– Alpha Program & Speak Ai Exhibit
– Getting value from the conference
– The importance of After Hours events
– The privilege to work in tech and live in Toronto 🍁
Much love to Vatsal Shah Lorne Collier Kaaveh Shoman 👋 Dan Flatt Lou Rod Cueva Bryan Gold Nadean Ghemraoui Vimal Bhaya Kanish Raajkumar Sarah Visser Gabriella Teixeira Amir Feizpour & so many more!
Thank you for an unforgettable week! 🤗
Collision Conf #collision #collision2022 #collisionconf
Collision Conference 2022 – Speak Ai
COLLISION | “North America’s fastest growing tech conference”
Opening Night | | COLLISION | “North America’s fastest growing tech conference”
COLLISION | Collision After Hours | Toronto, 20-23, 2022
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Collision Conference 2022 In Toronto – Tyler Bryden | Marketing | Research | Analytics | Data Visualization | Psychedelics
OK, talk right here, hope everything’s going well, but a lot of shaky Cam footage for me this week, but I’m back home. I’m glad to be home. It’s been a fun and energizing and inspiring exhausting week and excited to sort of take a little bit of a moment to reflect. I’m calling this a review. I’m not really doing a review and I really think that if you are attending any conference, no matter what, is it just anything in life is really what you make of it. And so that was a great lesson for me. This week is sometimes you’re tired and you’re you know you’re ready to go home. You got to push through. And then you end up having great conversations, and so lots of lessons learned throughout the week of how to maximize the value of conferences. What can I? What did I do? What did other people do? Well, what did I learn, and what would I do better at other conferences coming forward? So overall, I’ll quickly touch on. I think a couple of things I was part of the alpha program. What that meant is that you are 685. You’re paying, you’re getting 3 tickets for that, and then you get to exhibit for one day, and so we were lucky.
Got to exhibit first day, a lot of foot traffic coming through and we were also in an area AI machine learning which obviously brings some interest and then a lot of basically just a very visible space within that. So I think we could contrast that to. I know people who I talked to on the third day who are exhibiting less people, maybe a little bit less energy, enthusiasm, everyone’s tired out from this and weren’t, as you know, excited about some of the conversations and things happened. They didn’t get the foot traffic that they want, so I think we were lucky. I don’t know why we got that space, which maybe the alphabetical order.
Not exactly sure, but grateful for the opportunity that we got. The other thing that we found there is that a lot of startups, so I think there’s it was to say it was like 12150. I think this yeah no. 1500 almost 1600 startups so people would have come up and say oh wow, so crazy you’ve got this booth for the day you’re exhibiting for the day. Like no, we haven’t just for or for the conference and we just have it for the day. And then tomorrow there’s going to be entirely new set of companies floating through here. So between those three days you’re seeing new companies.
Segmented by space AI or seeing them in fintech, you’re seeing them in media and then it allows you if you’re interested in one of those segments. Flow through, go to that specific, have the conversations, and you’re also seeing people in different stages, so alpha, being earlier stage beta growth, I think scale and then with that even say you’re an investor and you’re depending on what sort of round you’re investing in. You can do that if you’re looking for jobs, maybe you want to go further along towards the more growth stage. Companies who are on an upward trajectory. Possibly hiring so lots of really good ways that they’ve sort of organized this for.
Quality conversations and for focusing on the people that you actually want to talk to so. I’m trying to think if there’s anything else there. I just overall the take away was that there’s a lot of amazing people working on incredible things and very passionate about that, and I think there’s some people who are further along, and they’ve done really well. Other people are just starting this company, and maybe they really early or even they’re a bit in and they’re not taking the same. You know, pay, cut, or pay that they would if they were working at it. Come and they’re still so enthusiastic. They’re passionate. They’re sharing their networking, they’re connecting, and they’re doing their best to meet other people. I would say in general.
There is some of this interesting time in the market right now, so there’s a mix of enthusiasm and mix of, you know, a little bit of fear. A little bit of desperation, but all that comes together to create sort this manic chaotic fun energy that was very transparent throughout both the you know, the actual conference days and then after hours that event as people tried to figure out you know where? Where should I spend my time after hours? Who should I connect with? Where are the investors at all those kind of things that started to reveal themselves throughout? So just in general a couple of touch.
Points on this idea of like getting value from the conference. There are very systematic way to do it. One of the ones that I didn’t do a good enough job would be to connect with people before. So collision has a great app here I can touch on this a little bit. And you know, basically really nicely organized. You can scan people with the the key chain that they have, and then you’ve got all their details. And at the end you can export that into a CSV and reconnect with everyone. So what you can do though is pre before the conference. You can actually reach out to these people and set up meetings. So there was a lot of people who had entire days scheduled out for meetings where you know I had a bunch that had sort of set up sort of naturally and then through investor meetings and things like that. But I think there’s a much more intentional way that you can set that up, so I think that’s one way, it’s pretty.
