SaaStr Annual 2019: How to Win at the World’s Biggest SaaS Conference
Does hearing from leaders of some of the world’s most successful software companies interest you? What about networking with company founders or meeting top-tier VCs face-to-face?
If I’ve piqued your interest, then SaaStr Annual 2019 is where you need to be.
The agenda is jam-packed with interesting and valuable sessions on scaling growth, revenue building, talent development, and thriving in a hyper-competitive digital environment. The roster of speakers is 300 names long, including executive leaders from Dropbox, Hubspot, Slack, and more.
If you’re attending, setting a gameplan for getting the most out of the show is well worth it. Here’s a complete “survival guide” to prepare for SaaStr Annual 2019.
Who’s your host?
According to its website, SaaStr is “the world’s largest community of SaaS executives, founders, and entrepreneurs.” By offering industry-leading content and facilitating new industry connections, SaaStr aims to “help everyone get from $0 to $100 million ARR with less stress and more success.”
The organization’s annual event takes place each February in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s the largest non-vendor event in the industry, with more than 12,500 attendees expected to join.
SaaStr’s slogan is simple.
“Built by SaaS enthusiast for SaaS enthusiasts.”
The agenda run-down
The SaaStr Annual 2019 agenda is crafted to provide the most relevant information to SaaS founders, executives, and entrepreneurs looking for advice on how to grow a successful business.
The three-day conference will contain more than 40 hours of content, talks from some of the world’s most successful SaaS pioneers, not-to-miss networking events, and nightly parties.
The agenda is categorized according to the day. Day one is all about scaling. Day two is called “Mythical Creatures,” and focuses on tips for becoming a “unicorn.” The last day is “Money Day.” It’s all about successful fundraising and thriving in the digital future.
Don’t forget to take notes
How often do you get the chance to hear advice from global tech all-stars? Grab your notebook and extra pens, and prepare to get an education from some of the most esteemed leaders in the industry.
The 2019 line-up of speakers includes:
- Yamini Rangan, Chief Customer Officer, Dropbox
- Aaron Skonnard, CEO and Co-Founder, Pluralsight
- Allison Pickens, COO, Gainsight
- Anil Dash, CEO, Glitch
- Auren Hoffman, CEO, SafeGraph
- Jess Lee, Partner, Sequoia Capital
- Brian Halligan, CEO, Hubspot
- Ciara Peter, VP of Product, InVision
Definitely don’t miss these two speakers
Full disclosure, I’m a little biased here. But I’d be remiss not to HIGHLY recommend you attend the talks from Dan Adika, CEO and Founder of WalkMe, and Aliisa Rosenthal, WalkMe’s VP of Mid-Market Sales.
Aliisa’s session is called Building and Scaling a Billion Dollar Sales Engine, and it will be held on Thursday, Feb. 7 from 12:30-1:00 p.m.
Dan’s talk, called Transactional to Transformational: Moving Upmarket in the World of Consumerized IT, will take place on Thursday, Feb. 7 from 2:00-2:30 p.m.
Next Month I will be getting on stage to discuss what I learned & my takeaways from transitioning @WalkMeInc from small-medium to enterprise scale projects and deployments at @saastr. Come join the talk in San Jose, on the 7th! https://t.co/JWEF5Q8XT0 #SaastrAnnual pic.twitter.com/ht5StSoRtX
— Dan Adika (@DanAdika) January 23, 2019
The venue this year is three-times bigger than last year’s. The San Jose McEnery Convention Center is more than 500,000 square feet.
San Jose McEnery Convention Center
Out-of-town attendees have the option to fly into the San Francisco Airport, Oakland Airport, or San Jose Airport.
An expo hall worth visiting
Visiting exhibitors is not always top of the list of priorities for attendees at industry shows. But the exhibition hall at SaaStr Annual 2019 is the hub of the event, where attendees and speakers alike gather to connect, talk, and learn.
The exhibition hall isn’t about pitching or bombarding you with in-person commercials. It’s a chance to see some of the leading companies demo their products, learn about new opportunities to add value to your company and forge new connections.
Come say hi to us from WalkMe at booth #608 — we’d love to see you.
Network, network, network
SaaStr Annual 2019 is the opportune networking event. All three days are full of opportunities to meet interesting people and form new connections, but the event also holds structured mentorship sessions to ensure you get the most possible value out of these interactions.
Startups are hard… 🤯
— Ryan Prestel (@RyanPrestel) January 24, 2019
These “Braindates” are either one-on-one or one-on-five mentorship sessions that you schedule with other attendees.
Here’s how it works. First, you propose a topic or sign up to join a discussion that sounds interesting to you. Then, you book it with other attendees. Simple as that. The Braindates take place in the Networking Lounge. Sign up to book your mentorship sessions here.
Another unique opportunity at SaaStr Annual 2019 is Meet a VC, where founders and CEOs have the chance to sit down with one of a hand-selected VCs, such as Sequoia Capital and Insight Venture Partners.
Unwind and enjoy
Cap off each night of the event with some fun. This year is the first time the conference includes “SaaStr Nights,” which include DJ parties, art exhibits, food, and drinks.
On the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 5, SaaStr is shutting down all four blocks of the San Jose Arts District, just next door to the venue, just so attendees can hop from one event to the next.
Don’t miss the Future of SaaS Happy Hour! A three-minute walk from the convention center, join WalkMe, co-sponsor Gong, and all of your new connections from the conference for a night of networking, tasty cocktails, and food in one of the coolest venues in downtown San Jose.
Feb. 6 is “Night at the Museum,” which will be held in the Tech Museum of Innovation. The whole museum will be reserved for SaaStr Annual 2019 attendees, just bring your badge.
The final night of the conference is the “Out-of-Towners Wrap Party,” one final night of fun before out-of-state guests fly home.
Follow all things SaaStr with the official hashtag: #SaaStrAnnual.
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