The Software studio at Rally is the hub of innovation, where emerging and existing technologies converge to create the next generation of software solutions. The Software studio will focus on technologies such as Cloud Computing, Web 3, Blockchain, AI, Apps, Cybersecurity, and more. Developers, entrepreneurs, and industry operators can connect, collaborate, and share ideas.
The magic of software is that it can solve real-world problems in a fraction of the time. The Software industry is broad and ranges from desktop applications to cloud-based services. The global business software and services market size is valued at nearly $500B with projected continued growth for the next several years. SaaS continues to garner the lion’s share of investment from VCs accounting for 45%, or $34B, of dollars invested in 2022.
In addition to the broad range of software applications, the industry is also a major employer across the world. Positions in the Software world include Software Engineer, Software Architect, Developer, Data Scientist, User Experience (UX) Designer, User Interface Designer, Quality Assurance Engineer, and others. It is projected that Data Science and Cloud Computing will be among the top jobs and skills in demand in 2025.
In the spring of 1999, Salesforce released their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform; this was the first “software as a service (SaaS)” company to achieve record growth. Almost 25 years later, SaaS is still around—and it’s here to stay. With over 30,000 companies and an annual industry growth rate of 18%, the only thing growing faster than the SaaS market is its diversity in solutions. From patient monitoring platforms, to IT solutions, all the way to music streaming services, if you can name it, there’s likely a SaaS solution for it—or at least, one in the works.
With a rapid growth rate and dynamic landscape, how can the new generation of SaaS startups keep up? One option is through SaaS conferences; they provide a way to network, allow people to network with top SaaS companies to work for, and inspire the next big ideas. But what conference will give you the best bang for your buck? And what should you even be looking for at these massive gatherings?
If you want to get the most out of SaaS conferences, it’s not just about picking a random event and showing up to it. You want to know your options—better yet, you want to know which option provides the most value. You want opportunities to learn, network, grow, and discover new possibilities.
To help you out, this article outlines the basics for selecting the ideal SaaS conference and how to navigate with confidence once you’re there. Whether you’ll be attending your first SaaS marketing conference in 2023 or are just looking for the next best one, there’s something in this for you. Even if SaaS isn’t your industry, you’ll soon see there’s much to be gained from cross-collaboration events.
For your convenience, we split this article into three clear sections—feel free to skip around as needed:
With that all said, let’s get started!
First of all, what does SaaS stand for? SaaS is an acronym for “software as a service,” and it means exactly what it says: offering software as a service to customers. While that is a simple idea, in theory, the SaaS industry has a near-infinite amount of variation. After all, think about all the types of software that exist!
The SaaS industry is a rather unique one, in that it offers a way for companies to provide very nuanced, specific products and services to consumers worldwide. SaaS solutions are typically internet-based, which means that you are able to access SaaS products anywhere there’s an internet connection. As such, SaaS companies face a unique marketing challenge of consumers that are (in theory) easier to access, but (in practice) harder to reach.
Generally, any internet-based software service is considered a SaaS product. That means anything from Shopify to Spotify falls under the SaaS umbrella. Communications platforms, cloud computing, graphic design tools, and even entertainment services all count. Is Netflix an example of SaaS? You bet it is!
The SaaS market is massive, and it’s growing larger every year. Currently, there are about 30,000 SaaS companies worldwide, over half of which are in the United States. The SaaS industry’s growth rate is blistering. As of 2022, it’s valued at $186.6 billion, but by 2024, it’s expected to be valued at almost double that—around $370 billion. What’s even more impressive is that by 2030, it’s projected to be valued at $700 billion.
With all this immense growth, keep in mind that just because the market is big, doesn’t mean every SaaS company has to be colossal to match. One of the benefits of the SaaS industry is that because it’s an internet-based model, companies are able to offer targeted, specific solutions for targeted, specific problems—and reach their ideal consumers from anywhere in the world.
Because of this specialization, more and more SaaS companies are staying small, and by design. These are what’s known as “micro SaaS companies.” Tyler Tringas, the founder of the renowned micro SaaS solution Storemapper, defines micro SaaS as, “a SaaS business targeting a niche market, run by one person or a very small team, with small costs, a narrow focus, a small but dedicated user base, and no outside funding.” If a micro SaaS solution can hone in on their niche market, they prove sustainable without massive expansion or high headcount. And as you can imagine, there’s an endless number of micro SaaS niches for companies to slot themselves into—whether it’s electronic journaling, business privacy, PDF conversion, or something else.
B2B SaaS, or “business-to-business SaaS,” includes any SaaS product that is intended for purchase by other companies. This is in contrast to B2C SaaS—or “business-to-customer SaaS”—where the SaaS products are intended for an individual user, such as a Netflix or Spotify subscription (unless you’re sharing passwords, but that’s none of our business).
What is an example of B2B SaaS? Here are a few types of SaaS products that B2B entails:
Like with SaaS as a whole, the options for B2B SaaS products are as varied as the industries they serve. And since 99% of companies are using a SaaS solution, any company you can name is most likely among that 99%.
Several factors of the current market are playing in B2B’s favor. Here are just a few of them:
When you see these three mentioned together, it’s most likely in reference to cloud computing services. Companies that offer cloud computing services essentially give other businesses technology resources—like data storage, computing power, and other operational infrastructure. Cloud computing services are usually B2B SaaS companies, as their clientele is primarily other businesses—namely, those in need of IT resources and/or expertise.