Set the schedule because you know you might not see these people in person again, so I think that’s a really worthwhile thing to consider, and I think you know, even sending these little messages during the actual conference would be valuable too, especially if they just come off stage. Do something like that. The other piece I would say is that you are, you know, you need to make notes and organize the people that you’re talking to. So saying I think during the conference maybe ended up with like 100 and 5200 people scanning my thing and we connected through this application. Out of those lots of great I mean everyone very good conversations. Interesting, but it’s a couple ones that you’re sort of prioritizing over over them and making sure that you’re following up on and making a note. Maybe once just a friend versus ones possible business or customer once a possible investor, once a possible partner as quickly as you kind of think, make a little note on who those people are, and then make sure that you then follow up relatively quickly. I should probably be doing some follow up today. We’re going to see if that happens, or at least early next week so that that momentum continues.
And all this you know information and excitement. Enthusiasm is not lost and sort of fades into the abyss as people met, you know, hundreds and hundreds of people throughout the week, so a couple other things that were really interesting was lucky enough to get into a WhatsApp group and it was sort of. It was called the Collision Party bus and within that then a Google sheet was organized and with that Google sheet there was all the events and so all of a sudden there’s these events that I have never heard of. It wasn’t part of this WhatsApp group in this Google sheet with the exact location, Eventbrite, link or whatever it was. If it was sold out.
If you needed to be a certain kind of person to get in there and that allowed us to then navigate to sort of, I would say the best events that we’re on, at least from our perspective. They all turned out fantastic, and without that there wasn’t. So this real time insight into what was happening and where the place to be was fantastic, so I know there’s a conference coming up in Montreal Startup Fest. A lot of people speaking highly of it. There’s already a WhatsApp group forming with that where they’re organizing. Figuring out what the best events are, and so I definitely recommend trying to find an into one of those as quickly as you can.
Then everything else, just sort of rolls, rolls itself out, so a couple other pieces, I think just from the value perspective, as when you are exhibiting and I do believe it’s worthwhile to exhibit, especially at the conference. Like this, you start to get people who are gravitating towards your area because they’re interested in it and you’re asking you very hard questions. And those hard questions make you more refined, make you more crisp and for myself, I ended up in a little bit of a sweet spot of a quick explanation to help people understand what we do so that it was very. A very short, concise and then went from sometimes abstract explanations at the start to much more concrete for people to understand the use cases that we’re serving and the kind of customers that we serve. So that refinement that happens very quickly when you’re seeing real time feedback is a wonderful value ad that can then translate to you know things, conversations that are moving forward outside of this. Next time I end up in person with people or just in zoom calls when someone’s trying to ask what we’re doing so.
Lots of those things. I think that value will continue to sort of evolve, and I’ll understand that. And as I look back and sort of scan through some of the people and then also have follow-up conversations, more and more value will then come out of the conference. So I think like anything’s follow-up is such a crucial part of creating value, maintaining value, and I do recommend for anyone to make sure you do reach out before this all fades away because it was a ton of information. A couple things after hours, so after hours events very important.
I would say possibly, you know as important or more important than the main event itself, so I’m just going to see if I can pull this up and do a little summary of that. We’ve got it here. Yeah beautiful, so there’s starting to update. You can see they’re already selling 2023 out, but a couple events Grand Bazaar the Monday after opening night. A little bit too cold, but lots of good connections there and it was interesting. You see at certain events that I’m very like there was a lot of students at this event, so it seems like maybe some of the executives some of the investors were somewhere else and that that part wasn’t in the group and so you start to, you know you start to have these organized groups of.
The normal people like us and then maybe they’re more VIP and then people are trying to gravitate and find those VIP. Same thing here with the Distillery District and what I really love and just to sort of touch on this was you sort of take your city for granted. You take where you live for granted and I had some amazing conversations with people who had come from all over talking about how much they loved their experience here in Toronto. How much they enjoyed the city, how nice the people are and we do sort of take that for granted sometimes, and so that’s something I’m you know, really grateful for to just hear that. Feedback because you get so caught in your own head and mind, sometimes about. You know all I wanna be somewhere else and then you have some you know. Really powerful moments. Talk to some African startups who their friends couldn’t make it because of visas. Talked to someone who had just been forced out of Ukraine into Canada. And and how grateful they were for that and and and where they had come from. And then also the different kind of challenges that they’re facing in the life versus a lot of people who are in this tech space and.
