Last week the Kiwi Landing Pad returned to New Zealand to deliver our third sales and marketing jam since beginning the program last October 2015.
We started this program as a way of building the capability in sales, marketing and product management for the technology companies that we see on a daily basis in San Francisco. After having 50+ residents during the six years that we’ve been running, and over 1,000 visitors per year, we wanted to try to create an event that plugged some of the gaps in knowledge and core competency in the people that we were meeting.
After a year of successfully running this program, we have had over 900 attendees, 11 jams and heard from 10 US experts who have joined us in New Zealand for weeks at a time. We have noticed a considerable difference in the capability and growth in the community with a continued focused on raising the bar to a global standard and also building out the entrepreneurial mindset that is required to build a global business.
Every Jam evolves on the last, with the Kiwi Landing Pad team putting considerable emphasis on listening and executing on feedback, building out the content and conversation based on where the physical attendees are at on the day with curated conversations that are decided upon the night before.
Each speaker prior to each event gets a break down of:
- Male & Female Ratios
- Company Stage
- US stats – currently operating in/yearly visits to the US
- Return Jam Attendees
- Breakdown of the room by role
- Themes & Questions attendees have specified on the sign up process
About the Jam
While the Jam format is very ad-hoc and seems semi-random, it is very much an unconference style with focus placed on where the conversation goes rather than premeditated slides and talk techniques. We go in armed with the knowledge we need of what people want to know, based on extensive research from:
- Running the Kiwi Landing Pad for 6 years
- 50+ residents we’ve watched grow/expand/fail in the US
- 1 year of 3 jams with 2 questionnaires each from 900 people.
- The 1,000′s of entrepreneurs and professionals we meet a year who visit San Francisco.
It’s exciting for us to get an accurate sense check and to feel the pulse of the community move regarding knowledge and capability every six months. While this isn’t solely as a result of the jams, we do play a large part in structuring a conversation that is then continued by our community partners.
The last piece of this puzzle is the after jam. We go ahead and do three things: share the research with our partners so they can then go, and deep dive on the conversations with their communities in their regions – subsequently keeping the ball rolling. We use the learnings and findings from our community to structure our event series and content strategy for the subsequent six months until we have another jam. It’s a well thought out plan that we are evolving but so far, seems to be working. Lastly, we invite everyone who has opted-in, to the Jam community online so that they can engage, communicate and continue to learn from the community as a whole.
Wrapping up the Third Sales & Marketing Jam
This Jam we were joined by speakers: Amanda Peyton, Nick Crocker, Daniel Barber and Savannah Peterson – 3 new and 1 returning. Amongst this bunch of talented individuals was many exits to companies that are very familiar to us MyFitnessPal, Twitter, Etsy & Oracle. The calibre was high, very founder-centric and for the first time – super heavy on product management which is arguably one of New Zealand’s weakest areas of expertise.
This time we did things a little differently, by charging $20 per ticket we were able to condense the crowd and asked people to invest in themselves and their learning. We had a smaller audience than last time, however, minimalised drop off and had much more engaged and eager attendees across the country.
Based on feedback from the last two jams, we introduced the company panel which was a 45 minute deep dive with Kiwi founders who had ‘been there and done that’ in regards to the US market. They shared lessons and learnings based on their US expansion and on being founders. Thanks to the company panellists who came onboard for the journey – Paul Bingham – Shuttlerock, Kerry Glynn – Globalbake, John Holt – Sonar6, Lana Vaughan – Raygun, Nick Crocker – Sessions & We are Hunted, Marcus & Gemma – PageProof, Rich Chetwynd – Litmos & ThisData.
Over the coming weeks, we will deep dive heavily into the lessons and learnings that we covered during the jam for sales, marketing, product management and US expansion, However, for now, you can get the recap from Nicole (CMO at SilverStripe) here. She has the best notes and writes a blog post every single jam without fail (thanks!).
