Having to feed the social junkie in me and make sure I get all the work done at the same time is a tricky business. Practice makes perfect though and I’m constantly getting better at choosing only the events with valuable educational content and interesting networking opportunities.
IP Review at TechHub
My last week’s selection of events left me satisfied, intellectually stimulated and with quite a few contacts to follow up on, but not burnt out. The IP Review at TechHub in Silicon Roundabout (full house in buzzword bingo!) had a quality audience and an interesting format. Participants (30-40 people involved in IP policy or startups) were gathered around big tables and equipped with remote controls for real time voting. It was satisfying to discuss IP issues in a small group of fellow entrepreneurs (facing similar dilemmas) and see the results of our votes being instantly projected. At times, the debate seemed to be getting into minute legal details of IP protection (which was relevant only to those of us with strictly IP based businesses) but on the whole was fruitful and carried on online after the event finished. Read Daniel’s poignant article about software patents here.
Figaro si, Figaro la, Figaro Digital
Next highlight was Figaro Digital’s event at the Hospital club. One of a series of many, it provided great quality, in-depth and specialised content (3 talks on analytics and conversion delivered by industry experts such as Head of Analytics at LBi). The formal part of the event led onto networking in Figaro’s games room, which gave me a chance to exchange a few opinions with Harry Bott who delivered a great talk about call tracking and get a Milky Bar (long story) from David Ellis who spoke about the acquisition and value of multi-channel customers.
I’m very likely to take advantage of Figaro’s hospitality at the Hospital (err) again and already look forward to the forthcoming seminar on eCommerce.
Chamber of Commerce
I finished my networking week at the Chamber of Commerce, attending a double bill seminar put on by Parag Prasad, a respected business coach, and Mike Bradley, the founder of an SEO consultancy. Both of the talks were loaded with practical, easy to implement tips.
Following Mike’s input on building an SEO friendly site, I’ve promised to myself to gradually turn GrantTree’s site into a valuable educational resource for tech firms looking for Government funding and write a piece of flagship content. I will also take advantage of the opportunity of free competitors’ analysis from the point of view of SEO.
Parag’s talk was focused on maximising profits. His down-to-earth, methodological approach of coaching businesses to better financial future looks at the entire spectrum of money saving and money generating opportunities within a company. Parag is an advocate of what I would call the self-consciousness of a business. From the awareness of the firm’s true – as opposed to hollow – USP, through to the knowledge of the ROI of your marketing spend, the metrics of leads conversion at different stages of the sales cycle etc, everything boils down to what a business knows about itself and how this knowledge is being utilised.
Future guest posts
Incidentally, sufficient self-knowledge is something that the majority of tech businesses seem to lack. Focused on product development – or the quality of services provided – they tend to pay less attention to the bigger picture of the company, both in terms optimising the profitability and envisioning the future. Parag Prasad, a generous supporter of my business efforts for over a year now, has kindly agreed to write a guest post for this site, juxtaposing a technician with an entrepreneur, that you will without a doubt found helpful. I really look forward to reading it myself!
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