Large investors and well known funds can be caught only at personal meetings. Now there is an ICO boom, therefore the most effective method is not to visit them individually, but to hold field-specific conferences where people who are interested in investments gather. Ideally you should start doing that three months before the ICO.
Due to the compressed timelines and the huge competition, it is difficult to arrange a productive road show. Here are three main problems and their solutions.
#1. The selection is too wide
The good news: there are a lot of events dedicated to blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The bad news: there are a lot of events dedicated to blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
To isolate those events related to the ICO field from the huge number of events is not easy. But if you don’t do this, there is a large risk of attending a highbrow conference where the speakers will discuss the future of cryptocurrencies—in the long run this, of course, is interesting but it’s not quite what a startup needs just before the ICO.
First of all you need to look at the visitors and speakers at the ICO—almost all significant events usually have this tab. Among them there should be private investors, fund representatives, and experts who often act as advisers at ICOs.
The next filter is to ask your advisers for advice. We already mentioned that in a balanced pool of investors there should be those that are versed in the crypto community, and these are the people to consult regarding a specific event.
One more method for evaluating an event is to check if there are pitch sessions in the program. Without them it will be difficult to pitch your product to investors.
And finally, it is important to examine the event organizers—there are people who are constantly working on ICOs and it is worthwhile to attend their events. For example, if Mike Costache (founder of the Blockchain Investors Consortium) or Michael Terpin (CEO Transform Group и Coinovate) are affiliated with a conference, you should reserve a place without question.
#2. Sponsorship packages are immediately sold out
There are conferences that are sold out a month in advance. Normally, you need to leave about two weeks before the event to purchase a sponsorship package and to prepare for problematic communications.
The fact is that events take place all around the world and it is practically impossible to synchronize with the organizers. And while the team is trying to connect with them, all of the necessary packages are already sold out. How do you deal with this?
The simplest option is to be online overnight and respond to the necessary emails immediately, when the event organizers on another continent are just beginning work. At the same time, this option is the least effective.
A more efficient method is to request a reserved place and explain that the event is important to the project and the team is in a serious mood. For example, Playkey makes such a request to the organizers of key events and demonstrates that it is preparing promotional materials for the specific conference. Organizers need for projects to be beautiful and large-scale, so they will take this into account.
Also, in correspondence with organizers it is important to not simply ask clarifying questions but also to describe scenarios for different answers. Let’s say: “If such a sponsorship package is available, then we are ready to take it. I attached our banking details, and you can immediately send the contract and invoice.” This will save time and you will not lose the opportunity to buy a place at the conference.
A couple of additional hints: it is a good idea to pay attention to the signature block in an email (the organizers themselves have good signature blocks with logos) and copy several team members in. This is another sign that the project is being seriously prepared for a specific conference.
And there is the heavy artillery. If all places at an event are sold out, you can turn to the advisers—they can check if a place for someone else has been reserved or not and help you get to the event.
#3. It is unrealistic to be everywhere
The necessary events have been selected, sponsorship packages have been purchased, but here’s a bad break—in order to attend all the events you have to, at the very least, get yourself tripled. In just the last month, Playkey participated in more than 40 conferences, meet-ups, forums, and summits. Of those, half of the meetings either overlapped each other or took place back-to-back in different countries—Europe, America, USA, China, Japan, Dubai.
So that important events are not missed, it is necessary to form a separate team of three to five people from top management. They focus on presenting the product. Each meeting should be attended by one, a maximum of two, people. If, even with this setup, there are still not enough people, you need to be ready to prepare a video presentation for a specific conference.
At first glance it seems that three months of travel by a team of three to five people is expensive. But the unique nature of ICO is that expenses can be recovered by one successful pitch. For example, for the large Coin Agenda Global: Bitcoin & Digital Currency Investors Conference in Las Vegas Playkey broke its rule and four people went to the meeting. Then after 30 minutes at the event site they reached an agreement with an investor who purchased $1 million worth of tokens at the pre-sale stage. And two hours later a friend of his called and offered a deal for several hundred thousand dollars. The project can expect such an opportunity at each field-specific event.
And of course, this isn’t only in the pre-sale—the road show needs to continue during the ICO also. And even more actively than before. See you in Hong Kong, Lisbon, New York, Amsterdam, Singapore, and other cities, where Playkey may be in November 2017.