SaaStr Events Session/Speaker Values + Editorial Requirements
SaaStr prides itself on providing the best content in all of the industry. To do so, we maintain strict and clear lines on content that are different than most other events. Please read below to familiarize yourself with our rules and standards.
All Sessions Must Be About Helping the Next Generation of Founders. No Exceptions.
- No Commercials. No sessions about the merits of a vendor’s product. A speaker’s product shall only be mentioned in the context of providing actionable insights to help the next generation. You are required to submit your content well ahead of time, and it will be rejected if it is a vendor commercial.
- Stages are “load balanced” based on demand — not logo. For our IRL events, we assign speakers to stages of different sizes not based on the brand or logo, but solely based on demand for the session. We will work hard to help you craft compelling content, based on our many years of data and experience. If no one wants to hear your session, no matter how well known your product is, you will be placed on a right-sized stage to ensure the session is well attended. Conversely, if 4,000+ founders want to hear from even the most obscure speaker, we will put him/her on the largest stage possible.
- For our digital events, all stages are promoted equally. There is no “main stage” for our digital events.
- No Repeats. SaaStr Annual and Europa are about providing fresh perspectives. We thus generally do not have speakers repeat two years in a row and when speakers come back, we require the topic to be new and to not have been presented at any other event. We also cannot feature speakers who are booked at similar events on similar topics within a 12-month window, although we are happy to attempt to find diverse speakers from the same companies to speak on other topics. Finally, we cannot feature sessions or speakers who have already presented the same or similar content at other events, even outside the 12 month window. All sessions and content must be new.
Diversity + Inclusion is Critical and Comes First.
- Executives and founders of privilege, even if slotted, shall agree to “yield” their slots to founders and executives that help SaaStr achieve and exceed its diversity+inclusion goals.
- There shall be no “Manels” (all male panels) and no non-diverse panels. (The only exceptions shall be 1-on-1 sessions with a Male CEO/founder. These are to be minimized.)
- You agree to recruit a diverse moderator, co-moderator, and/or panelist if your session is not yet diverse.
- All speakers and hosts shall guarantee at least one diverse member in any discussion, other than solo presentations.
- All speakers and hosts agree their session will be subject to cancellation if this commitment is not met.
- All VC firms with > 2 investing partners shall have a female investing professional present with them.
- Annual has had > 50% women speakers every year since 2018 and all sessions must support this key goal.
- Importantly -> non-diverse sessions generally perform poorly. We reserved the right to cancel non-diverse sessions due to poor potential attendance as well. 2 non-diverse speaker sessions perform the worst of all. 2 non-diverse speakers, where one is a VC interviewing his portfolio company, perform the worst of the worst.
Sponsors Are Never Provided Speaking Slots.
- Speakers on our content tracks are 100% selected by the SaaStr Speaker Committee. These choices are not, and cannot, be tied to any sponsorship. Doing so would immediately degrade the entire experience for all parties — sponsors included.
- Executives at sponsoring companies that are independently selected as speakers shall act as such. They shall not deliver “commercials” (see above) or tie any of their content to their sponsorship.
- Sponsor “conflict” is actively managed.
- Sponsors and other companies that break the rules are grey listed and generally are not permitted to speak for the next 12 months.
- We do, at Annual and our digital events, have certain workshops and other similar sessions that are provided by sponsors. These are distinct from our core content. Even these workshops, however, must be designed to add value to founders and must meet our editorial and inclusion standards.
What types of sessions is SaaStr looking for?
- Panels: A group of 2-4 individuals who share their insights and learnings on a topic. We reserve 40 minute sessions for panels. We encourage diverse and cross-organizational panels.
- Solo presentations: A chance for a solo presenter to share tactical insights on a topic. All sessions are 30 minutes in length.
- Workshops: These are 30-40 minute long sessions where attendees can develop or learn new skills. A typical workshop is broken up into a presentation portion as well as a group discussion or interactive portion.
- Less Represented CEOs at Scale. We are looking for less represented CEOs at $2m-$200m ARR. Earlier than $2m-$3m ARR is too early for our audience.
- Braindate Mentoring: These are 30-40 minute long small group mentoring sessions. These sessions are 1 on 1 or 1 on 4 group settings in which attendees are seeking personalized advise in a small group. Braindates are open to everyone to host but the 1 on 12, slightly larger group mentoring sessions are assigned by the SaaStr content team.
- Speakers that cancel greater than 60 days out may apply to speak at any subsequent SaaStr events. It is generally OK. We build a certain amount of redundancy into the schedule.
- Speakers that cancel less than 60 days before an event without a “good reason” are asked to not apply to speak again in the next 24 months. Good reasons do not include ski trips, can’t get to the event on time, forgot to put in the calendar, a board meeting you just scheduled, etc. Only 2-3 speakers each year fall into this “not a good reason” category, and out of respect for all the amazing speakers that work so hard to make our events great, we ask that you wait 24 months before applying to speak again.