8 Reasons Why Collision is the Fastest Growing Tech Conference

How do you network, recruit, spread the word about what your company is doing, or attract investors? If you said online, you are only half there. In a world full of digital interactions, nothing makes a connection quite like talking in real life.

The Collision Conference is one of the fastest growing tech conferences out there, and there are several reasons why.

Initially, the Collision Conference was in New Orleans, but that is changing for 2019. Cosgrave opted to find a new home for the event after the recent immigration issues in the US. Going forward, Toronto will be home to the star-studded tech conference.

One Word: Toronto

The Collision Conference may be the new best reason to visit Toronto, but the move there makes sense. "A new wave of Canadian founders are building companies not just out of Canada but all over the world. From Shopify to Cloudflare, there's a new generation blazing a global trail. Google's AI visionary, Geoff Hinton, is based in Toronto, not Silicon Valley," says Collision Conference founder Paddy Cosgrave. "At the very moment when some countries around the world seem to be shutting their borders when intolerance is on the rise, Toronto stands for something very different."

After all, Collision isn't the only tech entity hopping over to the Great White North. The city is already home to outposts for Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, IBM, and Twitter. Uber announced its plans to jump the border in September 2018. Microsoft pledged to bring 500 jobs to the city by 2022. Google is building a digital city on Toronto's waterfront.

One of the biggest reasons that these companies are flocking to Toronto is the talent pool.

Have You Met Collision?

Collision started in 2014. Paddy Cosgrave, the guy behind the Web Summit in Lisbon, started the three-day event. Only about 1,500 people attended the first one, but the conference has mushroomed since. In 2018, 25,000 people went to Collision.

The Collision Conference is home to all things tech. From innovative startups to the most prominent thinkers in the space, this event is where you will find them. Speakers have included celebrities like Sophia Bush and Al Gore as well as some of the top CEOs in the world. You can also find investors and developers there.

The Collision Conference may be the new best reason to visit Toronto, but the move there makes sense. "A new wave of Canadian founders are building companies not just out of Canada but all over the world. From Shopify to Cloudflare, there's a new generation blazing a global trail. Google's AI visionary, Geoff Hinton, is based in Toronto, not Silicon Valley," says Collision Conference founder Paddy Cosgrave. "At the very moment when some countries around the world seem to be shutting their borders when intolerance is on the rise, Toronto stands for something very different."

After all, Collision isn't the only tech entity hopping over to the Great White North. The city is already home to outposts for Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, IBM, and Twitter. Uber announced its plans to jump the border in September 2018. Microsoft pledged to bring 500 jobs to the city by 2022. Google is building a digital city on Toronto's waterfront.

One of the biggest reasons that these companies are flocking to Toronto is the talent pool.

Recruit Top Talent

For companies looking for advanced engineering and AI, in particular, Toronto is gold. Canada has a higher percentage of AI researchers than anywhere else in the world. It also boasts the third largest number of people in AI.

A tech event like the Collision Conference can be a good place for companies to recruit talented engineers and developers.

Collision is a significant draw. The conference leverages that with stages and lounges that are dedicated to developers. Unlike some conferences that expect you to recruit as you hob-nob in the room, this one is different. It has spaces designed for the type of conversations that lead to interviews and offers.

Meet Investors

The Collision Conference also makes it easy to meet investors. Already, the conference attracts interest from influential funds. Collision has a unique feature called Investor Meetings. These are pre-scheduled gatherings. They put choice startups in front of the investors who can seed them into something great.

Plus, Toronto is booming with tech startups in its own right. There are over 4,100 startups in the city to be exact - and they are bringing in serious investment. Venture capital is up more than 150% since 2013, coming in at $2.7 billion for 2018.

Hear Diverse Speakers

Another strength of the Collision Conference is the variety of speakers it attracts. For 2019, the event is featuring renowned professionals in the tech space. The founder and CEO of Medium, Ev Williams, will be there. So will the CMO of GE, Linda Boff - but, the organizers did not limit the guest list to the C-level of major corporations.

Attendees are also going to have the chance to hear Kara Swisher, the Executive Editor of Recode. Alex Stamos, an adjunct professor at Stanford, and Nick Bostrom, the Director of Oxford's Future of Humanity Institute, will speak too. You could hear celebrities as well, like Terrell Owens of the NFL and Michele Romanow of the CBC show Dragon's Den.

Extend your Network

Come for the speakers, stay for the networking.

The Collision Conference had 25,000 attendees in 2018, and it keeps getting bigger. With so many people, you might think that networking would be crazy, if not ineffectual.

Fear not - there's an app for that.

The Collision app lets you scout potential leads and arrange meetings. It also has a built-in messaging system as well as a contact builder. As you meet new colleagues at the conference, use the app to scan their QR codes. The app will immediately add the person to your contacts.

Night Summit

Some conferences end when the sun goes down; the good ones know better. Maximize your time in Toronto by taking advantage of all the networking opportunities that the Collision Conference has to offer.

The Collision Conference includes a Night Summit. It helps attendees cement new connections in the old-fashioned way - outside of the office. According to Revolut, Night Summit is where "Deals get done." The action starts at 8 pm each night and is semi-planned. Bloomberg says, "Everywhere you go, it's buzzing, and it's electric." Every evening, participants will visit a different neighborhood in Toronto. There, they can enjoy a variety of networking events, from quiet bar mixers to street parties. Collision has something for everyone.

Spread the Word

This event is not just a place for you to listen to speakers. The Collision Conference can also be a way for you to springboard your company or product. When you partner with Collision, you can host your own workshops and roundtables. This way, you can lead the conversation. Make the connections or recruiting you need to bring it on a larger scale.

The Collision Conference can be your showcase. Use it to feature a product to you want to launch or show the cool things your company does. Collision can help spread the word about your company or services - and that reach is not limited to people in tech. The conference has more than 750 journalists from around the world covering the event. From world-class papers to industry bloggers, this event could be the coverage you need. Collision can help make that happen by helping you create a press package that tells your story.

Expand your Knowledge

At the Collision Conference, you will see the events separated into tracks. There are fourteen of them in total.

For people interested in cars and autonomous automobiles, there is the Auto/Tech track while TalkRobot specializes in all things AI and robotic. Young companies can get guidance at the Startup University, data junkies can learn about new roles for big data at SaaS Monster, and environmentally-conscious attendees can talk about all the ways that tech can save the planet at planet:tech. The Collision Conference also includes PandaConf events centered on the future of marketing, MoneyConf for what's next in banking, HealthConf for the developments in healthcare, and Growth Summit for those companies that are growing exponentially - and there are still more specialties to pursue!

Enjoy all the Collision Conference has to offer

There is a reason why the Collision Conference is the fastest growing tech conference in the world. In fact, there are several.

Attendees will have a chance to hear the top talent in tech speak as well as people in a position to impact where technology is headed next. You can also attract new recruits as well as new investors to your company while having space to workshop, roundtable, and hold a conversation. Attendees will have a chance to explore and network outside the conference, in the varied neighborhoods of Toronto - a place that some are calling the Next Silicon Valley. Take advantage of your time there to leverage networking opportunities within the conference as well as those presented by the city itself. You never know who you'll run into at one of Toronto's many restaurants, your hotel lobby, or Collision itself.

Are you looking for an exciting tech event to attend this year? How does the Collision Conference fair on your list?