🆕 A new version of this list is available for 2019. Read: 13 B2B Conferences to Accelerate Your Startup’s Growth in 2019.
It’s often difficult for B2B entrepreneurs to see the forest for the trees. They get consumed by a business problem and can’t seem to find a solution.
Conferences provide a great opportunity to take a step back. Interacting with other B2B entrepreneurs or seasoned executives can help generate fresh B2B business ideas, opportunities and a renewed mindset to accelerate growth.
Sometimes, seeing what’s out there is all you need to find a solution.
To help founders find the best events for their needs, I put together a list of the best conferences in B2B:
General-Topic Conferences for B2B entrepreneurs
- SaaStr – February 6-8, 2018 / San Francisco
Founded by Jason Lemkin 4 years ago, SaaStr Annual brings together over 10,000 SaaS Founders, VCs and Executives. It’s a good place to network, strike deals, and discuss SaaS business, fundraising, enterprise sales, customer success and metrics.
- Dreamforce – September 25-28, 2018 / San Francisco
Dreamforce is Salesforce’s annual event. It was one of the first B2B conferences and it’s, by far, the largest event with nearly 200,000 participants, 3,000 sessions and a lot of corporate money. It’s a great place to make deals.
- SaaStock – September 15–17, 2018 / Dublin, Ireland
The European SaaStr. It covers a lot of the similar topics (Sales, Customer Success, Growth and Funding) with a lot of the same speakers, but it’s an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with the best European founders and investors.
- Revenue Summit – March 1, 2018 / San Francisco
Revenue Summit was started by SalesHacker. It focuses on sales, marketing and the intersection between the two disciplines. With a strong emphasis on processes, account management and sales tech, it’s a good place to go a bit deeper into B2B sales.
- Marketing Nation Summit – April 29-May 2, 2018 / San Francisco
Marketo’s conference covers all things marketing with a strong focus on the B2B space. It’s an interesting alternative to Salesforce’s conference especially if your startup is selling to marketing executives.
- Business of Software – October 1-3, 2018 / Boston
The Business of Software conference focuses on creating quality networking opportunities and teaching participants how to build better products and be better B2C or B2B entrepreneurs. This year, the BoS conference returns for a 12th time.
- Inbound – September 4-7, 2018 / Boston
Hubspot’s conference attracts thousands of sales / marketing professionals. It’s a great place to network with almost 20k attendees and learn about content marketing, marketing automation and account-based selling. The conference often features some of the foremost leaders in B2B.
- B2B Rocks – June 1, 2018 / Paris, France
B2B Rocks organizes events in Paris, France and Sydney, Australia. It attracts different crowds with strong emphasis on local expertise. At the event in Paris, you’ll learn tactics to grow your B2B SaaS product.
- Hyper-Growth – September 4 / Boston & September 24, 2018 / San Francisco
Hyper-Growth is Drift’s conference. The first event is held in Boston the first day of the Inbound conference and the second is held later in San Francisco. Hyper-Growth has a stronger focus on sales and customer-centricity than the Inbound conference.
B2B Conferences Around Specific Challenges
Many B2B companies have created conferences around their customers’ business challenges. If you share these challenges, or wish to dive deeper into topics like customer success or inside sales, great conferences are available for you or the people on your team:
- Totango’s Customer Success Summit – March 5-6, 2018 / San Francisco
- Gainsight’s Pulse conference – April 10-11, 2018 / San Mateo
B2B Content Marketing
Industry Events for B2B entrepreneurs
Events and conferences are shortcuts to target markets. To speed up product-market validation or increase your growth rate, you can attend your customers’ events or visit your customers’ watering hole.
It might be the HR Technology Expo if you’re targeting HR professionals or the DIA 2018 Global Annual Meeting if you market to companies in pharma. Networking with your target market is a great way to create new opportunities.
Conferences are all about networking opportunities. By asking yourself, what kind of professionals the event targets and seeing how that fits within your strategy, you’ll make sure to always have a positive return on investment when you attend a conference.
⚡⚡ Enjoyed this content? I go into way more detail on this subject in Lean B2B. It covers the ins and outs of finding traction in the market for B2B products. Check it out »
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