Last week I traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to attend Singularis Advisors first African Sustainable Investment & Development Summit. I was very impressed, so much that I decided to feature it on BD-Insider. Take 5 minutes to view the video interview below with the organizers, Gustav Johansson and Christiana Otto. It captures the reasons why this event was such a big success:

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRzKiOaAbOI

So what made this event so great?

I came back with a number of strengthened insights about what makes an excellent event:

TRUE PASSION - First of all, I had the feeling that the organizers were not just going through the motions. It wasn't just about the event, I could feel that these people were on a mission to facilitate sustainable investment and development. They are true believers in the things that the delegates represented. Furthermore, I could feel there is an underlying belief that each individual or investment opportunity is unique. The agenda was highly personalized in line with the needs of each participant.

FOCUS AND PREPARATION - This sounds pretty obvious but the organizers really made their homework. They did exhaustive research on all the delegates prior to the event. A few days before traveling out, I got full briefs on all the participants and the organizers helped to match the right people for per-scheduled meetings. There was clearly a strong process at work to ensure that everybody got far more out of the gathering than they expected.

THE RIGHT DELEGATES - I have been to other events like this before, only to realize that the true decision makers weren't present. I guess investors often send junior staff to attend seminars as an incentive and/or an opportunity to learn. Singularis Advisors made sure that only the relevant people attended.

LOCATION - Taking it to Ethiopia was a bold, yet insightful strategy. If anyone would be prepared to travel all the way out to Ethiopia, it would certainly imply that they were serious about getting the most out of the event. In addition, Addis Ababa is not exactly an obvious tourist destination so you avoid the risk of organizing nothing more than just a 'folly.' I guess this worked as a great way to filter out only the delegates who came to do work.

I am certainly going to be looking out for further events by Singularis Advisors because if this was the first time, just imagine what they will be able to achieve to achieve going forward. These people are on to something great, certainly worth following!

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About the author: Baldwin has been active as a business developer in the investment industry for more than 20 years. He is a partner at Silk Invest, a fund manager dedicated to the frontier markets. He was an early adapter of social media within the investment management industry. His efforts have helped position Silk Invest as one of the leading managers in the frontier space. In collaboration with Perfecta Partners, Baldwin also helps other financial services companies improve their content marketing and social media strategies.

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