Whether you are a CEO, developer, IT professional, customer, or simply an employee in the technology field, staying current on the latest tech and IT trends can be a job within itself. Technology is constantly changing, and if you want to be able to work with the best company or demand the highest salary, you must stay current and be able to prove that you can grow and adapt with the changes.
While your college degree is necessary to get your foot in the door, your professional development is what will keep your foot there. In order to take your education and learning to the next level, it is vital that you surround yourself with the brightest and best in the field. The best way to do this is to attend a conference.
Conferences are designed to not only promote fellowship and create networking opportunities among like-minded peers, but they also provide access to the newest ideas and concepts. Fortunately, there are hundreds of tech and IT conferences around the globe each year, so you have the chance to find the right ones that will fit your area of specialty as well as your budget (or your company’s).
Attending one of these conferences is an excellent opportunity for both personal and professional growth, but it can put a strain on your time and energy to find the correct one. Whether you are looking to stay up-to-date with emerging trends in the industry, wanting to stay on top of the newest technologies, or are actively looking to network for customers or vendors, there is a conference for you.
We have put together a list of the top 21 tech and IT conferences of 2017, both in the United States and all around the globe.
Location: Las Vegas, NV
For over 50 years, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has been the starting point for the newest technologies and innovations in the world. Held in Las Vegas, CES has been the global gathering place for all those involved in consumer technologies and the next generation of innovations. Whether you are the maker, the seller, or simply a fan, this conference is one that you won’t want to miss.
CES showcases exhibits in a wide range of fields, including developers, suppliers, and manufacturers of technology hardware as well as products in the areas of:
- 3D Printing
- Augmented and virtual reality
- Communications infrastructure
- Computer hardware/software/services
- Content creation and distribution
- Digital/online media
The full 2017 schedule revealed close to 4,000 exhibits from some of the biggest tech firms in the world.
CES brings in more than 170,000 attendees from all over the world, and offers more than 300 different conference sessions. It is owned by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and attracts some of the world’s top business leaders and technology pioneers.
Date: February 15-16
Location: Dublin, Ireland
The Dublin Tech Summit is a new two-day event that brings together the top global leaders in technology, innovation, and business to help shape the future of trends and technologies. While the event is held in Dublin’s Dockland and Convention Centre and showcases some of the biggest innovations Ireland has to offer as a technology hub, over two-thirds of attendees actually come from outside of the country. The tech summit saw over 10,000 attendees in its first year alone, quickly solidifying its place as one of the biggest newcomers in the tech conference space.
Sessions follow the eight core themes of the conference: The Internet of Things, Big Data, FinTech, Innovation, Sustainability, Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, and Cyber Security. There are over 200 expert speakers, with keynote headline speakers including global leaders such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Cindy Gallop, Matthew Luhn, and Jimmy Chamberlin.
This tech summit isn’t just work; the creators also encourage networking outside of the event by providing lists of various pubs and restaurants throughout the city.
Date: March 8-10
Location: San Francisco, CA
Google Cloud Next is the conference to attend if you are interested in hearing more from Google executives about new and updated cloud services. Offering more than 200 sessions, as well as many keynote speakers, Google Next’s 2017 conference explored three broad themes: service scale and maturity, usable machine learning, and enterprise-friendliness.
Google leaders Diane Greene, Sundar Pichai, and Eric Schmidt not only shared some of the latest innovations and services from the technology and software giant, but also their vision about Google Cloud’s future.
The 2017 agenda also included topics such as:
- How large enterprises and organizations are embracing the cloud
- New launches for Google Cloud Products and G Suite
- Product demos
- Customer feedback regarding business success due to the Google Cloud
- Open Source
- Cloud Native architectures
- Deep dives on Kubernetes and TensorFlow
- Presentations from start-ups and the venture capital community on future innovations
Date: March 19-23
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Cost: $1,095- $2,395
IBM InterConnect is the premier conference for cloud, mobile, and security. The event is for anyone interested in transforming industries and creating better solutions, whether you are a developer, designer, architect, security executive, or analyst.
