The Business of IT Blog

Top 24 IT/Tech Conferences of 2021

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BMC Software
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Each year, hundreds of tech and IT conferences deliver access to top professionals, sneak peeks of the latest technologies, and unique networking opportunities that can help you advance your career.

Of course, this past year saw many annual conferences move online to virtual convention centers, and, unfortunately, many other conferences cancelled altogether. In 2021, we should expect more online-only events. The upside of these virtual events:

  • You can hear directly from leaders in a more intimate way, without the hassle of travel.
  • The content might be spread out or recorded for later, so you can engage with it when you’re ready.
  • Many of these events are free. Even those with attendance fees are thousands of dollars less than in-person events. (Finally attend a pricey conference you’ve never been able to expense!)

This year as every year, we research and curate a list of the top IT and tech conferences. We’re excited to share this year’s top conferences with you. This list is ordered by date and will be updated regularly, so check back often.

Feel free to reach out if you would like to add a tech/IT conference to the directory. To be considered, please email all details including the conference name, dates of the event, location, and a link to the event’s website to blogs@bmc.com.

For more topic-specific conference, check out our other conference round-ups, including Top DevOps Conferences, Programming & Software Dev Conferences, and CyberSecurity Conferences.

(This article is part of our IT Conferences & Events Guide. Use the right-hand menu to navigate.)

Top IT Conferences of 2021

Consumer Electronics Shows

Date: January 5-8, 2021
Location: Las Vegas, NV & Online

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, showcasing products in the areas of 3D Printing, Augmented & Virtual Reality, Computer Hardware/Software/Services, and more.

This year’s event is mostly virtual, with far fewer in-person attendees and events. Still, the key speakers are the top caliber you expect from CES, including:

  • Mary Barra, CEO General Motors
  • Anne Chow, CEO AT&T Business
  • Keith Enright, Chief Privacy Officer Google
  • Cathy Engelbert, Commissioner WNBA
  • Adrienne Lofton, VP North America Marketing Nike

Digital Workplace Experience: Virtual Conference Series

Date: February 11, May 13, July 15 & October 14
Location: Online
Cost: Free

Digital Workplace Experience (DWX) is turning their usual three-day event into a series of free virtual events throughout the year. The focus of these events is on successful digital workplaces and how your company can become one. This event has been running for years, but it’s our hunch that it’s taken on even more meaning and interest in the past year.

Who should attend?

  • Intranet, Knowledge and Collaboration Leaders
  • L&D, HR and Employee Experience Executives
  • Communications & Company Culture Owners

Each of the four event days has its own theme:

  • February 11, 2021: Navigating the R/Evolution of Work
  • May 13, 2021: Collaboration & the Knowledge Ecosystem in Modern Organizations
  • July 15, 2021: Employee Experience, Digital Literacy & Workforce Skills
  • October 14, 2021: Future Workplace: Emerging Technology, Innovation & Intelligent Platforms

MIT Technology Review Presents: EmTech Digital 2021

Date: March 23-25, 2021
Location: Online
Cost: $800-$1,200

Join MIT Technology Review for the latest in its esteemed EmTech Events Series: EmTech Digital 2021. This is the esteemed media outlet’s annual event on everything AI. The theme of this year’s artificial intelligence event is the age of implementation. EmTech Digital 2021 is exactly for those companies who want to do AI right.

Join industry leaders, executives and experts as they examine last year’s amazing advances in AI and discuss the most pressing issues in AI adoption, ethics and trust. Featured speakers include:

  • Anima Anandkumar, Director of Machine Learning Research, NVIDIA
  • Madeleine Clare Elish, Senior Research Scientist, Ethical AI, Google
  • Dario Gil, Director, IBM Research
  • Xuedong Huang, Technical Fellow and Chief Technology Officer, Azure Cognitive Services, Microsoft
  • Andrew Ng, Founder and CEO, Landing AI

Gartner Digital Workplace Summit

Date: April 26-27, 2021
Location: Online, Americas
Cost: $975-$1,450

At the Gartner Digital Workplace Summit, the world’s leading IT advisory company offers you the chance to be the first to hear about emerging trends and latest predictions surrounding the future of work, provides an action plan to build the digital workplace of tomorrow, and offers real-world solutions for leveraging these technologies your organization.

