What to Expect at the 2017 SaaStr Annual (Newbie+ Edition)
We’re just 48 days out from the 2017 SaaStr Annual, our third annual global cofab of post-revenue SaaS founders, execs, VPs, and VCs.
I’m going to do two related guides. The first one here for everyone, and a second one just for return-ers.
For a quick sense of it all, take a look at this great backstage video from the 2016 Annual:
Overview: The SaaStr Annual takes place across 3 full, and varied, days from Feb 7-9th. We’re on track for almost 10,000 total attendees, or a little more than 2x last year. The average company is bringing 2.3 total attendees, e.g., a CEO + a VP of Sales and a VP of Customer Success, or two Co-Founders, or CEO + CTO, etc. Because of this, we’ll break up a lot of things around different functional areas and areas of interest, including the Tuesday Feb 7th evening parties. We want to make sure you meet tons of great people in general, and tons of your peers in particular.
Each day will be a bit different:
Tuesday February 7th is “Level UP” day, and will be the most hands-on and least formal day. We’ll be at the majestic Bill Graham theater in San Francisco.
Try to get there by 10am to register, and we’ll save 10-11am just for meeting new folks. We’ll try to help you meet other CEOs at your stage, other VPs of Sales, etc. etc. 10-12p will be Meet Your Peers time but we will start some great content at 11am, so definitely get there early.
At 11am, we’ll have two great “warm-up” sessions on our favorite topics — how to get more customers, small medium and large, and how to hire a great VP of Sales. These are the 2 most popular SaaStr topics so we’ll kick off 2 great sessions on those topics.
Then we’ll break for lunch, and again, try to break into smaller groups around functional areas.
After lunch, we’ll run 4 total stages of epic content, with CEOs, CXOs and SVPs from the folks that have really done it: Box, Nutanix (just IPO’d for a cool $4b), Apttus, Oracle, ServiceMax (just acquired for a cool $1b), Gainsight, Mulesoft, Gusto, Host Analytics, Salesloft, OpenDNS, Lyft Enterprise, Zinc, DoubleDutch, Replicon, Hubspot, Segment, Quip, Dialpad, Expensify, and more.
These sessions will be the most “hands-on” — how to build a CS org, how to scale a CS org, how to hire 100 sales reps, how to get more revenue from your existing customers, how to build your first management team, etc. Amazing sessions from CEOs and VPs that have done it for real at the best SaaS companies.
We’ll also have open AMAs after some of the sessions so you can get your questions answered with leaders in sales, marketing, and customer success.
Phew. We’ll break for classic SaaStr cocktails from 5:30-7pm right at the Bill Graham. Including a special section for drinks with our podcaster extraordinaire, Harry Stebbings.
Then we’ll break out into 7-8 themed parties. We’ll have one for Customer Success hosted by Gainsight, one for Sales, one for Marketing, one for Developer and Product-Centric Companies (and CTOs) hosted by Digital Ocean, one for CEOs and Operational Excellence by Workable, etc. etc. You’ll be able to pick your party inside our mobile app (from DoubleDutch) which will launch soon.
Then, go rest. Because Wednesday will be even bigger.
Wednesday February 8th is our most massive content day, and the theme is “Good Times 4Ever”. We’ll kick it off with two of our trademark talk-show style discussions on Scaling SaaS, the first with Jeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio, and then with Peter Gassner, CEO of Veeva (which IPO’d to $6 billion market cap after raising only $3m).
We’ll then break into an amazing group of sessions, on everything from Scaling to $20m ARR, Scaling to $50m ARR, on how to get 30,000 email subscribers, on how M&A really works, and so much more. We’ll have everyone from Eoghan McCabe, CEO of Intercom to Dustin Moskovitz, CEO of Asana and co-founder of Facebook, to the CEOs of unicorns Zuora, Okta, Marketo, and Pluralsight, to so much more. And we’ll have plenty of “how to do it” sessions with the CEOs of Heroku, Trello, Zoom, Xero, Mindbody, Steelbrick, Talkdesk, and so much more.
And we’ll have tons of the fan favorites here as well, the blogs you all read, from Tomasz Tunguz to Aaron Ross to Dharmesh Shah to David Skok to David Cummings to Mark Roberge and more.
This will be the most insane line-up ever. After finishing with Dustin Moskovitz and an amazing session on The Salesforce MBA: Lessons Learned with Leyla Seka, the head of AppExchange, and the ex-COO of Salesforce, the CEO of Campaign Monitor, and the ex-CTO of Salesforce and CTO of StitchFix … we’ll have more cocktails … and then …
Get ready for The Big Party on Wed Feb 8th in the evening. We’ll head over to the Regency Ballroom in SF (the site of the first SaaStr Annual in 2015) for The Big Party. We’ll have an amazing musical act, a DJ-to-the-Stars, and enough space spread across several floors to make sure you meet a few more great folks. Or dance. Or pitch a VC. Or whatever works. This worked really well last year. It will be fun.
Thursday February 9th is “Founder Power” day and we’ll mix it up again. We’ll turn the tides on the VCs, and more. We’ll start the day with two more talk-show style sessions, this time with true Founders’ Founders. First, we’ll start with Josh James, now CEO of unicorn Domo, who sold Omniture to Adobe for ~$2b, and learn how the Second Unicorn is Different. Then, we’ll hear the true stories of scaling Zendesk with CEO Mikkel Svane and fan favorite Christoph Janz of Point Nine (Zendesk was his first seed investment). You’ll love them both. Founders’ founders.
Then we’ll break out into sessions on helping give you more founder power. We’ll have a great discussion with CXOs of Apptus, New Relic and InsideSales on the Top 10 Issues You’ll Face as Your Scale. We’ll hear honest CEO-to-CEO stories with Lisa Falzone, CEO of red-hot Revel Systems (the enterprise Square). We’ll hear how to scale outbound sales team, inbound teams, and so much more. We’ll hear how Slack really builds product with its VP of Product. How Krux sold to Salesforce for $700,000,000. And so much more. Phew.
Then we’ll break for lunch and after that, turn the tables on the VCs. 50+ VCs will pitch you. We’ll hear from Sam Altman of YC, Naval Ravikant of AngelList, Byron Deeter of Bessemer Venture Partners, Mamoon Hamid of Social Capital, Matt Ocko of Data Collective, John Somorjai of Salesforce/Salesforce Ventures, Nakul Mandan from Lightspeed, and so much more. We’ll also have 20 break-out sessions where VCs will pitch to groups of 30-50 founders. We’ll ask you to sign up for which VC you want to pitch you, and we’ll save time for Q&A in each of these sessions. This will be fun.
After the VCs have all pitched you, we’ll get back together for one more last big Happy Hour. Thank the sponsors, let them scan your badge, and reflect on what we’ve learned.
Then we’ll all start planning for next year.
If you don’t yet have tickets, get them before they’re gone…
See you there!