I am going to a startup seminar/meeting this week where there will be entrepreneurs, investors and business people . I am getting ready for my startup 's online/offline presence, hopefully that this will help me shake more hands.
Since I am a beginner in these, what are some key points that I need to take care off before going there?
Your opinions may include anything, even info about my dresscode.
I will have some business cards ready to give so I have a question about this. Should my partner and I have one card for both naming the name of our startup company and our role in it or should we have personalised cards?
Thank you for your answers and guidance.
Question Update What are some smart ways to start a conversation about your startup with an investor?
Never go into a meeting like this without being clear on what is your objective. Are you looking for investment, do you want to make friends, are you looking for a mentor? or customers?
Once you know you're objective you can decide a "game plan" of sorts.
For example if you're looking for investment, make sure you have the numbers to hand.
Your answer to the "what do you do" question is most important "We've got this startup ...." you'll switch people off. "We help X do Y better by Z%" - now that's more interesting... I have to ask "How do you do that?"... and there you go - you have a conversation.
Bottom line - Make sure you know what you're going for ... then you can judge if it was a success or not and should you do it again.
Have one business card per person, that's the standard.
Read everything you can online about the people who will be attending that conference.
Based on how little experience you claim to have, my recommendation is to go to the conference and not try to approach any big shot or investor: you'd probably mess it up. Learn, listen, watch how people interact. Then go to another similar conference. By the 3rd I'd say you'll be ready to go on the offensive.
A professional design business cards for both of you is must, your business cards should makes other notice and have a talk with. Both of you should know about what they are in. You should make sure that you can say about the current market and the challenges.
While going in a startup events I makes sure that I have a copy of my software product(mine is a software company), a beautiful gift for the persons whom I talking with so that he can remember me and I read everything about my competitors I also makes sure that who gave rsvp for the event so that I can study about their business.
I'd like to add to @Sunil's answer, on how to start a good conversation with an investor. I agree, start with "We help X do Y better by Z", and have a conversation about that for as long as the person is still interested.
But then, don't say "we need funding". It's okay to say you're still new and growing, however. But the best is to ask the person advice. Say you're stuck on X, and you're looking for some advice. After that, if the person is interested enough, he will say "hey, what you're doing sounds interesting, I'd like to work with you, here's my card", and he might offer to set up a meeting. Then, once he's hooked and "invested" in your idea by giving you advice and thinking about it, you can bring up funding.