Best SaaS Events and Conferences for 2020
We’re into 2020 and there’s a whole new set of SaaS events to look forward to. Every team will be starting the year over in January with a new set of goals and opportunities.
Particularly for SaaS companies, the importance of conferences and events has increased over the last few years. With so many different ways to get products out there and so many sweeping changes and new developments every year, SaaS events serve as a place to sum up what’s coming next and explore face to face new technologies and synergies on a global scale. The more we rely on the internet for communication, information, and sales, the more vital face to face interaction and understanding become. SaaS events are a must for new companies or veterans alike. Our team at Beamer has attended a few events that were really beneficial for us in 2019 like SaaS Stock in Dublin and Slush in Helsinki.
Here is a list of the most anticipated SaaS events and conferences for 2020:
SaaStr Annual 2020: March 10-12 – San Francisco, CA
SaaStr is a great educational opportunity for any cloud-based SaaS startup. There are over 300 sessions covering all areas of your business to attend with experts who can teach your team what you need to to scale. Speakers from top and fast-growing SaaS companies like Box, Github, Shopify, Cloudflare, etc. give real, raw presentations on trends and tips. If you’re interested in raising funding, this is a great opportunity as well to meet with VCs one-on-one – which is facilitated. With over 15,000 in attendance, it’s also a great opportunity to network with a very global audience. If this particular show isn’t an option, there are other related events as well like SaaStr Europe, East, and Scale.
SXSW Conference: Austin, Texas – 13-22 March
Though this conference has earned a new image as a music festival over the last few years, tech is still at its heart. SXSW splits the days and time schedule into “tracks” to their conference focused on various topics like: branding and marketing, design, future technologies, startups, workplace, and tech industry and expertise. There’s various events, networking opportunities, and presentations from top experts along these “tracks”. Not only an opportunity to meet potential partners and clients, SXSW is inspirational and a yearly “check in” for what is happening now, trending, and disrupting.
SaaS Connect: San Francisco – April 15-16th
If you’re company is related to cloud software (the vast majority of SaaS), this is the conference for you. Put on by the Cloud Software Association, the conference aims to connect SaaS companies, platforms, API services, channels, distributors, resellers, etc. This is a great networking opportunity for partnerships and cross selling opportunities for SaaS companies which can often be very helpful. It’s also good to learn what others are working on, integrating, and doing sales and marketing wise. There’s a lot to take from the way other SaaS companies are approaching customer experience, features, new technologies, pricing, etc. and conferences like this are where you can really get a good look at that.
MicroConf Growth: Minneapolis, MN – April 19-21st
This conference is unique because it’s specifically focused on Saas companies that are self-funded. If you’re a small team who have managed to find success without going the traditional funding route, this is the perfect conference for you. The focus is really independent tactics, strategies, and mutual connections and support which is great for teams who want to stay independent. MicroConf Growth is really focused on teams that are making a full time income from their company and are looking to take it to the next level. There is another called “Starter” that is focused on early stage startups.
Traction Conference: Vancouver, Canada – 5- 6 August
Traction Conference is focused on high-growth business. This is particularly interesting for SaaS because SaaS companies have the ability to scale the fastest and have higher goals in terms of monthly and yearly growth. This conference is attended by high-growth business leaders and founders sharing their experience, strategies, and tactics for achieving high growth. Top leaders from Intercom, Dribbble, Netflix, Slack, Hubspot, and others attend and give presentations and workshops to help other SaaS companies. You can seem how this would be very valuable to network, mingle, and learn from those who have made high growth happen! It’s also a great opportunity for partnerships and synergies which are becoming increasingly important for SaaS.
TechCrunch Disrupt: September 14-16, San Francisco
A flagship event with a worldwide name in media, TechCrunch Disrupt is a must at least once for SaaS companies. It’s the premier event for debuting and growing startups. It’s full exposure to the whole tech world and the leaders in tech media. It’s great for making PR connections and gaining exposure to a larger, yet still tech-focused audience. If you’re really game, it’s also a funding pitch competition where startups (including SaaS) compete for funding and exposure. Previous winners include UberConference, N26, Fitbit and Dropbox who are all now SaaS “household” names now. Top SaaS leaders from companies like Atomico, Brainly, eToro speak as well as investors from top firms and share insights and strategies. If you’re looking for press coverage or funding, this is a great event to gain exposure to the right people and eyes.
SaaStock: October 12-14 – Dublin, Ireland
The Beamer team attended SaaStock in 2019 and not only had a blast but got a ton of beneficial connections, feedback, and experience. The event is really great for founders and teams to attend because it’s focused on education to help SaaS companies in particular gain traction, grow, and scale. There’s bootcamps, workshops, and talks for all three days with experts focused on scaling SaaS. Speakers from Stripe and Salesforce among plenty of others will be presenting. There is also a good investor-startup ratio if you are interested in starting conversations about raising funding. It’s a great opportunity to see what other teams are doing and what else is out there as well as gain valuable feedback from experts and VCs. Not to mention the city of Dublin is an interesting, European continental destination off the normal beaten path of tech events.
Web Summit: November 2-5, Lisbon
Considered the largest tech conference in the world, this is a huge opportunity for SaaS companies to connect with other businesses and meet potential large clients as well as get a feel for other emerging technologies related. This event attracts all the largest players in tech and many important presentations and highly anticipated announcements. Many experts speak and give their thoughts on coming trends and technologies that really set the tone for the year ahead. Web Summit is heavily covered by the press much more than others as well so it’s a great place to make PR connections and better understand tech media. It’s really a global conference attracting companies and experts from all nations to Lisbon.
Slush 2020 – November 19-20, Helsinki
Slush is a massive modern mixing of over 3,000 startups and 2,000 investors in the heart of Europe. The Beamer team attended in 2019 and found it to be very beneficial. It’s a great opportunity to get maximum exposure to investors with a great ratio of startups to investors. It’s a place to get serious feedback and expert opinions on where you’re currently at to help steer you in the right direction in terms of next steps. If you’re interested in raising funding, this is one of the best opportunities all year – rarely will startups get to meet this many investors in one place.
Recur Live: TBA
No details at this time (we will update here!) but Recur live is a must for SaaS companies with a recurring revenue pricing model. Last year was in Boston and a huge success. It’s an amazing, focused learning experience for founders who are building companies based on a subscription model which has its own unique set of challenges and benefits. It’s broken up into 3 days: a workshop on pricing strategy, the conference with all leaders and experts and lots of networking, followed by a Leaders Summit that is closed-door and invite only on day 3. This conference is really about getting to the forefront of the industry and the nitty-gritty tactics that are working for companies in the space and sharing to grow.
Networking, PR, and marketing extend far beyond cold emails and digital marketing. With a full schedule of events coming up this year, there are plenty of powerful in-person opportunities ahead that will help your SaaS company make a big impact. These events are also necessary to keep up with trends, education, and being inspired by what others are doing in SaaS. Make your travel plans now! It’s worth the investment.