Our external advisory board, this year consisting of 24 experts from 20 leading global research organizations.


Growth Campfire #1 🔥 — Featuring Uber, Menu Next Door, Sortlist & Elium.

Last week MAD Kings hosted a growth hacking meetup called 🔥 Growth Campfire, with four amazing Belgian growth experts. And instead of a standard event report, we decided to share some key lessons we took out of the event organisation in addition to a few growth secrets shared by the speakers.

Making growth hacking events great again 🙌

We’ve been at quite a few growth hacking events. And let’s be frank- the majority of growth hacking events suck for one or more of the following reasons:

  • They are too theoretical and repeat some non-proprietary content
  • Speakers do their old presentation with a little or no applied value for the audience
  • They are too long and monotone (yawn) 😴
  • They only share successes, not failures and struggles.

Fluff, bullshit 💩 , ego-pumping talks and abstract concepts create a bad image for the discipline that we know and love.

But during some events we also have seen a lot of growth hacking speakers who completely rocked the stage and wowed the audience. And often these are the reasons why they got our undivided attention:

  • No generic content on their slides (the bravest speakers event do not use slides)
  • The content is not staged, but comes from honest and well intended practitioners who do not (only) speak to boost their egos or businesses, but sincerely want to help the audience to understand the ups and downs of the discipline
  • There is a lot of room for interaction, networking and knowledge exchange.

Chiefs of growth speaking without a script (and censure) 🏕

After reflecting on what makes great growth hacking meetups, we put our heads together and the idea of a growth campfire emerged. Inspired by Native Americans sharing their stories near campfires, we wanted to invite Belgian “growth hacking tribe chiefs” to share their hands-on growth experience with the audience. Here are some of the growth experts secrets that blew the audience’s mind.


Klaas Willaert — Marketing Manager Belgium — Uber

“Each Tuesday Uber organises a meeting at 10 a.m for San Francisco with all the Uber Managers of the world.”

“We share our knowledge by organising a Q&A session with the CEO. We can ask him any question and he honestly answers to it.”

Nicolas Van Rymenant — CEO & Founder — Menu Next Door

We asked to a lot of people to like our page on Facebook since the start. And when we started to pitch, we could say : “We officially started Menu Next Door in Paris and we already have 20k people on our Facebook Page!”

Nicolas Finet — Co-Founder & Head of Growth — Sortlist

“No one can use the same kind of hacks for their business.”

“We created Facebook ads and targeted 10 journalists before meeting with them. Because this was targeted at only 10 people a small budget still meant A LOT of impressions. We wanted them to think we were a huge company already, and it worked. You can fake it until you make it.”


Nicolas Finet : “We mailed to the entire company and not a specific person.”

Nicolas Van Rymenant : “We said that we would give free food at each new customer that subscribed on our platform and this led to so much subscriptions that we burned 10% of our investors’ money.”

#mustreads 📖

E-myth, Elevator Dilemma, Hacking Growth, Blinklist

Event Organisation Lessons learned

Planning is the most important part of any great event. We started to prepare our meetup one month in advance and still- we wished we had more time. Venue, communications and booking speakers are things that are doable, however, there are some things that you should keep in mind.

  • A FREE event can lead up to ⅓ of no-shows- The easy solution is to sell tickets, even if it is at a cheap price. No one got rich by this meetup, but selling tickets was a great idea to make people commit and provide them with a better service at the event. Also, because we knew exactly how many would show up, we could manage our guests better.
  • Ask the audience to submit questions before the event- Attendee satisfaction is a function of meeting (or surpassing) their expectation. Before the event we asked our audience to write us questions for the event. Thanks to this, we could guarantee that the event content was tailored to their liking.

In the spirit of making growth hacking great again- we have noticed some room for improvement. We sincerely thank everybody who pitched in their feedback. The MAD Kings team promises to take the following measures to make the next event even better:

  • 👩‍💻 Ensuring speaker diversity– Initially we had a goal to have at least one female speaker. We were asking for tips on social media and actually invited 5 inspiring Belgian entrepreneurs to be our speakers, but unfortunately we ran out of time to announce the event before we could find an available there. Next time we will make sure we have at least 25% of female speakers. A warm thanks to Ms Marina Aubert who included us into Facebook group 🇧🇪 Digital Female Speakers in Belgium, which provides a solutions for event organisers who want to achieve the satisfactory diversity ration, but have problems identifying or booking female speakers. An awesome incentive!
  • 🎤 Ayo, technology — no venue is perfect, but we really really learned that we should have more microphones than speakers the next time we will host the event. Note to ourselves: One mic per person on a stage + at least 2 mics for the audience, so their input can be heard throughout the event.
    We would also would like to thank to our wonderful friends, sympathisers and competitors for making this evening really wonderful and a huge success.

The next event that we will host is the Growth Hacking Workshop.

Join us at https://www.growthhackingworkshop.be
Where you will learn growth hacking in just two days. Come and join us!

Till next time, Maja @MAD Kings

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