Collision 2017 is one of the premier startup technology and innovation conferences of the year. It showcases an impressive lineup of nearly 300 top-tier speakers, ranging from celebrities and tech icons to athletes and hip-hop artists.
At Influence & Co., our sales and marketing teams are pretty skilled at bringing conferences into our content marketing strategy, and I'm fortunate enough to travel around the country and meet awesome people as part of my role. As someone who attends a significant number of conferences each year, I've gained a decent perspective on conference programming — and I'm consistently impressed by the organizers of Collision.
Why Collision 2017 Is Worth the Trip
It may go without saying, but the event's setting is fantastic. New Orleans is an extraordinary city, and the conference takes advantage of that. The bar crawls promise fun journeys through the city, capturing the festive ambiance of NOLA.
Above all else, what truly sets Collision apart is the people who come out for it. Collision is currently at 12,000 registrants, which will result in thousands of fantastic conversations and business development opportunities. It's filled with top-notch doers and great thinkers, and it does a great job of highlighting true up-and-comers.
Preparing Your Conference To-Do List
If I've convinced you to buy your ticket, or if you were going all along and just wanted to hear more rationale behind your decision, here's a handy-dandy checklist I've put together to help you maximize your experience:
1. Prepare with your network in advance.
Collision is huge, and if you're in the tech world in any capacity, you'll likely know a few people in attendance. Reach out to them in advance. It's a great event to explore with others in your network. Plus, having someone to swim through the crowd of people with is always fun — and if he or she is your advocate, it's good for business, too.
2. Scout out the sessions.
There's so much content at Collision, and the speaker list is stacked. You'll want to plan this in advance, so review the schedule and put together an agenda. Make sure to hit up your favorite speakers, whether they're the celebrities you've always wanted to see or even lesser-known speakers covering topics on the cutting edge of your industry.
3. Carve out time for the startup alley.
As I mentioned, Collision does an excellent job of identifying up-and-comers, so get to know them. There will be a ton of exhibitors in the startups section, and they're up to some mind-blowing things. Pro tip: In the past, booths have rotated every day. If you see companies that catch your eye, talk to them ASAP. They probably won't be there the next day.
4. Host a casual happy hour.
This is something we've done at multiple conferences, and it's been proven to be worth our resources. Set aside some time to enjoy New Orleans with other conference-goers in a more casual setting. Invite your new friends to dinner or out for a few drinks to get to know one another. There are so many top performers packed in one room — take advantage of that opportunity.
5. Come with an open mind and a happy attitude.
Positive energy is attractive. Plus, you're in New Orleans, so what is there to be down about? With all the networking, the parties, and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, it really is a blast. Keep an open mind, don't take yourself too seriously, and have some fun.
Can't-Miss Speakers at Collision 2017
Collision attracts all kinds of speakers, including TV personalities, A-list investors, celebrities, athletes, and Fortune 500 executives. Here are the nine speakers I'm the most excited about:
- John Hall, CEO and co-founder of Influence & Co. and author of "Top of Mind"
- Wyclef Jean, musician and philanthropist
- Chris Sacca, founder and chairman of Lowercase Capital
- Jessica Alba, actor and founder of The Honest Company
- Terrell Owens, NFL footballer and founder of DraftKings and FanDuel
- Damian Bradfield, president and CMO of WeTransfer
- John Suh, CEO of LegalZoom
- Jager McConnell, CEO of Crunchbase
- Neil Renninger, co-founder of Ripple Foods
Check out the full list of speakers here.
There you have it — all the reasons you would ever need to check out what is sure to be an incredible conference, plus insider advice to make the most of it. Good luck!