5 Tips to Get the Most Out of TwitchCon in San Francisco

TwitchCon is almost here! Here are some useful tips to maximize your time in San Francisco and help you make valuable networking contacts.

1. Your TwitchCon elevator pitch

This first step to maximizing your experience at TwitchCon is to perfect your pitch. Who are you? What do you stream? What are your streams like? What can you offer?

Different types of streamers, businesses, and attendees will have different types of pitches. If you’re wanting new viewers, you’ll want to approach it from an entertainment value perspective. If you’re looking for sponsors, you’ll want to mention reach and engagement.

For example, here’s what we might say for Strats & Co:

Strats & Co. builds apps for content creators like you. We have a community of over 1500 members passionate about games, streaming, and making videos. We reach our audience through our forum, our weekly podcast and live stream, and our blog where we post about content production, streaming, and marketing.

This pitch leaves out a few great things that we do. Specifically, our awesome Twitch team! The key is to get it short and sweet though. You will have to leave out great things you want to share. Don’t worry though, a sign of a great elevator pitch is when the person you’re delivering it to asks more questions.

Here’s an example from one of our Team Strats streamers, Simply Undrea:

Hi, my name is Undrea and I’m a variety streamer. RPG’s, first person shooters, action/adventure or character-driven games… you name it, I play it. I like to keep things fresh and it shows in my growth. How many streamers can say they’ve retained 6% of their follower base whenever they go live? Each time you meet someone, you’ll learn something new about your pitch. What questions did they ask? How did they respond? Did they lose focus? Were they more interested in one part or another?

You will learn what parts of your pitch are clear or what parts didn’t convey your message well. After a few times, you should feel that your pitch is clear and get into a rhythm.

2. Set clear objectives

Be specific in your goals for this year’s TwitchCon. “Meet people” is not a specific enough objective. Why do you want to meet people?

Maybe your goal is to engage directly with 10 fans that already follow your channel. Another objective might be to secure 20 new Twitter followers who are Twitch influencers that regularly retweet. What about trying to get 5 people to sign up to be guests on your stream show and line up dates they’ll be available?

Setting a clear objective for your time at TwitchCon will ensure that you understand if you’re being successful. After all, at the end of the day you want a return on your investment. That includes both your out-of-pocket cost as well as your time.

3. Be a connector

Bring business cards if you can. How can you sum up your elevator pitch on a business card? Include the best and easiest way to contact you. Don’t expect people to take your business card and reach out. Give them a very clear path to reaching an objective that you can provide help with. The business card should be their ticket to getting it done.

Be approachable. Don’t spend your TwitchCon on your phone tweeting about meeting the awesome people at Team Strats. By keeping your head up, you’ll look more open and engaged. You will make it more likely that someone else who’s walking around looking for someone to talk to will approach you.

On the flip side, don’t be afraid to approach people yourself. Conferences like TwitchCon — and by that I mean tech conferences, of which I have been to a billion — are attended by people for the same reasons you’re there but a lot of times by people who are nervous about taking the first step. Know this.

You should feel free to walk up and introduce yourself. Ask what their Twitch username is and what kind of stuff they stream. Believe me, they’ll want to chat about it and that gives you a perfect opportunity to jump in with your elevator pitch and your card!

Inside the sessions, ask questions. Don’t be shy! You’re doing the speakers a favor when you get up and ask a question. I’ve attended many conferences as a speaker and there’s always that moment of gut wrenching anticipation mixed with panic when you think no one is going to get up to the mic and ask a question.

As an added benefit, you’ll be putting yourself in front of the other people sitting in on that session who want to connect. When they’re outside in the hall considering who to chat with, they will recognize you and since you’re going to be highly approachable (see what I did there?) it will be easy.

4. Follow up with contacts

So you’ve sat in on all the great sessions at TwitchCon, you’ve met a bunch of people, pocketed a ton of business cards, and followed a bunch of new people on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and whatever else you use. You jump on your flight home and prepare for Monday.

Now what? Follow up!

I like to do an immediate followup the day after the conference when everything is still fresh in people’s minds. However, most people won’t reply right away because they’re probably swamped with work on their first day back.

For this reason, my first followup is very low key. It’s just a note to say hello and that it was nice to meet them at TwitchCon over the weekend. Always reference something you talked about so they can remember you. That’s all.

After some time, unless they’ve immediately written back and started a longer conversation, reach out again with your objective and action based message. What can they do for you? Remember that thing we talked about collaborating on? Let’s do it!

5. Write In Tips

Here are some tips from others that have written in. Have something you’d like to add? Drop us a line!

Deaf and Hard of Hearing People at TwitchCon
Submitted by DeafGamersTV:

Ever see a person rapidly moving their hands in the air? Or when you start talking to a person and they point to their ears? Chances are, probably not.

Deaf and hard of hearing streamers/viewers are a small percentage, but we do exist. So, what do you do if someone is deaf?

Don’t run away! That’s awkward. While American Sign Language is mostly likely the best way to communicate with us, technology and creativity helps remove the language barrier.

First thing to keep in mind is that because we have little to no hearing, we rely on visual cues. Talking loudly isn’t effective, but waving or gently tapping us on the shoulder is. While some of us may be able to lip read, typing on a smart phone or writing is a great medium. Unfortunately, Siri isn’t a good interpreter. She means well, but we’re sure there are times when she is… less than accurate.

Ok, yay. You realize we’re deaf, and we’ve started using text messages to communicate. This is awesome! We’re feeling good and… Oh. You feel sorry for us because we’re deaf. Now this is awkward. Question, do you feel “disabled” when you see a prodigy? Deafness does not make us less than human. While we may have some obstacles, that doesn’t mean we can’t find a way! Most games have subtitles. We can type in chat while we stream. Sometimes other viewers volunteer to transcribe (type what is heard) for us.

Every deaf/hard of hearing person is different, and we encourage you to strike up a conversation with us! You may find that we are just as passionate about our hobbies as you. Want to learn some basic ASL? Check out our channel, DeafGamersTV for some lessons! Missed a session or want to review? That’s ok, we upload all of our streamed lessons on our YouTube channel.

Bonus. Say hello to us!

Ok, this isn’t exactly a tip but it would be great to meet some new friends at TwitchCon! Follow @StratsCo on Twitter and ping us to link up!

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