Barcelona is a big city with an even bigger community. Startup founders and students alike can take advantage of the huge number of different networking events, conferences and meetups that take place all throughout the year.
Here are 5 networking tips and 5 excellent startup events to kick start your spring!
Do your research before the event
Networking can be quite intimidating, especially when you are in a room full of strangers. One way around this is to research the event on social media ahead of time. Head to local Facebook groups, Meetup events pages and LinkedIn and post a message or two asking who else will be attending.
You’ll be sure to find lots of others who are going to attend and are excited to meet you. Exchange contact details and arrange to chat during the event. Breaking the ice is much easier this way and you’ll also have the chance to research what people do ahead of time
It’s easy to show up at a networking event, watch a talk and enjoy a glass of wine. While you can make good contacts this way, you might also come away feeling that you have wasted your evening.
Make sure you know why you are attending and what you want to get from the experience. If you’re a student, for example, you might be looking for internship opportunities. Look for people who work in areas and industries that you are interested in and ask for their advice. They may introduce you to someone, or even have an opening themselves.
With business objectives in mind, your conversations will be more focused and productive – just be sure not to be too forceful.
Take the initiative
Don’t expect people to walk up to you and start chatting. Networking success depends on your confidence to walk up to a stranger, hold out your hand and introduce yourself.
It sounds tough, especially if you consider yourself to be a little more introverted than average, but you just have to remember that everyone else is in the same boat. Many people are relieved when someone else takes the initiative. As the evening goes on, it will become easier and easier as people start to introduce each other to new groups of people.
You spend a good part of the evening breaking the ice with other people. While you have a job to do – and some clear objectives – remember that people are also there to relax and have fun – and it’s okay of you do the same.
Bring a partner…but don’t get clingy
If you feel you’re not up for a night of conversations with total strangers, it’s a good idea to take a friend, classmate or colleague who has similar objectives.
You’ll both feel more confident and at home if you know there’s someone there to support you. Check in with them occasionally and find out how things are going, but make sure you don’t find yourself chatting to that one person all night.
Without a doubt the most important thing about networking is how you follow up afterwards. Connect with your contacts via email or LinkedIn and send a message saying how you enjoyed meeting them.
If you want to be especially slick, refer back to your conversation and send them an interesting and relevant resource, article, or website. They are more likely to remember you and you will have shown yourself to be a proactive person too!
5 Barcelona networking events not to miss this April
1. Guiri Business Drinks
Guiri Business is a regular Barcelona networking event. The next edition is being held on the 18th April at BlackLab BrewHouse – Plaça de Pau Vila.
The relaxed atmosphere is an ideal place to start your networking journey and you’ll be sure to meet lots of interesting entrepreneurs and startups. It’s completely free and you even get a free beer – just make sure you sign up online before you go!
2. Startup Grind 4th Anniversary Event
Taking place on the 19th April at 18:30 at the Antiga Fàbrica Estrella Damm, Startup Grind’s Barcelona chapter is celebrating its 4th anniversary.
After an open round of micro pitches, there will be a series of startup interviews, a keynote address and a panel discussion. The event will wrap up with a networking session and some beers fresh from the brewery.
3. EU Startups Summit Event Tickets
On Tuesday 24th April, from 10:00 to 18:00 at Auditori AXA the EU-Startups Summit 2018 will unite European startup founders, corporates, investors and more.
Other than a great place to meet like-minded people and seek out opportunities, attendees will able to take part in pitch competitions, talks and fireside chats – and networking, of course.
4. Travel Tech Meetup
The Travel Tech Meetup is happening on Thursday April 26th 18:30 to 21:30 at Makers of Barcelona (MOB) on Carrer Bailen 11.
Alongside the lively networking event, you’ll get to watch presentations from the leaders of Datumize, App in the Air and the founder of nuk consultants.
5. Startup My Rooftop Beach Front
Startup My Rooftop Beach Front is going ahead on Sunday April 29th from 16:00 to 23:30 at the Catwalk Terrace, 2-4 Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas.
This popular afterworks drink is complete with live music, talks and a speed networking session. Grab a cool beer on a beach front rooftop and meet other startup enthusiasts and budding entrepreneurs.