Before we begin, let's look at some stats:
Number of registrations: 1000+ qualified registrations
Number of speakers: 43
It has been more than two decades since SaaS started taking its form in India. There have been so many companies that have made its mark in global SaaS and yet, there are a lot more companies that are still unheard of. We at SaaS Insider, India's first of open community for B2B SaaS, decided to host a conference that celebrates SaaS in India and tell the world we are not to be overlooked.
Hosting a conference at this scale was indeed a roller coaster ride and a huge learning. Like any other event, we had planned to get started with the activities 4 months prior to the event but as fate would have it, I lost a loved member of my family in the mid of August. This delayed the kickoff by more than a month but since the date was already announced, we were determined to make it happen.
Finally. For a conference scheduled to happen on the 5th of November, we got started in the mid of September.
To be honest – we did not have a plan of action. But we did make sure that everything is tracked and in place. To our surprise, the best tool we used to keep everything in place was not a software. The mission critical resource was our very own whiteboard.
Another factor that worked really well for us was the structure of conference and session itself. Since sessions in most conferences are sequential, it does not offer alternatives to the audience. We decided to host parallel sessions as one can switch between sessions and stay engaged all the time. Moreover, limiting the session helped in retaining by creating a sense of urgency when it comes to consuming content.
While I oversaw the preparation and made sure the speakers were on board, it is the volunteers and their effort that majorly contributed to pulling this together. Gautham and Nithyakala brought in partners. Creatives were taken care of by Kalendars.io. The rest, though they were not allocated to anyone we took turns to finish it up.
Like every conference, we did have last minute hiccups. Raghav, Varsheni, Aanand, Vikrant, Gautham, Hari and I were at the front coordinating/moderating session. The real heroes were Amrit and Rajavel. Despite having a wedding to attend, Amrit killed the social media segment by keeping it live and engaging throughout the duration of the conference. Rajavel and Kirthikaa on the other hand handled all the logistics from the backend.
The best of all was the date itself – 5 November. According to Britannica, Guy Fawkes day, also called bonfire night, is celebrated on 5 November commemorating the failure of Gunpowder plot of 1605. In simple words, this was a revolution. On similar lines, we wanted the world to see the rise of Indian SaaS as a revolution.
Last but not the least, India 2020 would not have been possible without the support of sponsors and community partners. For a community to run successfully and host an event at this scale, there are a lot of expenses involved including tools like Zoho One, Webflow, Canva, Hopin, Sophya etc. We would like to thank our sponsors - Esper, Kalendars.io, DigitalOcean, Revv, Hippo Video and SurveySparrow for believing in us and helping us in making this happen.
Well, that was the gist of how we did it. Finally, following Thor - that after a battle there should be revels - here we are ready to take the next step towards making SaaS Insider a successful community!
In case you missed the conference, check out the recordings here.