First Timer’s Guide to SaaStr Annual

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Jason Lemkin

So we’re just a bit more than two weeks out from the 4th SaaStr Annual.  It’s amazing how quickly this has scaled from ’15.

It’s going to be crazy — we’re running about 140% in terms of size of last year, and we’re got the best speaker line-up in the history of SaaS for all time forever.

There will a lot going on, and if you are coming or thinking of coming, a few things to plan and think about:

  • Come early (9am Tu).  There will be a lot going on but there are special reasons to come early (and stay late).  We’ll open the doors at 9am on Tu Feb 6th and the goal of the first hour will be to meet new people while everyone is fresh.  This is maybe the best time of all to meet new people.  We’ll then kick off 8 hands-on scaling sessions, with everyone from Phil Fernandez, founder and ex-CEO of Marketo to David Skok of Matrix Partners to many of the top CROs, CMOs, and VPs in the industry.  These more informal Tuesday morning sessions are often our highest rated.  More interactive, more informal, extra engaging.
  • … and Stay to the End (5pm+ Th) — even if you leave in the middle.  Thursday is Money Day and there will be VCs and VC presentations everywhere.  In particular, the afternoon of Th Feb 8th will have some of our most popular content — 16+ Lunch-with-a-VC hands-on sessions; 100+ 1-on-1 sessions with VCs (you’ll get an email to sign up); and some of the most popular sessions, including State of the Cloud with Byron Deeter + Kristina Shen of Bessemer and Jason + Tomasz Tunguz on What’s Going On in SaaS.  We’re also adding an informal Last Call / Out-of-Towners party on Th sponsored by Insight Venture Partners this year to cap it off.
  • There will be too much great content, so pace yourself.  We will have 5 “equal” stages of amazing speakers and content this year from the very best and best up-and-coming SaaS companies.  There will be sessions that overlap that you’ll absolutely want to go to both.  So just pick and choose as best you can.  And take a break.  Our Sponsor Expo will have tons of snacks and a Jumbotron running content, and we’ll have a SaaStr Square Park to decompress in, so don’t feel like you have to go to all the content.  Meet more people instead.

  • The parties are great  — and designed to help you meet more people.  We’ve upgraded all the parties this year so there’s more chance to meet more folks.  Tuesday Feb 6 we’ll have 3 break-out parties at the Citiview in SF sponsored by Workday (Sales+Marketing), Mapbox (Builders+Developers), and Emergence Capital (Scaling CEOs), plus a few more parties.  These will be lower-key affairs to meet and talk.  Less entertainment, more engagement.  Then on Wednesday night we have The Big Party at the Masonic on Nob Hill.  Everyone in SaaS will be there, the English Beat will be playing, but the venue is large enough there will be tons of places for quiet conversations.

  • Grab your badge on Monday at the Hilton Union Square if you can.  If you in SF, drop by the Hilton on Monday and grab your badge — and meet a few new folks.  We are hoping lines will be pretty short on Tuesday morning, but dropping by Monday guarantees the fastest, easiest way to register.
  • Bring your team.  If you can, bring your team.  We get the highest feedback from CEOs who brought their management team with them to learn and experience the event together.  It one of the best shared learnings / bonding experiences you can do with your execs.

  • There will be tons of mentoring — sign up.  We’ve added tons of mentoring sessions this year.  All 3 days we’ll have Braindates where you can get 1-on-1 or 1-on-few mentoring from top VPs and CEOs in SaaS.  Sign up!!   PlatoHQ will be offered mentoring with the best VPs of Engineering in the industry — learn how to level up your org!  And on Thursday there will be 1-on-1s with the best VCs in SaaS.  Do this.  It’s invaluable.  You’ll get separate emails from us on how to sign up once you get a ticket.
  • Stay on site.  If you are coming from out of town, stay at the venue, the Hilton Union Square.  Yes, there are cheaper places to stay but there are so many benefits to staying on-site.  You can pre-register, get into morning sessions early, meet more people early and late, and in general be more a part of things.  It’s worth the extra nickels just for the extra networking.  Sign up here for the best last-minute room pricing.

  • Get out.  The Annual this year will be right in the heart of Union Square in downtown SF.  Get out of the event!  Go meet your customers, go hang out with partners at their offices, take a walk, get coffee outside the venue.  We’ll be the right in the heart of one of the best parts of SF.  Experience it.
  • Just come.  If you’re on the fence — come.  The Annual will be the largest non-vendor event in the industry.  We will make a lot of mistakes.  It may get a bit tiring.  But this is your one shot at the year to meet the best founders, VPs and VCs in the industry — and learn from there.  Come.

See you Feb 6!!

Published on January 19, 2018

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