Gartner’s Digital Workplace Summit is geared specifically towards the roles of digital workplace leaders, architects, IT leadership, and application leaders. The 2021 conference’s four tracks are:

  • Track A: Build, Adapt and Execute a Digital Workplace Strategy
  • Track B: Leverage the Right Innovative Technologies for Your Organization
  • Track C: Build a Secure Foundation for Seamless Operations
  • Track D: Create a Frictionless Employee Experience

Adobe Summit

Date: April 27-28, 2021
Location: Online
Cost: Free

We love, love, love that Adobe Summit is free this year! The Summit is focused on all things customer experience. That means every organization or business could learn a thing or two (or a lot more than that) on how to best serve your customers, driving business growth and customer loyalty.

The speakers for the 2021 event haven’t been announced yet, but this list from last year’s event offers some clues:

  • Shantanu Narayen, CEO Adobe
  • Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft
  • Hubert Joly, CEO Best Buy
  • Atticus Tusen, CIO Intuit
  • Mindy Kaling, Actress/Writer/Producer
  • Pam Oliver, FOX Sports

Gartner Data & Analytics Summit

Date:May 4-6, 2021
Location: Online, Americas
Cost: $975-$1,045

Another industry-leading event from Gartner, this Data & Analytics Summit focuses exactly on that: how your organization can develop a resilient data and analytics strategy that leverages both data-driven decision making and AI. This event is for everyone in your data analytics function, from technical- to senior-level strategy.

The 2021 event will offer a variety of tracks:

  • Track A: Leadership and Skills: Be the Change Maker
  • Track B: Business Strategy and Outcomes: Accelerate the Value
  • Track C: Trust, Governance and Privacy: An Urgent Imperative
  • Track D: Analytics Everywhere: Drive Pervasive Outcomes
  • Track E: Technical Insights: The Art of the Pragmatic
  • Track F: Data and Analytics Architecture: The Foundation of Your Digital Acceleration
  • Track G: AI, Data Science and Machine Learning: The Future Is Now
  • Track H: Emerging Technologies and Trends: Compose the Future

There’s also a special section, the Chief Data Officer Circle, that’s aimed particularly at CDOs and senior analytics leadership.

IBM Think

Date: May 11-12, 2021 – Americas; May 12-13, 2021 – APAC & EMEA
Location: Online
Cost: TBD

IBM Think is IBM’s global flagship conference. This year’s digital event experience will take everything online, but its premise is the same:to be the leading AI and hybrid cloud event in the world.

Think is where advances in world-changing technologies become real. The digital experience promises:

  • Real-world case studies
  • Technical exploration
  • Community engagement
  • Visionary thought leadership

This year’s speakers aren’t yet announced. But, to support an exceptional online event, IBM will deliver:

  • Personalized curriculum
  • Credential-building education
  • New ways to engage

Digital Enterprise Show

Date: May 18-20, 2021
Location: Madrid, Spain
Cost: €60-€1,500

This year’s Digital Enterprise Show (DES) is one of the few in-person events open to us tech professionals. DES is a prominent event all about digital transformation. This year’s event looks at the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0 as it’s better known in Europe, and how it informs successful digital transformation.

All industries are welcome here, to learn about technologies including:

  • AI
  • IoT
  • Blockchain
  • Cloud
  • Cybersecurity
  • AR/VR
  • Big Data
  • Marketing Automation
  • Dedicated products for Digital Marketing and Industry 4.0

Citrix Synergy

Citrix Synergy is one of the top industry conferences on digital business transformation.This year, as last, Citrix has opted against a single in-person event. Instead, Citrix will offer a variety of online courses and content throughout the year. Learn more on their website.

ESPC21 Online

Date: June 1-2, 2021
Location: Online
Cost: Conference and tutorial packages available; starting at €59

European SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure Conferences, aka ESPC21 Online, offers affordable, world-class Microsoft 365 learning at your fingertips, from wherever you are in the world. Tune in live or catch up on-demand across 100+ sessions from SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure experts including Microsoft team members, independent community leaders, RDs, MVPs & MCMs.

Last year’s event also took place online, so expect optimized online experiences and learning opportunities from ESPC21.

Creatio Low-Code Marathon

Date: June 1-14, 2021
Location: Online
Cost: Free

Creatio’s Low-Code Marathon is a 10-day business marathon to guide IT and digital leaders on how to build a successful digital-first organization using low-code/no-code technology. The online event will gather leading tech minds and low-code experts to showcase how to successfully adapt businesses, from any industry, to continuously changing circumstances.

