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AdexinBlogConference wrap-up: Thoughts after Slush and Web Summit 2022

Conference wrap-up: Thoughts after Slush and Web Summit 2022

Dec 19, 2022
4 mins

Key takeaways:

  • Face-to-face touch conversations are always a great opportunity for the sales process. 

  • Linkedin is one of the most powerful professional tools to communicate with your network of professionals.

  • Think in advance of conferences you want to attend in the New Year and plan ahead of time.

  • Attending conferences is not only for the information you are exposed to but mostly because of the people you are meeting and the connections that you are building.

This year has been a very rewarding one for Adexin. We have made a lot of progress and attended various events where we broaden our network.

Preparation for pre-conference is essential. The purpose of the conferences you are attending is for you to focus on growing your network and sharing your experience instead of direct sales.

One of the two main events we attended has been Slush. George, our Head of Business Development has been present and ready to network and learn from like-minded business people. Slush has grown from a single gathering in Helsinki to a series of events organized all around the world. It all started in 2008 in Helsinki with a one-day affair made up of around 250 people. While the size of the event itself has grown, its purpose of it has stayed the same: focusing on how best to serve startup ecosystems across the world.

The second event which has been very popular this year and that Alona, our Business Development Manager has attended was Web Summit. In the past, Web Summit events have gathered half a million people across Web Summit in Lisbon, Web Summit Rio in South America, Collision in North America, and RISE in Asia since its beginnings as a 150-person conference in Dublin in 2009. Web Summit’s mission has been to create software that enables meaningful connections between the CEOs, founders, investors, media, politicians and cultural figureheads who are reshaping the world. And it has served its purpose successfully.

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Let’s dive into a series of questions addressed to our two attendees of these events and learn more about the conference experience and why it has been invaluable for both of them:

1. Hi both, can you firstly please introduce yourself, what you are doing and why you are passionate about it?

George Maksimenko: I’m George and I am the Head of Business Development at Adexin. My primary responsibility is to build a productive network of organisations around Adexin to grow the success of all involved parties. I am passionate about it because I like to speak to smart people, which is an important part of my job. I like to learn from people and share my experience.

Alona Remez: Hi, I’m Alona and I’m a Business Development Manager at Adexin. I’m passionate about my position as we are working towards establishing a strong and recognisable brand in the Logistics industry that involves creating development strategies, constantly working on growth and expansion, analyzing relevant data and implementing innovative ideas. Apart from that, I enjoy meeting new people, discussing technologies and showing how we can help solve business pains. This shows another layer of the other part of my job, which is sales. 

2. What determined you to attend these two conferences?

George Maksimenko: The conference that I attended was Slush, as the Finnish market is my responsibility. That’s why I try to participate in all major conferences in this region to stay on track with current trends and of course, grow my network.

Alona Remez: I believe the main goal of conferences like these is networking and that is why it’s always useful to attend such events to grow your network and share more insights about your company and learn about others too. 

3. George, would you say your expectations were aligned with your experience at Slush?

George Maksimenko: Absolutely, the Slush conference was just as well planned and executed as those that took place before the pandemic. A lot of great people, interesting startups, and useful meetings.

4. What about your experience at the Web Summit, Alona?

Alona Remez: I found it a bit overcrowded, as there were more than 70.000 attendees and as a result, the queues were too big, which the sponsors were also surprised about and didn’t seem to expect. 

5. What did you enjoy most about attending Slush 2022?

George Maksimenko: Getting new experiences from new people is very valuable to me. I learned something new from each person I met and I always find that being surrounded by people who have so much experience inspires me to strive for more in my work as well. Also, not on topic, but they had some very tasty coffee.

6. What was something that stood out as part of your experience at the Web Summit 2022?

Alona Remez: Apart from all the queues, there were still a lot of interesting people from all over the world. I gathered a lot of new information and experience, I carried valuable conversations and I developed new connections that I otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to grow.

7. Do you believe attending conferences is valuable or not? Why?

George Maksimenko: I attended plenty of online conferences during the pandemic time. No one was even close to being as useful as this one. According to my experience, face-to-face touch is always a great opportunity for the sales process. 

Alona Remez: This is always useful for networking purposes. You never know who you'll meet and how they can help you afterwards. One of the biggest wealth in life is people whom you know. This is why I find Linkedin as the most powerful professional tool to keep all the people you know and share your thoughts. Of course, conferences are also useful to keep up with all the trends and what is even better, if it’s industry related. As they are picking up the most important information in the unstoppable flow. 

8. Do you have plans to attend more conferences in 2023? Which ones?

George Maksimenko: Sure, we are currently building our plan for the next year. I can’t name any particular now but most likely for me, it would be conferences in Finland and Benelux region with a focus on logistics, transportation, and supply chain industries. 

Alona Remez: As George said, we are working on our plan for the next year. Personally, I’m responsible for the UK market and plan to attend various conferences here.

9. What would be your advice to someone who wants to attend a conference but didn’t before? How can you make the most out of the experience?

George Maksimenko: Prepare in advance. Use matchmaking tools. Be open and honest with people. Of course, do not forget about side events. Usually, good conferences have several additional events. Focus on growing your network and share your experience instead of direct sales. Do work after the conference: add them to Linkedin and follow up. It’s all about staying connected with the people you meet and using these connections in the ways that make the most sense for your business.

Alona Remez: I would say that conferences aren’t about sales, it’s about meeting people and working afterwards. Make the most of it, talk to people everywhere, while standing in the queue, while drinking coffee, having lunch etc. We do not practice hard sales, as we both cannot stand it. Share your experience, be interested in conversation, and don’t talk only about the company. As personality is the most important in sales. But that’s only my opinion.

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