It’s almost time for what will be an awesome, exhausting, motivating, kinda scary, fun, educational, and inspirational weekend. You’ll meet so many amazing folks. You’ll freak out a few times. You’ll be so ready to rock investor meetings. You’ll take tons of notes and learn so much. So how in the hell does one prep for such a weekend? Fear not. We’ve got a list for you.
Top 10 Things to Do to Prep for PBC Austin!
1. Get a notebook and pen. It’s fine if you’re armed with an iPad and iPhone but you are going to want to take notes—old school style. Between the speakers and mentors and other attendees, having a handy notebook at the ready is key. If you find one with a little pocket, you can stash business cards (yours and new contacts) instead of jamming them into your pockets.
2. Get your pitch ready. I recorded my pitch (for my entry into the pitch competition) in the bathroom at the Pepsi Center about 20 minutes before it was due. Honestly. No one was using the facilities (ewww) but it was stressful and awkward and I wish I ‘d prepared something ahead of time. We’ve got some tips on how to Rock the Pitch here. Don’t talk yourself out of it, either, if you are in the early stages of your company. Regardless of where you are in the ‘trep stage, it’s good to practice.
3. Think about mentors. This is such a critical step. Sherri (who is our PBC rock star program manager) sent out the list of mentors with their bios. Take some time and read through each bio and decide if they have the skill set that aligns with the needs of your business or idea.
4. Post about it! I learned a new term from my teenage daughter: Flexing. It’s basically bragging on social media. So you need to Flex about going to PBC. We want the world to see and meet the awesome humans (that’s you!) who are a part of our family. Be sure and tag us, too, and use #PBCATX.
5. Make connections on LinkedIn and Twitter. It’s not stalking. It’s connecting and it’s perhaps the most important aspect of the weekend. Connections will get you everywhere. When you get the list of attendees and mentors (see above), start looking at their LinkedIn bios and reach out. That way when you get to Austin, you can say, “hey, we are LinkedIn connected and I just wanted to say hi in person.”
6. Follow PBC on Insta, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook! We post awesome stuff all the time including helpful blog posts, news about alumni, mentor spotlights, and more. I’m giving you permission to STALK US! And alum, keep us posted on what’s happening with you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with updates.
7. Pay attention to the tracks. The weekend will include some options for tracks to attend during the weekend. Choose wisely. Maximizing your time is critical so talk with others about which tracks they are attending and why. Denver PBC, for example, had a startup track and a product track. If you’re unsure which one to attend, check in with PBC leads who can help you.
8. Figure out what you are wearing. PBC is business casual. Don’t go crazy shopping but keep in mind that you’ll be meeting with mentors, potential investors, and/or co-workers. That means nice, dressy jeans and a blazer are totally okay. What you’re wearing will carry over to the evening social events so comfortable shoes are a must. And bring a jacket … BRRR! It’s always cold.
9. Business cards. You’ll want business cards so check out vistaprint.com, moo.com, zazzle.com, or officedepot.com. Include your name, email, cell, business logo/name and LinkedIn profile (this is good for those of you who are in idea stage).
10. Evening social. The PBC team organizes awesome socials so get ready to relax and have a beer. These events are perfect opportunities to chat up fellow attendees and hear their story. You just never know who you’ll end up meeting!
You will be mentally exhausted after the weekend but you will leave with knowledge, inspiration, ideas, plans, new friends, and so much more.