The business marathon’s agenda features over 50+ sessions focused on all aspects of creating digital-first organizations. Session hosts will demonstrate low-code/no-code use cases for different industries, including financial services, manufacturing, professional services, telecom, high tech, insurance, healthcare, and more. During the live sessions, attendees will learn about real-life experiences of how forward-thinking organizations globally are leveraging low-code technology to accelerate.

IDUG Virtual North America 2021 Db2 Tech Conference

Date: June 7-16, 2021
Location: Online
Cost: $299

The International Db2 Users Group (IDUG®) is the foremost independent, user-driven community that provides a direct channel to thousands of professional Db2 users across the globe. IDUG’s annual North American event brings Db2 professionals together online this year.

As always, the agenda is packed with programming! Look for SIGs, VSPs, keynotes, educational seminars, workshops, hands-on labs, and more. BMC Software, a gold-level sponsor, will be holding several sessions throughout the event, including:

  • Optimization Hints Grow Up
  • World-class Db2 DataOps for the Autonomous Digital Enterprise
  • Squeeze Your Data with Db2: A History of Compression
  • Mainframe-Inclusive DevOps & Db2 DevOps with BMC
  • You Can’t Automate Mainframe Testing! Or Can You?
  • Let My Data Go: Using z/OSMF REST APIs to Set Your Data Free
  • Tuning SQL that Still Works!
  • Distributed Data in Db2: Coding Techniques & Accessing Distributed Data

Don’t miss out on this must-attend event—register now!

(Learn more in our Complete Guide to IDUG Db2 Events.)

DeepSource Next ’21

Date: June 8, 2021
Location: Online
Cost: Free

DeepSource Next is an annual virtual conference by DeepSource focused around the future of code reviews and the practice of writing good code. Listen to exciting product updates, keynotes, panels featuring some of the most prominent people in the developer tools ecosystem, and fireside chats from people you admire.

EmTech Next

Date: June 8-10, 2021
Location: Online
Cost: $800-$1,200 per person

Tailored to decision-makers across all industries, EmTech Next is a three-day online event that will examine the impact and lessons learned over this past year as we begin to navigate through a forever-changed workforce. Hear from the experts on how advancements in technologies and leadership strategies will advance you through a newly revolutionized business world.

Dublin Tech Summit: DTS Virtual 2021

Date: June 17, 2021
Location: Online
Cost: TBD

The Dublin Tech Summit brings together top global leaders in technology, innovation, and business to help shape the future of trends and technologies. The 2020 DTS event was also online, with over 5,000 participants from 60+ countries.

The speakers for DTS 2021 aren’t yet announced, but you can expect similar speakers like those from last year:

  • Harry D. Moseley, Global CIO, Zoom
  • Bryan Che, CSO, Huawei
  • Kristine Dahl Steidel, VP End User Computing EMEA, VMWare

SHARE Virtual Experience

Date: August 9-13, 2021
Location: Online
Cost: Free to $399, depending on your membership

SHARE is an event handcrafted by volunteers to help professionals expand knowledge, enhance skills and increase organizational efficiencies by focusing on SHARE’s three main tenets: Educate, Network, Influence. Your one-stop shop for Enterprise IT education, SHARE provides an opportunity for attendees to enjoy a longstanding tradition of advancing the enterprise technology industry through interactive meetups and networking events along with keynotes and sessions.

This edition will take place entirely online, but no quality is lost! Depending on your interests and career path, look forward to sessions on enterprise topics like:

  • DevOps
  • MVS
  • CICS
  • Zowe
  • Open Source on Z
  • Much more!

BMC is a Star Partner of this SHARE edition. We’ll be sponsoring several sessions, so be sure to put these on your calendar:

  • Delivering Operational Resilience: Transforming Mainframe Systems Management with AIOps (Semi-live session; 45 minutes)
  • Building a Mainframe-Inclusive DevOps Toolchain (On demand)
  • How To Break Your SecOps Silos (On demand)
  • Bridging the Gap Between Agile Development & Operations (On demand)

IFA (Consumer Electronics Unlimited)

Date: September 3-7, 2021
Location: Berlin, Germany

IFA is held in Berlin, Germany, and is the leading trade show 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.

Details for the 2021 edition aren’t released yet, but take a look at events and contents from last year’s version on the website.

