I was recently able to attend Collision Conference in Las Vegas.  The conference is Web Summit’s sister event, and the goal of the conference is to create a meeting place for people who are building the companies of tomorrow and managing the companies of today.  Looking at innovation, you often find that some of the best ideas come from the most unlikely partnerships or collisions of very different industry and experience.

Collision took place in downtown Las Vegas at the World Market Center Pavilions.  There were four main stages divided into categories: Center Stage, Marketing Stage, Enterprise Stage, and Builders Stage.  The event was jam packed from open to close both days with speakers on all four stages.  There were breakout areas for roundtables, and somewhere around 500 exhibitor booths for start-ups.

Some of my favorite talks from the conference:

  • Reinventing the Mobile OS
    • Kurt McMaster, CEO of Cyanogen
  • Who are We? Why Company Culture Matters
    • Scott Cook, Founder at Intuit
    • Ryan Holmes, CEO at Hootsuite

Company culture is a lot more than just having foosball tables.  It’s having a common way we get things done.

  • Women in Tech: It’s All About Us
    • Cathryn Posey, Founder at Tech by Superwomen
  • theguardian.com presents: 2000 Light Years from Home: Technology and Music
    • Joe Hahn and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park/Machine Shop Ventures
    • David Haines, CEO at Vortex VR
    • DJ Roller, Founder at NextVR
    • Alex Needham, Culture Editor at the Guardian

“Having a fan is a relationship, not an acquisition.” – Joe Hahn, Linkin Park

In addition to the talks, I was also able to participate in a roundtable discussion on the Power of Programmable Money with Anthony Gallippi, Co-Founder of Bitpay.  This roundtable was really interesting, as it put about fifteen people together to talk about how we could see Bitcoin and other digital currency being used in various programmable ways.  Some ideas that were brought up were using digital currency to reward loyal customers, digitally managing escrow accounts, monetizing video game tournaments, and programming bills to be split equally in co-working or co-living situations.

In addition to the great talks and roundtables, there were at least a few hundred startup exhibit booths to visit, and they had different exhibitors each day.  There were so many smart people with great ideas creating an energizing experience.  It was fantastic to spend some time networking, trading business cards, and looking out for up-and-coming technologies.  Companies in the machine industry were showing 3D printers, drones, and smart systems to help you keep your houseplants alive.  There were many apps to solve many problems including several with a focus on giving back to your community.

Food trucks featuring bacon and a 9-foot tall roving robot rounded out the whole conference. You know there is a lot to see if you manage to miss the 9-foot tall robot.

(Photo from the Collision Conference blog.)

Are you attending a tech conference soon? Here are some tips for making it a great experience:

  • Network, network!  Don’t forget your business cards, and don’t be afraid to start a conversation.  I had great unexpected conversations crop up both while eating lunch and walking back to the hotel.
  • Perfect your elevator pitch. Conferences can be overwhelming and time allotted to talk to people is often short. You should be able to convey what you do and why you are attending/what you are looking to get out of the conference in about thirty seconds.
  • Drink plenty of water and plan for meals or pack snacks.  Conference attendees are generally burning the candle at both ends, and it’s important to keep yourself fueled, so you don’t get run down.
  • Have fun! It’s not often you end up in a place with so many intelligent and driven people from such diverse backgrounds.

Does the conference experience sound like fun? Join us for Midwest Mobile Summit May 20-21. Use promo code AmandaCollides for 20% off! Sweet, huh?


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