Why we’re going to SaaStr Annual conference 2019

In February 2019 Visibly will be attending the SaaStr conference in San Francisco for the first time. For those who haven’t heard of the conference, its the biggest SaaS event on the planet, and attracts over 15,000 SaaS executives, founders, and VCs to the San Francisco Bay Area. I am not quite sure what to expect, however looking at the line up of speakers I think we’re in for a treat. A few of us attended the Dublin SaaStock event in October 2018, we thoroughly enjoyed it and came back with so many ideas that we have now implemented into the business.

So, what will I be doing whilst in San Jose? In support of the SaaS community, I booked myself an Airbnb. I will no doubt be using UBER to cart myself around the city, but most of my time will be spent at the THE SAN JOSE CONVENTION CENTER.

Below I have listed out the sessions that I have signed up to attend and the reasons I chose them.

From Freemium to Enterprise with Slack & Q + A with Kevin Egan & Dannie Herzberg from Slack

February 05, 10:00AM – 10:30AM & February 05, 10:45AM – 11:15AM

Reason for attending

We are a freemium product, and have tried to bake in some of the same tricks that Slack uses to increase virality of their product. I think this talk is going to be extremely useful to better understand how we can convert some early customers to enterprise further down the line.

Culture 2.0 with Jellyvision and Yello

February 05, 01:00PM – 01:30PM

Reason for attending

This talk is all about high growth SaaS retaining their culture as headcount increases and teams become more remote. I am intrigued to hear how these SaaS organisations achieved their success, but particularly interested to hear from the viewpoint of a talent acquisition SaaS business, as I worked in this field for 15+ years.

How to Build a CSM Team that Generates 130% Net Retention with Talkdesk

February 05, 01:45PM – 02:15PM

Reason for attending

How often do we hear the importance of CSM teams to reducing churn and increasing the LTV? As a SaaS company, just in the process of building out our CSM team, I am looking to pick up any tips I can around attracting, and recognising a great CSM person when they walk through the door. Most importantly I want to find out more about the training, support and tools that a CSM team requires to become world class.

Building Consumer Grade Enterprise Products with InVision, Box, Google Maps and Crunchbase

February 05, 02:30PM – 03:10PM

Reason for attending

We use Invision at Visibly, and as a designer I am particularly focussed on design. So, for me this is a great talk to hear from the best, and pick up any insights into where UI/ UX is going in 2019 and beyond.

Top Global SaaS Trends You Should Know with Google Cloud

February 05, 04:10PM – 04:40PM

Reason for attending

This talk is a little more generic, and to be honest I wasn’t certain if I would get much from it, but then I started to think about our core market (SaaS), and how I need to ensure I can talk the same language as a SaaS businesses no matter what vertical they are in. So, I see this as a great opportunity to get a top level overview of the SaaS market and increase my knowledge of verticals that I am not already in.

Scaling Revenue via Indirect Channels and Platform Ecosystems with Stripe, Box and Slack

February 06, 11:15AM – 11:45AM

Reason for attending

This is all about growing revenues from indirect channels, and we’ll be hearing from the best in Slack and Stripe. So far we haven’t looked at indirect channels, but the introduction of Guest Users into our platform was definitely a move in this direction.

The Funnel is Dead. Long Live the Flywheel. Fireside Chat with Hubspot CEO

February 06, 12:00PM – 12:30PM

Reason for attending

We are Hubspot partner, I really dig everything they do, along with 41,500+ other people in 90 countries. That said, am really keen to see Brian Halligan, CEO of Hubspot talk live on stage. I also have some aligned theories to Halligan’s Flywheel for employee advocacy (I’ll be sharing those in another blog).

How to Scale Your Company While Keeping Your Culture Intact from LiveRamp and Periscope Data

February 06, 01:30PM – 02:10PM

Reason for attending

Being the Founder of a culture and communications platform, this talk is right down my alley. Any insights I can gain from others in the space either competitors, or people going through, or who have gone through the journey that our platform supports is incredibly valuable.

Deep Dive: Top Five Hottest Topics in Marketing with Host Analytics, Dynamic Signal & PluralSight

February 06, 02:25PM – 02:55PM

Reason for attending

Talking of competitors, Dynamic Signal is certainly one of those for us. I suspect this talk will be about leveraging your employees to market the brand, I am interested to see if they touch on culture and employee engagement, the secret sauce of employee advocacy.

Deep Dive: From 1 to 10: What Roles to Hire and When as You Scale Your Marketing Organization from Egnyte

February 06, 03:55PM – 04:25PM

Reason for attending

I am personally heading up the Marketing department for Visibly, whether this remains the case moving forward only time will tell. Either way, I want to better understand what new roles we should be considering to introduce to the team depending on strategy and growth.

Lessons from Gorgias: How to Close your First 1000 Customers Based Solely on Data

February 07, 10:15AM – 10:45AM

Reason for attending

2019 sees us on a mission to attract and close our first 100 customers. Any help, ideas, support I can get to do this, the better. Being acreative, I am less inclined to take a data driven approach, something I need to change.

Go Big or Get Rich: Liquidity Alternatives at $3M+ ARR with Turn/River Capital

February 07, 01:15PM – 01:45PM

Reason for attending

I understand the need and why it makes sense to raise money, but the point at which you take it, the stop watch starts and the race is on. I am intrigued to find out liquidity alternatives to VC money when we hit larger number.

Matching Price to Value: 3 Lessons in Monetization from Menlo Partners

February 07, 02:00PM – 02:30PM

Reason for attending

We’re at the stage where we are learning daily about our customers value metrics. I follow this subject a lot, and massively value the work that Profitwell do in this space.


Building Communities, Superfans and Evangelists: How to Make the Whole World Love Your Product from Bevy Labs, Atlassian and Slack

February 07, 02:30PM – 03:10PM

Reason for attending

As an advocacy product, we totally understand the power of building Superfans. I am interested to find out how to do this in the customer market, and see if there are any tricks we can steal for the employee advocacy market.

How to Take Customer Success from Idea to Action from Gainsight, Xactly, Navex and Glint

February 07, 03:25PM – 03:55PM

Reason for attending

For me, this talk follows on from the Talkdesk session on February 5th. If the early talk is about building the CSM team, this one is about implementing it operationally.

There you have it, my agenda for SaaStr 2019. I am counting down the days now. I can’t wait to see California and experience the high octane environment of the Valley. But mainly I am looking forward to learning through osmosis.

Let me know if you are going, particularly if you are from UK or France, would love to hook up.

Or if you are a SaaS company looking to retain your culture and interested in dipping your toe into employee advocacy Sign Up to a free account on Visibly now.