On 29 May 2019 the first BASE conference was held in Amsterdam at the Parool Theater, The Student Hotel. BASE was born as an acronym for the four pillars needed to grow a business to the next level: Build (relationships & resources), Advance (sales and marketing), Sustain (profitability and growth) and Elevate (innovation).
Co Founders Veronica Guguian and Lana Jelenjev, saw plenty of support for start-ups, but not as much for scale-ups – those who wish to grow their business. Both successful business owners themselves, they have a great insight into what others need. Charles Ruffolo, founder of The NetworKing facilitated the main stage.
Speakers were high-level experts that shared details of how to grow a business sustainably, along with actionable tips to move the scaling-up process forward, which started with a plenary by H.E Hon. Yohan Byrde, secretary general and executive chairman Global Diplomatic Council and High Commissioner International Commission of Diplomacy. He spoke about The economic impact of the EU elections on reforms, global and EU citizens, economic movement, entry into new markets and the effects of Brexit.
Fatima Elatik, former District Mayor of Amsterdam Oost explained what kind of language to use when interacting with the government and policy-makers on all levels.
Joel Dori, Startup Amsterdam liaison and Kseniia Maliuta, international relations and communications at Startup Amsterdam shared How the government can play a role in creating a breeding group for startups and scaleups to grow around these five pillars:
- Talent and diversity
- Access to markets
- Network and content
- Development of Innovation districts
- Emerging Technologies
There were two breakout sessions with four choices each time, arranged around the BASE pillars.
I facilitated in the Advance (Sales and Marketing) room in the morning, where i had the privilege of meeting and listening to Ben Shorter, co-founder of GTex talk about building high performing sales teams:
Next up was Patrick Wind, managing director at Ads Accelerator on How to scale your online sales exponentially with highly profitable Facebook and Instagram ads in only 42 days. Patrick also gave a session on the main stage in the afternoon where he spoke about his full-fuel strategy.
He talked about the mistakes that marketeers may make:
It was particularly useful to see his practical break down of the different styles and sizes of content for Facebook and Instagram Ads:
The conference also featured a speed-mentoring session where participants could speak one-to-one with experts for specific advice tailored to their needs.
In the afternoon, Theater Hotel Courage gave a session on The social styles and power of diversity. I am sure we all recognised ourselves and those around us in the styles. I totally agree with the main message that we should make the most of our own natural abilities within a team instead of forcing people into roles that aren’t suitable.
Joseph Oubelkas gave a very inspiring talk about how to deal with increadibly difficult circumstances, where he shared his experiences of how he stayed positive after being wrongly accused and imprisioned.
Connection and support is crucial as is retaining a positive ATTITUDE.
Finally David Beckett, pitch coach, took us through Pitching to Win: How to pitch for new business and investment. Post it notes are a secret weapon!
Marisa van Velzen from Marisa Marketing created this great video summary of the day. You can spot me right at the end – tired by then but happy after a great day!
One of the great takeaways – literally – was a book with contributions from the speakers and facilitators, including myself. I’ve never had this at a conference before and found it a wonderful way to bring home another way to absorb and apply the knowledge learned in both the sessions I was able to attend, but also those I missed.
My own article was called “Scaling up your Social Media Strategy” where I discussed my perspectives on the meaning of marketing, whether you should DIY or outsource your social media, and how you can simplify and scale up your strategy.
At the end of the day, I really enjoyed the conversations I had with really interesting people. It was a great opportunity to catch up with current connections, like BASE co-founder, Lana and speech coach Barbara Rogoski. I also made several new connections. Holland Casino sponsored a fun event at the end as well as offering us all a 3 course meal at one of their locations. We also received a goodie bag with the most delicious Choc Truffles from the Chocolate Company.
My own Google photo album is here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/vXDin4Ki2afSUKbu9
Will we see you next year? For more information please visit; https://baseconference.amsterdam
Here’s a sample list of some of the 2019 sessions:
- Transparency challenges and effective legal strategies for scale-ups/growing your business: Georgiana Vasile, senior business and legal advisor at The Legal Folder
- What makes organisations exponential: Luciana Ledesma, founder of AI Dragons & certified Ex0 coach
- How to sustainably grow your business while maximising profits: Simone Vincenzi, co-founder of GTex
- Revenue based financing as an alternative to equity investing, a win-win-win: Elianne Oei, co-founder and investment community manager at EPIC and Futurist Collective
- Building your own development team as a scale-up: Daniel Roy, founder and managing director of INFI
- How the result of innovation in learning can help you in your personal growth journey and advancing your business: Maarten Van der Biest, business manager at Vlerick Business School