Silicon Prairie News

Big Omaha 2010: It’s a wrap!

Omaha May 16, 2010 by Adam Templeton

Gary Vaynerchuk takes the stage at Big Omaha 2010. Photo by Malone & Company.

Big Omaha 2010 has come and gone, but the entrepreneurial zeal is still resonating throughout the city! The chairs are folded, KANEKO is oddly silent and sadly, the coolers of free Red Bull are no more. But with any luck, the impact of so much creativity packed into such a relatively small space should keep enthusiasm high until next May rolls around.

During the event, I caught up with some of the Lincoln attendees, Brad Coughlin of Open Sesame and Brad's PC Repair and Toby Schroder of Fierce Robot. Here's what they had to say about this year's Big Omaha:

On Saturday, Big Omaha attendees were treated to a star-studded entrepreneurship panel that comprised Alexa Andrzejewski of Foodspotting, Justin Shaffer from Hot Potato and Matt Galligan of SimpleGeo. After the panel, I caught up with Alexa to chat about Foodspotting's attempts to reach out to the Midwest:

I also got a chance to chat with Matt about the similarities between the entrepreneur scene in Boulder, Colorado, where SimpleGeo is based, and our own fine city of Omaha. Check out the video below for his thoughts:

Well, that's all I've got for this recap. A big thank you to everyone who made this possible: speakers, the entire Silicon Prairie News staff and, of course, everyone who attended Big Omaha 2010. We'll see you guys and gals next year!

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Overpriced Fluff

Maybe next time around you'll price the thing so people who don't make great money can go... for an event that bills itself as a place for entrepreneurs, pricing something that high puts it out of the range of bootstrappers like me, and only into the range of people who just want to feel like their a startup kind of person, and those who are already successful.

May 16, 2010 at 04:07 PM

I'm sorry you weren't able to attend, Mr. or Mrs. "Overpriced", but the price of Big Omaha was a total bargain for the wealth of information and communication that was present at Big Omaha. Being a bootstrapping entrepreneur is admirable, but it takes money to bring high level speakers in and coordinate everything. They put on a first class event, and it's worth every penny. I'm sure that all the videos will get posted so that you won't have to spend any of your tight budget to at least get some of the information presented.

May 16, 2010 at 04:28 PM

@Overpriced Fluff: I'm going to have to agree with Mark on this one. $200 is an absolute steal when it comes to conferences. Most conferences are easily $600, and sometimes even $1200 and more. The fact that Big Omaha can have such an incredible lineup of speakers for only $200 is just nuts.

May 16, 2010 at 07:27 PM
Willis Jackson

This was my first time at Big Omaha, and it feels like I got what I paid for at least. I agree with Matt that many conferences are much more, and many of them are not located nearby. I feel like they have priced it low to encourage people to come. If it was $600 I would not have been able to attend either, but I can't complain about what I got out of the event.

May 16, 2010 at 09:59 PM

@Overpriced Fluff - True, $229 might be a lot for a bootstrapping entrepreneur, and true, even though there might be more expensive conference, it don't make this one more affordable - just more of a bargain.

That stated, if you're truly interested in going & don't have the extra cash; use your entrepreneurial creativity and ingenuity to find a way to attend. Case in point, several bootstrapping entrepreneurs attended both last year and this year's event simply by volunteering. If that doesn't fit your schedule, consider attending the open-to-the-public evening parties or look for the speakers' videos on SPN in the coming months.

May 16, 2010 at 10:08 PM
Catherine Bosley

I didn't want to pay that much either at first, but after attending the conference it was well worth the money and I can't believe they can charge that little for what they put on. Not to mention the huge advantage of it being a small conference so you really have the opportunity to meet and connect with other attendees.

May 16, 2010 at 11:03 PM

Let's not let one person hijack the thread and make this about money when most conferences cost far more and require travel far from the heartland.

Big thanks to the entire SPN team and the volunteers and the speakers for putting on an amazing event. I thoroughly enjoyed all of it and it's already begun to improve my business. I'm very grateful.

May 17, 2010 at 12:00 AM

With the fantastic speakers, well planned and fun events and endless opportunities to connect with people from all over the country, this was another exceptional event!! This one's permanently on my calendar!

May 17, 2010 at 10:04 AM

Again, such a great event, you guys do a an amazing job with the details. Extremely disappointed that I had to miss out on Saturday.

May 17, 2010 at 11:34 AM

I came down from the Twin Cities just to see Gary Vee and I do have to agree it's an insanely talented lineup of the "who's-who" of Social Media marketing/biz/PR/etc and a great price. Where else could you get that much talent in one room and get to pick their brains for hours on end? It was AWESOME and I was telling my wife afterward I had no idea how Big Omaha organizers could afford to pull in that much big-name talent and only charge $200. Great conference!

May 17, 2010 at 12:35 PM

I think the price of the conference was unbelievably cheap considering the speakers that were there (+ the amount of free food, coffee, beer, and other goodies that I consumed were probably worth my admission fee alone...not exaggerating.)

I think one of the secrets of Big Omaha that makes it different from SxSw, MacWorld or Blogger World, etc is that it's small, intimate and those who are there really WANT to be there (and are willing to put their money where their mouth is.)

I hope they do not lower the price of admission, because it will change the caliber of people that are there.

May 18, 2010 at 10:35 AM

Hey @Overpriced a fellow bootstrapper myself, I understand that to be successful it's important to make choices. You obviously didn't think the $200 was a wise investment and chose not to come. I disagree and thought it would be good for my business so I saved up money and invested in a ticket.

I imagine that your company sells products / services at a price you deem fair. I'm willing to bet you could lower your price as well to make sure everyone could afford it but you don't. Why not? Better yet, why not just give away your product for free and that way everyone can get it and we're all happy.

P.S. If you really believe in your opinion, you'd stand by it with your name and not hide behind the cowardice of anonymity. That's lame-o supreme.

May 18, 2010 at 12:52 PM


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