Making the most of SaaStock 2022: Tips from an insider, Jovi Pinon

We speak to Jovi Pinon, startup program lead at SaaStock, on how to make the best of the three-day event.

Making the most of SaaStock 2022: Tips from an insider, Jovi Pinon

It’s that time of the year when pumpkin is in everything you eat, and Disney’s Hocus Pocus tunes live rent-free in your head.

But it is also a crucial moment in SaaS. That’s right, it is time for SaaStock 2022!

Alex Thuema, started SaaStock purely based on his love for SaaS, which oozed onto his content (SaaScribe) and podcast (the SaaS Revolution). In his interviews with SaaS Mag, he says that building a community takes more patience than grit. Taking a snippet from that interview, he says,

“You’ve got to be genuine. You’ve got to be passionate. Otherwise, if you’re not passionate, you’re not going to make it into year four. Maybe year four is when it will start to take off. In order to find out, you’ve just got to keep going.”

Today SaaStock boasts a footfall in five digits and the creme de la of SaaS under one roof as a testament to his passion.

Their emphasis on people and human connections, whether in stalls or after-parties, makes SaaStock the gold standard of events. Not just that, but they are the epitome of success in community building.

What makes SaaStock, SaaStock?

Imagine being under the same roof as some people who have reshaped industries and disrupted markets. If only learning happened through osmosis!

Alex says SaaStock is like the Woodstock of SaaS. The multitude of events, the speaker list, the knowledge sharing, and the pub crawls orchestrated by SaaStock make it the right mix of fun and work.

With Startup week kicking off SaaStock 2022 and the line of talks, it's not only learning that happens. Everyone wants to put their best foot forward.

Businesses fight to solve your next big problem, and every visiting card in your pocket becomes a hopeful reminder of a converted lead.

In the land of guerilla marketing and strong beer, as tango lessons, cotton candy, and free Guinnesses fight to make a lasting impression on you, how does one stand out?

Stand out to fit in, lessons from a SaaStock insider.

As Trainn gears up for the event, questions about SaaStock gruelled us day and night.

So much so that one day we said, ‘No more!’ and decided to ask Jovi Pinon, who is a startup program lead at SaaStock, to help us end our misery.

Whether you're coming to SaaStock for the talks or showcasing your booth, here are some tips from a SaaStock insider on how to make the best out of SaaStock 2022.

Making the most of SaaStock 2022 from a SaaStock insider

At the core of Alex Theuma’s vision for SaaStock lies human experiences and interactions.

SaaStock may lead you to your next investor or business partner, but at the end of the day, it is a place to meet and learn from people who have either trodden the mud roads before you or happen to be a fellow passenger on the same jeep.

We profusely thank Jovi and the rest of the SaaStock team to have helped us by giving us an idea of what to expect and helping us share the word.

1. Networking at SaaStock: Forget the sales pitch, and find similarities.

Human connections are forged on similarities. You may not have the same wardrobe choices as someone, but you might have the same playlist on repeat just like them.

People come to SaaStock every year to tap into the wealth of human connections. Networking based on similarities is much easier at SaaStock, considering everyone is from the niche community of SaaS.

Jovi says,

“You don’t want to meet someone, have a chat with that someone for them just to sell you something. No one really wants that. The best form of networking is finding that common thread of thinking.”

The most successful networks are built on memorable conversations.

“People at SaaStock are pitched to so many times throughout the day. But it's the people that really understood them, connected with them, and enjoyed the same coffee or the same speaker. Those are the conversations that shine through the whole event.”

When asked Jovi for some insider tips on making the most out of networking at SaaStock, she said, “I always recommend Startup Day for networking. It’s a niche group of 200 founders and co-founders. If that is your target market, you should go for it, as it’s easier to network with 200 people than with 5000 people. That's something I always recommend.”

If you’re not attending the Startup Day, it is still okay.

Jovi stresses that networking happens through organic meetings. It's the people that you're sitting beside watching a show or the person in front of you at a queue outside a cafe. It's those conversations in the most unlikely places that make the best start of a relationship.

2. Making an impression: Winning with your booth.

You don’t need a popcorn machine to catch the attention of the people that walk by your booth. Although it helps, Jovi says a simple booth with enthusiastic people works best.

She says,

“The team you at your booth or the team that attends the conferences is your biggest power.  I always suggest rotating the people in your booth because you want people that are excited and full of energy all time around.”

According to Jovi, some of the stalls that have stood out to her are the ones that put her at ease. They are the businesses that understand the audience and their problems. They try to get to the root of why people have sought after them and see how they can genuinely help them with their product.

She also suggests being open to conversations with everyone. “Even if someone is not your target audience, you are likely share a similar journey which you can talk about. You might end up tapping into a network from an adjacent market for all you know."

3. The freebies conundrum: To go big or to go home.

Do you remember SaaStock 2019 when FullStory gave away free socks?

While spending extravagantly on merch might sound plausible for a company with deep pockets, startups are forced to think out of the box to bring merch that would speak for themselves (on a budget).

Jovi pitches in saying,

“When it comes to swag, either ends of the spectrum have worked. Smaller, practical swags have done really well, and on the other hand the larger ones with their big wow factors have worked equally well. It depends on timeliness and execution."

She says choosing the right merch for you would depend on who you’re looking to meet, what they are excited the most about, and kindling their attention to your merch by solving their problems.

Ultimately, if you stay true to what you seek, you will make an impression irrespective of a gaudy Guinness bottle or a pair of socks.

If you’re someone up for an adventure at SaaStock, come by Trainn’s stall (TR 07 at the Startup Zone) and pick up our zine. It is a treasure map of the human experience at SaaStock.

4. Networking at SaaStock: You already have it.

As most people look to grow their networks at conferences, the best way to build momentum is to tap into your existing network.

Jovi says,

“It's your network that really boosts you up at SaaStock. In a way, we depend on our attendees, our partners, and our startups' network to help get the word around as well.”

Drop in that message, and let us know where your booth is. But most importantly, let your existing network know that you’re part of SaaStock and let them introduce you to your next top customer.

5. The only tip you need: Be clear on your why.

At SaaStock, apart from networking, branding and exposure play equal roles. While its nice to meet people, it all depends on the goal of the business and what you want out of your SaaStock experience.

She says sometimes people tend to be bullish about the people they are meeting.

She adds,

“You can go out there and talk to 2000 people, but how many of those people will remember you? It’s more about the quality of the conversations that you're having and really getting to know the person. It's easier to get to know their product than throwing your product out there and then really not getting to know the person at all.”

To have a quality conversation, you need to know your deepest why, which is the problem your product tries to solve.

At Trainn, we took an oath to make customer education easy and accessible to everyone. We found that with the help of videos, we could get more customer-facing teams to curate and convey their responses better.

We would love to meet you at TR07 Startup zone if you are interested in discussing how video-first customer education works at every level of the organization or how having your academy can be a no-code experience.

Sinduja Krishnakumar

PUBLISHED ON: 10/17/2022