Developer Conferences in NYC

I love attending developer conferences. That's where I meet the most interesting entrepreneurs. I'd rather go to PyCon, RailsConf, or Node Summit than TED, Davos, or SXSW. In fact, I've never been to TED, Davos, or SXSW and don't have any plans to go to them. But developer conferences are a different story.

Just last week the Node Summit folks reached out to me on Twitter and I replied back.


Node Summit is next week in San Francisco and I've got board meetings both days in NYC so I can't attend. Bummer. I'm certain that there are a ton of amazing things going on in the Node.js world that I'd love to learn about.

Which leads me to the point of this post. Why aren't there any developer conferences in NYC? Why are they always in the Bay Area, Austin, New Orleans, Atlanta, Orlando, or some other location? NYC is an amazing place to visit. There are great nightlife opportunities for post conference networking and fun. There's a huge web/tech community here. And plenty of people who could help make up a great program for developers.

I know that City Hall has a program to put together hotel deals and venue deals to bring conferences to NYC. I'm going to work with a group of folks I know to help change this. If you think it's a good idea and can help, please contact me. I'm fed up with saying no to the conferences I do want to attend.


Comments (Archived):

  1. JimHirshfield

    Here. Here! (Or is it hear hear) Great idea.

  2. momoetomo

    Cant we agree on doing it in Zurich? ūüėČ

  3. Michael FitzGerald

    NY is a great city to visit, and from an Irish point of view, it’s the closest (+ cheapest flights) spot for us in the US, so would love to see more dev conferences there!

  4. Mordy Kaplinsky

    I would venture that historically the reason is because NY was more focused on financial, media, marketing, etc. so the focus and the money has gone there.  As we develop the tech community and begin to gain a critical mass and recognition as an important component of the NY economy, the hope is that these types of technology events can become part of the NY event calendar.

    1. Trish Burgess-Curran

      I do think this is probably the main reason…¬† The city’s focus has been elsewhere for a very, very long time and it will take time and effort to change perception…¬† Although, with proponents like Fred, it will not take too long!

      1. Mordy Kaplinsky

        i’m sure Fred’s leadership will be a catalyst but it takes a village. Hopefully this post will be the spark that gathers a community around it.- posted via

    2. fredwilson

      I’m sure that is the case

      1. Mordy Kaplinsky

        I wonder if the lack of facilities is also a factor. ¬†The Javitz center is our only convention center and it pretty much has a full calendar.This does not justify the lack of smaller events that can be done in facilities such as hotels or the armory, but I wanted to put it out there…

  5. jimmy5804

    I don’t know if this is the main reason, but I know my company never did shows in NYC because the unions make shows there cost about 2x more for the company than anywhere else in the country. You can’t even set up or tear down your own exhibit.

    1. Trish Burgess-Curran

      I had exactly the same problem when working on events in Detroit for one of the companies I previously worked for.¬† Unions tended to make things more costly and also more complicated…¬† My team and I had to work a lot harder, not only around legal matters and organization in general but also on the day(s) of the show.I am quite familiar with Michigan’s history with Unions but was not aware that NYC was the same!Having said all this, I don’t have anything against the concept of Unions but we all do need to be practical and competitive!

      1. fredwilson

        Second comment about unions. I will look into that issue



    2. John Revay

      Great Point – Unions – costly and a pain to deal w/.Other reason may be weather – at least this time of the year.

    3. fredwilson

      Thanks for that info. I will see what we can do about that

    4. JLM

      I have never been to any convention or other industry gathering in which the unions have NOT extracted a far above market price for incredibly easy work, have ever been cooperative or have ever been timely in their performance.I have never been to any convention or other industry gathering in which it was anything other than mandatory to use the “house” union workers.This is easily the greatest uncontrollable cost of such gatherings.On the other hand, they have been consistently surly.

      1. William Mougayar

        That’s a tough one to crack. They are in cahoots usually with the local governments & the convention centers.It would be a fresh thing to have a convention/trade show without that overhead. Why can’t conventions centers have employees that do this sort of thing? It’s always the same stuff: floor mats, electrical, a/v, food, etc. They outsource to the hill & end-up inflating prices. Attendees & sponsors pay the price.

