I get pinged with conference advertisements left and right. By far, the most useful conference I've ever been to was the IPLA conference, where I got to network and exchange best practices with other LPs.
GPs, however, play it a little closer to the vest. They share deals with each other, but they don't exactly open the kimono the way an LP would, because competition for entrepreneurs is more prevelent than competition to get into funds. Even when its a top tier venture fund, LPs don't really think of it as competiting against another LP. I could tell you Mayfield is raising capital right now, but it doesn't really help you, because if you haven't already been talking to them, you'll probably get shut out. Even so, a firm like that pretty much gets their pick anyway, regardless of how much you go knocking at the door.
That being said, I still have the urge to go to a conference, but so few of them look interesting to me. I'd love to see more entrepreneurs, but a lot of these things are such VC pile-ons. So what do I want? I want to be enlightened, by my peers and by entreprenuers. I'm there to learn and to meet people. I don't want to be sold to and I don't want to sell myself.
But this is a bigger issue--the issue of what professional services or just your own peers can do for you in general. At Union Square Ventures, we want to figure out what we can offer entreprenuers that will help us attract the best ones and differentiate ourselves. We also want to figure out what other kinds of firms are providing things that entreprenuers need, so we can network with those people to find the deals that match our thesis.
So, what do you want? What are your needs? As an entreprenuer, as a VC, as a technologist? Are they being met? How can a firm like ours be valuable? How can I be valuable as a blogger, or am I just here for your own personal amusement?
What am I? Some kind of clown? Here to make you laugh?
Tell me how I can help you, or how Union Square Ventures can help you. I'm curious what you people are out there looking for. Be as general or as specific as you'd like.