SaaStr Annual 2020 Review: Should You Attend?

SaaStr Annual 2020 Review: Should You Attend?

I've been attending SaaStr Annual for years.

The SaaStr Annual conference has always been a great platform for SaaS founders, SaaS executives, and established SaaS companies, to meet and discuss business growth and ideas - and SaaStr Annual 2020 will continue the trend.

The founder of SaaStr, Jason Lemkin has done an incredible job at putting this even together every year. It's done so well, there's now a SaaStr Europa.

From speakers like the CEOs of Zoom and Salesforce to high-level workshops and keynotes, the SaaStr Annual 2020 in San Francisco is set to be the biggest annual cloud-based enterprise/service meeting in the world.

Continue reading to learn more about everything the conference has in store for 2020 - and find out if you should attend.

About the SaaStr Annual Conferences

Held every year since 2015, the SaaStr Annual Conference is the single largest event of its kind. Bringing together Cloud and Software-as-a-Service experts and global leaders on a single platform, it is an event that attempts to bring the greatest SaaS success stories, and the playbooks behind them, out to the forefront.

Here's a picture of my co-founder, Dhaval and me attending in a previous year. My good friend in the middle, Mariia Tintul was visiting from Ukraine.

At SaaStr Annual, brands and companies such as Google Cloud, Salesforce, HubSpot, and Adobe are just some of the global business leaders that have been featured in past (and will be present in upcoming) conferences.

SaaStr convenes each year with the following objectives:

  • To talk about the end-to-end process of building a streamlined, scalable and successful software-as-a-service company.
  • Discuss ideas related to technology in the SaaS sphere, and the best practices related to leveraging it.
  • How to create a strategic management mindset that focuses on building the best possible teams, and using your unique strengths to improve branding.
  • Effectively developing sales and marketing expertise in all members of a company to help you scale.

The conference has something for everyone - be it a brand looking to adopt B2B software, a SaaS founder hoping to build a company around it, or a growth marketer simply looking to learn more about how it all works.

SaaStr Annual 2020 Speakers

The speaker panel at SaaStr has always had a brilliant mix of founders and CEOs from some of the best SaaS companies, including many unicorns like Slack. This year’s lineup of SaaS experts and B2B founders promises to be just as illustrious. Some of the major CEOs and Founders from the 2020 panel include:

  • Jason Lemkin (Co-Founder/CEO of SaaStr)
  • Sid Sijbrandij (Co-Founder/CEO of Gitlab)
  • Prashanth Chandresekar (CEO of Stack Overflow)
  • Adam Blitzer (CEO of Salesforce Marketing Cloud)
  • Eric Yuan (Founder and CEO of Zoom)

Other than C-Suite execs, the 2020 panel also features some established field experts:

  • Mark Roberge (Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School)
  • Byron Deeter (Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners)
  • Aileen Lee (Founder and Partner at Cowboy Ventures)
  • Guy Kawasaki (Chief Evangelist at Canva)
  • Shawna Wolverton (SVP of Product at Zendesk)

It’s interesting to see a clear presence of some younger, yet established SaaS companies this year. Past conferences have had a few major success stories, such as, Ryan Smith of Qualtrics, or Dharmesh Shah of Hubspot.

SaaStr Annual 2020 features the same, along with some young and dynamic thought leaders who have set up services that a lot of us use every day.

The Events for SaaStr Annual 2020

Here are the events for this year’s SaaStr Annual conference.

Workshops and Keynote Sessions

This year’s conference will be workshop-heavy, with more interactive sessions than previous years. This is meant to give attendees an up close and personal view of everything behind the standout business leaders and accelerators, as well as, to observe their process first-hand.

Networking and Mentoring Sessions (Meet a VC)

The conference is set to feature one-on-one sessions with some of the speakers. An extension of the workshops, this will give attendees a chance to meet with and learn directly from the experts.

Sessions will not be limited to just one-on-one meetings though, and will include groups of up to 20, to streamline proceedings and give everyone a chance to meet with an expert. However, the one-on-one sessions will require signups beforehand.