        1. LE

          “Why can’t conventions centers have employees that do this sort of thing?”They still would have to be union members. That’s the way it works.WellChange it’s is not impossible but you have to be creative. I was just thinking relative to the whole issue of movie theaters being an impediment to content streaming and how ezpass came about.There was a big resistance from organized labor because the toll takers would loose their jobs. So I believe they just did some guarantees for the “last men over the bridge” and the unions agreed to a ¬†deal to let it happen. As long as existing members didn’t loose jobs.¬†I guess the answer is to cut the movie theaters initially into some of the streaming revenue to gain their support under the belief that it will happen eventually and then they will get nothing.Added: You have to be practical even if it involves doing things that are distasteful.

        2. Luke Chamberlin

          Union contracts are often bundled into the “whole package” when the city negotiates tax breaks w/ the convention center developers/partners to get them to bring business into the city. It’s a political thing.

          1. William Mougayar

            Exactly. It’s a bad thing for the clients and attendees. – posted via

      2. sigmaalgebra

        Of COURSE they cost more.  But you have to understand:  They are not nearly as good!

        1. JLM

          Haha.  Well played!

      3. Carl J. Mistlebauer

        Having done trade shows everywhere, Orlando, LA, NYC, Vegas, they all have unions, they all require that anything needing to be plugged in requires an Electrician…Nothing unique about NYC in that area…

    5. Tom Labus

      I tried to carry a monitor out of the Javits Center after a show and was descended on by about 10 union guys demanding I cease and desist. 

      1. LIAD

        Had a similar thing when exhibiting in Vegas. Apparently only a Union guy is allowed to open the crates which have been shipped into the venue.We had the ridiculous situation of not being able to get to our brochures despite them sitting in a box right next to us.We don’t get that shit in the UK

        1. Luke Chamberlin

          That’s not what Yes Minister had me believe.

    6. LE

      “You can’t even set up or tear down your own exhibit”I remember that as a kid at my father’s booths at the Coliseum ¬†… (Columbus Circle before Javits). You had to have a union electrician to do extension cords and carpenters to assemble things. Somehow we flew under the radar and brought in our own employees. I think we said all of them were family members or something like that (even the african americans…).¬†

  6. Brianpfistner

    Not sure if this interests you, but it’s a Cleantech Hackathon coming up in NYC –

    1. fredwilson

      I am a judge. It is this weekend

      1. Albert Hartman

        What do you think of the cleanweb space?

        1. fredwilson

          i don’t have a strong opinion yet. we have one investment, amee in london i think we’ll make more but we don’t see as much deal flow in this area as we should

    2. stevenwillmott

      Good call – was about to highlight this one but you beat me too it ūüôā

  7. heuristocrat

    I’d love to see more technology conferences in NYC too. We have LeWeb in Paris and that’s a good one. There are tons of developers in NYC and the ones I know make the pilgrimage to their key developer conferences all the time. Would be great to make this happen.¬†

  8. Danielle Morrill

    Sounds like we should think about getting TwilioCon going in NYC – YES!

    1. John Best

      That sounds like a plan, and I think a good fit for Twilio.

    2. fredwilson


    3. Ela Madej

      When’s TwilioCon Danielle (nice to see you here btw!)?

  9. Chris Swan

    Microsoft used to (maybe still does) run a developer conference in NYC, though the focus has always been financial services (which probably isn’t what you’re after). As AWS has started selling into the FS vertical I’ve been trying to persuade them to do a similar event (they did a more general event last summer, which I wouldn’t be surprised to see repeated).

    1. fredwilson

      AWS would be great. Do you think the tech community can help make it happen?

      1. John Best

        I know some good people at Amazon, it can’t hurt to ask.

      2. Chris Swan

        Just to be clear, AWS already did run a summit in NYC last summer –¬†…, and I’ve no doubt this will happen again. I’ve been trying to persuade them to do a special one for financial services (though from a logistics perspective it might be best if it’s just two streams at the same event/venue).

  10. BillSeitz

    If you don’t mind it a bit seedy (and I’ve found that most dev types are ok with that, as long as they’re not Enterprise devs :), the Hotel Pennsylvania is cheap enough for the HOPE conferences. (Fred, if you haven’t been to one, I suggest you go this year.)¬†…

    1. fredwilson

      Down and Dirty!

  11. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    NYC was never seen as a IT center … but has been seen as business center for centuries.¬†It is all about critical mass…whether it is black-hole, atom bomb, business, users… to explode and engulf. Hope people like you can ‘catalyze’ reach that critical mass soon…

  12. William Mougayar

    I would rather go to NYC to attend a conference as well, instead of SF. If you think there is a void for this type of confeenve, I’m sure it will be filled accordingly.How about if you attended that SF conf via video conference & suggest they make NY their next destination? Node.js is so hot, it can take another conference in 4-6 months.

