One of the best parts of being an event professional is attending events not organized by yourself. It’s an opportunity to see how other people do things; it’s an opportunity to network; it’s an opportunity to learn. Above all, exchanging best practices and learning from other event professionals is key to being successful in event industry. Attending the right conference can add great value to you and your team’s understanding of live events and their impact on your target audience.
Below is a list of 35+ conferences that are specifically catered to event organizers, event planners, and event professionals of every industry. All of these conferences are designed to enhance your skills, expand your network, and educate you on the latest event trends.
International Confex - March 1-2, 2017 - Olympia London, United Kingdom
Considered to be the UK’s leading conference for event planners, Confex brings together thousands of event professionals from all over the world. This is UK’s largest buying forum for the events industry with venues, suppliers, and buyers making valuable business connections. If you’re attending Confex, make sure to stop by our booth.
SMU International - March 10-12, 2017 - New York, NY
Hosted by the Northstar Meetings Groups, this conference is in partnership with The Westin Grand Central and The United Nations. Connect with premier international suppliers, learn from insightful guest speakers, and create valuable business relationships through pre-scheduled one-on-one appointments.
MPI’s Experiential Event Series at SXSW - March 14-18, 2017 - Austin, Texas
The Experiential Event Series is at the cutting edge of event technology and educates attendees on the upcoming trends in the space. Describing themselves as the “behind the scenes spotlight” on the inner-workings of SXSW, you are sure to learn key insights about the events industry and how technology is continuing to influence the space.
Smart Meeting Northwest - March 22, 2017 - Seattle, WA
Taking place in beautiful downtown Seattle, Smart Meeting Northwest is one of eight events that are put on by the publishing company Smart Meetings. This particular conference will focus on offering best practices and providing valuable networking opportunities for event professionals.
IBTM Africa - April 10, 2017 - Cape Town, South Africa
Perfect for event planners who plan international conferences, IBTM Africa is a gathering of event industry decision makers who are looking to expand their business in other countries. From corporate buyers to quality suppliers, IBTM Africa will be bustling with people who are as passionate about events as you are.
Smart Meeting Mountain - April 27, 2017 - Denver, CO
Despite already being a popular resource for event planners, Smart Meetings brings even more value to event professionals through their own industry conferences. Perfect for quality networking, Smart Meeting Mountain provides the opportunity to connect with other talented event organizers.
Smart Woman Summit - April 28, 2017 - Denver, CO
Celebrating women in the industry, this summit offers business-centric, career-enhancing workshops that empower women in the events space. Driven by the mission to be thought leaders in the industry, Smart Woman Summit attendees truly live by the summit motto: “Live with purpose. Plan with passion”
BizBash Live: Florida - May 4, 2017 - Fort Lauderdale, FL
As one of the leading publications in the events industry, it’s safe to say that BizBash knows a thing or two about events. The Florida conference will focus on informing attendees on upcoming trends. From incredible new activations to innovative new vendors, this event will help you stay ahead of the curve.
Experiential Marketing Summit - May 3-5, 2017 - Chicago, IL
As event organizers are skilled marketers in their own right, it’s important to articulate the overlap between live events and marketing tactics. This summit brings together over 2,000 industry professional to shed light on the most-critical trends in the experiential marketing space.
Destination: California - May 15-18, 2017 - Los Angeles, CA
Part of the North Star Meetings Group event series, this conference focuses on connecting buyers and suppliers as well as offering key insights into the events industry. Enjoy quality one-on-one meetings and targeted education workshops that will increase your knowledge of the events space.
IMEX Frankfurt 2017 - May 16-18, 2017 - Frankfurt, Germany
IMEX is one of the largest conferences for event planners in Europe. Bringing together event professionals from all over the world, IMEX consists of a wide range of exhibitioners that meets the many needs for event planners. If you’re in the meetings industry, this show is for you.
