After Document360’s last visit to Tel Aviv, in September ’22, when we organized a Tech Writers Meet, we returned with positive vibes. While we met around 30 technical writers, we began seeing our product’s growth in Israel’s SaaS and startup markets. To keep up the momentum regarding in-person events and connections, we decided to participate in MEGAComm 2023, a conference for technical writers to network, broaden their knowledge and update themselves.
We also wanted to meet a few customers face-to-face. While we have regularly communicated with our customers via email and phone calls, we believe face-to-face meetings with customers add a personal touch and improve relationships.
Once MEGAComm in Jerusalem was announced on February 22 and 23, 2023, we decided to be one of the sponsors for the event. After looking at a few proposals, we opted for the platinum sponsor category for the event.
We flew to Tel Aviv, Israel on February 19. It involved a four-hour drive from Coimbatore to Kochi, and a flight to New Delhi from where they flew into Tel Aviv. One of our customers graciously offered to guide us in choosing the suitable taxi, paying the correct fare, and clearing any doubts we had.
Meeting our customers
We met three of our long-term customers through the second and third day. Our first meeting was with Panaya, a cyber security firm, at 11 am. We had an extremely positive meeting. The company’s CEO personally came down to meet us,. The documentation team not only expressed that they are satisfaction with our product but also appreciated that we were the only vendors who had tried to meet them in person. They invited us to join them for lunch. We realized that the usual business lunch in tech offices in Tel Aviv is a soup with salad, and their refrigerators are stocked with flavoured yogurts and ice creams.
Post lunch, at around 3.30 pm, we met another customer, Safebreach, by catching up with their Documentation and Training Manager, Gideon Behrensmeyer. After our meeting, Gideon decided to show us around Tel Aviv by taking us to one of the city’s many food streets. We visited a street with historical German houses, later converted to cafes, bars, and restaurants. We saw hundreds of outlets selling falafels, kebabs, shawarmas, and pita sandwiches.
We finally returned to our hotel at 10 pm and walked along the beach’s promenade. The beach was lively, with people jogging, cycling, playing volleyball, and throwball.
We also caught up with another of our customers’ Easy Send on Tuesday by catching up with their Customer Education Content Strategist, Ronnie Riback, and shooting a video testimonial from them. They also specifically appreciated our customer success specialist, Vaishnave Jayaraman, for her excellent support and guidance.
Traveling to Jerusalem
On Tuesday evening, we took a train to Jerusalem. During that journey, we realized how helpful and warm Isrealis were. For example, when we were trying to figure out how the electronic ticket machine worked because every instruction was in Hebrew, a cop offered to help. He told us where to load the cash, collect the tickets, and the change. Once the tickets were bought, the next challenge was figuring out which train we had to board because everything was again in Hebrew. Again, a stranger approached us and checked if we needed help. He was nice enough to guide us to the right train.
It was a 45-minute train journey, but we were shocked by the freezing cold temperatures in the historic city. In Jerusalem, it gets as cold as 6-7 deg C during the day, and temperatures fall to 2-3 deg C by night in February. When we realized the hotel we booked had two properties in the city, a stranger in the taxi waiting area offered to call our hotel and tell us the right property to head to. In Israel, most people speak Hebrew.
We were excited to finally arrive at the event we had been following for many months. Kunal and I reached early and set up the Document360 booth. We also had an early 10 am slot for our first presentation. It felt great to have a presence at the event, where some of our competitors in the knowledge management space—Paligo, Click help and Madcap flare—also had booths. However, we still had a great response, with many people heading to our booth for demos and more information.
Our raffle, where the winner gets an Amazon Alexa, was also popular and boosted brand awareness successfully. We also got some great insights into the perspectives and preferences of technical writers in Jerusalem.
Returning to Tel Aviv
We returned to Tel Aviv on 23rd, Thursday evening, because Friday and Saturday is their traditional Shabbat or weekend. We decided to get dinner from an Indian restaurant. We spent the next one and a half days visiting the beach, the famous YAFA Market, and the old part of Tel Aviv, to taste some of their traditional food and pick up some souvenirs.
We caught our flight back to New Delhi on Saturday.
Workwise, face-to-face events are again becoming popular, and we should take the time to attend a few of them. It not only increases brand visibility but is an opportunity for us individuals to get new perspectives, update and upskill ourselves.
Meeting leads, partners and customers in person improves our relationship and communication with them, leading to more conversions and longer retention rates.
We witnessed how helpful and warm Israelis are even to strangers, making it an ideal business trip or vacation place. It left us feeling warm and welcome.