  13. Andy S. Parsons

    I’m 100% behind an effort to get more deep tech conferences here. There is a historical bias toward media and finance, as others have pointed out, but the scales have tipped. NYC is a center for Python, Ruby, Scala and, of course MongoDB development and there are tons of important open source contributions coming out of our community. Soon we’ll see some innovative frameworks that NYC can “own” as well, such as James Dennis’ excellent Brubeck:¬† I’m headed to speak at PyCon this year and will sow some seeds!

    1. Brad Dickason

      More love for Brubeck is needed!



  14. AlexBangash

    Fred, that is why you can be contrarian in approaches. Every VC wants to be seen at  Davos, SXSW or Ted. Some would say going to the same conferences leads to groupthink.There was a Django developer conference, DjangoCon 2011, in September in Midtown NYC. Will let you know about the next one.

  15. John Best

    Its a bit chicken and egg. You don’t get the conferences without the businesses, you don’t get the businesses without the ecosystem, you don’t get the ecosystem without the clustering of devs, you don’t get the clusters without the conferences etc.NYC is lucky in that it has programs like Techstars, and high profile backing from the Mayor, and various tech luminaries. I don’t think it’ll be a quick turnaround, but I certainly think NYC is getting there, both in terms of bringing tech businesses in, and fostering an active ecosystem around them. I imagine the conferences will follow.¬†Possibly its an issue problem, is NYC perceived as an expensive place to host / stay?¬†

    1. JLM

      Perfect, logical analysis.  Well played!

    2. fredwilson

      Agreed. You have to work all the issues in parallel

  16. Cynthia Schames

    @jimmy5804:disqus¬†has a great point about Unions. ¬†It’s expensive for companies trying to attend & exhibit.In addition, NYC is expensive for attendees. ¬†Hotel rooms here are much more expensive than in markets like Atlanta, Orlando, New Orleans, Austin, etc., not to mention the costs of food, drink, other transportation. ¬†Typically, developers aren’t making huge salaries and definitely don’t have big travel/expense budgets. That’s even more true for the ones at startups. ¬†So even if there was a free conference to attend, they’d still end up spending a few thousand bucks.The NY dev community attempts to fill in the gaps with Hackathons, Meetups, and co-working spaces but each of these have serious limitations. Either the scope is too narrow, or the physical space is too small, it’s a popularity contest, or the word just doesn’t get out soon enough or to the right people. ¬†They’re more like coding frat parties half the time (which in my opinion is why we get so many half-baked startup ideas issuing from them) as opposed to business-centric conferences with specific agendas and actual learning tracks.Lastly: hopefully the Node Summit people will remember you for their next conference and try to get it on your schedule sooner than a week prior to the event. ¬†That’s just poor project management on their part.



      1. LE

        “NOT GOING TO EVER GET TECH CONFERENCES”Same at Moscone:The San Francisco Convention Facilities observe union jurisdictional claims. Jurisdictional claims include but are not limited to the installation and dismantling of exhibits and displays, material handling and drayage, audio/visual, telecommunications and networking, rigging, theatrical productions, plumbing, electrical, and security

        1. Cynthia Schames

          Not really the same thing. Just because other cities have unions too doesn’t mean they’re the same as NYC Teamsters. My husband owns a business that relies partly on them to run freight elevators, etc.¬†I could tell you stories that would curl your toes, but then I’d have to bury you beneath Giants Stadium.¬†Seriously though, I’ve been responsible for booths at the Moscone Center before and didn’t actually require a fat wad of $100 bills on hand like at Javits.¬†

          1. LE

            NYC is difficult and as I’ve mentioned my family was an exhibitor for years (and still is actually) in NYC and I am well aware of the unions and getting shaken down.¬†But despite that there is a tremendous market there and opportunity to make money. The scale of everything is so much larger. ¬†A trade show exhibit in NYC can make your company. My father established a giftware importing business and everything came from the first exhibit at a booth he had at the NY Gift Show which was huge and attracted people from all over the world. Big accounts, national chains everything. We didn’t stay at fancy hotels and I remember having to eat breakfast at greek diners because “the orange juice in the hotel is … expensive”. ¬†And in addition to the unions the people who ran the exhibition had to be “taken care of” as well if you wanted a well located booth (in addition to the fee for the well located booth). We also had to contend with theft at night from the guards in the convention center. If you lost a sample you couldn’t show it to your customers the next day.¬†So I’m not disputing anything about business in NY being difficult or what you are saying about your own experience. Or that it is right that the unions do what they do. (Does it sound like I’m a union sympathizer?) But it’s a cost of doing business and I’m not convinced that people who are knocking the idea have explored and thought about ways to make it work. ¬†Sure Moscone is better. But it’s 3000 miles away.¬†This post started with fred saying “I love attending developer conferences. That’s where I meet the most interesting entrepreneurs”. So assuming meeting VC’s and angels and money people like Fred (as well as others) is one of the reasons to have a conference it needs to be as easy for them as possible to attend. And there are more people like Fred in NY then in Philly or DC or Boston I’m guessing. ¬†And there is a better chance of them attending if it’s in their own backyard and they don’t have to travel and be away from their family.By the way I really like your “I sell” tagline.

