Can you believe it? It’s already August - You know... that month where you’re wondering when it’s going to start feeling like Summer while simultaneously questioning where the heck it went. While many are taking this time to grab some R&R, there’s plenty of others taking advantage of the slow down to double down on their hustle. Sure you might want to go on vacation, but it’s the best time to buckle down and start prepairing for 4th quarter.

 

AND If you’re an entrepreneur from Madison, August is also synonymous with The Forward Festival.  It’s the perfect opportunity to join fellow entrepreneurs, nerds, geeks, hackers, foodies, and creatives from around the Midwest for eight days full of 50+ events celebrating creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

 

From The Social Good Summit and Yum Yum Fest to Data for Impact and FTC kids programing classes, Forward Fest has events for everyone!

  

However, with over 50 events on the schedule, we know things can feel a bit overwhelming. For those of you who are new to the Forward Festival, here’s a list of do’s and dont’s to help navigate the week...

 

Do - Remember that even though Forward Fest started out as a tech conference, its evolved past that. This is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs from all industries to connect and learn about what’s going on in the local community to support their specific business needs.  

Don’t - Only go to the networking events. Yes we all need to network, but the Forward Festival is about more than just networking, it’s about education. Make sure you check out events like…(add events here). Try to make the most of all the festival programing has to offer. Attend flagship events and hear keynote speakers, like (insert one of the big names) at the FTC conference.

Do - Step outside of your typical business box. Meet new people. One of the best parts of Forward Fest is the diversity in attendees. Attend events that might not otherwise speak to you and make the most of the new connections.

Don’t - Make the mistake of thinking everyone already knows each other or this ‘isn't your crowd’. Forward Fest is for everyone and it’s the best way to connect to new networks and resources.

Do - Take the time to file business cards as you go. Make notes on the back when you get them, or at least at the end of the night. Even if you are only unlocking networking level: moderate, you're most likely going to end each night with a dozen business cards. Take a moment at the end of each day to write yourself a note on each card to help you remember where you met the person and what you talked about. Maybe separate them into piles of people to follow up with and people to file away for later.

Don’t - Drink too much. Free beer, for eight days straight, can be tempting. It’s easy to cross the line of one too many when you're hitting 5 or 6 events in a day. While Forward Fest Ale is incredibly tasty, just remember that there’s no value in saying the wrong thing to the wrong person, making a bad impression or forgetting a conversation or connection you had the night before.

Do - be open minded and respectful of everyone you encounter at Forward Fest. Participate by helping cultivate an inclusive and welcoming environment for all attendees.

 

Of course we at Matrix Coworking are most excited for the annual Parentpreneur Ice Cream Social (and that’s not just because we’re a co-host!) This year we’re super exited to announce that rather than hosting at Matrix, this year’s event will be taking place at Henry Vilas Zoo!

Whatever you do, remember to slow down, have fun, make connections, and learn new things!

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