To Stay or Go? The team behind the Lesbians Who Tech & Allies Summit is considering a move for the first time in 10 years! The conference organizers posted a survey last week asking past and future attendees to weigh in on dates/location of the 2024 show. They asked whether New York or San Francisco were preferable and if 18 – 20 September or 22 -24 October would work best with survey-takers’ schedules. Regardless of their decision, I’m sure they will still put on an amazing conference.

Life Sciences & AI: For several years, the American Conference Institute has produced programming that explores safe and responsible innovation in the biopharma and medical device/diagnostic industries as part of its life sciences sector. New for 2024, that means examining the legal, regulatory, and compliance implications of AI in this space – heralding the inaugural Life Sciences AI Summit, scheduled for 21-22 February at the New York Bar Association in Manhattan. ACI tells us that attendees can expect to walk away understanding the many ethical and legal concerns related to AI and hear real-world case studies related to IP, regulatory matters, and equity.

Speaking Opportunity: Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (17-21 June 2024) is one of the most sought-after stages in the creative and marketing space. It is also one of the most competitive and currently accepting speaker suggestions until 5 January. Lucky for us, the organizers provide ample detail on what makes a compelling speaking proposal, even down to the specific format. (In one example, Cannes Lions is seeking inspiring women leaders who “break ceilings, champion women’s voices, and make the world a better place” for five available Changemaker speaking slots, each 30-minutes between a changemaker and a moderator.) Our overall advice? Be sure to read through the Call for Content thoroughly and in its entirety. Though lengthy, the CFP is clear on what Cannes Lions attendees are looking for – like brand-new, stereotype-breaking content – and what they’re not looking for – for example, submissions that reinforce industry norms.

Conference Manager Q&A: David Umpleby is Senior Conference Content Producer of SaaStock events, which focus on teaching founders how to scale. Their next event, SaaStock USA will take place in Austin from 13 – 15 May 2024. We caught up with David to learn about some of the changes he is making next year and how he differentiates SaaStock events from others in this space.   

Speaker Strategies: What about your next event excites you the most?

The next big event on our calendar is SaaStock USA in Austin from 13 – 15 May. We had an unbelievable launch event in the US earlier this year, so we’re confident of going bigger and better in 2024. Austin is proving itself to be the country’s next hotbed for tech, often dubbed the Silicon Hills, and it gives our team a huge opportunity to bring together some of the best SaaS companies, founders, execs, startups and investors for a SaaStock-style festival. I’m excited to find out how far we can actually take the event!

Speaker Strategies: You are changing venues in 2024. What was behind that decision?

We outgrew our 2023 venue in our first year, which can only be a sign of things to come. For 2024, we’re heading over to the Palmer Events Center which is a dedicated events space on which we can put more of our own stamp. For me, the best venues are ones you walk into and the event experience is right there in front of you. (Also, being a four-minute walk away from Terry Black’s Barbecue, for me is a bonus!)

Speaker Strategies: How do you differentiate yourself from other SaaS events?

Our mission is to make a real difference to the lives and companies of the SaaS community, so that’s at the heart of everything we do. Our events are all geared towards helping SaaS companies scale to $10M ARR, which means we’re able to curate specific content and work with the right speakers to accelerate everyone on that journey. Alongside our flagship events, we have a SaaStock Founder Membership, we run smaller local events around the world, and we host a weekly podcast (The SaaS Revolution Show). This sets us apart because we surround our community with value year-round.

Speaker Strategies: What topics do you think will be most popular in 2024?

It’s hard to ignore the two letters A and I. David Sacks, Founder & General Partner of Craft Ventures quoted that ‘SaaS was becoming long in the tooth before AI’, so for me, it’s going to breed so much new excitement in the SaaS market in 2024. I think in terms of its capability, we used to look at this type of technology as the ‘One Day…’ moment, but now it’s the ‘Day One’ reality which is huge for the SaaS ecosystem.

Coming Up Next Week: Black Hat Europe runs as a live, in-person event in London, 4-7 December, followed one week later by a virtual experience including recordings of all briefings and sponsored sessions. New this year, Black Hat Europe is launching a full day practical exam program, “Certified Pentester,” which will cover pentesting topics. At Digiday Programmatic Marketing Summit (4-6 December; New Orleans), attendees will learn the various new identifiers, data sources, measurement and attribution methodologies, and media channels that are being explored as the industry moves away from third-party cookies. Forbes Healthcare Summit gets underway 4 December, with options to attend in-person in NYC or virtually, convening some of the world’s top leaders in the business of healthcare. GSMA continues its Mobile 360 Series from 5-6 December in Riyadh, exploring opportunities in telecom and tech in today’s digital-first societies. Finally, the fully online RealTime Conference spans 4-6 December, designed to convene leaders from across industries and market sectors to learn about trends and best practices in real-time technologies.