August 19 - 23 • 2024


Forward Fest includes more than 40 events every August.

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Attendee FAQs

I see some people with Forward Fest lanyards and badges. Was I supposed to get one?

Forward Fest badges and T-Shirts are included with the All Inclusive Forward Pass with Swag ticket option. Pick up is required.

How do I register for Forward Fest events?

The full Forward Fest 2024 calendar will be live after 6/13! Take a look at the calendar and see what events interest you. 

Purchasing tickets and RSVPing to events can be done through our platform RSVP to the events you intend to attend by clicking "Add to Sched" or by checking the circle next to the title. This updates event organizers of your attendance and saves your seat. Continue adding events to your personal schedule and build out your itinerary for the week. You will only be able to add events that correspond to the type of ticket you purchased. Please be courteous to the event organizers. If you no longer plan to attend, please remove your RSVP by removing the event from your Sched calendar.

Tickets must be purchased using an internet browser, but reviewing the lineup and RSVPing for events can be done on the Forward Fest 2024 app as well as the web.

If you have trouble or need help, please contact us at

How do I access a virtual event?

Streaming links for virtual events will become visible on the individual event page 10 minutes before the start of the session for those who have RSVP’d and are logged in.

Troubles with buying a ticket on the app?

Purchasing a ticket requires an internet browser to complete. Enter in your internet search bar. Use the app (or web) for creating and accessing the Forward Fest lineup and your personal schedule on the go. If you need further assistance contact

Do you have an app?

Yes! The Forward Fest app is continually updated with the most current information and event details. Search for "Forward Fest 2024" in the Apple app store or Google Play. Anyone can access the app! Please note - you cannot buy tickets via the app, that must be done in a browser window

A new app is built every year. The 2023 app will not update with info for 2024.

If you have questions, contact

What is the Forward Pass & how do I get one?

The Forward Pass is the fastest, easiest, and the most cost-effective way to take advantage of all that Forward Fest has to offer. This one pass gets you into all the events listed on our website as included in the pass. 

There are three different options for the pass, including a Free Forward Pass at no cost thanks to our sponsors. Once you secure a ticket, you'll be able to RSVP by adding events to your personal calendar. The All Inclusive Forward Pass  is a paid pass and will unlock more events to add to your calendar. Remember to register early, as many events have capacity limits.

Is there any place where I can get news and updates on the WI Startup community?

Yes! Click here to subscribe to the Startup Digest email to get monthly news and updates.

Event Hosting FAQs

How can I get more involved in Forward Fest?

Forward Fest has a Board that sets overall direction for the Festival, and several committees who work on promotions, tech and outreach. We’re always looking for more volunteers to help - let us know if you’re interested!

Can I host an event during Forward Fest?

Anyone can host an event during Forward Fest, as long as the event:

  • Is open and inclusive

  • Cross-promotes the Festival and other events

  • Is related to entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity

How do I host an event during Forward Fest?

The first step to hosting an event is filling out the event form on the website. Once you’ve submitted, we’ll follow up and let you know of any questions.

Where do I host my event?

You can choose any venue that you like in the greater Madison area; there are no required or “central” venues during the Festival. We find that events near downtown Madison often get more attendees than those farther away, but it’s totally up to you. Let us know if you need suggestions!

What does the Forward Fest team do?

The Forward Fest team is here to answer any questions you have and help you with anything you need! Our goal is to make this a smooth event for you and your attendees. We maintain the website, handle Forward Pass ticketing, and manage the registration system. We will provide you with social media tools and guidelines to help you promote your event, and do some promotion to our email lists and social media followers. If there’s anything you need, just ask!

What is the Forward Pass?

The Few Events Forward Pass allows access to a large percentage of Forward Festival events. All Inclusive Forward Pass allows access to all events.

When someone buys a Forward Pass, they'll get access to most events and have the option to add swag like a t-shirt. Please let us know if your event has limited capacity, so we can be sure that Forward Pass holders know your event is first come, first served for them.

Do I have to pay to be a part of the Forward Fest?

You do not need to pay a fee to be part of the Forward Festival. You are welcome to host an event, as long as you follow the guidelines outlined in this FAQ.

How do I cover the costs of hosting an event?

You can sell tickets, solicit sponsorships, or ask for in-kind donations to fund your event. The Festival will recognize any sponsors that give more than $2,500 across all events (including in-kind donations, such as event space), which will get their names on signs at the Festival's 40+ events. 

In order to do that, we ask that you please let us know of any event sponsors who commit to supporting your event.

How do I get attendees to come to my event?

There will be some attendees who find your event from the Forward Fest website, app, and other promotions, or through your listing with the Forward Pass.  However, because the calendar is so busy, you should plan to get the majority of your attendees through your own network and promotions. Remember that your event can be any size you like - in fact, some of the most effective events are smaller in scale.

What is Forward Festive-ale?

Forward Festive-ale is beer brewed specifically for Forward Fest by a local brewery. You can order this beer in kegs of various sizes on the event form, and serve it at your event. An invoice will be handled through your event venue, or sent directly to the person you indicate on the event form. Please be sure you are following the alcohol service policies of your event venue, which may mean having your caterer order the beer directly. We can help if you have questions.