These tech events are on our list.

These Tech Events Are On Our List for 2017

Playing favorites with events is risky, especially because there are so many great ones out there. Nevertheless, this week we’re throwing caution to the wind and presenting a few 2015 events that have piqued our interest. We’re focusing our list on technology events because we are a SaaS company ourselves, and we’re limiting ourselves to four picks. Some of these events are industry leaders that been around for years, and some are very unique events you won’t find on the beaten path.

SXSW Interactive takes place in our neck of the woods, here in Austin, TX. SXSW Interactive is a self-proclaimed “incubator of cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity”. SXSW Interactive takes place from March 14-March 18th, and includes cutting-edge panels and discussions from industry leaders. It offers many networking opportunities, and has become known as “the place to preview the technology of tomorrow today”.  We can also tell you from experience, it doesn’t hurt that this event is really fun.

FailconThis event’s premise is in its name. Failcon’s motto is “Embrace Your Mistakes. Build Your Success.” During these international events, technology founders, investors, developers, and more share their failures so others can learn from their mistakes. Failcon events take place all over the world at varied times of year; choose to attend in many locations from Grenoble or Porto Alegre to Tokyo or Tehran.

Techweek.  If you attend a Techweek event, you’ll hear from speakers who are authorities in their respective technology ecosystems. This conference is distinctive because speakers are nominated by the Techweek audience, and each group of speakers is unique in each city.  Past speakers include celebrated technology business minds such as the founder of Reddit, and Buzzfeed’s CEO.

Small Business Web Summit.  This conference started in 2011 with the idea to create an event that would bring leaders from cloud software companies into one room. If you’re part of a SaaS company and you cater to small businesses, this will be a great opportunity for you to mingle with peers and potential partners.  Past participants include innovative companies like MailChimp and HubSpot.

Have you heard about an amazing event that didn’t make our shortlist? Let us know- we want to hear about it!


exhibitor booth theater best practices from oracle openworld2014 by Captix

Booth Theater Best Practices for Trade Show Exhibitors

The first best practice that is non-negotiable is having a customized lead capture experience so you can track which parts of your exhibit attract the most interest; naturally, we recommend our app called Overpass. Beyond that, here are some best practices that can be game-changers at any show.

1. CROWD GATHERERS (for booth presentations)

Live marketing is a huge trend in events today. Here is an article written in detail about why to use them.

A great crowd gatherer is:

  • An actor / actress (capable of multiple accents and languages and playing the role as a team member)
  • Eloquent (never stumbles across words or falters with industry jargon)
  • Smart (see above)
  • Charismatic
  • Funny
  • Attractive (Disclaimer: beauty is in the eye of the beholder so we mean someone eye-catching and appropriately dressed for the occasion.)
  • Dresses as a team member
  • Makes LOTS of eye contact
  • Well-versed (knows about the booth’s goals of collecting many scans, the theater’s presentations and the booth’s giveaways)
  • Aware of booth promotions (able to highlight the various incentives the booth is giving away to increase lead engagement)


Professional presenters are hired to give really engaging and informative presentations for increased audience attendance. The presenter is sent a deck before the show to become fluent in the material of the presentation. This ensures their presentations are completely on-point and extremely well-delivered. Everyone wants to listen to someone use subtle and engaging methods to captivate an audience.

Here is a resource for professional presenters.


Sales folks, solutions managers or savvy experts within your own company are great people to look to – and easy to find! – for presentations about your company’s brand or products. Anyone who is an expert on a product and who can talk at a very high level is a great person to put in front of an audience. The internal expert will gather even more leads by connecting the dots about how exactly your high level product directly solves the audience’s pain points.


It’s really effective to collect leads through a booth incentive. The universal truth is: people *love* free stuff.

As ways to provide fun and engaging ways of getting people to come to your booth, here a few ideas:

  • A relevant product of the booth’s brand (a new tablet, or one that is pre-loaded with content)
  • Money (we’ve seen one tradeshow exhibitor give up to $10,000, which attracted over 5,000 leads at the giveaway drawing)
  • Really fun toys (like drone / helicopters that salespeople demonstrate and fly around while on the floor)
  • Free services from the booth

There is somewhat of a debate around giveaways at tradeshows. Do those who enter have to be there in person for the drawing to win? Or can you just take down their information? Decide in advance if you will require people to be present for the drawing.

You may want to invite a lead who, every time they hear a presentation, to enter into the giveaway drawing for that day (with different giveaways each day).


Guest speakers include savvy customers or partners to your company who come and speak. Having a customer speak on behalf of your solution is a really interesting dynamic for the listening audience. It comes across as more genuine because it’s more relatable.

Is there a relevant customer who is an avid user of your product and a fan of your company’s solution? If they’re a great speaker, and can truly identify with the target audience, give them some speaking time of their own!


The best booth presentations are fun and personable.

Remember that show attendees are already listening to days of speakers and lectures. As incredible as the keynotes may be, you want to make sure that your booth presentation is not just adding to more lecture noise. Be engaging. Use intonation and inflection when you speak. Use industry jargon your audience understands.

More than anything: be personable. Tell a joke. Speak in a different accent for every presentation (Irish, Jamaican, Pirate).

But above all (for goodness sake!) – SMILE! 🙂

If you have other ideas that you have seen work, please share in a comment below – thanks!