Everything has to have a "why", it's like oxygen or currency, or as Simon says, gold.
A whole host of great events have speakers and pitches and you name it, in fact, AFQY has been suggested to have speakers and pitches and just about everything an event can have, but I won't. It's not part of AFQY's Why.
So why does AFQY remain to be different, no speakers, no speeches, no presentations, no pitches? Because there are loads of good events out there doing just that, all for a similar what - to win business, to create clients. And they are good, I attend a lot of these events and in my B2B marketing I always talk about the fact that "All B2B marketing is aimed at getting a meeting between you and the prospect".
Which is why my B2B marketing is heavily (but not solely) related to getting people to events.
As mentioned above, it has been suggested to me about 2-3 years ago to include or allow pitches at AFQY and many years before that it was suggested to have speakers... "somebody or everybody already does that," I'd say, adding, "AFQY is about connecting with the person, getting to know them as a person."
You'll recognise that is actually the WHAT
I know what you'll be thinking... ok buster, what is the Why of AFQY?
Here is it, with a little pre-context: AFQY is about pure peer to peer networking for YOURSELF, not for the organiser (AFQY in this case). You can find who you are looking for, as a person first (That's why you get to know them socially first) then make them a team member, a supplier or client... versus someone (a stranger) hearing your idea as a pitch and coming to you, with you not really knowing who they are as a person, the cut of their gib... how many startups fail?
And why? (Not AFQY's why, but why do things fail in business?)
Because the people aren't a fit (Personality, experience, approach, background etc etc) and throwing money and resources at it won't fix the problem of personality clash, unsuitable working style or anything that is a human-related issue.
To meet people you can get on with.
And no, not everyone at AFQY is someone you'll get on with but the format allows you to find them or refer/connect others that might.
AFQY ENABLES PERSONALISATION OF BUSINESS.
AFQY empowers buyers through the ability to meet and choose whether you'd do business with that person, like a vetting system. And while I made the point AFQY is not for the organiser, the organiser does need some help making these events available,
and yes all sponsors are vetted, heavily,
so with great thanks, I introduce you to our sponsors
I am really pleased to announce two new sponsors, both who are long standing guests and supporters of AFQY, hence they know the ethos of this event; which is about meeting the person, not their suit, to form a social/personal relationship from which you might create a business relationship. It's always easier to do business with someone you know such as...
Anton Du Preez a self-proclaimed struggling Springbok supporter even though he's been a Kiwi for 13-14 years now. Fishing is probably a better subject to raise than the last test score, although you might get the "one that got got away" yarn there too over a drop of good red wine ;-) Like all of us, proud family man with two daughters whom he'll be missing when at AFQY supporting us along with Check Point Software.
Our second supporter is Simon Martin, who once ran into an old mate he hadn't seen for 10 years (Kevin Maloney) at one AFQY event, which is a perfect place to organise those after work catchups you keep missing! Simon has been attending for a few years and been supporting AFQY for a while now us out with those tricky issues. Simon won be able to make it but a few of the team including Jason Rudkin-Binks will for the Hudson Gavin Martin team.
Last but not least, the venue; we will return to Bungalow8 which is under new ownership by Scott Greer and Osi who have bought onboard Annie as the Operations Manager
PS: I applaud all events, and attend as many as I can being a serial networker (I realise that may sound terrible, it isn't, and I will explain in a future blog and link in back here) I just used the example from the outset as an example.