As I woke up at 7 AM on the D-day, 11 July 2015, and sat sipping hot coffee, there was a sinking feeling in my stomach.
We had spent a month preparing for this event and seeing the unstopping rains, I wondered if anyone would eventually turn up or not. I was sure Payoneer team members from US and Israel were having the same thoughts…however, almost 12 hours later, I was bubbling with joy because the entire venue had full occupancy and the event was moving in full swing!
Want all the event details? Read on.
Payoneer Forum: Agenda & Venue
The finalised agenda was “Freelancing in the Era of Digital Marketing”. Why was this chosen?
Freelancing underwent a great change in the last decade. People are taking up freelancing as a full-time career option and not as a ‘stop gap’ alternative.
Given the growth of startups in India and worldwide and with established companies adopting digital marketing on a massive scale, it was commonsensical to address this issue, right?
We trusted and took a giant leap of faith.
The event took place at the Sri Sathya Sai International Center, Lodhi Road, New Delhi.
The Payoneer Forum DAY
As mentioned in the beginning, I was quite jittery due to the rains. It had already been a spoiler during the Bangalore Networking Dinner and I certainly didn’t want a repeat this time since the stakes were high.
I was constantly on phone.
The people to set up the stage arrived around 10.30 to begin setting up the stage backdrops, the rollups, the registration desks and endless small tasks. My business partner and the other Payoneer Ambassador, Jitendra Vaswani, had reached the venue quite early, around 12 noon to keep track of things.
Along with us were brave souls Aditya Nath Jha (founder of Inspire2Rise.com & the emcee for the day), Ashwin (blogger), Rahul – Nityanand – Satyanand (trio of recent engineering graduates managing the giveaway stock to registrations to handling the crowd and Rahul Rakesh (a reputed freelancer and his team was scribbling notes about the event).
While these guys were setting up things at the venue, I was on phone synchronizing everything.
The registration was supposed to begin at 4 PM but according to what I heard, people started arriving before the time.
It took me almost 2 hours to reach the venue which should have been otherwise a 30-40 minutes journey. I reached at 5:25 PM but I already knew the venue was fully occupied, thanks to the knights in shining armors.
The feeling was great. I started to feel the event is going to be a grand success.
Due to the registrations and people coming in even late, the event began at 5.45 PM with an address from Aditya. He is quite a funny and humoristic guy who believes “you should enjoy what you do”; yeah buddy!
After a brief introduction, we started with the presentations.
1) Dipesh Garg – “The Rise of Asian Freelancers”
Dipesh is the founder of Truelancer.com, a curated marketplace of freelancing jobs. He gave a very interesting data-based session on how Asian freelancers are going to rule the economy in the next five years.
2) Jitendra Vaswani – “How to Lead a Laptop Lifestyle”
Jitendra is the founder of BloggersIdeas.com and also runs other web properties. He gave an engaging and entertaining session on how freelancers can lead a laptop lifestyle, which is luxurious, tension free and monetarily beneficial.
3) Mayank Wadhwa – “The Curious Case of Indian Startups”
Mayank is the co-founder of PaisaFly.com, a cashback coupon site. Mayank extensively spoke on the Indian start-up scenario and how to get funds. Statistically, his was the longest session for about 45 minutes, including 15 minutes of QA round. The crowd went berserk and wanted more!
4) Ritu David – “How I Created a Consulting Firm?”
Ritu is the founder of Ritu David Consulting and one of the uncommonly seen women entrepreneurs! She recently shifted base from Australia and actively engages with the online community. She spoke about her personal experience of starting a consulting firm and how others can follow suit.
5) Arun Prabhudesai – “Freelancers: This is Your Perfect Cold Email Pitch”
Arun is the founder of Trak.in and other web properties. He dealt a very specific issue about freelancing, that is, sending cold emails. As email is the primary mode of communication, it is important to handle it deftly and this is where most freelancers fail. His session was about sending converting email pitches.
6) Sanjukta Baruah – “Payoneer Presentation”
Sanjukta flew from the States to talk about Payoneer product, its scope in India and benefits for the users.
7) Chitraparna Sinha – “How to Find, Convert and Retain Clients”?
Freelancers have a hard time finding and converting client leads by making mistakes which can be easily avoided. I spoke at length about not making those mistakes.
8) Kulwant Nagi – “Affiliate Marketing: A Passive Freelancing”
Kulwant is the founder of BloggingCage.com and an experienced affiliate marketer. His session was about how a person can become an affiliate marketer on freelance basis. He spoke a lot on affiliate concepts and how to ace them.
In between, we also had Ankur Aggarwal, a top notch affiliate marketer globally talking 5 minutes on the importance of building email lists.
9) Panel Session – How to Integrate Your Freelancing Business into Digital World?
The panelists were Siddharth Bagga (co-founder of PaisaFly.com), Vipul Taneja (CEO of AdSparks.com) and Danish Wadhwa (founder of GetSetLive.com). This was an interactive session where audiences fielded their questions to the panelists.
It was amazing!
People were coming up to us to share their feedback. Many connected for future collaborations. They loved the food and the networking was great.
More pics coming soon!