How to Forge Valuable Connections at Shopify Unite 2019
This year marks the fourth Shopify Unite conference; an annual gathering of Shopify partners and developers who come together to discuss the future of commerce technology, to connect with like-minded peers and to celebrate shared achievements. If forging useful connections for future partnerships is your main objective for attending the conference (June 18-20th in Toronto, Canada) here are some useful tips to help you make the most of the event.
Do plenty of preparation beforehand
Start networking with your business goals in mind before Shopify Unite takes place. Find out as much as possible about which companies are attending and reach out to the ones you want to connect with to see if they would be interested in exploring opportunities with you. Don’t leave important meetings to chance - use a tool such as Calendly to schedule meetings with prospective partners in advance. As you’re reaching out, mention what you want to discuss and how you think a collaboration between you both could work. Figuring out who is attending the conference can be tricky if you don’t have an attendee list. As the first point of call, contact the event organizers and ask for access to the list. If that’s not possible, dig around in the Shopify community forums, and post in relevant Facebook groups and on Twitter to glean such information.
Send the right personnel to the conference
Consider who the best person in your team might be for the task of making useful connections. Send someone who is comfortable with networking, and who also has expert knowledge of your company’s product/services. That might well be yourself! Work on your elevator pitch so that you can quickly summarize what you do and what you want to get out of a possible connection. As well as participating in pre-planned meetings, you (or your representative) should take advantage of as many networking opportunities as possible while at the event. Partner Day, which is on June 18th, involves happy hour networking events hosted around the city, plus there will be ample time for networking during the 2-hour lunch breaks on the other days. Here’s the full Shopify Unite schedule for your information.
As a minimum, take business cards along to the event, and perhaps a small leaflet, brochure or even some type of giveaway if you want to make a lasting impression. Don’t leave a conversation without giving your prospective connection something to take away. Likewise, if you’re talking to someone new at Shopify Unite, make sure you take their business card or something that you can use to follow up with them after the event. Be active on social media while you’re there, in particular on Twitter, and comment on the things you’ve learned or found interesting in the workshops, at the round tables, or from the keynote speakers. You may then also find yourself having useful dialogues online. Use the hashtag #ShopifyUnite to get your tweets/posts seen by the right people!
Follow up after the conference
When you get back to base, make a note of who you’ve met with or spoken to, and the outcome of your conversations. The networking you’ll do at Shopify Unite is just the first step in forming positive relationships with valuable business contacts. When you’ve been out at a conference for a few days, you’ll no doubt be facing a backlog of emails and work tasks when you get back. However, following up with your new contacts is crucial if you’re serious about creating new partnerships. So make a commitment to add connections to your database and send a follow-up email within three days.
ConnectPlus is all about partnerships
ConnectPlus is a brand new, totally free advertising platform for Shopify developers - look out for news about it at Shopify Unite. If you’re a developer looking to get more exposure for your app without spending money, or if you’re trying to advertise multiple apps at the same time, this is the platform for you. ConnectPlus works as a banner advert exchange platform, where developers can advertise their apps for free, by promoting partnering developers’ adverts in return. Read about how it works to support the Shopify Developer Community in this case study. Why not book a slot in our Calendly diary to meet up at Shopify Unite? We’ll show you exactly how ConnectPlus works and maybe we can start a partnership of our own.
Shopify Unite 2019 - opportunities await!
Shopify Unite is an exciting conference and one that’s incredibly useful for those attendees looking to create future partnerships. Follow our tips above to ensure you take full advantage of the many networking opportunities you’ll have available to you.