As 2019 started just a couple of months ago, it is not late to start thinking about attending some international conferences for entrepreneurs, especially for Software-as-a-Service founders. The biggest benefit you can get from those conferences – network. It is a perfect place to spread out your pitch and create new partnerships. Besides the advantage of building new business relations, attending noteworthy conferences it’s one of the best ways to keep up with the latest trends and tech solutions. Even if you’re not into SaaS industry yet, conferences might help you to find the ways where you could implement cloud technology into your business. And it is really worth to consider because Cisco has predicted that by 2021, 94 percent of workloads and compute instances will be processed by cloud data centers and only 6 percent will be processed by traditional data centers. We provide a short report about 10 great SaaS conferences from all around the world so you can pick up the most suitable and valuable for you.
March 26-27, San Francisco
$486.64 – $697.79
Very intimate conference with 400 SaaS leaders. The event is hosted by the Cloud Software Association annually. The association has more than 2000 members of SaaS vendors, platforms, API services, resellers, distributors, and investors. The SaaS Connect is a combination of keynotes, panel discussions, workshops, and networking events.
“Other organizations focus on direct sales and direct marketing,” said Sunir Shah, founder of the Cloud Software Association. “We have built a SaaS partnership network of over 2,000 SaaS companies looking to change the distribution model of SaaS, focusing now on indirect growth through channels, partnerships, and integrations.”
April 2-4, New York
Another small gathering for intimate conference lovers. This year organizers are expecting 300-350 people. Though it is not a lot, it has its own pros – easier to network, less chaos, a bit cheaper than big conferences. Speakers have been hand-picked to share knowledge in key growth areas such as marketing, scaling, tech, and entrepreneurship. Speakers include April Dunford, Kerel Cooper, Dan Martell, Autumn Manning, David Hauser, and many others. You will hear topics about growing and scaling, hiring and retention in the SaaS space, how to reach the highest value customers globally, innovation, bootstrapping, funding, and even when and how to exit.
May 6-8, San Diego
TSW conference gathers around 4’000 attendees annually, so it is a great place to network, share ideas, and learn about the latest trends impacting the technology industry. You can already take a look at the schedule on their official website. You will find topics, such as “Selling More Subscription Offers: What to Do First!”; “Focused Training to Elevate Capabilities”; “7 Pillars to Successfully Onboarding Customers” and many more.
June 6-7, Sydney
$211.03 – $422.03
B2B Rocks are gathering SaaS builders and lovers around specific topics to talk to attendees. More specific, those topics include retail, blockchain, PropTech, InsureTech, MedTech and more. The interesting feature they have is 20 min-slots of a session. Which means the information must be targeted and concentrated. You will also find round-tables, open discussions, and networking activities.
Startups and scale-ups will have an opportunity to compete for the B2B Rocks Startup Awards. The prizes are pretty good – Microsoft offers $100’000 worth program to the best scale up, Stripe offers $50’000 free processing on its website, Tech Sydney offers one-year membership and other prizes. You can find them on the official conference website.
June 12-13, Paris
SaaStr is the largest community of SaaS executives, founders, and entrepreneurs. Even if their primary SaaStr Annual conference is already in the past, SaaStr Europe is a great alternative to attend and save some money, since the ticket is cheaper than SaaStr Annual. This year SaaStr Europe expands to 2’500+ attendees and 200% more content than the previous year. Questions like: how to build and sell a product that customers like? Or what key business metrics, pricing strategies, and billing models every SaaS company should track were trying to be answered during the sessions. They had speakers from MuleSoft, Point Nine Capital, Talkdesk, Showpad, Accel and other companies.
September 16-18, Boston MA
Organizers say that the focus of the event is growth – leveling and scaling up your business beyond its current capabilities and fulfilling potential. Although software focused, this is not a coding conference, they focus on the business side of creating companies that employees love working for, and customers love buying products from. The conference has a full money back guarantee, which means what if you won’t find any value by attending an event, you will get a full refund on your ticket. 2 major parts of the conference are 1-hour sessions and BoS Hallway Track with 400 Software leaders.
October 3-4, San Francisco
Prices aren’t announced yet, last year was $699-$1’099
As organizers say, BoxWorks brings together leaders from across the technology sector and every industry to define the future of the digital-first company. At 2018, there were lecturers from companies like Netflix, NASA, Morgan Stanley, Slack, and Microsoft. The good thing is that BoxWorks offers tracks for specific groups of attendees. For example, they have an agenda for beginners, where you can get tips for enabling digital business processes and learn how to incorporate Box into your tech slack. Agenda for financial services includes learning about strategies on how to meet rising customer expectations, tips on automation, collaboration and AI/ML. During BoxWorks you might attend Box Women’s Network Summit, where female leaders share their experience in a variety of industries. Box Certified Professional Program – the aim of this program is “to empower Box Admins and Power Users to unleash the true potential of collaborative processes within their organizations.” Box Developer Training Program offers a deep understanding of how to leverage the Box Platform to bring Cloud Content Management to any application.
October 14-16, Dublin
Prices aren’t announced yet, last year was €999-€2999
It’s going to be the biggest B2B conference in Europe with 4000 attendees from more than 50 countries. The aim of SaaStock is to build a community from around the world to support and educate each other. With more than 120 sessions, you can learn tactics and frameworks on how to run your SaaS business. The conference includes events like:
- SaaS.City – a series of SaaS management boot camps.
- InvestStock – an investor-only, content and networking event.
- Startup Programme – an opportunity for startups to showcase products, connect with investors, and accelerate their growth.
- Global Pitch Competition – a hunt to find the year’s “Best SaaS Startup”.
November 4-7, Lisbon
2 for 1 ticket for €850
SaaS Monster brings 4 curated content streams: cloud, big data, enterprise technology, enterprise security. Web Summit ticket gives access to all SaaS Monster sessions, roundtables, workshops and more than 20 other tracks at Web Summit. Last year they had speakers like Brad Smith, President at Microsoft Corp; Daniel Saks, Co-founder at AppDirect; and Jager McConnell; CEO at Crunchbase.
November 19-22, San Francisco
Prices aren’t announced yet
Since 2009, Dreamforce audience has grown from 19’000 to 175’000 registrants. Which makes Dreamforce one of the biggest cloud and SaaS-centric conferences in the world. Past speakers include Michelle Obama, Taraji P. Henson, Klaus Schwab, and Susan Wojcicki. There are more than 2’700 sessions, training and certification opportunities. You can also make connections with your peers even before the conference at https://success.salesforce.com.
You will be able to create your own schedule on the Dreamforce website. The selection is huge – choosing from products, such as commerce cloud B2B, education cloud or service cloud, to distinguishing sessions by industry: agriculture, financial services, retail and many more.
All those conferences are very different by scale, format, and speakers, but one thing all they have in common is SaaS. If you are thinking about going to any of these conferences, try to define exact things you want to get from the conference and make sure your ROI will be positive. Most of the conferences will be located in the USA, so you can even try to attend more than 1 conference. And don’t forget to do some homework before the conference starts: book your hotel month or at least couple of weeks before, try to familiarize with other attendees, schedule your own program if it’s going to be a big conference, and have some fun!