I attended the second day of StartCon 2016 on the 27th November at Randwick Racecourse on Sunday. There was a packed schedule from 9am to 6:30 with keynotes and three stages of workshops as well as an Exhibition with 100 stands of which 27 where start ups.
Of the several keynotes I listened to, there were two who stood out: Andrew Chen and Sujan Patel – both were standing room only if you didn’t get there early. Andrew Chen (of Uber) reminded all present that there is nothing new in marketing by demonstrating innovators who first used the many of the principles over a century ago. What’s new is the way that information is presented, the access we all have to try things, and the speed of results. I particularly liked Chen’s illustration of the first clip coupon which was used to sell toothpaste. Since no-one used toothpaste grocers didn’t stock it (which meant you couldn’t buy it even if you wanted to). So the marketer told grocers they needed to stock it because people were going to start asking for it. How did he know? He provided free samples to potential clients using coupons in newspaper ads (and he measured response rate for different papers too).
Sujan Patel (webprofits) introduced how to building company following. He covered a lot in his 30 minutes from preparing the first webpage through to sending thankyou letters to the first customers to generate good will. Briefly the steps are: Create landing page; Build audience; Smart Cold emails; Use facebook to test headlines; concierge initial onboarding; thank those who came with you in the journey.
So was Matt Barrie’s StartCon 2016 a con? That’s either “an instance of deceiving or tricking someone” or “a formal meeting of people with a shared interest, typically one that takes place over several days”?
I opt for the latter – the conference puts Sydney in centre stage for entrepreneurs worldwide. I met many people from overseas during the day and I’m sure they will have returned with stories of the vibrant entrepreneurial scene in Sydney.
Sydney has just hosted the largest conference for start ups in the Southern Hemisphere. Congratulations Matt Barrie, Cheryl Mack and her team who organised the event.