A step-by-step guide to preparing for a tech conference — or any conference for that matter!
I just copped my tickets to attend the blackest tech event in Silicon Valley from November 8 –11 and I’m beyond excited. AfroTech is the largest tech conference for black people in San Francisco, California, and as a techie I cannot wait to be amongst other amazing innovators, entrepreneurs, engineers, VC’s and founders who not only exist, but truly thrive in the techsphere. I have a ton of ideas I’m looking to get off the ground so I’ll be making my way to the conference as an entrepreneur and developer in search of a team. For those of you not connected to the grapevine here’s a bit more information on AT18.
What is AfroTech?
This event, curated by Morgan DeBaun, Aaron Samuels, Jeff Nelson and Jonathan Jackson of Blavity, is the 3rd annual conference where founders and staffers of some of the fastest-growing tech startups present the systems and strategies they use to grow their products and businesses. This revolutionary experience for black techies will foster conversations ranging from raising venture funding, to how our culture and tech run the world, user design workshops and growth hacking. There will be three full days of speakers and showcases of the latest technologies and hottest startups in the country. Throughout those three days, top black early stage startups will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas and compete. Last year the winner of the AfroTech Cup and the $10k prize was Ronnie Cropper and the team behind DisputeDoc — the first automated platform for fixing credit. If you’re interested in participating in the conference this year head over to AfroTech StartUp Database to be considered for speaking engagements, pitch competitions and angel investments from the AfroTech network.
Before attending a conference as important and potentially life-changing as AfroTech, you may want to do your due diligence. Ideally, you should begin prepping at least two weeks in advance of the conference. Here’s a comprehensive list of tips and tricks you can use to prep for AfroTech before your flight.
Before the Event: Do Your Homework.
You’re investing quite a bit of time and resources to experience this event so use this opportunity wisely.
#1 | Research the Event
This year AfroTech will host 30 speakers, 15 workshops and 1 pitch competition over the span of 3 days. There are several ticketing options including Student, General, Corporate and Platinum admission, each with varying prices and perks. I’ll be going as a general admission ticket holder and, like everyone else, will have the opportunity to choose a “track” of panels and workshops geared toward either engineering, design, leadership or entrepreneurship. As the event draws near check out the list of speakers who will be present as well as the conference schedule. Be sure to consider which sessions you want to attend and create your own program unique to your aspirations and interests.