There are a number of great “micro-cap conferences” held annually for micro-cap management teams, investors, and service providers. With dozens of events every year, micro-cap conferences are a great way to meet others in the micro-cap space. Some top events include the Marcum Micro-Cap Conference, SeeThru Equity Conferences, Noble Financial’s NobleCon, and LD Micro.
While micro-cap conferences are all pretty similar, these conferences have some unique characteristics when compared to other industry conferences (even VC/Private Equity conferences I’ve attended). Below I’ve listed 8 tips for attending micro-cap conferences.
1. Positive Attitude – As in life, attitude can make or break an event for you. I’ve met a lot of people at these events with attitudes at both ends of the spectrum. Having a positive attitude seems pretty obvious but I’ve met with people who very clearly don’t want to be at the event. They complain about their other meetings, the event in general, micro-caps, or the other people at the event. These conferences are your opportunity to show other professionals in the micro-cap space what you and your company are all about. Put on your game face and be positive!
2. 1-on-1 meetings – Nearly every micro-cap event offers 1-on-1 meeting for management teams and investors to meet. If you’re an investor or part of a public company’s management team, my advice is to have as many 1-on-1s as possible! When I started going to these conferences, I would schedule only a few meetings and plan on mingling and attending presentations the remainder of the time. Eventually, I realized the best way to get value out of these conferences was to schedule as many quality 1-on-1s as possible. Now when I go to these events, I do some high-level DD and schedule meetings with anyone I think might be a good fit. I also recommend accepting all of your meeting requests because maybe the requester saw a potential synergy that you didn’t notice. Lastly, if you’re requested for more meetings that you can’t attend, introduce another member of your team. The goal is to spend as much time as possible meeting people and the easiest way to do that is to plan to meet in advance!
3. Have a Plan – Ask yourself, why am I attending this conference/what are my goals? Once you establish your goals, put together a plan for reaching them. I’ve found the value of any conference increases exponentially with just a little bit of planning. For more tips on preparation, check out these links from Axial.net: “pre-conference checklist” and “How to Master Industry Conferences & In-Person Meetings“.
4. Share with Connections – Most conferences are held in large coastal cities — the same cities where many of your contacts, supporters, and shareholders are located. Many of those connections may already plan on attending the event or may decide to attend the event to meet with you! PR it, tweet it, blast it, blog it, etc. Attending these conferences are something to talk about and a reason to catch up with old connections. The best part is, letting your connections know you will be there will allow you to schedule a meeting in advance and get them thinking about others in their network they can introduce you to at the conference!
5. Bring the Team – If you do it right, your schedule will fill up fast. Bring the team with you so they can carry some of the load. Don’t be afraid to split up! Do 1-on-1s on your own, eat lunch at separate tables, and mingle in small groups or solo (you’re much more approachable when you are on your own than when you are huddled in the corner with your colleagues).
6. Talk to sponsors – Talk to service providers and other companies with sponsor booths. They spent a lot of money to set up a table and talk to people like you! These are easy introductions and a good way to warm up your mingling skills. Find out how they can help you and how you can help them. The sponsors probably already know a lot of people and are also meeting a lot of new people. Wouldn’t these sponsors be a great group to add to your network?
7. Talk to Media – From micro-cap specific media to mainstream financial publications, there will be some level of media presence at all of these events. Don’t be shy! Find out what they are doing/looking for and if they would be interested in interviewing you. If you are a presenting company, you are often given the option to webcast your presentation – dot it!
8. Follow Up – Always follow up with everyone you meet, even if there doesn’t appear to be a fit. Following up via email solidifies yourself in their network because next time you email them they will easily be able to look you up to see how they know you/where you met. It’s also a good time to add them on LinkedIn. For more advice on following up, check out this post on Forbes HERE.
The great thing about these conferences is that they bring micro-cap investors, companies, and service providers from across the country together in one place. Attending with your “A-game” will allow you to meet more people during the few days at the event than you may meet the rest of the year!
Ben Kotch is a managing director and investment committee member at Acquis Capital, LLC, a private investment firm that specializes in acquisitions. He has extensive experience with both private and public companies. Ben graduated with an economics degree from Bentley University where he concentrated in entrepreneurship and law.
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