Our Insights and Tips from 4YFN @ MWC
Once again one of the biggest events of technology and innovation has passed, after bringing an enormous crowd of brilliant and interesting people to sunny Barcelona. For four days, the city was additionally vibrant and full of excitement. We had our fair share of the hectic weekly work schedule as we kept running between the office to 4YFN (4 Years From Now) to MWC19 and networking meetings.
So much to discover!
The agenda of 4YFN focuses on empowering startups and public institutions, connecting them with each other and investors. It’s a great opportunity to meet people and businesses who are focusing on growth and innovation. The exhibition area for startups and organizations was very well organized, enabling attendees to observe each of them comfortably and take their time and space to talk, without having any of them out of sight. It was possible to find startups from different sectors, from various SaaS companies to health and apps and products, all developing interesting solutions to their users.
It was also nice to notice all the municipality, government and state support to the event as well as to national and regional companies. The support of the Barcelona Municipality was evident in every aspect of the event, from the extra transportation to the announcement support in public areas. There were also special stands for national and regional companies. I have to admit that it was impressive to see the amount of Spanish and Catalan companies that have a strong presence in various industries.
The conference agenda was quite interesting and diverse as well, especially for those interested in observing the latest advancements in big data, user experience, product development and changing business models. For us, the most interesting speeches and panel discussions were the ones on how to improve the system of self-managed teams in the workplace, big data and AI, and the scope of their impact, the future of dating industry and the increasing interest in health and wellness practices.
Women2Tech sessions on the agenda deserve special emphasis. The speeches were both very informative and empowering. We gained valuable insights. It is extremely important to have such initiatives, especially in areas like technological development, data analysis and management.
As a startup which continuously grows and creates new brands at the same time, this environment was certainly valuable for us. We learned beneficial information, met many brilliant people and got to know interesting startups. As well, attending MWC on its last day was another dimension of diving into technological development.
How to keep up with the pace and get the most out of it?
As anybody who attended at least one of these events would know, it’s always a hectic atmosphere and there are many things to do at the same time, most of the time. Keeping up and not missing opportunities might seem hard sometimes but it doesn’t have to be. We found great benefit in paying attention to a few certain details to make the most out of the event while not ignoring our daily operations or feeling exhausted with the rush.
The best and most important point is knowing your focus – and keeping it. Being flexible is always beneficial and vitally necessary. However, it’s doesn’t have to disrupt your concentration. The main aim of our visit was to learn and make connections. So, our personal rule was strict. We limited our screen time and focused on listening to more speeches and talking to people.
The size of the event posed another difficulty in spending enough time for conversation and observation. In all events of such scale, the amount of stands to visit and the vast agenda can be overwhelming, or simply hard to only take away the key points. Therefore, attending as a group can be the biggest help. It means we could split up, each attend something interesting, and later share and discuss the various speeches and booths we liked. This way we could spend more time exploring the event.When we share the activities and tasks we were able to spend more quality time at the event.
Our final tip is about self-care. Yes, it is always exciting to meet so many new people, learn about new industry developments, and get results for your business. But pushing yourself to the limits and not taking a break won’t help your performance. So, take proper breaks to rest, don’t neglect your nutrition and bring some snacks, don’t get dehydrated, carry your water bottle with you all the time. Wellbeing at work has become a very serious topic, thankfully, but we still have a lot to learn about putting it properly into practice.