As it pertains to cloud computing, IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS are three different service models, with IaaS being the most bare-bones and SaaS being the most fleshed-out. Here is a brief overview of the three:
Most people go to SaaS conferences for similar reasons: they want to learn, grow, network, and find inspiration for their next best idea. And as the SaaS industry continues to evolve, so will SaaS conferences. But what should tech professionals be looking for in these events? What’s going to bring forth the greatest leaders, innovators, and ideas? All the current values of conferences—networking, learning opportunities, workshops, Q&A sessions—still hold value, and likely always will. But what is the next step in SaaS events? In a word: “collaboration.”
Collaboration—across companies, sectors, and industries—is how the future of SaaS conferences will shine brightest. As SaaS offerings continue to become more and more specialized, it becomes increasingly difficult to study similar products for innovation. After all, in many cases, a company’s SaaS product may be incredibly unique. Micro SaaS ideas are popping up everywhere, each with their small-but-dedicated user bases. Even larger SaaS companies will still often fill a specific, niche need.
There will come a time when SaaS professionals will need to look not just to their peers, but to other specializations, and even other industries entirely, for inspiration on how to evolve. And when that time comes, cross-sector conferences will be all the rage. But why is this the case? Why is collaboration the next step for the SaaS industry? Keep reading to find out.
The tech industry is notoriously fast-paced, always searching for the next step towards greatness. While cross-collaboration seems to be rising to the forefront, it’s certainly not a new idea—and it doesn’t just apply to tech, either. The challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic emphasize why industry collaboration is not only a good idea, but essential for evolution. And SaaS companies looking to improve, grow, and distinguish themselves could also benefit from looking outside their normal circles.
To understand the importance of resilience in a post-COVID world, all you need is two words: “supply chain.” The electronics industry is just one of many victims in the laundry list of those affected by supply chain disruption. Of course, this didn’t just hurt them, but the industries that rely on them—for example, the automotive industry, which depends on microchips. As such, experts are already pointing towards a future where collaboration will make their industries hardier, which in turn benefits their partners as well. SaaS may not typically include physical products, but that does not mean resilience loses its value—if nothing else, because many of the businesses they serve do make physical products.
To quote Elevate Ventures CEO Christopher “Toph” Day, “The technologies we will enjoy tomorrow will not come from siloed thinking; rather, they’ll be birthed from intentional collaboration.” While there is benefit to zeroing in on ideas and networking with like-minded individuals, there are only so many new ideas that can come from either of those scenarios. At a certain point, SaaS leaders can’t look to other SaaS leaders for outside-the-box thinking—after all, they exist in the same box. We can look to several examples of cross-sector innovation in our daily lives—from baby strollers to the fast-food industry.
When different sectors join forces, they can create products and services that are better—or at least, more unique—than they could have done on their own. Time and time again, leading companies have shown the value of working together to make something unique—and SaaS is a part of that picture. Additionally, other industries could learn a lot from how SaaS companies operate.
While a lot of cross-collaboration already happens between industries, many times it’s by happenstance—either from an individual with expertise in more than one area, or a sudden need that was filled by working together. Cross-sector events are one of the few times industries can come together with the expressed intent of learning from each other and creating new ideas together. This is why as SaaS conferences continue to grow, so will the need for branching out.
If you’re looking for SaaS conferences to attend this year, chances are you’ve discovered there are a lot of options. From SaaS startup events to B2B marketing conferences, if you can name it, there’s likely an event that’s focused on it. So what should you be looking for? Well, we hope that after reading this article, you’ll have a better idea of what conferences are the best choice for you. We will list some of the many possible choices, what they focus on, and which will offer you the most.
Here are just a few of the SaaS events on the docket for 2024. Mark your calendars!
As you can see from just a few examples, SaaS conferences can focus on a wide range of topics and get very specialized. Having so many options can make your decision challenging, particularly if you’re a SaaS startup that’s just beginning to break into the industry. It’s often tough for newer SaaS companies to refine their craft and hone in on product-market fit. Not only that, but the key to being innovative is not just knowing how to narrow your scope, but how to broaden your perspective.
Exposure to a wide variety of industries, ideas, and points of view can help spark ideas that help improve your own endeavors. This is one of the reasons why cross-collaboration events—like the Rally Innovation Conference—are on the rise in tech.
Announced on March 16, 2023, the Rally Innovation Conference aims to feed the growing appetite for entrepreneurship in the United States. They will bring together business owners, investors, venture capitalists, and industry experts from five different industries, hoping for “intentional collaboration among the private sector, public sector, and disparate stakeholders.”
The next great innovations of SaaS (and technology as a whole) will not come from siloed, isolated thinking. Instead, professionals will begin to look around at other products, industries, or at the very least, different microcosms in their industry. Rally serves as an incubator for those processes, encouraging growth across multiple industries simultaneously.
The Rally Innovation Conference targets five primary tech industries—along with entrepreneurship—to form its six distinct “innovation studios.” They are as follows:
Here are just a few of the great things you can expect at the Rally Innovation Conference:
Many types of professionals stand to benefit from attending Rally, including:
If you’re interested in taking your ideas to the next level, we highly recommend checking out our website to see what is in store for this year’s Rally Conference. There, you’ll be able to see things like our agenda, and learn more about our pitch competition. You should also mark your calendar and get registered while there are still spots available.
Don’t miss out on the next wave of innovation. Rally around innovation this year with us, at Rally!