networking and new business. We were also ready to give back to our fellow entrepreneurs. We teamed up with Frankr and Katalyst International and offered our services for free for an hour to anyone who wanted assistance with inbound marketing, SEO and US market expansion. Together we are better, and that is still valid today. Because we want everybody to succeed we decided to keep the Arctic15 offer alive so others can benefit from it. 

As events season is on, remember that this is also the perfect time to get new leads. For more insights into marketing at events, check out our blog post Event marketing 101: 3 stages for success.

All in all the event is a must if you are a start-up or scale-up company looking to grow your business. We are certainly looking forward to the next one.

About the Author
Constantin Buda is the Founder and CEO of Vidalico Digital, a B2B Growth Agency based in Helsinki, Finland. For the past 12 years, Constantin has been working in technology companies playing different sales and marketing roles. As the Growth Strategist and CEO of Vidalico Digital he works with SaaS, clean-tech, HR-tech, and mine-tech companies, to name a few, helping them translate complex, high-tech information into marketing stories that drive sales.

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