TNW (The Next Web)

Date: TBD (Likely fall)
Location: Online

TNW Conference is a highly anticipated technology festival that brings together international technology executives, top-tier investors and promising startups for two days of business and knowledge sharing. Over the past 12 editions, TNW Conference has grown from a 200-person event to one of the leading technology events, bringing together 15,000 attendees a day and 3,500 companies from all over the world.

TNW2020 was taken online. Thought we don’t have new details for the 2021 version, we have a hunch TNW will be back. Check back here later for more details.

IT Arena 2021

Date: October 8-10, 2021
Location: Lviv, Ukraine
Cost: TBD

The theme of IT Arena is “The speed of change”, which certainly feels appropriate this year. IT Arena is the largest tech event in Ukraine and Eastern Europe. The three-day conference, conducted exclusively in English, brings together more than 2,000 entrepreneurs, investors, developers, business analysts, and designers every year.

2021 dates for IT Arena are confirmed online, but most other details aren’t released yet. The 2020 version was taken online, where you can look at the agenda and some content.

Google Cloud Next

Date: October 12-14, 2021
Location: TBD
Cost: TBD

Google Cloud Next is the conference to attend if you are interested in hearing more from Google executives about new and updated cloud services. According to Google, “It is too early to determine the exact shape and experience of the event and how it might potentially span the digital and physical worlds—so please stay tuned for updates as we plan with the health and safety of all in mind.”

In the meantime, watch content from the 2020 in-person event or listen to speakers like:

  • Sundar Pichai, CEO Google & Alphabet
  • Thomas Kurian, CEO Google Cloud
  • Melonie Parker, Chief Diversity Officer & Employee Engagement, Google
  • Kelsey Hightower, Developer & Open Source Advocate, Google

(As soon as there’s more, we’ll be updating our Complete Guide to Google Cloud Next.)

BMC Exchange 2021

Date: October 27-28, 2021
Location: Online
Cost: Free

Of course, we can’t forget our flagship annual event BMC Exchange. Last year marked the first time we took Exchange online, with three days full of live speakers, classes, and brainstorming sessions.

BMC Exchange 2020 offered a customizable format so you could curate content for your career, something we expect to build on for this year. The event included inspiring keynotes and use case-focused sessions to help you meet today’s technology challenges while preparing for tomorrow’s opportunities. BMC Exchange includes:

  • Exciting keynotes to help you drive organizational change
  • Interactive, informational, and entertaining sessions focused on your role
  • Product and strategy insights to see where BMC innovation can take you on your growth path
  • Exhibition Hall featuring BMC partners, cutting-edge technology vendors, and BMC Innovation Labs

(Watch the 2020 keynote from BMC CEO Ayman Sayed or browse agendas from Day 1Day 2.)

MarketplaceLIVE

Date: November 4, 2021
Location: Online & in person in New York, New York
Cost: $499

Join the Digital Realty team for the first-ever hybrid MarketplaceLIVE. Whether you are attending virtually or in-person in NYC, MarketplaceLIVE is the place where the complete community of cloud and digital stakeholders can come together to learn, cross-pollinate ideas, and get inspired in an immersive environment.

Augmented World Expo

Date: November 9-11, 2021
Location: Online
Cost: $395-$1,295

The Augmented World Expo (AWE) is the largest conference and expo on augmented reality in the world. This year’s tag line is “It’s time to go spatial. Get awe-inspired with the best in AR/VR and Spatial Computing!”

Though this year’s event will be held entirely online, you can still expect the three-day format that includes a virtual exhibit hall, the Auggie Awards ceremony, happy hours, and the AWE playground and after-hours experiences.

AWS re:Invent 2021

Date: November 29-December 3, 2021
Location: Las Vegas, NV

The largest gathering of the global cloud community has announced dates and location for its 2021 events. Sign up on their website for details and updates.

Join the global cloud computing community for keynote announcements, training and certification programs, over 750 technical sessions, energy hub-the partner expo, after-hours events, and more opportunities to educate, entertain, and engage with the best and brightest business and IT decision makers, hottest startups, and visionary technology leaders.

(Attending re:Invent? Check out our Complete Guide to AWS re:Invent for more information.)

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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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BMC delivers software, services, and expertise to help more than 10,000 customers, including 84% of the Forbes Global 100, meet escalating digital demands and maximize IT innovation. From mainframe to mobile to multi-cloud and beyond, our solutions empower enterprises of every size and industry to run and reinvent their businesses with efficiency, security, and momentum for the future.