The conference includes top keynotes, over 200 sessions, and plenty of opportunities for networking. Attendees can expect to explore the newest innovations and technologies that can best assist your company’s security. You can prepare for exclusive access to presentations from industry leaders, distinguished engineers, IBM partners, and Business Partner speakers. Some of the featured speakers at the 2017 conference were:
- Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President and CEO of IBM
- Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce
- Chris Moody, Vice President and General Manager of Data and Enterprise Solutions at Twitter
- Bill Cobb, President & CEO of H&R Block
The event organizers are already giving us a sneak-peek for next year’s IBM Interconnect and they are hinting at a few hot topics: AI, Cloud, Data, IoT and Security.
Date: March 20-24
Location: Hanover, Germany
Cost: $1,350- $2,895
CeBIT is the largest and most internationally recognized computer expo. Held each year in Hanover, Germany, CeBIT is the leading platform for experts and top decision-makers in all areas of digital business. With more than 3,000 companies and over 200,000 people attending, this event is one of the world’s best investment opportunities for digital business processes.
CeBIT covers topics such as artificial intelligence, cyborgs and biohacking, robots, virtual worlds, the Darknet and cybercrime, and features many keynotes by global experts and leaders. Some of the speakers at the 2017 event included Professor Adrian David Cheok at the Imagineering Institute; Dr. Niels Brabandt, CEO at NB Networks Group; and Andreas Lauterbach, Global Client Director at BT Germany GmbH & Co. oHG.
Date: May 22-24
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
The MIT Tech Conference is hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan Tech Club and is open to the general public. This conference provides opportunities for networking and discussions, namely about unlocking the full potential of converging exponential technologies.
Some of the featured discussions cover topics like:
- Artificial intelligence
- Internet of Things
- Virtual reality
- Augmented reality
- Synthetic biology
The 2017 conference focused on the most innovative Exponential technologies in the world, emphasizing the importance of understanding what prevents us from unlocking the full potential of this technology. The 2017 schedule showcased keynote speakers from some of the biggest names in tech and featured the world’s most innovative technologies, led by an interactive expert panel. Some speakers from the 2017 conference included Rohit Prasad, Vice President and Head Scientist of Alexa at Amazon; Richard Socher, Chief Scientist at Salesforce; Rikard Steiber, President at VIVEPORT; and John Martinis, Lead of Quantum Computing Group at Google.
Date: May 23-25
Location: Orlando, Florida
Citrix Synergy is one of the top industry conferences on digital business transformation. The conference features strategic insights, business and technical training, and professional networking, all while providing opportunities for networking with peers and learning from some of the top industry experts. With interactive features that will keep you engaged and interested, Citrix Synergy will share solutions for how to ensure your organization and your infrastructure can scale for the future.
A few of the highlights from the 2017 conference included:
- Keynote from Citrix leadership on their vision of the future
- Deep dives into the core technologies that shape the digital business
- Super Sessions for the macro view on technology trends
- TED Talk-style sessions where attendees can meet the experts
- Roundtables for peer discussions and networking
- Solutions Demo Sandbox for a hands-on experience with some of the newest technologies
- Breakout program consisting of 45 minute or 90 minute sessions
- Panel discussions and networking events
Date: May 23-25
Location: Madrid, Spain
The Digital Enterprise Show (DES) by the Digital World Congress is the world’s leading event on Digital Transformation. While DES is aimed at CIOs, CMOs and HR departments, anyone in the tech or IT fields will benefit from attending. The event showcases some of the most cutting-edge technology from the top tech companies in the industry, and helps you explore how to become more competitive in the digital market.
The global agenda reveals that the 2017 conference included vertical forums in fields like:
- Industry 4.0
- Banking and Insurance
- Health and Pharma
- Media and Entertainment
- Cities and Public Sector
- Tourism and Hospitality
- Retail and Fast Moving Consumer Goods
It featured presentations from some top industry experts, such as Alex Tapscott, Founding Member International Monetary Fund at Blockchain Revolution; Anders Indset, Business Philosopher; and Jens Meggers, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco Cloud Collaboration.
Date: May 31- June 2
Location: Santa Clara, California
Cost: $695- $1,200
The Augmented World Expo (AWE) is the largest conference and expo on augmented reality in the world. Held each year in Santa Clara, California, this three-day event brings together a huge mix of industry leaders and enthusiasts, including CEOs, CTOs, designers, developers, creative agencies, futurists, analysts, investors, and the top media outlets.