          2. Cynthia Schames

            You are absolutely right. Thanks, about the tagline!

  17. Ela Madej

    Fred. Please, please, please – consider this.IS THERE A WAY to convince you to come to European Rails Conf in April (18-19th)?¬†Why would you?¬†The lineup (… ) is amazing. I am not trying to brag here but it’s the BEST lineup of all Rails conferences that ever took place in Europe. We sold out (early bird tickets) in a few minutes (, the entire Rails community is fighting for tickets, my mailbox is flooded ( And that’s even though we strongly discouraged everyone to come ūüėȬ† am very active in the Polish startup community and we could also have a more entrepreneurial meetup with you. In fact, not that I am thinking about it – ¬†this is what all technical conferences, including all Rails conferences, are missing! People like you.¬†There’s a LOT of talent in Europe, great ideas and beautiful minds. We need more voices like yours to inspire European developers and guide them on how their ideas can be transformed into businesses. And good useful businesses. I personally think there’s a LOT of wisdom in what you’re saying but have a feeling not many hard core developers have time to read avc.. Please let me know what would it take to make this happen.¬†We will be thrilled to have you here & have you share your insights, we’ll be happy (in fact, happy! happy! happy!) to cover all costs.PS. We’ll be also doing an extremely mobile event for mobile developers in the summer but that’s yet to be announced (and a smaller event,

    1. Brian Kenny

      +1 for RailsBerry!

      1. Ela Madej

        I edited one typo and it has to be reviewed again (too many links in my post ūüėČ

    2. fredwilson

      Send me an email. Contact link is at the bottom of can’t commit to attend but I will see if its possible

      1. Ela Madej

        will, give me 7 seconds!

      2. Marcin Olichwirowicz

        You should definitely come to Krakow! It’s one of the most beautiful cities in Europe with a lot of open minded, creative people eager to share their ideas!

      3. Piotr Nedzynski

        The city is beautiful and the conference will be amazing! You won’t regret it ūüôā

      4. Ela Madej

        Sent! Thanks in advance for unflagging this comment ūüėČ

      5. gr2m

        I think the conference speakers line up speaks for itself, but …that’s your chance to finally get to Cracow! I’m sure you haven’t been there yet, because if you would, there would be no need to convince you ūüėČ

    3. jason wright

      Ooo, flagged for review – what’s this?¬†

      1. fredwilson

        Spam filters don’t like links

        1. jason wright

          It’s gone. ¬†What’s the ‘rule’ here?

          1. William Mougayar

            Ask Disqus. They have the rules, but I don’t think it’s all revealed because spammers could take advantage by going around them.This morning, these were false spam. Shana and I typically help Fred in un-spamming them.

          2. Ela Madej

            Thanks in advance for “unlocking it” ūüėČ

          3. ShanaC

            There kind of aren’t any unless you insult fred’s family (then fred will come after you)There just seem to be problems with the spam filters. ¬†Either they are on too high or too low. ¬†Really hard to tune them, and we don’t get to tune them ourselves.

          4. jason wright

            Come after me? Scary, but I ride my bike faster than he rides his – I’m younger. Then again insulting complete strangers isn’t my style. I need to become good friends first.

