What it takes to organize a kick ass startup/tech event in India – Part 2

We had an amazing start! Last week was nothing less than a roller-coaster. Dozens of phone calls, countless tweets & hundreds of email messages. The entire Triggr crew was in chaos. This being our first event, we were hoping about 50 attendees would show up and we were prepared for that. But when we saw the number of attendees rising and people started asking about media partnerships, we were amazed. That’s when we realized what amazing potential a good tech event has.

We got amazing responses when we started tweeting and talking to people about the agenda, especially the part when we told them that there won’t be any funding talks or VC discussions. We found the Delhi startup crowd much more enthusiastic than us, the organizers. We are proud and worried at the same time. Proud because we have been able to locate the sweet spot between interesting tech talks and boring startup events. Worried because, honestly, we aren’t quite prepared for such overwhelming response in our first shot. That doesn’t mean we can’t handle it, it just means we need to make sure that we don’t compromise on the arrangement & everything just works.

So there have been some change of plans. The first thing we did was we stopped the registrants list at 200 and started dropping the new registrants into the waiting list. That was a smart thing to do, because that gave the attendees an idea that the maximum number of attendees we can accomodate is 200. And that the new registrants could know that we still need to confirm their entry. And then, yesterday evening, we sent the attendees a polite email requesting them to transfer their seats to someone from the waiting list in case they have any other plans for the day. We got a great response to that as well. Over a dozen people have already transferred their seats. Some of them had other plans & others had done multiple registrations by mistake.

The strange part is, it’s not that this is the only event being held in Delhi. Similar events keep happening. But we hardly get to hear something interesting there. Except some VCs & investors, there is nobody people want to meet and communicate. And that’s what the organizers expect us to do. And that’s seriously wrong! This might sting a little but the organizers are at fault here.

August Stark mentioned,

“Stop calling these VCs who claim to be interested in the ecosystem. Instead, call those investors who are under the radar, but are really knee-deep in the game. VCs are in it for the razzmatazz and the free ego massage. They are not serious about doing any business at these events.”

He is brutally honest & I couldn’t agree more.

Anyway, now back to our current status. As of today, 5th April 2011, we have 200 registrants, over 80 attendees on the waiting list, 7 media partners, 8 speakers and we have 3 days for the event. About equipments, we have a 1080p projector, 8mbps broadband connection, an auditorium with a capacity of 90 people, tools for livestreaming the event and 7 passionate curators working their asses off for the event. We tested our microphones and speakers in the early afternoon today, and it went great! Now we are even more excited about the whole event. Right now we are distributing tasks and responsibility among the organizers and volunteers for the D-day.

3 days to go! We can’t wait to meet you at Triggr!

This post is the second part of a series of posts about the story & people behind the Triggr event. Click here to read the first part. Subscribe to get the remaining parts delievered directly to your feed reader. The Triggr team: @arunpattnaik (me), @aristo, @digbijoy, @sparklinguy, @1ndus, @poojakashyap & @pacificleo

Written by Arun Pattnaik