Smart Meeting East National - May 21-23, 2017 - Orlando, FL
Attend highly targeted one-on-one appointments, learn valuable industry best practices, and engage in eye-opening conversations at Smart Meetings’ Orlando conference. As one of the few multi-day Smart Meetings events, this one is sure to offer many crucial takeaways to expand your event planning knowledge.
Xperience Design Project - May 23-24, 2017 - Oxin Hill, MD
With a focus on transforming events into memorable live experiences, XDP is a two-day conference that challenges the norms of event planning. Cutting edge tools and upcoming trends make this a unique event that is ideal for event organizers who are passionate pushing the industry forward.
Exhibition & Convention Executives Forum - May 31, 2017 - Washington D.C.
The ECEF is a gathering of experienced event professionals who are eager to share knowledge and learnings from their years in the industry. Only open to C-level executives, this event is specific for high-level decision makers who are seasoned with years of event experience.
TechsyTalk Live 2017 - June 2, 2017 - New York, NY
Gathering the most talented and driven professionals in the industry, this is the event “for planners, by planners.” TechsyTalk prides itself on having an intimate understanding of their attendees’ needs and crafting the event to address each one. From high quality networking to crucial takeaways, this event will prove to be highly valuable in many ways.
PCMA Education Conference - June 11-14, 2017 - New York, NY
The Professional Convention Management Association puts on its second event of the year, with a focus on educating attendees about the latest trends in the industry. Inspiring thought-leaders come together to discuss and present their reimaginings of the future of event design.
The Meetings Show - June 13-15, 2017 - Olympia London, UK
This is one of London’s premier events for the meetings industry. Taking place in the same venue as International Confex, The Meetings Show brings together event professionals from not only England but around the world. This conference is focused on networking opportunities and professional education.
IBTM America - June 14-16, 2017 - South Florida
Bringing together passionate event professionals from around the world, IBTM America ensures quality one-on-one meetings through an effective meeting scheduler system. Both exhibitors and buyers will feel that they’ve made meaningful connections at this conference.
ICCA Association Meetings Programme - June 29-July 1, 2017 - Fukuoka, Japan
Bringing together more than 15 different associations, ICCA’s AMP is ideal for event professionals who are looking to expand their network and learn how other event planners from other sectors are executing on their tasks.
BizBash Live: Los Angeles - July 19, 2017 - Los Angeles, CA
Set against the backdrop of glamorous LA, this event is sure to be equal parts education and entertainment. Event organizers in sunny SoCal will learn plenty of lessons and make quality connections at this annual conference for event planners.
Smart Meeting Mid-Atlantic - July 20, 2017 - Leesburg, VA
Join other passionate event professionals for a day filled with meaningful one-on-one meetings and enlightening workshops. The keynote speech will focus on “Embracing the Chaos Around You” which is a topic that event organizers are all too familiar with. This conference is sure to offer direct and immediate value to those who attend.
CEMA Summit 2017 - July 30-August 1, 2017 - San Diego, CA
The Corporate Event Marketing Association puts on their annual summit to education corporate professionals on the value and impact of event marketing. Corporations must make sure to stay ahead of the curve and discussions that will be had at this conference will surely give attendees a competitive edge in the ever-changing event marketing space.
ILEA Live - August 10-12, 2017 - Alberta, Canada
The International Live Events Association is committed to offering solutions that are both creative and collaborative for all event planners. With speakers from many different industries sharing unique perspectives, this conference will be unlike many others that event organizers have attended before.
Smart Meeting Northeast - August 10, 2017 - New York, NY
For this event, Smart Meetings invites passionate organizers to the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge. This conference is geared towards event planners in the NYC area and will consist of many valuable conversations that will help secure your event’s success.
IncentiveWorks - August 22-23, 2017 - Toronto, Canada
IncentiveWorks is Canada’s largest and longest running trade show specific to the meetings industry. Join professionals from all over the world for un unparalleled environment to build your career and make valuable connections.