          5. sigmaalgebra

            Almost necessarily such filtering is a special case of statistical hypothesis testing with Type I error (a false alarm, saying the post is spam when it’s not) and Type II error (a missed detection of a real problem, saying the post is okay when it’s actually spam).Generally for such filtering algorithms, it’s relatively easy to have the rate of Type I errors, that is, the false alarm rate, that is, the issue here, known in advance and accurately adjustable.With false alarm rate thusly known and set, the next issue is the rate of Type II errors which, of course, we want to be as low as possible. Just how to do that is in the classic Neyman-Pearson result.You are now apparently a bit past the corresponding content of Prof Ng’s course in ‘machine learning’ at Stanford. Did someone once say that statistics is important for the future of computing but machine learning is statistics done badly?Whatever the rate of Type II error is, which is the real challenge, the false alarm rate should rarely be a problem. If Disqus is having problems with false alarm rate, then they need to make some progress with statistics for their filtering algorithm.That statistics done carefully is important has yet to be accepted as important in computing.I have a paper on such things you are welcome to, but some of the math in the paper was a bit much for some of the best of the CS community. If you want, then have Fred give you my e-mail address, and I’ll send you a PDF of the paper. I may also be able to send you some source code for quicksort!

          6. William Mougayar

            Also, I believe the spam detection software “learns” continuously from the manual action that are taken to correct its course.- posted via

    4. powczarek

      Adding Fred to already amazing lineup would be awesome! Please, give Europe some love!

    5. obscurelyfamous

      Disqus anti-spam didn’t like how many links there were in there. I went in and fixed it — sorry.

      1. Ela Madej

        No problem Daniel, I don’t stress too much over such things ūüėČ Will remember for the future!

  18. Rohan

    ‘What the new year brings to us greatly depends on what we bring to the new year.’Looks like you’re intent on bringing developer conferences to you.And I’m sure they’ll come. ūüôā

  19. ShanaC

    There seems to be a thing for hackathons and meetups.  Smaller scale.  Not necessarily a bad thing.I would actually challenge the question that conferences are the best way to learn about new things about a language with a group of people.  They are big, and they require hotels.  I wonder if there is a better model for events.

    1. Mordy Kaplinsky

      They are not mutually exclusive!

      1. ShanaC

        No, but I still have the preference for small.  I mean, do I really want to talk to 10000 people at a time?

    2. LE

      “challenge the question that conferences are the best way to learn about new things”If the issue is simply learning I would agree with you as far as my personal preference. There have been many conferences that I have passed up on that I would find interesting but I can’t justify the time spent for the amount of information that I would learn. I mean if I need to fly or drive somewhere I could learn more by staying away from the office and using books or readily available information on the web to further my knowledge. Or I could take a trip to a resort and spend 4 hours a day reading. I don’t like classrooms and prefer learning on my own. ¬†I don’t know how typical that is (I guess it’s not because people go to conferences to be spoon fed information all the time. Or maybe it’s just to get away from their spouse? Or maybe because they just do what there is social proof of others doing. My wife get’s CME’s and they pay for the hotel and the conference so we can go anywhere and will since someone else is paying. )So I put conference attendance in the “entertainment” category.¬†On the other hand, there is a definite benefit networking wise to physically being somewhere. That’s not easy to duplicate and a big benefit.¬†

  20. JLM

    Fred, you owe it to yourself to get down to ATX and see what SXSW has become.  It is a monster.  This from a guy who in the past routinely made it a point to be out of town at that time.

    1. fredwilson

      That event is crawling with VCs. I have to go where my competitors don’t go

      1. Vineeth Kariappa

        Don’t like competition or avoiding it ?

    2. William Mougayar

      I hear the late comers are being asked $1000 per hotel room now. 

      1. JLM

        You can stay w/ me and I will feed you breakfast and have a Labrador wake you in the morning with a cold, wet nose.You can use the pool and hot tub and drive around in my car.

        1. William Mougayar

          Lol. That sounds like a hard offer to refuse. There is a 50/50 chance of my going there. – posted via

  21. Alan Minor

    Fred, will you be attending Northside Festival as a panelist again? I enjoyed hearing you speak. (I also enjoyed hearing Reece talk, too.)I’m just floating this out here: perhaps you could convince the festival organizers to have a small-scale tech conference during the weekend.

    1. fredwilson

      I haven’t talked to the organizers yet

  22. Sara Chipps

    I have heard a lot of what most of the commenters are saying. The price of doing a conference in NYC is exponential compared to Vegas, most west coast venues, New Orleans, and all the states in between. Tech conferences like Disrupt can come here, because they are already established (I’m guessing).Talk to the folks at Stack Exchange, they were doing their Dev Days conferences everywhere but here, and I’m pretty sure that is why.¬†However, I bet if you can get a big enough group together people will organize. It would be great to have something here.

  23. Tony Bacigalupo

    I’d be very curious to hear from the folks behind Web 2.0 Expo’s expansion to NY. I imagine they’d have some valuable insights to share from their experiences the past few years.

