This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com - #Growing Your Business
Find customers, network with peers and establish authority at these value-laden events.
6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Every year, B2B conferences generate more than $1 trillion in direct spending and attract one billion attendees, according to the Events Industry Council and Oxford Economics. And for good reason. Conferences allow you to make valuable connections, network with like-minded people, learn from peers who have accomplished what you hope to accomplish and create more word-of-mouth buzz for your business.
But which conferences should you attend? Here’s a list of 13 upcoming events worth considering.
At Startup Grind’s global annual summit, 10,000 people from all around the world — investors, entrepreneurs, and tech leaders — all huddle together for two days of intense learning and networking. This is one of the biggest, most well-known conferences for entrepreneurs around right now. If you’re starting a new habit of attending events, this is the perfect place to start.
When: February 11-12, 2020
Where: Silicon Valley
Price: Starts at $305
Fifteen-thousand SaaS investors, founders and executives gather at SaaStr Annual every year to spend three full days learning, networking and pitching. Prestigious speakers like the COO of Stripe and the CEO of Slack have graced the SaaStr stage. If you fancy yourself a SaaS or B2B entrepreneur, then don’t miss this conference.
When: March 10-12, 2020
Where: San Jose, CA
Price: Starts at $849
Marketing itself as an “invitation-only event,” those who do attend the annual Montgomery Summit are sure to network and learn from top experts in their industry. The CEO of Snapchat and The CEO of PayPal are among past keynote speakers, which gives you an idea of the caliber of people you’ll be surrounded by if you can get in the door.
When: March 4-5, 2020
Where: Santa Monica, CA
Price: Starts at $1,795
With a focus on helping the next generation of entrepreneurs achieve massive success, this is the perfect conference for bright, ambitious business owners in their teens or 20s. Attendees will network and learn from founders who’ve done what they dream of doing, i.e. build wildly successful businesses in various industries.
When: April 4, 2020
Where: Ames, IA
Price: Starts at $99
This new and promising event plans to use its very own “Crypto Voting System” to judge one of nine startups as the winner of the #OUTLIERS Growth, Adoption, Impact Awards. After being given a token at the entrance, attendees will be able to scan it to access a web-based crypto wallet through which they can ask questions during panels and vote on startup pitches. If you’re an entrepreneur who’s fascinated by blockchain technology and wants to network with like-minded people, this is the event for you.
When: October 30, 2019
Where: San Francisco, CA
Price: Starts at $50
Startups Track by SXSW focuses on giving founders and funders the opportunity to collaborate with one another. Entrepreneurs who attend the conference will rub shoulders with people who can help propel their business to the next level of success. The event also hosts a pitching competition where founders and inventors pitch their business ideas to try and win capital for their new product or service launch.
When: March 13-17, 2020
Where: Austin, TX
Price: Starts at $1,020
On its website, Collision has been dubbed “North America’s fastest-growing tech conference.” And for good reason; in just seven years, the event has grown to more than 30,000 attendees, representing 100-plus different countries. At Collision 2019, high-ticket participants like Seth Rogen and Steve Aoki graced the stage with their presence. If you want to see who will be there in 2020, you can pre-register on Collision’s website.
When: June 2020
Where: Toronto, Canada
Price: Starts at CAD$790 for two people
Next Gen markets itself as the “The #1 business hub, community, and conference for tomorrow’s leaders.” And that’s exactly what Next Gen focuses on at its annual summit: leadership and entrepreneurial development for young people. They haven’t published details for their 2020 summit yet, but the 2019 Next Gen Summit boasted 1,000 participants, 150 speakers and more than 2,400 meetings. Keep an eye on this one.
When: June 2020
Where: New York, NY
This conference is just as ambitious as its title. In 2011, the conference launched with 500 participants. Now, the event has served 10,00-plus people from all 50 states and more than 40 different countries. The WDS “About” page promises that you’ll “learn from unconventional thinkers, acquire powerful new skills, and go away with an all-new community of friends and supporters.”
When: June 23-29, 2020
Where: Portland, OR
Dreamforce’s homepage promises “four days that will change the way you think about business.” And with more than 2,700 sessions and workshops and 50 different keynotes, something in the offing is sure to help you achieve your next level of entrepreneurial success. Full conference tickets are sold out, but you can still register to watch the conference live online.
When: November 19-22, 2019
Where: San Francisco, CA
Price: Free Live Stream
The World Congress on Information Technology just wrapped up in Armenia, and it was an incredible show. This prestigious conference is designed to shape the global future of ICT, and with more than 2,000 participants from 70-plus countries, they are hitting that mark. This year they covered AI, Smart Cities, Fintech and IoT, and that’s not even half of it. If you’re looking for an unprecedented international networking opportunity with prime ministers, executives and futurists, don’t miss this conference in 2020.
When: September 14-16, 2020
Price: $450 for individual non-members
This is actually four conferences, one each in Europe, the U.S., Asia and China. With such a broad reach, it’s no wonder they have such a bold vision. Smart, ambitious inventors see these gatherings as opportunities to shape the evolution of payments, credit, finance and create “a potent blend of people, tech, money and ideas that crackles with new potential.” For the just-underway show in Las Vegas this year, top-notch talent from finance, retail, government and startups make this a valuable opportunity.
When: USA: October 27-30, 2019
Where: Las Vegas, NV
Price: Starts at $995
Summit LA19 bills itself as the premier ideas festival. It draws in experts from all walks of life, including hip-hop artists, tech CEOs, neuroscientists and more. Events include speaker sessions, concerts and culinary events. Where else can you hear the COO of Starbucks talk before a yoga session followed by a gourmet dinner? You must apply to attend and become a member, but once you’re in, it promises to be an exceptional experience. I’ve been and thoroughly enjoyed it.
When: November 8-11, 2019
Where: Los Angeles, CA
Price: Membership required