I love going to conferences—the chance to travel, meet like-minded people, and learn new things is thrilling, especially if the lineup of speakers is stacked with interesting figures. What’s even more interesting are events about event management. It’s an event within an event!
If you’re an event manager, wedding planner, or someone with a passion for the event industry, it’s time to get your flights booked and pack your bags. This upcoming year is chock full of conferences and expos for event managers to explore. Topics include event planning, networking, event management software, technological advances, and many more.
Below are six conferences event professionals should check out—they are all popular events, and cover a wide variety of event management topics.
1. ESPA Live
ESPA Live is geared toward event managers with a focus on best organizational practices, new technological developments, and upcoming trends in event management. This conference covers a multitude of topics, including the sharing economy (Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, etc.), advancing your event management career, and marketing to younger generations.
Location: Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown—Nashville, Tennessee
Next date: January 5, 2018
via Experiential Marketing Summit
While Experiential Marketing Summit (EMS) isn’t specifically geared towards event managers, event management requires significant marketing skills. EMS is one of the largest marketing training conferences, with big name companies such as Microsoft, Pepsi, Intel, Red Bull, and many others hosting training sessions, such as explorations into Gen Z or trends in event experience design to keep you on the cutting edge of marketing practices.
Location: San Francisco, California
Next date: May 14-16, 2018
3. ILEA Live
via ILEA Live
ILEA Live is made for creative event professionals whose careers are centered around film, music, art, fashion, and any other form of creativity-driven event. At ILEA you will learn how to network at your own events within these circles, as well as explore new and exciting ways to market and execute your own events.
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Next Date: August 8-10, 2019
4. IMEX America
via IMEX America
IMEX America is focused on professional events, seminars, meetings, and incentive travel. This conference is perfect for business professionals, CEOs, and corporate event planners with sessions hosted by the PCMA Business School and the Associate Leadership forum.
Location: Sands Expo—Las Vegas, Nevada
Next date: October 16-18, 2018
via The Special Event
Get ready for three days of entertainment, over one hundred relevant sessions, and over two hundred speakers while attending The Special Event. Self-proclaimed as the largest trade show and conference for event professionals, The Special Event has lots to offer to all different types of event professionals, from corporate event managers to local wedding planners, with sessions such as “8 Social Media Campaigns Event Pros Should Be Running” and “A Festival Approach: Adapting Festival Tactics and Technology to Enhance Corporate Events.”
Location: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center—New Orleans, Louisiana
Next date: February 1, 2018
Techsytalk Live hates boring events and conferences and it goes out of its way to let you know this: “We think boredom is a crime that should be punishable by endlessly long registration lines.”
Techsytalk Live focuses mainly on new event technology, with new tech demonstrations, industry speakers, and lots of hands-on workshops.
Location: New York, New York
Next Date: April 20, 2018
What event conferences do you want to attend?
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m hoping to make it to some of these conferences over the next year.
Have you attended any of these annual conferences in the past? What did you like about them? What didn’t you like? Finally, are there any conferences you feel as though I missed that belonged on this list?
Let me know in the comments below!