  24. Paco

    My wife and I took two weekend trips last summer–one to NYC and one to Las Vegas. ¬†We had a great time at both places, but the NYC trip was outrageously expensive compared to the Vegas trip. ¬†It’s hard to justify travelling to NYC from a value/bang-for-your-buck perspective, and that matters for conferences.

    1. William Mougayar

      With good planning, NYC doesn’t have to be expensive. There are deals.

      1. LE

        Exactly. It’s up to the organizers to come up with solutions to the problems.…About $120 per night. You can get to Manhattan by subway or a shuttle bus could be arranged for conference attendees door to door. There are other hotels that aren’t in Manhattan as well and several in Brooklyn.And of course there is also airbnb.

    2. Volker Hirsch

      Fred, isn’t this exactly what you mentioned Town Hall is willing to address? Imagine you could have it at decent prices and without having to go to Vegas… ūüėČ

      1. William Mougayar

        That would be a breakthrough as another piece of the puzzle gets assembled. – posted via

      2. fredwilson

        yup, i’m on it

  25. kenberger

    I’d love to take a lead role in NYC tech confs, since my group does a lot of Node, Python, and of course Ruby.¬†1 reason why the Rubyconfs and Railsconfs tend be located in non-tech-mecca cities (Orlando, Baltimore, Nawlins, Austin) is that these are middle ground cities– pretty much everyone has to travel there, no one has a home field advantage– and thus participants can give full attention rather than dealing with their home routines or the temptation of doing local meetings as long as they’re in town.This gives a feeling of college town rather than commuter school.

  26. Randy Meech

    I live and work in NYC, and while I like the idea of major conferences here, I enjoy much more going elsewhere. It’s great to take your team somewhere else as a learning/teambuilding exercise.The affordability of cities other than NYC is a big deal for attendees. Our budget has gone a lot further in places like Austin, New Orleans, Portland, and Baltimore than it ever would here.However, the cost of O’Reilly conferences is now so great that I suppose it wouldn’t matter for those — they seem to be attended only by people with huge budgets. I was able to go to RailsConf after my company was bought by AOL, but not the next year at a startup.But the far more interesting conferences are the fringe-y ones — and it’s¬†probably¬†worth your while to hunt them out and get on a plane! There are no VCs present at the best ones.

  27. Mark Essel

    A NYC conference venue could easily be cross location. Get a bunch of co-working spaces to opt in with various talks happening within a tight neighborhood. Instead of a “convention center” you have lots of small gatherings (like your Donor’s Choose yearly event).I’m sure the community here could rattle off a number of nearby group spaces (GA, USV, etc).Keep it small and focused.

    1. Tony Bacigalupo

      I dig it. If anyone wants to head up something like this, hit me up to talk about getting New Work City on board.

    2. William Mougayar

      That’s how Social Media Week does it, and there’s a beginning and ending event with all, but it’s a big party at a big bar or public space, so it’s very social.

  28. LE

    I’ll offer $500 of corporate support toward any newly organized developer conference in NYC that has the support of the community here. I’ll also offer consulting to the organizers in any way that I can. I think it’s a good idea.

  29. Theresa Dold

    I know that Spree Commerce is holding its first-ever SpreeConf in NYC on Feb. 15 & 16. Talks about the Spree platform, open-source e-commerce and RoR… should be a dream come true for developers!¬†

  30. Eric Leebow

    One great event is the NY Tech Meetup, if you can get a ticket for it. ¬†Another thing I’ve found there were a few good Meetup events in NYC, as well as the Web 2.0 Conference where plenty have attended.

  31. ErikSchwartz

    All conferences are losing their appeal for me. I think the medium is on decline. But dev conferences are the one type I will still spend the time to attend.

  32. joshknowles

    We’ve been running the Gotham Ruby Conference ( here in NYC for the past 5 years. If anyone is looking to organize similar events I’d be happy to walk through lessons learned.

    1. Juan Pablo Buritica

      Josh has can definitively point you in the right direction, his help was very useful to me when I was organizing BogotaConf ( last year.@fredwilson:disqus¬†I’ve sent you an email, I’d love to help out getting something together in NYC.

      1. bantic

        Another +1 for GoRuCo — it’s a great conference with a real NYC flavor to it.

  33. Elia Freedman

    I used to go a lot of conferences PK (pre-kids). They always seemed to be in mid-sized southern cities for 1) the weather and 2) the costs. Other technical conferences seemed to be centered around the largest developer base. O’Reilly established some conferences on open source here in Portland because there was a lot of open source development here when it started.

