Future Balance CPAs is a Canada based online accounting  and online bookkeeping firm catering to the millennial generation. The millennial generation is clearly tech oriented, which is driving the ever-growing tech space. Everywhere you look there is another brave entrepreneur trying their hand in this competitive space. We have a keen interest in what is trending amongst this demographic, so we searched to find someone with a finger on the Canadian tech space pulse. We found Anthony Lipkin of Hut2Hut Events, the organization responsible for DX3. DX3 is Canada’s largest conference and trade show dedicated to digital marketing, digital advertising and digital retail. It brings agencies, brands, publishers and retailers together for two days of networking and education.

We are very excited to be talking to Anthony:

Tell us about your company and where you got the idea for your business.

In a nutshell, Dx3 is Canada’s largest technology event dedicated to digital marketing in retail. We attract over 4,500 attendees, are supported by the top technology and consumer companies in the world. We’ve have been covered in press outlets such as TechCrunch, The Globe & Mail, Marketing Magazine and Fast Company, and are going into our 5th year.

My partners are two seasoned, globally renowned Event Executives that have spent their 60+ years of combined professional careers building some of the largest B2B event properties on the planet.  While at their previous organization, they saw an opportunity to launch a different type of event for the digital industry in Canada  – a marketplace and commercial focal point for the entire Canadian Digital Marketing and Retailing Industries.  I joined as Partner (at Day 1)  in the business to drive growth, shape our content offering and make sure Dx3 is as relevant to the market as humanly possible.

From an entrepreneurial perspectives, what are some good things to watch out for when beginning a business and what are the best ways to stay focused?

One of the biggest challenges for us (outside of the normal growing pains for any startup, cashflow, revenue, etc), was being able to succinctly articulate who our customers were. As an event that looks at something as broad as “digital”,  we were able to identify target verticals pretty easily, but to actually drill down and identify our ideal customer personas –  this was a tough exercise and one which we’re still optimizing on a daily basis.  Staying focused for us (in this context), means constantly keeping an eye on the metrics that matter from a customer acquisition point of view – repeat visitors to our event, Google Analytics, relevant social media metrics, etc.

Was there ever a time when you hit a wall and didn’t know if you were going to make it?

Of course! The key here was not only personally believing in the WHY of what we were doing, but on a regular basis trying to seek outside validation from advisors, investors and other external stakeholders.

You have a first-hand view of many new Canadian entrepreneurs and start-ups, what are some common features among these companies that contribute to their success?

A global outlook.  Canada is one of the best places on the planet to call home. One of its very few flaws is, as a country we tend to be a pretty risk averse group of folks who hesitate to build businesses with global scope and scale.  Companies like Shopify, Hootsuite, Frank and Oak are definitely shattering this idea, but I think for the most part at least right now, they’re the exception. We @ Dx3 still struggle with this year after year.

DX3 is a strong platform for promoting the latest trends in digital marketing, advertising and retail. What are some of the exciting new trends we can hope to see at the trade show in March?

You’ll have to come to find out 🙂

Where do you see DX3 in 5 years time?

We’re in 5 cities across North America, with awesome team members and most importantly helping put Canada on the map from a digital perspective!