The annual conference calendar is getting busier and busier. There are conferences for CEOs, social media experts, marketing experts, motivational speakers, startup incubators, industry specific conferences, crowd funding, and pretty much any other subject that has something to do with running a business. The question is, which of those conferences are worth your time? All of the major conferences offer great networking opportunities, but some conferences are bigger, busier, and more targeted than others. Here is a quick run-down of some of the best business focused events out there.
SXSW is supposed to be an event focused on the music, film and interactive industry, but the calendar has expanded over the last couple of years. Today, blogging, web 2.0, and gaming fall under the banner of interactive. If you’re aiming at a young, tech-savvy audience, then SXSW is a must-attend event.
Be warned, the attendance figures for SXSW are huge – if you’re planning on attending, book a hotel well in advance, otherwise you’ll probably end up having to stay across the other side of Austin.
Ignite is a “worldwide event”, with sessions taking place in Amsterdam, London, Paris, Brussels, Tehran, Delhi, Denver, and other places all over the world. No matter where you’re from, there’s a good chance that there is an event in your country. At the events, presenters share information about their work (or their hobbies), using a special form of presentation. Presenters have just 20 slides that automatically advance every 15 seconds, giving them five minutes to get their message across.
The idea behind Ignite is “Enlighten us, but make it quick”. Presentations are emotional, inspirational, and a great way to learn about new topics.
This event is a relatively informal meetup that takes place in New York City. It’s been running for a couple of years now, and there are more than 500 young entrepreneurs registered with the meetup group. Meetups are a great way to network, so if you live or work close to New York, this is well worth a look. If you don’t live in the area, why not look for a similar group that’s a little closer to home?
BarCamp is a worldwide “unconference” – in fact, it’s more than that, it is the event that started the “unconference” trend. BarCamp is an informal event where people get together to discuss topics that they are passionate about. Just like Ignite, there are BarCamps being held all over the world. There’s no fixed agenda, just turn up, have fun, and share whatever you’re passionate about.
What conference list would be complete without mentioning TEDx? This conference is the “little brother” of TED, the conference known for it’s amazing keynotes by thought leaders from around the world. TED costs thousands to attend, but TEDx is far more accessible, and still has a lot to offer because it remains true to TED’s driving principle, “Ideas worth spreading”.
The above is just a short list of conferences – there are many, many other events out there that are well worth attending. If you can’t make it to some of the bigger shows, you should still make an effort to attend ones close to you. It doesn’t matter where you are, as long as you’re meeting people and getting your ideas heard.
This post was put together by the team at AMA Events – specialists in event and conference management.