Startups · Entrepreneurship

Are DEMO conferences worth it for entrepreneurs?

Whitney MPA Founder & Director at Hello, My Name is KING, Inc.

September 23rd, 2016

I‘ve seen DEMO charges a substantial fee to entrepreneurs in order to pitch at their conference. Is this normal and does any of you have any experience?

Martin Omansky Independent Venture Capital & Private Equity Professional

September 23rd, 2016

I have attended and been a panelist at many pitch contests. It seems there is a pitch contest every night around here. If I were a presenter, I would not pay a nickel to anybody who sponsors such events - except that sometimes the organizers provide a nice lunch or dinner, in which case everybody - attendees and presenters - pay something.

David M

September 23rd, 2016

I have never attended one, but in general my rule of thumb is to not pay anyone  to review anything.  In most industries these "pay for pitches" conferences are more of a suckers paradise than anything.  Not saying some decent people may not show up.  But if "substantial" equals anything over about $30, personally I would not do it.  And I would only do $30 if the meal was worth it.   But thats my perspective and opinion which is subjective.  You can pitch to anyone you set out to if you know how to write and communicate.  This is the age of instant connection and information. 

Chris Hote Start-up coach, investor

September 23rd, 2016

I think it is worth paying the fees if your products may be sold on the spot or if the conference actually gathers qualified buyers.

David Austin Relentless problem solver and innovator.

September 25th, 2016

Unless they're providing value other than a chance to pitch then to me pay to play suggests they don't have the capital they pretend to have. It means they're also not thoughtful or supportive of the bootstrapping sacrifices most entrepreneurs make.