6 New Ways To Win At The Conference

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Every year, there’s a lot of excitement for the SaaStr Annual event. Instead of highlighting the fantastic guest speakers and presentations, you will see in San Francisco on September 13-15; this guide is different. 

Business Conferences: The Most Fun You Have At Work?

Let’s get real for a second… When your company sends you to the SaaStr Annual 2022 event, it probably feels like an all-expense paid trip—getting paid to drink, party, and socialize during company time. Sounds fantastic, right?

Having fun at industry events is why these events are so popular. Whether you’re hitting the party scene, dance floor, or grabbing coffee, mingling at a conference is an excellent way to meet people. But, here’s the awkward truth… 

If you come back from the SaaStr Annual 2022 and tell your team that you partied the whole time, this might happen to you:

Batman at SaaStr

So, how do you solve this problem? You want to enjoy the conference while hitting your goals. Following these tips will help you leave San Francisco with a smile on your face rather than a hangover. 

Unorthodox Ways To Get More Out Of SaaStr Annual 2022

The orthodox way to win at SaaStr Annual 2022 is to send a small army of employees and pull out all the stops to entertain people. What about the rest of us? We’ve got to get creative to make the most of the event.

SaaStr Comics Fun

1) The 50% Unofficial Track Rule

When you look at the SaaStr Annual event schedule, it can feel overwhelming. There are more than 160 events to consider. Attempting to attend even a fraction of the available events can drain your battery faster than watching Netflix on your smartphone.

Enter the 50% unofficial track rule. If you’ve been around the conference scene for a while, you’ve probably heard of the “hallway track.” In essence, the hallway track refers to the chats, surprise encounters, and other developments that hit you when you are in the hallways, corridors, and elevators at an event.

50% full strategy

Traditionally, the hallway track is where some of the best conversations happen. To get more of these opportunities, intentionally limit your event attendance. For example, attending a pre-lunch and a pre-dinner event each day means you have a ready-made opening to invite interesting people to drinks or dinner.

When possible, leave a gap of 30-60 minutes between events. This is essential for introverts who can find events tiring. Break time between events is your opportunity to act on what you have learned and the people you have met. See the following strategy in this guide.

2) Stand Out With Great Memes and Emojis

SaaStr Meme

Many people take meticulous notes at business conferences and share their thoughts on social media. That’s a handy way to earn attention at the conference. If you’re the kind of person who loves getting an A+ and learning, go for the intensive note-taking approach.

For the rest of us? We’re going to take a different approach. Channel your inner Seinfeld and look for fun observations to make could be as simple as tweeting a few great one-liners to social media with some g. 

To help you develop ideas for these posts, use the following brainstorming prompts:

  • Interesting Numbers and Statistics. 

Did a session reveal surprising data points? If the data is based on original research, it is worth sharing. This also applies to forecasts and predictions if they are credible.

  • Less Well-Known SaaS Tools. 

Keep an eye out for new and upcoming SaaS tools. Imagine if you were the first person to tell your friends about Zapier or Notion. You might find out about the next must-have app at SaaStr Annual 2022.

Meeting new people is one of the biggest benefits of attending a conference. Giving a social media shot out to a few interesting people is an excellent way to add value. As a bonus, giving a speaker a shout-out (especially if you say specifically why you think people should follow them) makes it easier to connect with them afterward.

  • Disagree With The Speaker.

SaaStr speakers and panelists have significant expertise, yet nobody is infallible. If you hear something that doesn’t make sense, quote it and respectfully disagree. A well-thought-out disagreement can attract attention from others at the event.

  • Post About Conference Breaking News

Some companies wait to make big announcements about growing their team, funding rounds, and other developments for their conference appearance. Look out for these announcements and share them fast. If you’re quick, you might even beat TechCrunch to be the first person to share something exciting.

Before diving into this strategy, keep your humor balanced and avoid negativity. People work hard to produce events like SaaStr Annual 2022, and we don’t want to insult them.

3) Host An Active Event With Your Team

SaaStr Forrest Gump

Hosting a mini-event like a dinner with your top customer is a classic way to make the most of an event. However, scheduling a dinner event with people right now could be challenging. All the people you want to meet might be booked up.

