As a startup, we are admittedly new to the conference circuit as presenters. In the past, we have spent most of our time as attendees, observing the exhibitors and munching on free candy.
Last week we had the privilege of presenting at three wonderful conferences. We got to catch up with many of our customers and supporters on the road, meet interesting and inspiring nonprofit leaders, and make new connections with nonprofit technology companies to help us accelerate the pace of innovation in this space.
1. It's All About Connections
As a vendor, the concept of “networking” is valuable, but not the overall point. It is about solving the true problems people are having and not overpromising on your capabilities. For example, we have the tagline “Software with a soul” on our standing banner, and part of that mantra is caring deeply about the problems people are having.
Many of the nonprofit leaders I talked with would clearly benefit from the predictive intelligence that Gravyty provides, but where they had different needs I would quickly make the introduction to another vendor that I trusted. This goodwill is what we think will define, and drive, our business.
2. Customers Know The Pain (And Articulate Solutions Beautifully)
One of our customers, who raises tens of millions of dollars in donation contributions each year, visited our booth. As we were demonstrating the product to a few attendees, she jumped in and eloquently walked them through the specific pain points that we were helping her solve and answered the attendee's questions. It was amazing! We were humbled by the support and admiration for our product.
Further, we had an extra ticket for AFP MA and invited one of our supporters to join us. They aren't a client, but helping them learn how to grow and lead their organization will pay dividends for them, us, and all their stakeholders. They had the opportunity to attend sessions, listen to our pitch, and engage with attendees as they asked us questions.
3. Conference Organizers are Unsung Heroes
We were deeply moved by the generosity and camaraderie of the conference organizers. Particularly Hugo De La Rosa and
As first-timers, they were quick to make meaningful introductions, show us hidden stashes of coffee, and offer advice on how to best engage with those around us. We have already started making preparations to attend again next year and look forward to working with them to amplify the impact of the event.
4. The GREAT PIZZA DEBATE = ???
You can’t just subsist on the buffet and free candy. At some point you need to leave the building and get dinner. Having spent several years New York City and with our company founded in Boston, we wanted to enter the great pizza debate with a visit to Lou Malnati’s in Chicago for some deep dish pizza. With Cubs-fever in full swing, we enjoyed a tremendous sausage and peppers deep dish and, ultimately, found ourselves even more perplexed by the great pizza debate. Maybe our next company will be about pizza analytics to help resolve this very real problem.
Again, we are thrilled by the excitment for Gravyty and look forward to continuing the conversation with the folks we met.
If you'd like to learn more about us, please let us know and we would be happy to reach out.