Founded by Ori Inbar eight years ago, AWE brings together more than 5,000 attendees from all over the world, with a large percentage of them representing Fortune 1000 companies. The conference is intended for leaders and thinkers to share the newest innovations, explore the latest technologies, and network with like-minded peers and businesses.
The agenda for the 2017 conference featured Keynotes from leading industry figures, like “Shots of Awe” filmmaker, philosopher, and futurist, Jason Silva; “The Fourth Transformation” author and Transformative Group partner, Robert Scoble; and game designer, author, and Carnegie Mellon scholar, Jesse Schell. There were also more than 250 speakers at the event with over 200 exhibitors, sharing the newest and greatest in the world of augmented reality and virtual reality.
Date: June 1
Location: London, UK
The Mobile Industry Awards is a world-renowned and highly regarded event in the mobile industry. This distinguished event is held in the U.K. and celebrates some of the best and brightest in the U.K. and European mobile industry. It brings together top industry leaders, including manufacturers, networks, distributors, dealers, and retailers, and provides a unique opportunity for networking as well as entertaining.
There are 20 different award categories, and the judging process entails a mix of live presentations to the panel as well as submissions. Power 50 and Shop Idol both have parts in the evening, with Power 50 recognizing the 50 most influential people in the industry and even awarding the Person of the Year. Shop Idol presents the final six contestants in their competition for best salesperson in mobile retail. They culminate this competition by announcing the big winner.
While this event is different than most of the big conferences, it is still worth attending as it will give you a look into some of the top leaders in the mobile industry and provide an opportunity to network with them.
Date: June 5-7
Location: Barcelona, Spain
White Bull Pathways is an annual event that is organized for all in the tech and innovation community. Taking place in Barcelona, this event is often referred to as the “anti-mega event.” Instead of being held in a huge convention center that can pack in thousands, White Bill Pathways instead boasts more of an intimate and small setting.
Pathways 2017 was held right on the beach at the Meridien RA just south of Barcelona, and featured about 200 entrepreneurs, investors, and big brands. The two-and-a-half day conference consisted of workshops, keynotes, and social events, all designed to facilitate knowledge, encourage engagement, and create connections across the field.
This exclusive event is invite-only, so you must contact the organizers for a chance to attend. However, due to its small nature, you can be assured that you will leave with valuable insights and life-changing connections.
Date: June 6-8
Location: Toronto, Canada
Cost: $3,475 CAD
The Gartner CIO & IT Executive Summit was designed to empower CIOs and IT leaders to adapt to all of the fast-paced changes in the ever-changing digital world. It features many top industry leaders and will teach you how to apply digital business concepts to real-world scenarios, how to put that theory into practice, ways to create agility within the enterprise, and how to best manage the top digital talent. It will also showcase cutting-edge technologies, applications, and approaches.
The Gartner CIO & IT Executive Summit addresses topics such as:
- Digital business
- Cost optimization
- Leadership skills
- Organizational dynamics
- IT governance and enterprise architecture
- Hybrid cloud
- Modernized converged data center
- Data management solutions for analytics
- Building a data and analytics strategy
- Data governance
- Cloud data management
The 2017 agenda featured four tracks: CIO Leadership, IT Infrastructure, Operations & Data Center, Applications and Data & Analytics. These tracks covered topics like agility, bimodal IT, talent management, cloud computing, and more.
Date: June 6-8
Location: London, UK
Infosecurity Europe is the region’s largest information security event. The event features Europe’s biggest and most comprehensive conference program, with over 360 exhibitors showcasing the newest information security solutions and products to close to 14,000 attendees.
The full program of the 2017 conference lists many famous Keynote speakers, as well as various sessions and presentations. The Keynote Stage features many headlining speakers, including:
- Dame Stella Rimington, Former Director General, MI5
- Bret Arsenault, CISO, Microsoft
- Bruce Schneier, Security Technologist, Infosecurity Europe Hall of Fame Alumnus
- Jaya Baloo, CISO, KPN Telecom
These headliners will share their full Infosecurity knowledge and expertise while providing exclusive access to the industry’s insights and ideas.
The conference is made up of sessions, that focus on the latest research on vulnerabilities and how to defend against them; technical presentations, that address the latest challenges and how to handle threats, as well as how to apply it back to your organization; and short presentations, that address the latest business challenges, how to align info security with your organization’s strategic business plan, and how to overcome new challenges.
