Inspire Me

Coworker Column: Live from Bits & Pretzels

September 25, 2017

The Coworker Column is this month coming from Munich, Germany. I’m writing this from the press room of Bits & Pretzels, a yearly founders & startups event. And this press-room? It reminds me a lot of a coworking space.

I love working from press rooms. There’s always a buzz going around, people are working hard to meet deadlines and get the best stories, but at the same time, many new connections are being formed, while the regulars catch up with a coffee. No wonder it reminds me of coworking! 
 
I’m starting to appreciate these events more and more anyway; in fact, even though I work in online marketing, I can’t stress enough the benefits of attending (un)conferences once in a while. Earlier on this blog we already mentioned volunteering at events, but if you have a blog or a big following on social media, you could also try and get a media pass. 
 
What I love about industry events nowadays, is that they really put in a lot of effort to facilitate networking. Just look at Bits & Pretzels; they have an app with all attendees listed with their LinkedIn profile and an in-app message center to request meetings. Another cool thing is their ‘Matchmaking Area’ where they not only organise get-togethers around specific topics (it’s like an unconference inside a conference!), but they also have the ‘Matchmaking Wall’ where per category (startups, investors, freelancers, etc.) you can put up a card with your contact details and a couple of words on what you can offer as well as what you’re looking for. I put one up yesterday and already have a couple of meetings scheduled for later today because of it. 
 
Even the conference sessions are interactive, where the audience can send questions via their phones, which in turn will be displayed and answerd on stage. It has nothing to do with the ‘we speak, you listen’ presentations as they were a couple of years ago.
 
The best events are all about making connections. And they’re definitely worth it. 
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