With today's world being so digital and mobile driven, it sometimes can be hard to emphasize the importance of personal, face-to-face connections. Our physical environments mostly include us always on the go, and our digital environments are following suit.
That's why Prianka Dhir, co-founder and CEO of Beyond the Booth Media Inc., a mobile gift bag for trade shows and events, launched her company. Beyond the Booth aims to help businesses make great first impressions and encourages people to try new things.
The serial entrepreneur recently sat down with Project Entrepreneur to discuss her first tech venture as a non-technical founder and how she preps for the week.
Project Entrepreneur: What inspired you to start your business?
Dhir: My inspiration to build Beyond the Booth came from understanding the importance and power of personal connection and the impact it can have on success. I began my entrepreneurial journey by founding a boutique marketing agency in 2013, initially focused on digital marketing and then pivoted by launching a trade show in Vancouver, Canada.
I quickly understood the impact face-to-face connections had on business and building meaningful relationships and wanted to make a difference for as many businesses as I could through my current startup, Beyond the Booth.
What's been the biggest challenge you've faced so far?
My background is in marketing and entrepreneurship, but I've founded a technology company. Although I think it's perfectly possible to be a non-technical founder and still build a successful tech startup, having the knowledge to navigate the product side better would have made building the platform easier.
Fortunately, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by great mentors who helped direct me through the initial development of the platform and now I have a dedicated team who also shares my vision.
What's been the greatest reward?
Knowing we have an impact on the success of every company that takes part in the trade shows we support has been truly rewarding. Many businesses depend on trade shows for the revenue they generate throughout the year, and we are able to help them become infinitely more effective on the show floor and assist them with sales that can ultimately grow their business.
What is the biggest thing you'd like to see changed in your industry, and how are you working toward making that change happen?
The consumer trade show industry has been stagnant for a long time. Attendees are becoming savvier shoppers and are using their smartphones throughout the experience, yet the shows have not adopted new ways to connect with attendees.
The trick is finding ways to innovate a traditional experience and we find that many age-old tactics in the industry just don't cut it anymore. Exhibitors want metrics to justify the marketing dollars they spend on trade shows and attendees want to feel connected online.
With Beyond the Booth, we're able to focus solely on the attendee-exhibitor relationship and give attendees a mobile experience that increases engagement while providing valuable metrics and insight for exhibitors to secure more leads.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to another entrepreneur just starting out?
Solve a problem you understand for a customer you can define. Having personal experience with the problem your company is trying to solve will make every sale call you make more genuine, every investor conversation you have more compelling, and every customer you reach more meaningful.
Whenever I don't know what the "right" answer is regarding changes in our product or company vision, I go back to what I know. Having domain expertise has been an incredible way to really connect to the problem and address it with confidence.
What do you do every Monday morning to prepare and motivate yourself for the coming week?
Reflection has been a great way to start Monday mornings feeling inspired and ready for the week. I take a look at how the previous week got me closer to my overarching vision for the company and make new goals for the week ahead that are slightly more challenging.
Then, I develop concrete tasks to help me achieve those goals. Taking the time to ensure you're being productive week after week can help you achieve your goals, make better decisions and ultimately grow your business.
A morning workout, big cup of tea, and a call home also helps. Feeling supported and mentally refreshed has been a great way for me to recharge before a big week.
This article originally appeared on the Project Entrepreneur website and has been condensed for clarity.