IBTM China - August 23-24, 2017 - Beijing, China
As China continues to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world, it is becoming a hub of opportunity for event professionals. As their only conference in East Asia, IBTM offers the opportunity for event planners to learn from and connect with thought leaders who are shaping the events industry in China. Buyers and exhibitioners alike will have much to learn at this conference.
IBTM Latin America - September 6-7, 2017 - Mexico City, Mexico
In a world that is becoming increasingly globalized, this conference celebrates the growing events industry in Latin American countries. IBTM Latin America is ideal for any event professional who is passionate about understanding the industry in a global context.
Smart Meeting West National - September 10-12, 2017 - Dana Point, CA
Take part in a conference filled with effective workshops and innovative solutions to the many obstacles event planners face in today’s fast-paced industry. Keynote speeches will delve into topics ranging from courageous leadership to incorporating the latest fashion trends to your next event.
BizBash Live: New York City - Fall 2017 (Most likely October)
As the final BizBash event of 2017, there is little doubt that this event will be a BizBash best. Connect with key decision makers from the most innovative, trusted brands and come back inspired.
The Event Planner Expo 2017 - October 4, 2017 - New York, NY
Taking place in the beautiful Metropolitan Pavilion, the Event Planner Expo brings together thousands of expert events to learn from one another. Connect with influencers in an intimate space and create connections that will add both value and knowledge to your event expertise.
IMEX Las Vegas - October 10-12, 2017 - Las Vegas, NV
Known as the “pulse of the meetings industry”, IMEX Las Vegas offers valuable insights and solutions to professionals in the industry. This conference sets the pace for doing business on an international scale and provides a great opportunity for event organizers to learn from the brightest minds in the space.
Smart Meeting Southwest - November 9, 2017 - Arlington, TX
As the final conference of Smart Meetings’ 2017 event series, Smart Meeting Southwest gathers passionate event organizers in the Southwest region to discuss best practices about the industry. As with all Smart Meeting events, all the one-on-one meetings are highly targeted and will ensure a meaningful conversation for both parties involved.
Event Tech Live - November 9, 2017 - London, UK
Event Tech Live is one of the coolest event expositions out there, and is the only one in Europe dedicated solely to event technology. The event, produced by Event Industry News, also boasts the Event Tech Awards. If you have the chance to do so, we strongly recommend attending.
ICCA Congress - November 12-15, 2017 - Prague, Czech Republic
Anticipating an all-time record attendance of over 1,000 attendees, the International Congress and Convention Association will bring together experts in the industry to share best practices. From expert speakers to international association executives, ICCA Congress is custom-designed to help shape the future direction of international association meetings.
EVENTtech 2017 - November 13-15, 2017 - Las Vegas, NV
Another event tech event in the same month! Produced by Event Marketer, one of the leading publications in the events space, this conference is focused on tech trends in the industry and how they will shape the future of events. Join thousands of marketers from around the world to discuss the impact that social media and technology will continue to have on live experiences.
IBTM World - November 28-30, 2017 - Barcelona, Spain
Known as the leading global conference for the events space, IBTM World brings together the brightest minds in the industry. With over 15,000 professionals in attendance, the opportunities to build valuable partnerships will be plenty.
ESPA Annual Conference - January 5-7, 2018 - Nashville, TN
The Event Service Professional Association celebrates their 30th Anniversary as an organization dedicated to educating event professionals. From sustainability practices to social media solutions, this conference will focus on a wide array of topics that are relevant to today’s event professionals.
IBTM Arabia - February 6-8, 2018 - Abu Dhabi, UAE
Set against that backdrop of one of the most modern and sustainable cities in the world, IBTM Arabia focuses on the events industry in the Middle East and offers a unique platform to meet other event professionals in the space. Abu Dhabi provides the perfect setting to talk about future trends in tech and sustainable energy that will significantly influence the events industry.
MEET National - September 2018 - Washington D.C.
MEET National is the premiere event for organizations from all industries whose success is predicated upon impactful live events. From government, to associations, to private sector corporations, this conference brings together event professionals with different perspectives to add innovation and insight to the conversation.
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