More than 4,000 techies attended last year’s groundbreaking Afrotech conference, a meeting of minds that aims to connect founders, techies, and employees with the fastest-growing startups. Tickets completely sold out. AfroTech features panels like “Being a Digital Brand.” Surprisingly, Afrotech is only 3 years old, founded in 2016. Since then attendance has nearly doubled each year. So how does Afrotech pull this off? How do they sell out tickets, creating a major movement in just 3 years?
Afrotech’s 2018 conference featured a wide variety of amazing guest speakers, from Daymond John of Sharktank to rapper Common. Clearly, Afrotech doesn’t skimp on their speakers, bringing in speakers who are both passionate about African Americans in tech and well known in their field. Event producers are reminded of the difference passionate influencers and partners can make for marketing and brand. Not only can it boost attendance like it does for Afrotech, but it can also seriously improve your brand and lead to incredible new connections for your business.
Excitement over effort
Afrotech understands the power of a good carrot, sticking a wide variety of activities for event-goers to choose to spend their time on. Just about everyone can remember a one-size-fits-all conference where time seems to pass at a snail’s pace, a conference where attendees shuffled from speech to speech en-masse with zero enthusiasm? Yeah, Afrotech is not that kind of conference. Afrotech advertises a diverse array of speakers in radically different sectors, from software to entrepreneurship to artists. Plus it encourages attendee interaction. Who knows, the group of brilliant techies shaking hands exchanging contact info in the corner could turn into the next tech giant. This attendee passion and interaction keeps the atmosphere electric, with attendees never feeling like spectators, always in control of the experience. Not to mention the free swag from company recruiters and the possibility of even snagging an interview at a major tech company.
Afrotech strives to keep all their attendees engaged at all times, a major leg up in the conference world and an even bigger leg up in ticket sales. Event producers can make like Afrotech by checking in with attendees, providing them with enough choices to make them feel like they’re in control and taken care of.
Incentive and Opportunity
Conferences like AfroTech encourages greater black representation and community in tech, tackling key social and economic issues that don’t get enough discussion in the corporate world. But beyond that, Afrotech offers individual attendees opportunity, a shot at pitching to investors and even big tech recruiters. Amazon, Stripe, Salesforce and other tech companies sent recruiters to the conference, interacting with attendees and actively recruiting black talent. With many companies struggling with pipelines and diverse hiring, conferences like AfroTech are an incredible resource to find diverse and talented individuals to strengthen their teams. But for attendees, the opportunity to network with big tech recruiters is often a big enough reason alone to attend, even without amazing hands-on panels and afterparties.
Afrotech’s networking possibilities can mirror event planners incentivizing event attendance, often with a free gift or one-on-one time with an influencer. For example, the Writer’s Digest Conference in NYC offers attendees the opportunity to pitch to agents, the conference providing both writing workshops and the opportunity to sing a book deal. This sort of opportunity and individual incentive can really mean the difference between good and great sales, and should not be neglected by event producers aiming to sell out tickets.
Photo Sources Cited:
- Afrotech. “Afrotech 2017.” Afrotech 2017, Sparxo, https://e.sparxo.com/Afrotech17?rn=instagram.
- Afrotech. “Afrotech 2018.” Afrotech 2018, Sparxo,
- Afrotech. “Afrotech 2019.” Afrotech 2019, Sparxo,
- “Videos – Afrotech.” Videos – Afrotech, Afrotech 2019, https://afrotech.com/videos, https://assets-jpcust.jwpsrv.com/thumbnails/saw4mwfp-720.jpg.
- “Experience – Afrotech, Oakland Convention Center.” Experience – Afrotech, Afrotech,