The final day of WebSummit started with a light soaking rain. Our strategy for the day was to see whether or not we could find a way to set up somewhere and continue talking to people. Unfortunately the Alpha package only included one day for a stand to tell people about MiFile.
We arrived a little later – giving everyone time to set up their stands – and then went looking for open areas where people hadn’t arrived and setup, for whatever reason. We also decided to base ourselves in the larger building – we were in the Village before – as we thought perhaps some people would stay in only one of the two areas.
Around 11am we found a spot in the Software development area where two Alpha areas were empty. We had kept our board from the day before and after scoping the area out for a few minutes set up our own board. After about 10 minutes I decided to reconsider my ‘ask forgiveness, rather than permission’ approach and went to ask if we could set up.
A helpful member of the WebSummit team gave me a wry smile and told me that they couldn’t formally agree to our approach, but wished me luck in whatever approach I took to promoting my company. So with that, we went back to pitching.
Our sales lead grabbed a load of combo cards and headed off to carry out another plan we had come up with that morning. As WebSummit is moving to Lisbon, it seemed an opportune moment to give MiFile cards to the volunteers and security staff who had worked so hard at the event. Feedback was awesome, with people pulling their friends over and pitching them on our service and taking extra cards for their families. In many ways, this was the most rewarding outcome; where general members of the public could see how the solution could help them within 30-seconds and were converted to advocates pitching our solution to others.
On the floor of the hall we continued to watch investors hide their badges and avoid eye contact and generally it was slow going. At around 3:30pm we considered calling it a day, but decided to hang out for a little while longer.
This ended up being a very fateful decision, as one of the nicest guys – who happened to be an investor – came round about 30 minutes later and gave us a minute to hear the pitch and then spent a further 15 minutes sharing his insight into the side of the investor. Even though he wasn’t looking to invest in our area, he thought it was so good he offered to take us into the hallowed grounds of the investor lounge.
So our visit to WebSummit finished with our founder in the investor lounge pitching to a couple of investors and securing a set of follow on meetings in London, and then being chased out of the venue by security at 5:30pm along with a dozen investors who were obviously not used to being chased anywhere.
Would I recommend others attend WebSummit? Did we think the price was good value for money? What was good, bad and plain ugly? We’ll post a final review at the end of the weekend.