Date: June 12-14
Location: San Francisco, California
Pure//Accelerate is a conference that aims to challenge how to think about storage, data, and the Cloud. It provides a large variety of breakout sessions, as well as plenty of opportunities to network with some of the biggest leaders and companies in the industry. Pure//Accelerate features top tech and IT initiatives, and provides access to some of the most cutting-edge tech innovations.
Keynotes feature Pure Storage executives John (Coz) Colgrove and Scott Dietzen, as well as other leading technology professionals, as they explore some of the possibilities of the future. Some of these include:
- Liz Centoni, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco Computing Systems Product Group
- Kelli Zielinski, Manager, Storage & Compute at Domino’s
- Jeffrey Ma, Member of the infamous MIT Blackjack Team
- Arthur Riel, Director of World Bank Group
The agenda for the 2017 conference reveals breakout sessions about the Cloud, Applications, Analytics, and Pure Storage Basecamp. It also features sponsor sessions by Cohesity, Exagrid, Cisco, and Veeam.
Date: September 1-6
Location: Berlin, Germany
IFA is the leading tradeshow for consumer electronics and home appliances. Known for offering an extensive overview of the international market, this six-day event attracts close to 240,000 visitors from more than 100 different countries. IFA serves as the main meeting place for key retailers, buyers, and experts from the industry, showcasing the latest products and innovations.
The 2016 conference boasted the highest number of new products and innovations than ever before, and has attendees excited for what’s to come at the 2017 event. Some of the top products from the 2016 conference include:
- Lenovo Yoga Book
- Audeze Isine 10
- Yuneec Breeze
- LG Instaview Signature Fridge
- Netatmo Smart Valve
IFA 2017 will exhibit products from leading companies all over the world. Some is the product categories will include: TV, Blu Ray Entertainment, Home Cinema, Home Servers and Recorders, Gaming devices, Computing equipment, Photo Imaging, and Memory Solutions equipment, to name a few.
Date: September 20-21
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
IP EXPO Nordic is part of Europe’s leading IT event series that is designed for those interested in the latest IT innovations and how they affect company growth. This two-day event is held at the Stockholm International Fairs and Congress Centre in Stockholm, Sweden, and offers exclusive content and expert insights into the latest IT developments.
IP Expo Nordic covers areas such as:
- Cyber security
- Networks and infrastructure
- Data analytics
- Open sources
While the list of speakers for this year’s conference hasn’t yet been revealed, some of the speakers from the 2016 event included Alexander Bard, Digital Philosopher and Artist; Danilo Poccia, Technical Evangelist at Amazon Web Services; James Staten, General Manager of Cloud Strategy Microsoft; and Ann Hellenius, CIO at Stockholms Stad.
Date: September 25-29
Location: Orlando, Florida
Microsoft Ignite is Microsoft’s annual meeting designed for enterprise professionals, services, and products. This conference originated a few years ago when other smaller conferences were consolidated, including: Microsoft Management Summit, Microsoft Exchange Conference, SharePoint Conference, Lync Conference, Project Conference, and TechEd.
Microsoft Ignite offers over 700 different sessions that cover topics like deployment, development, architecture, implementation & migration, security, access management & compliance, usage & adoption, and operations & management. The conference provides advanced technical training for attendees, as well as plenty of opportunities for networking and sharing the latest ideas. It also offers demos on more than 150 products.
The keynote speaker of Microsoft Ignite 2017 is Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft. He will share his thoughts on emerging trends in the industry, as well as how your organization can utilize them. While the rest of the agenda is not yet available, there are over 700 hours of past sessions that you can explore, including keynote presentations, overviews, and deep dives.
Date: September 29- October 1
Location: Lviv, Ukraine
Cost: $160- $400
IT Arena is the largest tech event in Ukraine and Eastern Europe. The three-day conference, conducted exclusively in English, was originally started in 2014 as a local event, but quickly grew and become the leading conference of the region. IT Arena 2017 is expected to bring together more than 2,000 entrepreneurs, investors, developers, business analysts, and designers.
