The Newbie’s Guide To Attending Stream

In late November I received an innocuous looking mail, inviting me to attend an ‘un-conference’ in Jaipur. It was a three day, all-expenses paid experience. The hosts were Harsh Mariwala and Ranjan Kapoor with the promise that there would be no panels, no pitches and no suits. With nothing to lose, I dived in, head-first.

The Ubiquitous “I AM NEW” Label

Like most folks at Stream, it was my first time there. If you’re wondering how to get the most out of your Stream experience, here are some things that worked for me.

Sign up early and engage early. This is a no-brainer. You’ve got an all-expense trip to meet incredible thinkers at a stylish venue — what’s there to contemplate? I’d add that committing to the entire 3 days (and 3 nights) at Stream significantly enhances your experience, because the vibe at this ‘unconference’ constantly evolves and gets enhanced over three days. The other advantage of signing up early is that you get first dibs at discussing topics that are close to your heart. Just block those three days as soon as you get the invitation.

Host a session. In my opinion, the core of the Stream experience is in hosting a session. The thing that amazed me the most at Stream was the high levels of engagement by everybody. Just like you, your fellow attendees are smart, articulate and opinionated. But they’re also respectful and this is a low-risk opportunity to express yourself. You can bounce off your ideas, share your expertise, cook a meal at the midnight kitchen, be creative like a kid, immerse yourself in the latest in tech and a lot more.

Network. I’ve been for hundreds of conferences. I can confidently say that the participant list at Stream is so incredibly curated, that it’s unlikely you’ll meet a spectrum of folks as diverse, fun and articulate as this anywhere else. The participants at Stream are a mix of CEOs, CMOs, media companies, startups, WPP employees and WPP clients. In short, it’s a smorgasbord of folks who’re doing interesting things in the world. One of the best things about Stream is that nobody’s there to pitch business, making conversations organic.

Wake up early. Sleep late. Each day starts early with an optional fitness session, with your fellow Streamers. The day is moderate in its intensity with eight sessions running in parallel. Make sure that you pace yourself and save a lot of energy for the evenings. The opening evening is relaxed and allows for you to get oriented with Stream. If you’re a woman, make sure you attend the Ladies only cocktail hour with the Director of Stream. The second night is pure royalty, with the red carpet rolled out at the Amber Fort. No spoilers here; just make sure you don’t miss this! The final night was my favourite — there’s a sense of camaraderie that emerges after you’ve experienced Stream with 300 other folks. With the band in full swing, and the Midnight Kitchen turning out some amazing bites (and drinks), your conversations will run late into the night. With luck, you’ll head straight to the airport from there.

Meet the folks behind Stream. Finally, make sure that you get to meet the WPP team members who’ve put together Stream. Each one of them works on Stream in addition to their day jobs. They’re an amazing bunch of folks who are always on top of things and ever ready to help.

Stream Is Unlike Anything Else

I’m sure that your Stream experience will be one of those pleasant memories that lingers on, long after you’ve experienced it. The magic of Stream is something that’s hard to articulate. It needs to be experienced.

Siddharth Mangharam
Founder & CEO, Floh
Floh is a tech-driven platform that builds curated communities for like-minded people to meet in the real world. We’re a Forbes Top 5 Startup.

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