Every year is filled with enticing conferences that promise to help you grow and boost your network. But researching them is time consuming, so we’ve put together a list of the top conferences for entrepreneurs in 2016.
Vancouver, Canada, February 15–19
Getting inspired is a great way to start off the new year, and what better place than Ted? It’s all about dreams and making them come true. In addition to Ted’s famous talks, there will be music, comedy, and tech demos.
Silicon Valley, California, February 23–24
This conference is for the global startup community and seeks to “educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs.” This year’s confirmed speakers are from startups including Zenefits, 23andMe, Canva, Stitch Fix, GoFundMe, Fiverr, and more.
San Diego, California, April 17–19
If you’re looking to ramp up your social efforts, Social Media Marketing World is the place to discover new social tactics and attend some great workshops. There are plenty of high-profile brands there for extensive networking, and the conference is definitely geared toward marketing, so it’s ideal for socially inclined entrepreneurs or the digital marketing member of your team.
New Orleans, Louisiana, April 26–28
This fast-growing international tech conference has quickly attracted more than 7,500 attendees in just two years. Who’s in attendance? CEOs of both startups and huge companies, investors, and of course, the media. With tracks in coding, content, finance, marketing, design, security, and more, Collision is a hotbed of tech. Plus, it’s conveniently scheduled between the two weekends of Jazzfest, so extend your trip to include a bit of culture, too.
New York, New York, May 4–6
The 99U conference is all about creativity and ideas, from conception to execution. Master classes with creative experts drill down into idea execution on branding and being a creative. If you’ve got a branding expert or enthusiast on staff, strongly consider this action-oriented conference. Past speakers include experts from Slack, MoMA, Basecamp, Airbrb, and Radiolab.
San Diego, California, May 17–19
This conference is designed for the person in your business’s CMO role to learn the skills to fuel growth, lead confidently, boost returns on marketing, and cultivate brand advocates, among many other concrete skills.
Las Vegas, Nevada, May 17–19
Inc.’s conference focuses on helping companies achieve sizable growth. The conference provides resources and insights to boost growth, as well as all the networking opportunities with other entrepreneurs and Inc. experts an entrepreneur could want.
Washington, D.C., June 13–15
Gather to rub shoulders with more than 800 business owners and Chamber of Commerce executives to network like crazy, hear from business and policy experts, and have Congress hear from you about what small business needs. Past speakers include Tony Hsieh, Steve Forbes, Daymond John, and Bob Woodward. You can also apply for the 2016 Dream Big Small Business of the Year Award, which will be announced at the summit.
P.S.—we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that Infusionsoft CEO, Clate Mask, will be a speaker at Collision 2016.
San Antonio, Texas, October 18–20
This conference is pretty fancy—it even ends with a black-tie gala and has an annual golf tournament. It’s also three days of learning, networking, and attending keynotes with 2016’s speakers Tony Robbins and Weili Dai.
Las Vegas, Nevada, October 23–26
Money 20/20 bills itself as the largest and most engaging global trade show and conference geared toward payments and financial services for mobile, retail marketing services, data, and technology. When they say large, they mean large: there are more than 10,000 attendees from 3,000 companies and 75 countries.
There’s also Money 20/20 Europe in Copenhagen, Denmark April 4–7.
Lisbon, Portugal, November 7–10
The Web Summit has 21 stand-alone conferences within the greater web summit all-in-one that cover topics from coding to surfing. The conference marries love of tech with other niches and passions. With 1,000 speakers and 42,000 attendees, they aren’t fooling around. Web Summit is an excellent opportunity for networking, learning, and deep-diving into specific interest areas.
Boston, Massachusetts, November 8–11
INBOUND is known for high-profile speakers—in 2015, their speakers included Seth Godin, Chelsea Clinton, Sophia Amoruso, and Marc Maron. With hundreds of educational sessions that focus on inbound marketing and sales, this is one of the year’s more dazzling conferences.
Various cities in Australia and New Zealand, dates TBD
Unconvention’s gatherings offer the chance to meet and learn from some of the most successful entrepreneurs in Australia. It’s a great way to get inspired, boost your network, and come away with concrete advice. At time of publishing, dates and information were not yet available. Locations will include Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne in Australia and Auckland, New Zealand.
Location and date TBD
Hosted by Entrepreneur, this conference features keynotes who shared the impetus behind making milestone decisions. 2015’s speakers included will.i.am, Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, and KIND Healthy Snacks founder Daniel Lubetzky. Breakout sessions cover action plans for business growth. Details for 2016 were not available at the time of publishing, so check their site for the latest information.
United Kingdom, date TBD
Billed as the UK’s premier event for entrepreneurs, MADE features entrepreneur success stories; master classes to help launch and scale a business; and fringe events that cover marketing, branding, international trade, intellectual property, and more. Dates were not available at time of publishing.