You know, very privileged to be able to work on the kind of problems that they’re working on, so that was definitely something that I took away from this, and I’m grateful. And even today sort of going for a walk before this, you know, felt that felt that gratefulness of where I live and where what, what a privilege it is to be. And I’m just a couple notes around there. As like after hours are important, you need to pace yourself. I saw WhatsApp messages four in the morning and I thought wow, but these people were the ones making great connections. Having fun.
Partying, and sometimes those moments are where you make the deepest connections and so definitely people thrived on that and saw the stock market where one of the events where it turned a little bit loose and people were dancing and then the next day I see them still 8 in the morning. You know back at the event and having a great time and drinking lots of coffee and I sort of learned that there are people who are made for this are people who that this is their job and there’s a lot of ways that you can make these conferences truly valuable and it depends on. How you approach it? What you want to do and what you want to get out of it, and I think just like anything, if you set goals, you’re going to be set up for more success so quickly. I think I’ve got a couple other things that I’ll just share. I’ve got some images here, Lauren and I, I collision, nice little smile. It was actually a pretty good one after hours. So this was the first night here and we’re sort of watching the stream. Many people had left the opening hours and then were just at the event. This was a very blurry picture, somewhat representative. Maybe the mind state of myself at this time. Lots of free drinks.
Throughout the week, and this was that, an incredible art gallery where I ended up. I’m sorry this is a very blank picture, barely not even talking to anyone, which is sort of not even just kidding. I talked to lots of people, but I was looking at the art and $20,000 paintings and like how I don’t know how I ended up. This was a relatively VIP event. Ended up here and just had one of those moments like don’t think I’m supposed to be here, but I’m going to suck it in like I can one other really interesting. So see these master classes and I think these master classes are valuable. They’re a little deeper, dives and a little bit more tactical.
So this was Neil Patel digital for anyone in marketing. You know you love Neil Patel. And so it was great to he was actually at the conference. I didn’t get to see him speak even though I would have loved to and they opened the Canadian division. These guys gave some great tactical advice and so we really enjoyed the master classes. There were a little tighter, more compact, but some great information than the ability to ask questions. So I think any time where you can get a little bit of engagement and a little bit more focused, they did like opt lesson some optimizing over 500 sites. Lots of insights from that. So this was at that stack.
Market starting to get a little bit more loose, a little bit more fun. Great time there. Right down in town in Toronto and you can see just how many people are coming to this. Brian Gold from hashtag paid. One of the companies that really stuck out at followed them for a long time and talked about how you can use crater market and leverage that for growth and marketing. Especially as the marketing environment changes and was one of the more crispy. Like just know their value proposition. No much so much. They know the use case they know where the value is like it was really.
A master class in understanding a business. Understanding the market, understanding your customer and really took a lot of inspiration from that, especially following all right. You’re just the closing time of the collision. You can see it’s you can see the lot less busy than it was over the last few days. Lucky that we got to do the first day of exhibiting lots of foot traffic and computer great conversations. And I know today wasn’t as much as a couple of the self out.
Self apart and then draw people. And some people were given food. Some people had swag. All those different things. And then there’s a nice picture. Lauren Bats and I on the first night so really happy. A couple of other images there. Yeah beautiful, this was right after our day. You can see our little sign so if you’re in the alpha program, that’s what the sign looks like and lots of great exhibits. Lots of good stuff going on. Glad to spend some time with two coworkers and two friends who we’ve done a lot.
A lot, a lot of work together, and it was overall wonderful experience. You have the fun stuff with all the networking, but then you have just great moments. There too, so a couple last things I’d recommend, like what we liked was doing the dedicated page, so this might not serve too much purpose now, but send people to this page with a QR code and then we also started collecting some collision memories that we’re going to build into a little bit of a highlight reel and do a report on. So I’m at the end of my time here just overall again, grateful. I’m sure I can go on for this more, but I try to bucket things into 15 minutes and I got through a lot pretty quickly. This is my review of collision.
2022 I hope to be back in 2023. Have any questions? Any thoughts if you’re interested in attending? Never. I’m not a representative of it, but please feel encouraged to send me a message and just remember sometimes how lucky you are to be in the situation you are. It’s it’s a blessing and I felt that this week connecting with the Toronto community, connecting with the tech community from all over the world and just wonderful to spend some time with good people feel at home as yourself and be able to explore, have interesting conversations, build relationships.
Eight friends that I haven’t seen in a long time and learn, get inspired and grow. Thank you so much. This is mentally riding.