Last year when preparing our first Corum Merge Briefing in Paris and in spite of 6 or 7 deals done in France, I thought that attendance was going to be low. We were not that known among the 3 to 20M? software companies in France. So I've decided to hire a cosy and small room in a restaurant on the Champs Elyses (Paris) willing to spend high quality time with the few CEOs who would come to the event. Unexpectedly the number of registered people grew to 45 and I had to stop on-line registrations. As a result we were packed: 35 CEOs, VCs and strategic buyers eager to know more about M&A trends, valuations and next year perspectives. End of 2007, M&A was booming.
Early this month, while preparing the 2nd edition of our Merge Briefing in Paris, I was tempted to choose a larger room; finally thinking that the current crisis would lower the desire of the CEOs to attend our Merge Briefing I decided to hire the same place. After 3 weeks of marketing the event the low number of registrations told me that I had made the right choice. Then suddenly registrations went up to 15, 25, 35. 45. As result we were packed: 35 CEOs, VCs and strategic buyers. All of them eager to hear from us stories about the impact of the crisis on tech M&As.
So what? When things are going well, you always think that it will go well forever. When things are going really bad you want to know when it will stop (just like the pneumatic drill).
Our message though was the same than last year: don't be toy of the ups and downs. Nothing good will happen if you're not moving.
The good side effects? Paris Merge Briefing was a success. Some of the attendees decided to be proactive.