12 must-attend conferences for growing startups

Attending technology shows and conferences is among the best things you can do for the future of your business. Yet many professionals within the industry ignore these valuable resources, despite everything they offer. Conferences are usually designed to provide attendees with the unique opportunity to learn more about their interests and explore the newest technologies and trends. They also present an excellent opportunity for budding startups and industry professionals to network, gain insight from peers, and receive constructive feedback from leaders in the space.

With over 3,000 events each year for entrepreneurs, it’s hard to find the ones that will help your business the most. Here’s a list to get you started.

The Best Business Startup Conferences (Updated for 2018)

Social Media Marketing World – San Diego – Feb. 28-March 2, 2018 – Attend the world’s largest social media marketing conference of the year. By attending, you’ll discover amazing ideas to transform your approach to social media marketing, but even better, this conference puts a big emphasis on the IRL connections you can make with your peers and the world’s top social media pros.

South By Southwest – Austin, Texas – March 9-17, 2018 – The annual SXSW Interactive Festival is famous for drawing industry titans as well as innovative disruptors, and this year’s lineup is no different. From hands-on training to big-picture analysis of the future, SXSW has become the place to preview the technology of tomorrow today.

TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco – San Francisco, California – Sept. 5-7, 2018 – TechCrunch Disrupt is one of the most anticipated technology conferences of the year. Travel to San Francisco to witness the reveal of an all-new slate of outstanding startups, influential speakers, guests and more.

Velocity – San Jose, California (June 11-14, 2018), New York (Sept. 30-Oct. 3, 2018), London (Oct. 30-Nov. 2, 2018) – Velocity is much more than a conference; it’s become the essential training event and source of information for web professionals from companies of all sizes. Velocity is the best place on the planet for web ops and performance professionals like you to learn from your peers, exchange ideas with experts, and share best practices and lessons learned.

ICON – Scottsdale, Arizona – June 20-22, 2018 – Don’t miss the small business sales and marketing event of the year! Join over 2,000 entrepreneurs from around the world as they gather to learn, network and implement new ideas that will make their businesses more successful. Infusionsoft’s marketing, automation, and leadership conference focused on solving challenges for small business.

Launch Festival – San Francisco, California – April 2018 – Looking to launch your startup, raise money, and learn about starting a company? Then Launch Festival is the place for you! This San Francisco-based conference happening in April 2018 has become the “must-attend” event for anyone who is active or new to the startup community.

FastCompany Innovation Festival – While 2018 haven’t been announced yet, in 2017, in the Innovation Festival was a star-studded event with keynotes, workshops, and networking sessions on a wide range of themes, from tech to healthcare to fashion. (2018 dates TBA.)

Small Business Web Summit – This summit is a two-day networking event for leading companies in the small business cloud space alongside entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and investors to connect and share what they are working on and struggling with. (2018 dates TBA.)

Social Media Strategies Summit – Global Strategic Management Institute (GSMI) brings you one of the most prominent social events, Social Media Strategies Summit (SMSS), which now includes events across the US throughout the year. Whether your organization is a startup or a large enterprise, SMSS will provide you with relevant case study examples, interactive workshops, and engaging sessions to boost your social media marketing efforts and reach your company’s business goals. (2018 dates TBA.)

FutureStack – Approach the future from different angles at the FutureStack Conference. Join others who code to change the world for the better and explore distributed computing, and debate the power of technology on urban development. For tech-savvy minds, this is the conference for you. (Stay tuned for their 2018 dates; they traversed London, Berlin, New York, and Sydney in 2017.)

Techweek – Immerse yourself in the local tech community at Techweek. These events bring entrepreneurs, visionaries, and thought leaders together for a week-long celebration of all things tech in cities across the US. (2018 dates TBA.)

Google I/O – Be inspired by the tech world’s latest web, mobile, and social breakthroughs to create simple, life-improving technologies and viable businesses among a rich and diverse community of cutting-edge developers. (The 2018 edition is expected to happen mid-May.)


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