Most events are a waste of time!

As you might know, I’m now living in Dubai and there are tons of events for startups every week and almost in a daily basis. To be honest most of the events are a waste of time. Focus in building your business better than you go to events. The worst events (aka conferences) are the ones that you need to travel to go to them. Such a big waste of time and money! Especially the ones that convince you that you’ll find investors, pitch your idea and give you a booth to meet media and PR. These events are now everywhere around the world and most of them are just waste of time and a big distraction.

It’s rare to find an event were I learn something useful that I can use in real life. Most of them have a fancy title and when you go you find the talk is pretty general and you end up learning nothing!

Of course not all events are a waste of time, especially if you know what you want to take out of them. For example Mix N Mentor from Wamda is pretty good, especially if you are a new startup. It’s a good opportunity to meet interesting people that might help you with your startup and great way to find mentors and advisors. If you are going to a talk about for example SEO, and the speaker is super amazing then yeah maybe you can learn something there. Or if the event is a great way to find customers, then hell yeah, you probably should attend. Heavy technical events are pretty good as well if you are looking for a technical co-founder or a potential hire.

One more example when events become useful is when you are in a new city or town and you need to build your network quickly, then yeah events are pretty useful. Go to as many as you can until the faces get repeated then you know that you have a good network and you can stop going to them.

I’m saying that and I’m the founder of StartupQ8 Event, so controversial right! Well, if you are a startup and between attending the event and working on your startup, then I’d recommend you check what is the subject of the event and who are the speakers. If it’s not interesting enough then don’t come, no issues, we understand that you should focus in your startup. It’s a challenge for us, we need to make the content of the event super useful so that it is worth your time. Moreover, we are very sensitive to time, if you are a regular StartupQ8 attendee you’ll realize we always start on time and finish on time even if Obama is going to speak at our event!

In short, events are over rated and sucks most of the time; don’t go to them unless you know exactly what you want to get out of them.

If you disagree please write in the comments, will love to hear your feedback 🙂

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3 Comments

  1. Please abdullah i need to chat with you a little
    About some business in dubai i hope you can help me and advice me your experience will give me a great push to the front thanks wish you a good future my name is fahad kuwaity
    Mobile// 0096565090830 email// fd84@live.com please contact me in your free time even if what’s up takecare bro

    Reply
  2. Since I’m living in Dubai as well, yet I almost attend all events happening, here are my thoughts:

    1. Yes, the speaker is very important, and the reason is, otherwise you’d be bored and leave before “something interesting happens”.
    2. I’ve met the best coworkers I know in Dubai at events. To me, it’s much like your approach to commenting. Interesting things happen in events, not just the info dump the speakers does.
    3. Maybe this is just me, but try to stand out at events. Whether it be what you wear, where you sit, or by participating. Like minded individuals can’t communicate through telepathy.

    Reply

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