Electric Evening (Entertainment)

Towards the end of the event, attendees will have a chance to let loose and enjoy 4 city blocks of entertainment - from karaoke bars and food trucks, to music venues and even dance floors. While it’s meant to let everyone relax and unwind, this will be a great chance to network and meet people in the same channels.

The SaaStr Annual 2020 Agenda

The following is the SaaStr Annual agenda.

Workshops

This year’s SaaStr will feature over a hundred workshops and individual mentorship sessions. These workshops will focus on a variety of topics, such as how to perfect your account-based marketing framework, optimizing lead routing, perfecting your pricing structure, effective lead generation, and more.

The first day’s workshops will focus on hiring and compensation management. Both will discuss the best practices for acquiring talent, and compensating them well enough to maximize retention.

Later in the day, there will be workshops on diversifying the C-Suite panel and the importance of cultivating strategic partnerships - especially during the early stages.

From there, the remaining workshops will focus on pricing management, diversification, and how to build the most effective teams for scaling and business growth.

Following these workshops, there will be sessions held on measuring KPIs for SaaS products, as well as, how to create greater customer retention.

All in all, the workshops will discuss the complete process of setting up, populating, managing and scaling a business - while keeping both employees and customers happy.

Keynotes

While the workshops are meant to be the primary discussion and learning points of the conference, the keynote sessions will really be the highlight of SaaStr 2020.

This year, over 200 CXOs and CIOs will be attending, as part of the very first CXO Summit. This event will have CXOs and CIOs from SaaS giants such as Intuit, Google Cloud, Adobe, Pagerduty, Zendesk, Zoom, Coupa, and Nutanix - to name a few. In addition, there will be over 150 CEOs who either maintain a business relationship with these companies, or generate an excess of $15MM ARR.

The 2020 conference will also be the first to host a women-only event, consisting of women who have made waves in the SaaS and Cloud landscape. SaaStr is partnering with Women In Revenue to bring half a day of sessions and discussions with female entrepreneurs and industry leaders to the event. This will be a part of the general inclusivity drive, a focus of the SaaStr Annual 2020 agenda.

One feature making a reappearance this year will be the Masterclasses. While SaaStr has a no-repeat policy when it comes to special events - they are bringing the masterclass sessions back with some of the biggest names in SaaS thought leadership. The masterclasses will be conducted by Dave Kellog, Mark Roberge, and Jennifer Tejada, among others.

While SaaStr conferences cover a wide range of software-as-a-service channels, the SaaStr Annual 2020 agenda will host a dedicated mini-event just for e-commerce businesses. With sessions and AMAs by the COO of Squarespace, the GM and CTO of Shopify Plus and Shopify respectively, among a dozen more well-known names, the e-commerce event is set to be one of the highlights for this year.

Entertainment (SaaStr Nights)

Finally, SaaStr Nights 2.0 will provide an ideal opportunity to meet with peers and even speakers in a more relaxed setting. A curated art walk, food and drink, and live music, are some of the attractions for this year.

Also coming back this year are the co-working spaces (only bigger and more diverse). Attendees can relax, network, send emails, and recharge for the rest of the day’s activities.

There are dedicated lounges, as well, for Founders, Builders (Product and Dev), Marketing and Sales pros, and VCs. These lounges provide opportunities to meet with people in the same technology and service area.

Key Events to Look Out For

Here are the most important things to observe during SaaStr 2020:

  • The discussions on the importance and benefit of inclusivity and diversity, especially in technology-focused companies.
  • The one-on-one mentorship sessions. These will arguably be the most valuable for someone seeking more knowledge of the SaaS world.
  • The deep-dive sessions, which will discuss the what, when, and why of sales, marketing, and overall product management.

Whether you're a Founder or an SaaS consultant, signing up early is highly suggested. This enables you to gain prime access to gated and mentorship sessions. Overall, the event is known to get bigger each year - and SaaStr Annual 2020 definitely looks to be a memorable one.

If you're interested in getting in touch with them, you can contact them here: media@saastrinc.com