Greg Elfrink

November 7, 2016

DCBKK has come and gone.

Another year of the well-known event where successful digital nomads from around the world meet up in Southeast Asia to exchange thoughts, contacts, and news with one another.

DCBKK and similar conference-style events provide great learning opportunities for entrepreneurs, and even greater networking. We’ve gotten a ton of value from attending in years past, so this year we decided to be a sponsor for part of the event.

That means we had a booth (with Mike Swig, Andrew Bradshaw, and myself manning it) where we gave out free valuations of various businesses and helped attendees perform due diligence on businesses listed on our marketplace.

It was my first time at a DCBKK event, and hopefully won’t be my last.

If you’re a location independent entrepreneur (meaning you probably have an online business you can run from anywhere) and you’ve never been, I highly recommend joining the Dynamite Circle and attending one of their events. All you need is one golden nugget takeaway to change the face of your business forever. When you’re surrounded by so many other successful entrepreneurs who are in the grind and actually doing the work, there can be a plethora of such insights.

Instead of just jotting down my own takeaways and thoughts, I figured it would be interesting to share thoughts from the entire Empire Flippers crew. Each of us have our own specialities and things we wanted to learn, from Joe and Justin wanting to scale the business to myself wanting to learn more about effective content marketing and content processes.

While each of you will be in a different place with your business, I hope at least one of our golden nugget insights will be helpful to you.

6 Insights and Takeaways from the DCBKK Conference

Joe-MagnottiJoe Magnotti – CEO

Thoughts:

As with every year, it’s great to finally meet people face to face after speaking with them on the phone or chatting over email. I’m impressed how mature some of the DC businesses have become (ours included). As usual, Dan and Ian (founders of the Dynamite Circle) put on a great show — I can’t wait for next year.

Takeaways:

As a sponsor this year, I see the value in building a face-to-face relationship with our buyers and sellers. In 2017 we intend to make a concerted effort to attend more conferences with a booth. We are currently identifying other conferences we can target to be present at that would be a good fit for us. Face-to-face interaction will be a key strategy moving forward as we move into bigger deal sizes.

Justin-Cooke1Justin Cooke – CMO

Thoughts:

I’ve found that I’m not a very good “networker.” Small talk with dozens to hundreds of entrepreneurs is both exhausting and not very helpful (for me). I tend to feel much more comfortable in a smaller group of intense conversations — usually 4-12 people feels about right. You get into more in-depth discussions and can connect at a deeper level, ensuring those relationships have a better chance of survival post-conference.

Takeaways:

So how do you get that small group together to connect with? The easiest way: throw a party! This year we put together a special dinner and night out for a list of customers, partners, and thought leaders we’ve known over the years. Through the steak dinner, the cigars and scotch, and the VIP table at the club, we were able to take a much more intimate approach to networking with a group we really wanted to connect with and had an excellent time while doing it. It wasn’t cheap — around $3K for the evening — but well worth it in the long run.

Mike-Vranjkovic1Mike Vranjkovic – Marketplace Manager

Thoughts:

We had another great conference with some fantastic speakers, workshops, and location. Good to meet new people face to face and catch up with friends.

Takeaways:

Jacob Puhl and Cory Ames from Firegang Marketing conducted a presentation on apprentices that was packed with great information. They talked about everything from what kind of compensation they give apprentices to what kind of offers can be made to keep an apprentice on board rather than going off to build their own business. One thing I was impressed with was just how much training and coaching Jacob gave to Cory. This is something that we are likely going to start implementing with our own apprentices at Empire Flippers. The individual meetups we attended before the event began, which were part of the informal week leading up to the main event weekend, were fantastic as well.

Greg-Elfrink1Gregory Elfrink – Content Manager / Marketer

Thoughts:

It was amazing meeting so many different entrepreneurs. This was my first real industry conference, and it definitely lived up to my hopes. I made a bunch of new contacts, sat through some pretty cool presentations, and of course there were a few good rooftop bar moments with my newfound friends.

Takeaways:

My biggest takeaway from a content perspective was something I had read about years before. Many high-end content marketers will go to industry conferences not just for the presentations, but for the connecting opportunities. I am glad to say this event has led to two new guest posts I am currently working on, with potential for another two guest posts in the future. While that might not seem amazing to some, it really is amazing. Guest posting to other sites has been an awesome (and simple to implement) marketing strategy that has worked well for us; these are also pretty big blogs we may not have been able to be featured on if I hadn’t met the people running these businesses in person.

Outside of content marketing, I really enjoyed Jon Kennedy from Carson’s speech on how to start a successful productized services. The biggest nugget I took from that workshop was building out a service based on someone else’s platform, such as what WP Curve is doing with WordPress or what HeyCarson is doing with Shopify.

Mike SwigunskiMike Swigunski – Marketing & Sales Coordinator

Thoughts:

The DC did an impeccable job organizing the event. This was my first DC conference, and I was really impressed with how valuable the event was. This year we were sponsors at the event and working with the DC was phenomenal. Their team was extremely easy to work with, and our booth gave us direct access to our target demographic.

Takeaways:

The presentations and networking were top notch! The great value in big conferences is you get to meet a TON of people, which is great for surface level connections. To really connect at a more intimate level, you have to take the initiative. For example, I set up a private dinner with people I seemed to connect with. No business talk, just extending the relationships and creating friendships. Conferences take effort, and the ROI is only possible if you attend with a gameplan and actively seek opportunities.

I left the conference with a lot of great ideas and an enhanced mindset about entrepreneurship. The networks and friendships created at the conference were the highlight for me. I can’t wait to return next year and hopefully attend DC Barcelona.

Andrew-Bradshaw1Andrew Bradshaw – Listings Manager

Thoughts:

Another year, another success. DC did a great job planning how their events were laid out; one flowed in with the next. I am always impressed with how smoothly these events go, and equally impressed with the people that attend.

Takeaways:

We were very privileged to be a sponsor of DCBKK this year and had a booth as a result. As a seasoned employee, it was very important for me to stay at the booth around the clock to take care of everyone’s questions and inquiries. We connected with lots of interested future sellers and buyers by giving out valuations and VIP codes. It’s definitely going to see returns, but it will likely take at least a couple of months, as the folks who visited our booth are now setting up an exit plan and waiting to sell after the holiday season.

The Power of Events

Events offer an amazing opportunity — from knowledge, networking, and possible partnerships (such as guest posting opportunities).

While branding, content creation, and marketing can contribute to an amazing business, events like the VIP dinner we hosted, mentioned by Justin, can bring influencers far closer to your business.

The handshakes you do at an event and the shared jokes and stories can all lead to opportunities that live on far outside of that specific event.

Whether you gain an email list blast for your business or a webinar partnership, these kinds of conferences can drastically increase not only your personal network’s reach but also your overall content marketing reach as well.

Suffice to say, in 2017 we will be making conferences a new cornerstone to focus our marketing channels on.

We believe that as we move into higher deal prices on our marketplace, events like this one will play bigger role in our business strategy, as we will be able to meet key influencers in the space and thus create these opportunities ourselves, whether it be a possible content collaboration or actually listing a business for sale.

Have you ever been to a similar conference? What kind of takeaways have you experienced?

Photo credit: DCBKK Conference 


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Discussion
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  1. Dan Andrews says:

    Love the format guys, was great to have you all and glad you enjoyed it. The private EF party was fantastic! Really appreciated that.

    • Greg Elfrink says:

      Glad you came to the private party Dan! Also was really cool finally meeting you – I got that book we talked about in the works haha.

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