Over five Friday evenings throughout the summer, Nasdaq Private Market (NPM) hosted the Silicon Valley community at their first annual Summer Concert Series. Attracting professionals from all across the Bay Area, NPM organized the event as a way to freshen up the typical business approach to networking, trade shows, and conferences, adding a Silicon Valley spin with an outdoor setting, live music, food trucks, and cold drinks.
As an active participant in the Bay Area tech and startup scenes, this innovative approach to networking really resonated with us here at Nitro. We regularly speak at and host meetups on everything from modern marketing to Scala programming, and have experienced all sorts of benefits like attracting awesome new hires, forming business partnerships, humanizing our brand and simply meeting great people.
When the opportunity to sign up as a sponsor for the Summer Concert Series came about, we thought it would be a great chance to spread the word about Nitro’s document productivity solutions in a welcoming, low-pressure setting alongside some of Silicon Valley’s giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter.
The goal of this event was to break down the boundaries of the usual company-to-prospect conversation and create not only business connections, but personal connections as well. The NPM Summer Concert Series brought the dynamic Silicon Valley community together to discuss topics they’re passionate about in a fun, relaxing setting, facilitating the casual interactions that can—and often do—blossom into real business down the road.
We watched this happen firsthand, with entrepreneurs funding each other’s companies and joining each other’s boards during set breaks. It was incredible to watch these large scale deals happening on the sidelines of a rock n roll concert—and it’s precisely what we love about being a part of the Bay Area’s unique business culture.
Carine Schneider, President of Equity Solutions at Nasdaq Private Market and the creator of the Summer Concert Series, shared her thoughts on the change in networking activities within the Silicon Valley: “People are looking for a way to connect with clients and prospects on a human level – the old days of sending a postcard or meeting at a conference are just part of the story.
“Now we ask, with time at a premium, ‘how can we get people together?’ When business and pleasure intersect by arranging something fun, something they enjoy; then they come. This helps build a real and emotional connection with these companies.”
We had the pleasure of sponsoring all five of these awesome concerts, and at last Friday’s final gathering, we were thrilled that our CFO, Peter Bardwick acted as the event’s celebrity emcee. A part of the Bay Area startup and tech scenes for many years, Peter reflected on the ever-changing flavor of Silicon Valley:
“The Valley has always been a place where business and friendships intermingle. The Bay Area’s weather, the disinterest in fitting into corporate America, the relative youth of local entrepreneurs, and Mark Zuckerberg’s hoodies all give insight into how business relationships are built here.
“It feels to me like that trend has accelerated in the past 10 years and networking has become even more casual and quite probably more enjoyable. We work, code, and network in quick sprints and that fluidity appeals to people with tight schedules, a desire to enjoy work, and porous boundaries between work and social lives.”