The solution? Go off script and organize an active event. It could be as simple as organizing a run or walking across the Golden Gate bridge – it’s an SF icon that many people haven’t seen before. Or you might go for something more elaborate like a “coffee crawl” – meet up with people at 7 am or 8 am and see how many local coffee shops like the Equator Coffees at Round House Cafe, the Goody Cafe, or Caffe Trieste you can visit in 60-90 minutes.

Here are some additional ways to organize a mini-event for your team, partners, and customers. Becoming the host of an event, even a small event with just a dozen people makes it easier to create deeper relationships with the people you meet at SaaStr.

If you’re going to SaaStr, you’re probably excited about the future of technology. Yet, our future is also shaped by the past. When you’re in San Francisco, take the chance to learn about the city’s history. For example, you might visit Alcatraz Island, Fort Point National Historic Site, or even the USS Pampanito. Take an hour out of your day to see the city’s history.

  • Go For A Walk or Run In A Park

San Francisco has many great parks like Golden Gate Park and outdoor areas like the Twin Peaks. If you don’t like a walk, rent bicycles or e-bikes. 

The fundamental concept is to network with people and keep moving around. Most of us spend too much time sitting, so getting active is a way to stand out.

4) Learn From The SaaStr Sponsors

SaaStr Matrix

Without sponsors, SaaStr tickets would likely become even more expensive! So, take some time out of your day to talk to the sponsors. Naturally, they will have questions for you and wonder if you are a potential customer.

When you meet with sponsors, come prepared with a few questions to start the conversation. Here are a few examples to get you started.

  • Is this your first time at SaaStr Annual?
  • What results are you seeing so far from the event?
  • I’m hosting a lunch event tomorrow. Would you like to come?
  • What are your most popular integrations?

Don’t hesitate to sign up for a demo if the sponsor’s offering sounds useful. Implementing a new technology you discover through SaaStr might give you a significant advantage.

5) Seek Out Integration Partners

Another SaaStr Meme

Many people attend business conferences to hunt for customers. It’s a wise strategy. It’s worth pursuing. If your product has an API or supports integrations, look for integration partners at SaaStr.

For a few reasons, looking for integrations at SaaStr is better than looking at a company’s website. When you have a conversation with a potential integration partner, you can ask them about their partner program. Imagine you set up a partnership with Salesloft, Calendly, and Chargebee. That partnership can bring new users to you.

With a smaller company, setting up an integration might involve a few conversations. With a larger company, the process might have more steps, like filling in an application. However, you can speed up the process by working with the person you met at the event. 

6) Use The Google Sheets Strategy To Double Your SaaStr Impact

SaaStr Google Sheet

Showing up at SaaStr and hoping good things happen is what conference amateurs do. True conference pros only go to an event if they have a plan. Fortunately, you can put together your Google Sheet for SaaStr success in less than 30 minutes.

Create a Google Sheet with the following information:

  • Name: list the person’s name
  • Company: put the company name here
  • Email Address: put the person’s email address here 
  • Social Media Handle: no email address? Putting their social media handle here is a good alternative.
  • Context: Write a quick sentence about the person and how you met them. This could be simple like “Met in the coffee line on day 1 of the event”
  • Next Step: Write a note about what you will do next to build a relationship with the person you met. Most of the time, the next step will be to look them up on LinkedIn or, even better, set up a 15-20 minute phone call. 

To make life easier, we created a Google Sheet file for you. Just click on File -> Make a Copy to make a copy of the spreadsheet.

Sure, you could put this information into your CRM or another format. Putting it into a Google Sheet to make it easier to focus. For the best results, combine this strategy with the 50% strategy outlined above. Don’t make the mistake of relying on your memory. You are going to meet a lot of people at the event. Write down the names of people you meet so that. 

SaaStr Annual 2022: What Will You Achieve?

The SaaStr event is just a few days away. Pick one or two strategies from this post to get even better results from the event. Putting in even an hour or two of effort using these methods will easily double your results!

  • Products
  • Solutions
  • Resources
  • Pricing
  • Talk to Sales