Tech conferences and trade shows are abundant in the Unites States, but when you’re a bit of an introvert, you’d rather connect with people from the comfort of your home. It takes effort to venture out into the world. Who needs to leave the house when you’ve got Zoom?
Although your online presence is important, hosting virtual conferences doesn’t come close to attending a live conference with a panel of professional speakers. Virtual conferences aren’t beneficial when you’ve got a product the world needs to see.
If you’re hiding a brilliant idea from the world, consider becoming an exhibitor. It doesn’t cost as much as you might expect, and all you need are basic supplies and for most events, a simple canopy that meets the event’s required rules. Getting setup is easy. The hardest part of attending a conference is getting off the couch.
If you’re working on the next big thing in tech, consider attending at least one of these events as a guest or an exhibitor:
1. Tech Crunch Disrupt:
In the tech world, this conference is simply known as “Disrupt,” and it’s the original tech startup conference. This conference focuses on a wide range of categories including:
- Blockchain technology
- Bio tech and health tech
- Privacy and security
- Software as a Service
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning
Disrupt has traditional panels of speakers, but they also host a hackathon where participants work with others to create a project. Projects are gradually eliminated, and the final winner receives a $10,000 grand prize.
If you’re ready to launch a startup, join Disrupt’s Battlefield Competition for a chance to be one of 25 companies to receive advice, coaching, and the opportunity to pitch your startup to top investors on the main stage. Past winners include Dropbox, Mint, and Fitbit. The Battlefield Competition is free to enter, and there’s a $100,0000 cash prize.
Even if you don’t have a startup to launch, go as an attendee. You’ll have a good time and gather plenty of inspiration.
2. Digital Hollywood:
Digital Hollywood generates an average of 25,000 attendees over each three-day conference. Traditionally, the speakers have been experts in marketing, sales, and other areas of tech. Today, this conference includes panels that discuss the world of self-publishing, copy writing, and using social media for generating business.
Digital Hollywood is an expensive conference to attend, so if you’ve got any chance at being an exhibitor – do it. As an exhibitor, you’ll be able to attend panels and wander around just like any other participant. Just make sure you have a partner to babysit your booth while you wander.
You’ll pay more to be an exhibitor than an attendee, so the benefit to being an exhibitor is really just to get your idea in front of thousands of people who love tech. If you don’t have a product or idea, it’s worth buying a three-day pass to attend the whole event. Panels are scheduled simultaneously, so you’ll need those three days to attend more of the panels that interest you.
3. Cedia Expo:
Created specifically for smart home technology, Cedia Expo will give you insight into what smart innovations are around the corner. Thought leaders, innovators, and influencers are available to chat with throughout this expo.
If smart home technology is your thing, don’t skip this expo. If you’ve got smart home tech to share, as an exhibitor you’ll have access to more than 10,000 qualified buyers – people with direct influence over making purchase decisions. You’ll get media coverage as well; there are more than 150 media outlets that cover Cedia Expo.
If you don’t have a product to showcase, come as an attendee and see what’s going on in the world of smart home tech.
4. AI NEXTCon:
The AI NEXTCon conference in Seattle is for tech engineers, developers, and data scientists to learn and practice AI technology and apply AI to solve engineering problems. The conference features inspirational keynotes, tech talks, and hands-on workshops.
AI NEXTCon is just one of many Seattle-based tech conferences. Check out this list of tech conferences for more.
Don’t think, just go
If you don’t regularly attend tech conferences, you don’t know what you’re missing. If you’re lucky, there’s a conference near your home. If not, turn your trip into a weekend vacation and enjoy a new experience.