  34. Twelsonrossman

    I just tweeted this to you, but the best developer conference on the East Coast is Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise in Philadelphia.  In our 7th year, we have 5 tracks over 2 days with over 50 speakers and 500 developers, CIOs, CTOs, and CEOs.We cover a broad range of topics and this year are graced with the presence of many of the current leaders in the field.  This is a learning conference, but we have fun, too.www.phillyemergingtech.comThe conferences in NYC are too corporate and commercial. 

    1. Luke Melia

      I love that conf.

  35. spolsky

    I’ve put on events and conferences all over the world, and New York is one of the worst places to do it.* The venues are crazy expensive. Tea and coffee service at a midtown hotel is $35 per person.* There aren’t that many good venues or inexpensive venues. Why do you think TechCrunch Disrupt was held in a decrepit old building with terrible acoustics and low ceilings?* Nobody comes. I’ve put on the same exact tech event in London, Toronto, and New York City, and I’ve gotten 300 attendees in London and Toronto and only 100 in New York.

    1. William Mougayar

      Wow. This calls for an opportunity to create a new low-cost space between Union Sq & Village for high-tech conferences. No unions, high-speed everywhere, built in logistics, etc…Why doesn’t the JJ center do that?

      1. spolsky

        Good luck with that… real estate is kinda expensive in Manhattan, if you haven’t noticed ūüôā

        1. awaldstein

          Doesn’t need to be in Manhattan. The movie, music and fashion businesses needing warehouse spaces are all in Brooklyn.¬†Our advantage is broad density connected by incredible public transportation.¬†

      2. William Mougayar

        I did look at real rates. It’s tough to believe that deals can’t be found. If there’s a will, there must be a way.- posted via

    2. LE

      The NYC metro area has¬†22 million people. Tack on Philly metro and DC and it’s even more. All easily reachable by train. ¬†Doesn’t make sense that only 100 people would show up. ¬†(I’m not questioning your number it was your event.)There was a domain conference in NY in 2009 and several hundred people showed up for that. It was at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott.…Side note: If you scroll down the page you will see a picture of Lana Del Rey (aka Lizzy Grant) daughter of domain name investor Rob Grant who attended this and other domain conferences. That’s her before the makeover. She was the musical guest on SNL this week. I’ve attached the photo below.

      1. bantic

        Agreed — I don’t know about the particulars of the cases mentioned, but it is possible to attract a reasonably-sized crowd. GoRuCo has sold out within about a week every year so far, and we keep expanding the capacity. ¬†Last year was nearly 200 people and will be more this year. ¬†If we had a bigger venue we’d probably be able to get even more.

    3. fredwilson

      joel – i’m going to send you an email about this. i’d like to see if i can help fix these problems.

  36. Alex L

    Cloudera has put on Hadoop World in NYC for three years. It started with 500 developers and last year had over 1500 I believe. I left Cloudera over a year ago, but I recall hearing that the NYC venues are exceptionally expensive, at least for conferences that large. I think cities like NY and even SF have an issue with venues. You either have a 1000 person conference or a 5000 person conference (Moscone in SF). There’s no middle ground. So companies go to the Valley, Vegas, etc.

  37. RacerRick

    Hotels are too expensive in NYC.  Only conferences for big wigs work in the Big Apple.

    1. Volker Hirsch

      Not necessarily, Rick. Speak to the chaps who run the NY Games Conference. 200+ people, mostly smaller developers, tons of indies. They run it in the Museum of Jewish Heritage, which is not only a very nice space but also in an awesome location!

  38. auston

    Fred, I find it funny that I’ve invited you to speak at my developer centric conference ( 2 years in a row & you’ve flat out said no with what would anticipate to be little or no consideration.Hopefully I’ll see you next year.¬†ūüėČ

  39. Rob Underwood

    Count me in to help you Fred. I’ll send you an e-mail as well. This might be something we can also do with/through the Digital Media Center (…. I will loop @chrisheuer in as well.

  40. Eunice Apia

    A little off topic but on topic.What is the best way to find a Developer who would be willing to partner up with a Founder to build a product?… Besides graduating from an Ivy League school together and what not?Is there a company or website that does a good job of matching Founders and Developers for free?Anyone can answer these questions. Thanks in advance.

