When we met the first time aiming to put together Secret Sauce Conference, I had the feeling it was a very good idea. And challenging. And crazy. But if someone had told me about the results we achieved in just 7 months, well, I wouldn’t have believed it.
On Tuesday, we put together the last chapter of Secret Sauce Conference supporting Vincent’s growth hacking talk, while working on our next event, probably the end of June. And it was amazing: more than 800 tickets sold, 400 showing up at WeWork Moorgate, such a massive crowd.
How everything started
We founded Secret Sauce Conference in August 2015 to create a no-bullshit conference, for entrepreneurs, startup people gathering speakers willing to share valuable but also practical experience, in an industry, where everyone is dreaming of changing the world (but it’s extremely hard to do it)
Which mistakes should be avoided? What can you do to acquire your first users? How can you achieve a seed round? Those were just some questions we tried to reply with our first one-day event at Google Campus.
The response was massive: more than 600 tickets sold, a full house on the both floors at Google Campus during the day and at the after-party.
What I learned
1) Content is king
Easy-peasy setting up a conference giving suggestions to entrepreneurs in order to grow their business. Isn’t it? Well, not really. I’ve been to tons of conferences, where the only thing I remember was what I had for lunch. And not because the food was amazing, just because the event was full of bullshit, speakers were more keen to sell their products rather than really sharing their insights and people didn’t care about talking or networking.
I think the core business of conferences is speakers + topics, so you need to work on a winning combination.
If you’re working in a startup, it’s very important, as normally startup teams & founders don’t want to waste time on something they’re not sure it will be worth.
Also, startups are much more interested in having practical examples rather than tons of theoretical experience or very big names: if I’m launching a digital product my main goal is reaching my potential customers, increase the registrations and activate them (branding campaigns, what are them??).
2) Create a fun experience!
Vincent is a character and it wasn’t really difficult making Secret Sauce as funniest as possible. We wanted to create an experience for people to learn, but who said that learning or attending conferences is boring?
As a lot of startup environments in the tech city are playful and fun, we also wanted to be fun. We got the chef hats, provided the wristbands, and some other cool stuff. We put on a lot of enthusiasm, making Secret Sauce very relaxed and enjoyable.
We didn’t want people going out thinking it was a boring one.
Positive and fun experience are more likely to be remembered, did you know it?
3) You don’t need to hire a PR agency: understand your audience and reach out
To make it successful, we put into practice a lot of tips and growth hacks Vincent is sharing during his talks. So, don’t write press releases, tell your story. Use social media to reach to people directly.
Ask people to invite their friends over. Make it sound like a party rather than a conference.
Make it exclusive, people will love having the chance of attending an exclusive event designed to reply to their particular questions. Understand your audience and share what people are looking for.
If you’re working well on the first two points, well, the word of mouth will do the rest.
I think that’s it, if you want to join our team for the next Secret Sauce Conference, let us know!
And clear your calendar for our next event in London in June. Secret Sauce is coming!