Top Conferences for Event Planners

20+ Top Conferences Every Event Pro Should Attend in 2018

We scoured the internet and chatted with our fellow event profs to pull together the best events of the year for — you guessed it — event professionals. And whether you’re involved in the planning, organizing, executing, marketing, or selling of events, we’ve got you covered. Check out any of the conferences below for a chance to pick up some great tips and mingle with professionals who experience the same joys and pain points as you every day.

Don’t forget to check back throughout the year — we’ll be updating new conferences as we get the details on dates!

Here are the event conferences we can all look forward to in the year ahead.

Event Conferences January 2018

PCMA Convening Leaders 2018
Get the insight you need to develop winning business strategies and benefit from unique learning experiences. PCMA is filled with inspirational presentations, real-world case studies, peer exchange and access to leading solution providers. It’s a chance to better understand how audience behaviors are evolving and where design and collaboration intersect. You’ll be ready for the next big adult learning shift and today’s fast-moving participant expectations. Plus, you’ll learn how you can pivot now to maximize your opportunities.

AEP Academic Event Professionals
For 10 years, the Academic Event Professional (AEP) conference has offered a forum for sharing best practices and exchanging ideas to help develop and hone professional event skills in an educational environment.

The Special Event 2018
At The Special Event (TSE), the industry’s largest tradeshow and conference for event professionals, you’ll connect with over 5,000 event colleagues, exhibitors, and mentors. During your time at TSE, you can select from over 100 education sessions, attend showcasing events, network with fellow event professionals, and browse through thousands of products on the exhibit hall floor.

Event Conferences February 2018

ADMEI Association of Destination Management Executives International
The ADMEI Annual Conference offers targeted programs for DMC owners, sales, and operations staff.

Catersource (2018)
Catersource is the premier show for the catering and event industries. The award-winning Tradeshow floor is filled with 400+ trendsetting exhibitors and sponsors, culinary and design competitions, world-class education, and delicious tastings. The Tradeshow offers face-to-face interaction, networking, and relationship-building with over 6,500 culinary and event professionals.

International Confex
International Confex is the UK’s leading event for organizers of both national and international events.

Event Conferences March 2018


The Association of Collegiate Conference and Events Directors-International consists of over 1,500 campus professionals who design, market, coordinate and plan conferences and special events on the campuses of colleges and universities around the world.

ACUI Annual Conference
New connections, expanded community, and exploration await you in Anaheim for the 2018 annual conference. Orange County’s warm, laid-back vibe will complement the breadth of educational offerings available. The Conference Program Team is working hard to ensure you will return to campus re-energized, ready to tackle your daily responsibilities, and with a renewed spirit for innovation.

CBI Pharma Forum
Pharma Forum — the most compelling and comprehensive meeting management event for the life sciences industry — is taking content, innovation, and networking to the highest level yet in 2018.

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Event Conferences April 2018

4.3 – 4.4
XLIVE is a conference which convenes live event industry professionals to talk about event technology, fan engagement, brand activation, and anything which enhances live events and entertainment. In this iteration, XLIVE brings together the industry leaders at the center of the data and analytics revolution in live events.

Techsy Talk Live
We’re back with everyone’s favorite event tech conference for planners, by planners – Techsytalk LIVE. It’s designed for the planner who hustles hard, yearns to learn, and is deathly afraid of being bored. Expect to hear from the crème de la crème of our industry sharing paradigm-shifting insights on topics that keep us up at night as planners.

Event Conferences May 2018

BizBash Live NYC
Florida – 5.16
Los Angeles – 7.18
NYC – Fall 2018
Year after year, thousands of event and meeting pros convene in Florida, Los Angeles, and New York for the most important experience in the event industry—BizBash Live.

Event Conferences June 2018

6.2 – 6.5
Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the largest meeting and event industry association worldwide and acts as a prominent voice for the promotion and growth of the industry. More than 2,000 global meeting and event professionals attend MPI’s annual World Education Congress (WEC) for relevant education, networking opportunities, and business exchanges.

PCMA Education Conference
6.10 – 6.13
As learning styles rapidly evolve and experience expectations continue to rise, do you find yourself in need of idea butane to stay ahead of the curve? Activities include conversations with thought leaders who bring fresh outside perspectives. In a city rich with design, art, architecture, fashion, and more, New York City provides the perfect backdrop to think outside of the traditional meeting paradigm. We can all use these attributes to drive our conversation, innovate our thinking, and re-imagine the future of event design.

The Meetings Show
6.27 – 6.28
The Meetings Show is the premier international event for the UK inbound and outbound meetings and events industry taking place annually in London.

Event Conferences July 2018

IAVM VenueConnect
Join IAVM for the 92nd annual VenueConnect hosted in Nashville, TN. The International Association of Venue Managers’ VenueConnect 2017 is the only industry conference that provides targeted education created specifically for arena, stadium, convention center, performing arts, amphitheater/festival, and college/university venue professionals.

Event Conferences August 2018

GBTA Convention
8.11 – 8.15
GBTA Convention is the world’s largest business travel event. Over 7,000 business travel professionals from around the world will be gathering in Boston this year for state-of-the-art education, exclusive networking opportunities, and news on the latest innovations in the industry.

Incentive Works

8.14 – 8.15
IncentiveWorks is the largest meetings and events industry trade show and conference in Canada. At IncentiveWorks, the goal is to provide the tools required to plan and execute better meetings, conferences, and events. IncentiveWorks takes place every August at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in the heart of downtown Toronto.

Produced by members of the International Live Events Association, ILEA Live is about the business of experiential creativity. It is an educational and collaborative experience for creative event professionals to strengthen their creative output, sharpen their business strategies and find inspiration along the event horizon. In 2017, ILEA celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Event Conferences October 2018

The Event Planner Expo
10.2 – 10.3
The Event Planner Expo is a one-day event that drives and motivates those in the event planning industry. This event is your opportunity to check out 150+ exhibitors representing the best vendors and venues in New York City as well as network with 3,000+ event professionals, corporate decision makers, event planners, and CEOs.

IMEX America
10.16 – 10.18
The IMEX America trade show model is a standout in the U.S. market. Inspirational exhibitors, fresh ideas from experts and innovators, countless networking opportunities — you’ll find it all as you network and learn from the rest of the global meetings industry.

Event Conferences November 2018

EventTech (Event Marketer)
11.12 – 11.14
Welcome to the world’s only conference and exposition entirely focused on using social media and technology to optimize events and trade shows. The latest technologies, the newest trends, best practices, the biggest case studies — and you, of course.

IBTM World
IBTM World delivers three inspirational days of business, networking, and education to a community of international suppliers and buyers, helping drive their business into the future. You’ll join over 15,500 industry professionals and explore a world of business opportunities.

Event Conferences December 2018

XLIVE Las Vegas
12.9 – 12.12
XLIVE explores music, sports, film, culinary, beverage, eSports, technology, brands and the experiences that culminate at festivals and live events. The conference brings together leaders at the forefront of each industry for a truly holistic learning and networking experience.

Do you have any other favorite events or are you hosting an event? Let us know in the comments below!


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