This is a story about the power of networking. It was a sunny Thursday in the city of Helsinki. I had spent the whole last night crafting a sign for my stand that I will have at the Boost Your Business Event. This was the first time I represented my company Zakisome publicly. Officially I didn’t even have a company at that time. But I had a business idea and a plan to start a company that does social media marketing.
I went to the event and put everything in their place. I had my fresh new business cards, a Zakisome sign and a small table poster that had the text ”Ask anything about social media” written on it. I sparked up conversion with people walking across the lane between the stands. I enjoyed my time, even though I didn’t get too many questions about social media. While spending time behind my stand I learned that you really need to be proactive to get people to stop and talk with you.
At the Boost Your Business Event I was invited to take part in a pitching competition. Of course I said yes. I’m always happy to do public speaking and tell my story. This was my chance to shine. On the first round of the competition I just introduced the basic idea of my business which is ”To help companies reach their potential customers through social media”. The pitch went well and I got a place in the finals.
Before my second presentation on the stage I was thinking about changing the whole pitch to make things more exciting for me and the audience. This time I was going to talk about the powerful targeting opportunities that social media marketing offers to business owners and advertisers. I asked my good friend Jevgeni would this kind of sudden change in the pitch be a good idea? He said ”yes”, so I went for it. In the end I came second in the competition which I was very happy about. I shared the second place with my friend Mikko who pitched for PuskaPromotion, the company organizing this event.
So what about the networking part of the event? I got to know a very impressive Finnish company called Vai-ko clothing. They made such a good impression on me with their products and marketing that couple of months after the event I published an article praising them. After the main event was over, a group of people continued to The Helsinki Casino to eat and have few drinks. The casual atmosphere was good for getting to know new people that had similar interests related to business and entrepreneurship. I got to know Jesse, who is a very nice fellow from Laurea Entrepreneurship Society. I still meet with him regularly to have great discussions about business and life in general. Jesse helped me to get lecture gigs from Laurea, which I’m very thankful for.
At after drinks of the event I also got to know Daniel and Hajnalka from NurtUp. NurtUp is a card game and a platform that invites people together to unleash their passions. Few months after Boost Your Business I went to a NurtUp’s Passion Up event where again I managed to make new connections with interesting people. One connection leads to another and one event leads to another event. This is how networking works!
In the end I just want to say is that networking and going to events is fun and good for business!