Last month, I got to go to New Orleans to attend the Collision Conference. I went to a support conference last year but this one was different. Not only did it span over 3 days but there was way more people. As in thousands of entrepreneurs, startup employees, journalists, speakers and attendees.
The first thing that struck me is the number of startups in this world. Every industry imaginable showed up to get funding and present their product. Being in a startup in a small city sometimes gives me a tiny picture of the industry. On this week, I got a glimpse of the bigger picture. Every company I met were new (apart from KPMG – I knew that one). Now, I wasn’t sold on every idea. Some of those companies seemed to be trying to re-create existing products but their enthusiasm was amazing.
There were multiple stages at the conference – Music, University, Breakthrough, Builders, Enterprise, Marketing, Sport, Pitch and Center. I spent most of my time at the Builder Stage whose talks were focused on development and the Center one with lots of talks on virtual reality. I got my first virtual reality experience which was kind of awesome. 🙂 I got to see a show of the Cirque du Soleil up close thanks to VR.
I was great to get such a broad perspective but not a lot of it would apply to my specific job (aka front-end development) which is why next time, I might choose to go at its sister conference instead, Web Summit. Regardless, I got a free ticket (thanks to Collision Conference giving away 10,000 tickets to women in tech) and I got to visit New Orleans. So worth it!