SaaStr Annual 2022 is in the books and what a week it was. Prior to the show, the SaaStr team recommended that we “come to SaaStr Annual and have the most productive and memorable offsite ever”. Mission accomplished.
I recently wrote about how I wanted to approach this conference differently than I had in the past. I entered this year’s SaaStr Annual having participated in a handful of iterations over the years, both during my time at Talkdesk and now at Delegate. It was, and still remains, the Super Bowl of the start-up world – a giant gathering of the best-of-the-best in SaaS.
Attending has always been an annual highlight for me, but being a sponsor was DIFFERENT. After years of watching companies use this event as their launchpad, seeing a booth with “Delegate” sprawled across the top was really, really special. To have an opportunity to participate in this event, with a company that I helped create, with a group of amazing people that have dedicated this moment in their careers to our mission? Unreal. I feel undeserving at times. Like a badass in others. I am so humbled. I am so blessed.
I had never formally performed the role of event marketer. Or really any sort of marketing in any capacity. Honestly, shoutout to all of the real marketing professionals out there. Mad respect .
All I had was an incredible team of Delegators (*Warren G voice*), partners, and support staff that made the week special. I wanted to take the time to give a special thank you to those that made it all possible.
The sponsors, staff, and hospitality workers
We had a wee little booth in Sponsor Hall. I can’t imagine how much blood, sweat, and tears were shed in planning the various events around town all week at that scale. The level of thoughtfulness put into creating a safe yet engaging environment for everyone was palpable. Thank you to all of the sponsors, SaaStr team, city employees, restaurant workers, bartenders, and hotel staff for hosting us. Bravo.
The SaaStr team
On the surface, being first time sponsors combined with an imposter marketing leader in yours truly is a recipe for disaster. Yet, the SaaStr team would have none of that.
They were so damn good at making us feel comfortable and confident throughout the whole process. I felt weirdly prepared going into the week, but this wasn’t an accident.
Poya Osgouei is the real MVP and I am appreciative of his guidance and knack for making others feel genuinely encouraged.
Companies that I admire
Part of what makes this event so special is the opportunity to connect with competitors, partners, and peers that you truly respect. It’s humbling, motivating, and cathartic all at once.
Here is my completely informal, wholly unofficial, and woefully incomplete list of some of the companies that I had the pleasure of meeting:
Our systems engineers and customers love your s**t
*Shameless plug alert! If you’re looking to get up and running with any of these tools, schedule a complimentary session with one of our experts.
I think our systems engineers and customers will definitely love your s**t
Booth buds and forever friends
It’s a such a freakin’ privilege to be able to work amongst all of you, compete with you, and partner with you. I truly believe in helping each other be successful and hope this is the start of several prosperous relationships.
I had the pleasure of meeting the great Carolyn Betts of Betts Recruiting. If you’ve played in SaaS at any level, then you know that she’s a legend. Did I all-out fanboy? I’d like to think I kept it cool, but who knows.
If you’re in sales and marketing and need to hire or want to be hired, there’s no other place to go. Go sign up for their new Betts Connect platform. Don’t ask questions – just do it.
Rosalyn Santa Elena
Rosalyn had taken the time to meet with us, learn about us, and engage with us since day 1. All we had was two founders, a janky website, and a ridiculous dream. To see where she’s taken her career with the RevOps Collective and how she brings the community together is truly a gift to all of us in this space. If you see Rosalyn at an event, you know you’re in the right place .
All of the customers that came by to say hello gave us such a big boost. Makes sense. As a bootstrapped company, they are literally the lifeblood of Delegate. We cannot put into words how much it means for all of you to put your faith in us. We will NEVER lose sight of this.
Special shoutout to Barry Nehring, Global Sales Leader at Screencloud. True story: I didn’t realize we had a big screen as part of our booth setup (aka I procrastinated). Just hours before showtime, I found myself in a huge bind. Low and behold, they provided me with access to their platform and walked me through their library of templates. Voila! A world-class digital display at SaaStr Annual 2022, powered by Screencloud. So simple, even a fake marketer can do it.
The Delegate Team
We rolled DEEEEEEP. Crazy enough, we met the majority of our team for the first time at the booth on Tuesday morning. Here are some of the highlights:
- Not having to track people down for booth duty – I imagine this is rule #1 of “How to not Infuriate your Event Marketer”
- The discreet competition between the sales team and solution engineers in their pursuit of the holy MQLs
- Introverts stepping out of their comfort zone to do the job they were asked to do made me want to run through a brick wall
- Not having sunscreen on day 1 – the lanyard tan lines were vicious
- Being alongside Troy Turner for his maiden California experience
- Happy Hikel introducing himself to every other sponsor on the floor – by the time I had made the rounds, they had all met Happy
- Passing (mostly useless) old-man wisdom to Boone Cherrybone after finally meeting him in person
- Witnessing Matt Seramin make 27 putts right-handed in a row to win AirPods – he’s left-handed
- Rolando Alvarez learning how to confidently pitch Delegate on two-days notice – then straight mic-dropping on us by taking a salsa class in the middle of Sponsor Hall
- Will Russell’s thong sandal journey
- Asha Grayson, Patrick Hudgins, Ernest Wong, Kelli Miller showing off their pipes and shutting down the karaoke bar
- Seeing our team be so welcoming to anyone and everyone from other teams that wanted to share in our joy
They did everything that was asked of them, and much, much more. I am so, so grateful. <3
I would far exceed the ideal-blog-post-length-for-SEO rule if I were to thank everyone that contributed to an amazing week. I apologize if I missed you. Just know that if we met, you were undoubtedly part of this experience. When I say that I hope we stay connected, I mean it.
Until next year…