Michael, who is also Co-Founder of StartUp Britain, says of the event, ‘With a speaker line-up including enterprise champions like Peter Jones CBE, Lord Young of Graffam and Kanya King MBE, we are confident that this will be the best MADE: The Entrepreneur Festival yet, and act as a catalyst for accelerating the culture of British entrepreneurship.’
The question for me, is for the 3,000 entrepreneurs who invest £50 for a ticket for the event, how will MADE, make them? What can you do to ensure you walk away from this event with more than inspiration? Having met with the team behind the festival, I am certain that they aim to really make a difference. They want their guests to walk away with insight, understanding, valuable connections and the knowledge and confidence to take control of their start-up and accelerate it to the next stage.
I have been to lots of events in the past, and I am fortunate enough to have seen some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs on stage. I have experienced the tingling in my tummy, I have thanked every star that I am lucky enough to be part of the ‘start-up world’ and have been overwhelmed with emotion when I have let my brain, for just one moment, think I may be in that position one day. I have walked away ready to take on the world, I have left thinking big, really big and have looked back on the events with fond memories but ultimately, when I have returned to my desk, I have still been faced with a pile of bills I didn’t know how to pay, the same challenges that were there before the event and an added pressure to achieve because the people on stage had made it look so easy.
This doesn’t have to be how you feel when you leave these events but you will need to do some pre event thinking and planning to really make the most of every minute of the day and leave feeling empowered rather than just inspired.
Here are my tips for making sure you make the most of MADE: The Entrepreneur Festival (or any event, for that matter)
1. Do some objective thinking
Despite what guests make think, it isn’t a speakers job to understand your business and tailor their experience to your situation, that responsibility falls on to your shoulders and you need to take some time to really consider what you and your business looks like before you attend the event. It is important for you to think not just of where you want to be and what you wish you could say about your business, you need to hold a mirror up to yourself and really think about the realities of now. This will help you connect with speakers more easily and will also help others connect to you in a more authentic manner if and when you have opportunities for networking.
2. Understand where you are at
Just like understanding ‘who you are’ as a business, you need to understand where you are at. I find that when listening to others, and particularly hugely successful individuals, we absorb what their ultimate achievement was. This is useful if you are right at the start of your business and developing a vision or make the final steps and want to make them the biggest jumps possible. However, if you are somewhere in the middle, the ultimate success of others is likely to either distract you or have a negative impact on your self confidence. You need to understand the most important things for your business, right now, and make sure you take information and advice relating to those points away from peoples talks - they will be in there if you are listening from them.
3. Research the speakers and other attendees
Whilst you are likely to know who many of the speakers at the event are, you should spend some time understanding what they do. What has their journey been, who have they invested in, what are they involved in now? You should also research the other attendees if there are details available or else, look at key sponsors, check out social media channels to see who else might be attending and understand how you might be able to connect with them and what you might like to achieve. Understand, also, the value you will be able to add to the various guests, speakers and sponsors. It is much easier to make connections when you have something relevant to offer rather than simply something appropriate to ask for.
4. Prepare some questions
Most speakers will provide the opportunity for some questions at the end of their presentation. Great questions are invaluable and are a good way to show your knowledge and insight and smart, quick thinking to the rest of the room. Make sure you have some strong questions prepared for each speaker and take the opportunity to ask the most relevant ones of these.
5. Take a wish list
You should take a wish list to the event with you. You should detail the key people you would like to speak with, the knowledge or type of contacts you would like to leave with, the key bit of information you would like to have shared and the main questions you would have liked answered.
Finally, it is important to not limit your thinking to the people on the stage. You will be surrounded by interesting, entrepreneurial individuals who will all be on a similar journey to yourself, with various experiences, insights and understanding that may help you on your business journey.
Each event will always be what you make of it, but if you take note of these tips, it is likely that with an incredible team and outstanding line up, that MADE: The Entrepreneur Festival can make you.
To book tickets (hurry, there's only 11 days left!) or for more information visit: http://www.madefestival.com/