5 Top Tips for Alpha Exhibitors – From a previous ALPHA start-up

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Applying for ALPHA and being accepted is an incredibly exciting feeling for any start-up but it can also be a little daunting. If you haven’t been to a tech conference before it is hard to know how to get started, what to do, who to speak to and most importantly how to make the most of it. It is the classic catch 22 of “needing the experience to get experience” but don’t worry, we’ve done it before and are here to help. Here are our top 5 tips on how to ace the ALPHA experience at Collision Conference 2017.

Plan your itinerary

This may seem obvious but it is also the easiest thing to forget. The best thing to do is keep it simple! Luckily Collision gives you all of the tools you need to ensure that you know exactly what is going on before you get to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The web app and mobile app are invaluable to planning your itinerary. From talks and workshops to Night Summit and bar crawls it has it all. Take your time and go through everything the conference has to offer but don’t commit to too much. Do what works for you and your start-up and remember your exhibiting day is probably the most important so don’t pack too much in.

Create a check-list

You will have so much to remember and we find it really helped to write it all down. Creating a list is a great way to brain dump and clear your head for the most important things (like talking to people and remembering your pitch!). We had a list for everything when we attended and it helped us cover all bases. You have probably spent a lot of time and money preparing for Collision so you don’t want to be kicking yourself last minute if you forget your promotional products in the office. The more you put on paper, the less you have to rely on your brain to remember. Just make sure you remember where you put your checklist!

Perfect your pitch but don’t become a robot

You will have a lot of conversations with different people at the conference as the attendee list ranges from investors to journalists and attendees to speakers. Although you are well rehearsed in what your company is or what your product does, it is hard to keep it fresh and original for each individual. Why not try and write down multiple versions of your pitch? Changing the tone and wording of your pitch won’t take away from the important aspects but it will make it a lot more interesting to listen to. Also, keep it clear and simple! No one knows your product quite like you do and they can’t read your brain so assume that they are completely clueless. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you should be patronising because you never know who you are talking to!

Show your passion

It is hard work to make it this far and it takes passion and dedication to persevere. You should enjoy your time at Collision and look at it as a reward, not a challenge. There is obviously a lot to do whilst you are there and it is hard to let your guard down but your passion is what will make your start-up stand out. Enthusiasm is contagious and people will feel it if you project it whilst you’re pitching. There are lots of other start-ups there and we can guarantee that all of them that they have what it takes so make sure you stand out with a smile and positive attitude. But remember, be humble and don’t fall into the trap of becoming another pushy start-up. Pushy doesn’t mean passion!

Enjoy yourself

Collision Conference is hosted in one of the most incredible cities. New Orleans is the home of music, magic and mardi gras which means they know how to party. Although Collision Conference is the most important reason that you are there, you shouldn’t neglect what this electric place has to offer. Night Summit is where we forged some of our most important relationships with a huge variety of contacts. Come the evening, everyone is ready to enjoy a Pimms Cup or two and let their hair down so don’t feel as if you have to rest-up in your hotel room because you may just miss out on the most important conversation of your trip.

Do you have any tips or advice on how to overcome challenges that you faced at Collision Conference? Let us know by talking to us on Twitter!

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