    1. Cynthia Schames

      findmycofounder AngelListcofoundr

      1. Eunice Apia

        Thank You Cynthia for these amazing suggestions. I will check each out. ūüôā

        1. Cynthia Schames

          @Eunice Apia Happy to help!



      1. Eunice Apia

        FG, that makes a lot of sense, but I do have an idea and I think it’s pretty amazing…can I still get a co-founder willing to leave most of the ideas to me in the beginning?I’m not that great at networking and socializing, that’s my biggest problem; will work on it in 2012. Have networking tips for a very awkward girl?

        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. Eunice Apia

            Everything you say is true. I have to be able to pivot in order to succeed. Also practice makes perfect. I will start going to networking events without an agenda and see how I form relationships.Thank You FG for the advice. I appreciate it.

  41. justin j. moses

    what about [tilt]( fred? we’d love to have you along. homebrew beer all afternoon as well.¬†

    1. fredwilson

      do i have to be on a team to attend?

      1. justin j. moses

        there are two main roles – creator and investor. the former create the ideas and the latter invest virtually in those ideas. we hope you’d be interested in attending as the guest vc, providing brief feedback – if any – after each presentation round. however, you’re welcome to simply watch if you prefer.

  42. harryh

    It’s prohibitively expensive to get space for a conference in New York. ¬†That’s why the Northeast Scala Symposium is in Boston this year.

    1. fredwilson

      that’s what i intend to fix. the mayor’s office wants to help us do that.

  43. GloriaW

    PyGotham II is in NYC, either 1st or 2nd week of June. I’m nailing down the details now.Gloria

  44. GloriaW

    PyGotham II is in NYC in the beginning of June (either first or second Fri/Sat. I am nailing down details now). Watch next week for details.Gloria

    1. fredwilson


  45. Carl J. Mistlebauer

    During dinner this evening I thought about it some more…Having done all the major apparel shows through out the United States and of course having attended Westminister Kennel Club show I realize that the ONE biggest thing that made NYC different was I never rented a car in NYC.Every other show or event I always rented a car and drove all over the place; so you always had the ability to load things up, go when and where you wanted.In NYC its cabs or walk and that always made the trips to NYC more problem some and trouble some.Strange thought, but I wonder how that plays in site selection considering that we are a nation accustomed to having transportation at our beck and call.

    1. fredwilson

      that is a feature, not a bug ūüėČ

      1. Carl J. Mistlebauer

        OMG! The power of the internet! I believe that is your first use of “;)”But, here is another example of what New Yorkers consider a “feature” that most of us, outliers, would consider a bug:

  46. heif

    the future is joint mega meetups like 

    1. fredwilson

      developer meetups are awesome. but you don’t get people flying in from other places, do you?

  47. Matt W

    For what it’s worth, the ExpressionEngine 2011 conference was in Brooklyn this year at The Invisible Dog. It seemed like many of the attendees really enjoyed coming to NYC for it.¬†

  48. jason wright

    “Film making risky as hell. This has to lead to less, hurting writers, actors, all concerned.” – Rupert Murdoch.Buying social media is risky too Rupert.

  49. David

    Scala Days should be in NYC. ¬†Many Scala developers (including the people that do the PlayFramework which is part of Martin Odersky’s Typesafe stack) are in Europe. ¬†NYC is between Silicon Valley and Europe.

  50. Andrew Grubbs

    VSLive or Visual Studio Live will be in NYC in May. We build great things with Microsoft tools!

  51. schof

    We’re actually having a developer conference in NYC next month. ¬†Checkout out SpreeConf which is being held right down the road from your office Feb 15-16.Its not on the scale of RailsConf (yet) but its a developer conference dedicated to an emerging technology. ¬†There will also be lots of cool e-commerce companies there that use Spree (some funded, some not yet funded.)http://spreeconf.comBy the way, we wouldn’t be doing this in NYC if AOL Ventures hadn’t graciously agreed to host. ¬†So having a place where you can host is certainly helpful. ¬†It allows us to keep the ticket cost down which helps to offset the high cost of a hotel.

  52. fredwilson

    You organizing it?

  53. jason wright

    CouchSurfing should cover it.¬†Paige Craig sleeps on park benches when in NYC, but he was USMC;http://thisweekinstartups.c…(from 48:45 for a minute or two)If you don’t want to freeze your ass off have the conference in the spring.

  54. Cynthia Schames

    I’m sorry, but “bed bugs.” was in my top 10 all time favorite comments here.¬†

  55. John Revay

    Registered urlYou and Charlie go w/ it

  56. fredwilson

    he has first dibs