Here’s a taste:
Now that we have done this three times we can give you a bit of insight into the successes that our community has had after the jams. We stress the importance of being proactive. The jams are very much a ‘what you put in is what you get out’ so for those of you that filled out our survey and said we didn’t focus on what you wanted us to but didn’t ask any questions – keep that in mind for next time. We are here solely to serve you and the knowledge that you want and need to grow your business. The people who find the jams the most valuable are those that ask the best questions, think of us as a library of either knowledge or connections that can tell you or connect you with what you need to know.
Previous jam attendees that have been successful have sold their businesses, meet their co-founders or significant hires, been accepted into world renown accelerators or been introduced to key relationships in the USA & Australia.
If you want to be proactive:
- Follow up with everyone you met and make a clear ask: implement Nick’s 3 step rule when emailing people and asking for introductions
- Join the Sales & Marketing Jam community here.
- Keep out eye out for our webinars here.
- Watch and read our previous content
- Catch up on the resources list from the jam here.
- Sign up for updates from the Kiwi Landing Pad here.
- If you are coming to San Francisco and want a guide read here.
- Implement your top three takeaways over the next 6 months and then come back for more.
- Follow up with the speakers in you had a true reason to engage with them on something right now.
This program would not be possible without the help and generosity of our sponsors.
A massive thank you to Mike & the team from Air New Zealand. Working on the joint mission of supercharging New Zealand business success is not only inspiring but something we are 100% on board with. Your major contribution and help over the last year have meant a significant growth in capability and connection as a nation.
NZTE & BNZ our two core partners since day dot, thanks for your continued support. We are making headway in taking New Zealand technology to the world.
Our regional partners – CDC & Tauranga City Council – you are a joy to work with and do so much to help your regions grow. Thanks for being our enablers and helping the tech community in your cities thrive.
Also a special mention to our accounting and legal partners who have supported the Kiwi Landing Pad since it’s inception – Alex Davidson and his team at Crowe Horwath and Andrew and the team from Simmonds Stewart.
As a two person team, the Kiwi Landing Pad has a big mission with very minimal resources. Our success and continued growth and impact wouldn’t be possible without the continued effort of our community partners who keep us informed, engaged and share our mission and messages with their communities. Thanks – Biz Dojo, ICEHouse, AUT, CDC, Ministry of Awesome, GridAKL, Epic Innovation, Spark, Venture Centre, Priority One, Enterprise Angels, Creative HQ, Lightning Lab, Ecentre, Dave Moskovitz & Callaghan Innovation.
It’s really important to us to collect and iterate on feedback. If you are wondering what everyone thinks here goes. We are excited to say that our NPS for the 3 jams hovers around 60. We get a 5/6 rating overall for the jams.
50% of our survey respondents generally leave us a testimonial, here are some of our faves:
The speakers were all fantastic and very informative, and entertaining too. Please also pass on my thanks to the event sponsors, as from a startup founder’s perspective, being able to get such value for insanely little money is perfect for when cash is super tight during the early phase of the business. I literally spent more on parking than the day-long Sales and Marketing Jam, so it’s amazing that you can make this happen with international speakers of that caliber.
As New Zealanders, any reminder to put ourselves out there and think big is incredibly worthwhile! Very impressive panel and exceptional value for money. A “must attend” for any startup founder, especially if you’re thinking beyond NZ.
A camel is a horse developed by a committee” – the JAM is no camel, it’s a race horse – left me chomping at the bit and ready to go.
John and I are super excited to continue delivering this program and value to our community with our partners and sponsors. To me it is simply ‘weird’ when you hit your stride with something that is working. For those of you building businesses you will simply relate to this statement with a wry smile.
As John likes to summarise -
‘Communicate, Collaborate & Concentrate.’
Lastly, we have moved offices during our Jams, so if you want to visit, please get in touch first as you won’t be getting into our old office. Keep an eye on us in the next few months we will be releasing the details of our next three-year strategy which we are very excited about.