Which Conferences Should I Attend?

I’ve been slow answering your questions recently (Jason has been much more diligent, but then you’d expect that since he’s an ex-lawyer.)  My backlog is now 50 questions, but I’m not daunted by that at all – really.

Today’s question is “Which industry events are a must attend, if any?”  I generally dislike conferences, so I don’t have a particularly good answer to the “must attend” part.  However, the ones I do enjoy are the regional ones that mix VCs, entrepreneurs, and all the regional service providers, such as the Venture Capital in the Rockies event that starts this Tuesday night in Beaver Creek. 

These types of events typically mix some local thing (skiing), with a nice venue (the Ritz at Beaver Creek), with good keynote speakers (Greg Maffei – CEO of Liberty Media and Mark Heesen – President of the National Venture Capital Association), with great entrepreneurs and their up and coming companies.  The local service providers for the entrepreneurial community (e.g. legal, search, accounting, banks, PR) are out in force guaranteeing good swag and some great meals. 

If you want to get a feel for the entreprenerial activity in a particular region, conferences like Venture Capital in the Rockies are the ones to go to.  Virtually every region in the country that has meaningful entrepreneurial and venture capital activity has some variant of this.