Whether you’re a tech startup founder looking to raise your profile, or a startup employee looking to build your network and learn from leaders in the space, tech conferences are a brilliant place to build connections, spark ideas and foster partnerships. Europe is awash with high-profile tech conferences and summits almost all year round.
What is a tech conference?
A tech conference is an event where professionals in the sector come together to learn, train and share ideas. Most conferences take place in-person, although sometimes they’re virtual (and sometimes they’re both). Tech conferences bring together startups and stakeholders from around the world with a programme of talks, panels and demonstrations designed to educate and inspire attendees. As a CEO, founder, employee or stakeholder, you can attend a conference as a delegate or exhibit as a sponsor. Exhibiting can unlock additional opportunities to deliver presentations or participate in a panel, which can be a good opportunity to get in front of target audiences and raise awareness of your brand.
Why attend a tech conference?
Attending and presenting at tech conferences is a great way to meet potential customers, investors and partners – and build awareness of your spokespeople, brand and key messages. Conferences are a brilliant way to build connections and drive leads, as they offer a unique opportunity to build personal relationships with lots of interesting people in a short space of time. Conferences are a useful marketing tool, which are particularly effective when used in addition to a social media strategy, consistent media coverage, podcast appearances and digital marketing.
Top Conferences for European Tech Startups 2023
South Summit: Madrid, 7-9th June 2023
South Summit unites some of the biggest names in the startup world to drive innovation and generate opportunities, with multiple global events and startup competitions throughout the year. This year South Summit celebrated its tenth anniversary. Next year, conferences are planned for Brazil between 29th – 31st March and Madrid between 7th – 9th June.
London Tech Week: London, 12-16th June 2023
London Tech Week is the UK’s flagship tech event. This year, the theme was ‘the power of technology for societies’ and speakers included Hillary Clinton and Sadiq Khan. London Tech Week brings together over 20,000 government leaders, start-up founders, senior investors and budding tech talent every year, and offers plenty of opportunities to network, learn and build valuable connections.
Sifted Summit: Date and location TBC
As one of the leading digital publications for the European tech industry, it’s only natural that Sifted recently decided to bring together some of the biggest voices in the European startup scene via its own annual summit. From round tables, live podcasts, meet-ups, expos and deep dives, Sifted Summit boasts an impressive lineup of speakers each year covering zeitgeisty topics, from flexible working to the role tech has to play in tackling climate change. The date and location for 2023 is yet to be announced.
Slush: Helsinki, date TBC
Slush bills itself as ‘the world’s leading startup event’ – and for good reason. Since 2008 it has grown from a modest gathering in Helsinki to a prestigious annual programme of global events. The annual Slush event is the jewel in the organisation’s crown. This year, over 12,000 people will gather in Helsinki for the conference. Next year, it’s sure to be even bigger and better.
Web Summit: Lisbon, date TBC
Web Summit holds multiple annual technology events, including their flagship event in Lisbon each November. They gather founders and CEOs of technology companies, fast-growing startups, policymakers, and Heads of State to discuss the future of technology and the most pressing problems the sector is working to solve. Previous headline speakers include tech giants Elon Musk and Al Gore, with representatives from Apple and Google also taking centre stage. The calibre of talent at this summit is always high – and it’s a great one to attend if you’re looking to get inspired and accelerate your network.
SaastrEuropa: Date and location TBC
Originally established as a WordPress Blog in 2012, Saastr has grown exponentially and gained serious traction through its community and conference programme. Saastr is now the world’s largest community for business software. It hosts an Annual event in San Fransisco and a Europa event in Europe. Last year, their conference saw over 3,000 B2B founders, executives and VCs gather in Barcelona. The date and location for 2023 is yet to be announced.
SaaStock: Date and location TBC
SaaStock is a conference aimed a SaaS founders on the journey to $10M+ ARR and beyond. 68% of all attendees are usually in leadership roles. The aim of the conference is to help founders spark conversations, build relationships and accelerate opportunities with fellow SaaS founders, future customers, and investors who want to fund your SaaS. The date and location for 2023 is yet to be announced.
TNW Conference: Amsterdam, 15-16th June 2023
Owned by the Financial Times, The Next Web (TNW) is a digital publication covering the latest startup and innovation news. Their award-winning annual conference boasts an extensive speaker network and cutting-edge tech content. TNW actively encourages collaboration and offers plenty of opportunities for startups to exhibit at the event. It’s a great opportunity to meet and network with digital natives, product developers, founders and C-Level executives.
Tech.eu Summit: Brussels, 24th May 2023
Next year’s Tech.eu Summit will bring together over 1,800 professionals working to accelerate the European tech industry. With a focus on sustainable growth, this summit will explore how the European tech market can take its startup innovation ecosystems to the next level in a sustainable way.
HETT Show: Date and location TBC
HETT stands for Healthcare Excellence Through Technology (HETT) and it’s the perfect conference for health tech startups. The conference is set up to help founders position their brand in front of digital health leaders and influencers from across the healthcare community. It’s a brilliant way to learn about and discuss the most pressing digital and technology-related challenges facing healthcare today, and grow network to accelerate sales and growth plans.
By Amelia Erswell, Summer Intern at Crest