Some of the previous speakers of IT Arena included representatives of Twitter, Uber, Facebook, Philips, Samsung, IBM, Google, and Microsoft. The 2017 conference will consist of three streams: Business, Product, and Technology. A few of the featured speakers this year are:
- Samar Singla, Founder and CEO at Jugnoo
- Marvin Liao, Partner/Mentor at Startup Accelerators
- Sandy Diao, Director of Strategic Programs at Indiegogo
- Eugene Borukhovich, Global Head, Digital Health Incubation and Innovation at Bayer
This conference is known for its everyday after parties, which are excellent networking opportunities. On the last day of the conference, the FutureLand Festival takes place, which attracts more than 3,000 visitors.
Date: October 1-5, 2017
Location: San Francisco, California
Oracle OpenWorld is an annual convention for business decision-makers, IT management, and line-of-business end users. It is held in San Francisco this year, and will cover everything from commerce, Cloud, social engagement and supply chain management, to IT security, scalability concerns, big data, and business analytics.
OpenWorld aims to share the latest technologies and solutions with companies, including application development, artificial intelligence, ways to increase agility and efficiency, and using Oracle’s Data Cloud. Whether your focus is in sales, service, marketing, or social, you will learn about various ways to deliver consistent and personalized experiences.
While the 2017 agenda isn’t available until mid-June, the 2016 conference included top Oracle and industry leaders as speakers, such as
- Larry Ellison, Executive Chairman of the Board and Chief Technology Officer, Oracle
- Dr. Vishal Sikka, Chief Executive Officer, CEO of Infosys
- Thomas Kurian, President, Product Development, Oracle
- Safra Catz, Chief Executive Officer, Oracle
- Bhanu Murthy B. M., President and Chief Operating Officer, Wipro
Date: October 11-12
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
The World Summit Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a unique platform for all AI innovations and projects. World Summit AI is the result of a collaboration between the global City.Ai Network and 100+ international AI events, and it will provide unique networking and discussion opportunities for the 2,000 attendees. This two-day conference will bring together the three main pieces of the AI system: Enterprise, Startups and Investors, and Deep Tech.
The Enterprise portion will address the various ways that CEOs and other company leaders are applying AI on a commercial scale right now. For Startups and Investors, the agile creators and developers will be focused on how they are creating entirely new AI models at a fast-paced speed. The Deep Tech piece will address how leaders and developers are currently pushing the boundaries of AI and how they can continue to do so in the future.
The 2017 agenda shares many top speakers for the conference, including:
- Rob High, VP, IBM & CTO, IBM Watson
- Professor Max Welling, Co-Founder, Scyfer & Research Chair, University of Amsterdam
- Ralf Herbrich, Director of Machine Learning, Amazon
- Ruslan Salakhutdinov, Director of AI Research, Apple and Associate Professor in Machine Learning, Carnegie Mellon University
- Gayle Sheppard, VP and General Manager Saffron AI Group Intel
- Zoubin Ghahramani, Chief Scientist, Uber & Professor University of Cambridge
World Summit AI is the industry’s only organized tech summit that brings together the entire applied AI ecosystem, and it can’t be missed.
Date: October 18-19
Location: Chicago, IL
Cost: $99- $499
Cyber Security Chicago is a specialized conference that offers security insights for both IT managers as well as security specialists. The conference features some of the top cyber security experts as they share their knowledge on how you can build stronger defenses against attacks and how to recover if your systems are compromised. These experts will cover all ranges of cyber security topics, from firewalls to threat intelligence solutions.
Cyber Security Chicago will focus on six specific areas:
Some of the speakers from the 2017 event include Ed Cabrera, Chief Cybersecurity Officer at Trend Micro; Andy Ellis, Chief Security Officer of Akamai Technologies; Christopher Hadnagy, Chief Human Hacker at Social Engineer Inc.; and Vince Steckler, CEO of Avast.
Attendees of Cyber Security Chicago will have the unique opportunity to listen to these visionary leaders, as well as network with other IT security practitioners that are changing the face of cybersecurity.
Whether you are a CEO, developer, IT professional, customer, or simply an employee in the technology field, attending one of the above conferences can help you to stay current on the latest trends and up-to-date on the newest innovations and technologies. All of these events are designed to provide you with all of this information, as well as life-changing networking opportunities and the chance to listen to top industry experts. No matter which one of these you choose, you are guaranteed to walk away with increased personal and professional growth.
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