A couple of years ago I was a tad depressed. Let me tell you why. Covering the European tech startup scene was a mess. Every local Tech God was trying to re-create their version of “The” European tech conference without any idea of the synergies going on in Europe. What was interesting was that many had not factored in that the VCs, investors and press – hunting for deals and stories across Europe – were criss-crossing the continent attending startup meet-ups and conferences, only to find the events crashing into each-other. I’d regularly bump into a VC going somewhere that I’d just been, and vice versa. Happily things are starting to get a lot more co-ordinated. As an example, check out the upcoming Campus Party and Tech Open Air events in Berlin soon.
I really hope this is the shape of things to come. In the last couple of weeks we’ve seen the Founders conference in New York being run just before a Euro Tech Crawl meetup, then the amazing Le Web London, after which the excellent Founders Forum could follow up. For a lucky few, Menorca Tech Talk was straight after that. It meant that – while not everyone would attend everything – if they were in London they could hit two great events, at least.
Now, while these European event leviathans might well compete on some level, at least they did not clash on dates, which was a blessing for everyone. The more big events that co-ordinate – accidentally or intentionally – the more you get a great international crowd. After-all, if you are coming to Europe from San Francisco, for instance, you want to maximise your time here. That not only saves people time but, happily, can make for some incredible international speakers who are often happy enough to catch a plane ride to a nearby European country for another event.
Which is why I’m excited that major European event organisers might, at last, start to understand that if they can co-ordinate then everyone benefits. Thus the aforementioned Campus Party Berlin and Tech Open Air Berlin will all be run in the same week in the same city (I’m speaking at both). (The latter, as well as traditional sponsorship from ad-platform Plista, is also crowd-funding it’s costs).
Still have energy? You’ll be able to head back from Berlin to a huge London event on that Friday being planned by the creators of Silicon Drinkabout on August 25th. Register here for details and contact them about sponsorship. In Paris? Look out for a Paris meetup soon that syncs… details to follow. The Eurostar is pretty convenient…
And if you still find yourself in London in the first week of August look out for the legendary Moo summer party for startups, which attracts startups and investors alike.
But in places this is not working. The excellent Pirate Summit in Cologne is being run DURING TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, which means potentially less international speakers.
And November is usually a car-crash – both the great NOAH conference for late stage startups and VCs and the Monaco Media Forum clash in the same week. And VCs that might want to go to either of those, but also want to checkout the hot startup scene coming out of Romania at HowToWeb that week, will be out of luck.
A while back I thought of producing a cut-out-and-keep guide to the best tech events in Europe. I may still do that if I ever get time. I also may subject it to public vote about which you think are the best…
For now, European event organisers, please do your best not to clash. If you sync then everyone will benefit – and who knows, you may get some awesome speakers who just happen to find themselves only a short plane ride away in a nearby city when you’re throwing your event…
Meantime, here’s the TOAB guys: