I’m the owner of Chef Ken’s Catering, or CKC, here in Seattle, WA. A personal chef by training, we offer cooking classes, intimate catering, and custom meal service. I’ve been a Thumbtack Pro since 2012 and it has been the best resource I’ve had for finding new clients, and the folks that have hired me have all been great people that I’ve enjoyed meeting.
Recently I was asked by Thumbtack to sit on a panel at TecNation with two other small business owners titled “Unlocking the Digital Potential of Small Business”, sponsored by the US Chamber of Commerce. The event focused on the transformative nature of data technology across America.
Public speaking is certainly natural for some people, but me on the other hand? Not so much. But since I had some past experience with Toastmasters, it did make the process less intimidating. I felt compelled to speak on this panel for two reasons: First, I thought it would be a great way to let people know about a new collaboration I was doing with someone I met through Thumbtack (see below). Second, I wanted folks to know about other ways that Thumbtack could be used as a networking platform- and to keep an eye out for those opportunities.
One of the discussions for the panel centered on how the tech industry has helped us grow our business and some of the changes that we’ve experienced. I shared a story about taking ads out in local magazines, and how the ROI was really poor. Then I discovered Thumbtack (through my accountant), and since then it has been my number one way of finding new clients.
I also explained how I have used Thumbtack as a networking platform. Along with fellow Thumbtack pro, Jessica, we created a unique spa business called Soulful NW.
After the event was over the Chamber hosted a catered networking hour and it was really nice- the food was presented beautifully, and it was good! I met a number of people, exchanged business cards, and added a few LinkedIn contacts.
It was a real honor to participate in this event and share my businesses. I hope to do more public speaking gigs in the near future and in preparation I think I’ll attend a few more Toastmasters classes.
Check out a recording of the panel here. (1:59:50)
I believe you in what you're saying you would do about making it a point to find out who you're competitors are at an event like this.
I don't consider them a competitor since I don't do the corporate type of events. I'm focused on being a personal chef, facilitating cooking classes, intimate cater and spa cuisine for a new project.
I remember seeing a little tent with a name on it but I was distracted and didn't recall whom it was that catering the food. I met a lot of wonderful, interesting and outgoing folks.
It was an excellent experience.