It’s hard to believe, but 2016 is already drawing to a close. In just 8 weeks, we’ll be entering a brand new year full of exciting opportunities, new tech announcements, and… hopefully no more world-altering political changes. With tech revolutions like the Blockchain, AI, Mixed Reality, Self-driving Cars and Advanced Speech Recognition on the verge of making a breakthrough, 2017 is sure to be a progressive year for the tech industry.
Attending tech events is a unique experience; you find yourself surrounded by some of the most inspiring and driven minds around the world. From experiencing the latest tech reveals first-hand to adding interesting people to your network, there’s nothing quite like being in the middle of it all. But how do you know which conferences are worth your time and money? Luckily, we’ve put together a list of tech industry events you might want to pay a visit to next year. Without further ado, here are our picks for top technology conferences 2017:
Technically (pun intended) speaking, Techweek consists of a series of events in different major American cities throughout the year; seeking to spread wealth creation by supporting entrepreneurs outside of the traditional tech hubs like Silicon Valley. The events (there are about 10 every year) aim to bring people, ideas, and resources together to ensure local tech ecosystems are enriched and constantly developing. This makes Techweek a great place to meet other entrepreneurs. It also makes Techweek a great place to find the latest news on ground-breaking tech, and to forge long lasting relationships. With Techweek events in Detroit, Chicago, Toronto, Kansas City, New York, Dallas, LA and Miami (and more to be added for 2017) you should easily be able to find an event near you.
When: TBD (multiple throughout the year).
Where: All across North America.
Why: Visit Techweek if you’re interested in tech entrepreneurship, looking to get to know your local startup community, and if you’re interested in getting in front of important investors and people in the tech sector.
— Techweek (@TechweekInc) October 14, 2016
New inventions in speech technology such as analytics and tuning, security and voice biometrics, speech-enabled smart devices and the Internet of Things, and natural language understanding technologies are changing the way people interact with companies, technology and each other. How, you ask? For one, speech tech liberates users from keyboards and screens that are too tiny for our fingertips; enabling valuable, more effective interactions. Learn about the new and innovative ways speech technologies are becoming a part of everyday life and making your job easier; we’ll certainly be there!
When: April 24 – 26, 2017
Where: Washington, DC
Why: Visit SpeechTek if you’re involved in or interested in speech-related technologies.
— Dominique Boucher (@dboucher) May 24, 2016
Dubbed “Europe’s Largest Technology Marketplace”, Websummit is definitely a must-go-to for most entrepreneurs in the tech space. In fact, their 2016 conference, happening November 7-10 in Lisbon sold out. If that doesn’t convey just how big this thing is, I don’t know what will. With over 50,000 attendees, 7,000 CEOs, 15,000 companies, and 166 countries in attendance, this is one of the most well-visited and worldly event you could go to. Brush shoulders with the likes of Mike Schroepfer (CTO of Facebook), Sean Rad (CEO of Tinder), Mogens Lykketoft (President of the UN), Sarah Friar (CFO of Square), and even Ne-Yo. You’ll leave with hundreds of new connections on your LinkedIn, and with a feeling of inspiration at all the outstanding technology and ideas in attendance.
Why: Visit Websummit to get a taste of the hundreds of different industries that have been influenced by tech, and to see the future of how tech will continue to turn our worlds upside down.
— Web Summit (@WebSummit) November 10, 2016
EmTech is a conference held on the MIT campus covering emerging technologies across a wide range of industries. Such as, Virtual Reality in film, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, Gene Therapy and Disease Immunotherapy, building Computer Vision Systems inspired by the Brain, and so on. So, if you’re interested in becoming equipped with the intelligence to understand a world shaped by technology, give EmTech a shot.
When: Not confirmed yet
Where: Cambridge, MA
Why: Visit EmTech if you’re interested in everything about emerging tech that has the potential to change the world we live in.
— MIT Tech Review (@techreview) November 6, 2016
At TNW Momentum, you’ll be privy to a very different kind of tech conference; expect to discover companies from all walks of life versus the typical tech-startup-only scene. Taking place on November 16, 2016 in New York (the 2017 time and location is still TBD), this is one of those events where you’re sure to get inspired to the fullest. 12 of the world’s most influential entrepreneurs (including the Founders of the likes of 500 Startups, Slack, Reddit, Kickstarter, and so on) are invited to talk about major turning points in their past that shaped the trajectory of their future. You’ll get insights on how the fastest growing startups deal with success and adversity, and how to start building and maintaining your own momentum.
When: TBD (likely 2017 Q4)
Why: Visit TNW Momentum for quality and not quantity; get inspired by some of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs on the planet in a more intimate atmosphere.
— TNW New York | #TNWNY ?? (@TNWNYC) November 10, 2016
The WT Conference is the meeting point for global professionals that work on wearable technology; things that are worn close to the body, on the body, and even in the body. This 2-day event attracts engineers, manufactures, data analytics, fashion designers, and highly innovative companies. They also offer consulting, business development, technology marketing, and other workshops throughout the conference. Since its establishment in 2006, more than 30,000 companies have joined the WT Conference ecosystem. As we’re getting pretty close to an Ex Machina-esque robot future, WT is the place to go to see the innovations as they happen. Plus, if you have an invention that warrants an award, you can compete in the annual WT Innovation World Cup.
When: February 7 – 8, 2017 / May 10, 2017 / July 25 – 26, 2017
Where: Munich, Germany / Sydney, Australia / San Francisco, CA
Why: Visit WT Conference if you’re all about wearable technology!
— WearableTechnologies (@WearableTech) January 26, 2016
The Smart Technology Show is the new kid on the conference block. It is actually part of a bigger event called Wearable Technology Show (or WTS) USA. WTS USA boasts four shows in one: The Wearable Technology Show, IOT Connect, AR & VR Show and Digital Healthcare. With all those things happening under one roof at the same time, this is a no-brainer event jam-packed with innovation and technology.
When: October 3 – 4, 2017
Where: Santa Clara, CA
Why: Visit WTS USA if you’re an all-around tech lover. In other words, if you want to do some in-depth learning about all avenues of the tech sector.
— Wearables & IOT (@Wearabletecshow) March 10, 2015
You’ll need to wait a solid year for this one to roll around, but it’s definitely worth the wait. With 60,000 attendees, 2,000 sessions and thousands of live solutions from the largest cloud ecosystem worldwide, Dreamforce is what you call a ‘pretty humongous conference’. To give you a little taste of just how humongous, their 2016 conference was headlined by the one and only U2. You’ll be taking part in an unforgettable week of learning and inspiration. All the while, you’ll be mingling with thought leaders, industry pioneers, and thousands of your peers. Are you a sales professional, an IT professional, a digital marketer, developer, a tech enthusiast, or just someone who likes having a good time? You can’t go wrong with this one.
When: November 6 – 9, 2017
Where: San Francisco
Why: Visit Dreamforce if you’re looking for extravagance, a whole bunch of tech innovators, and a large pool of people you can pitch your company to all under one roof.
Build Smart Experiences People Love: Learn how leaders are using visual development tools and more to transform how IT operates. pic.twitter.com/ITmuXTH4Mg
— Dreamforce (@Dreamforce) October 29, 2016
The Consumer Electronics Show requires little introduction. This massive annual trade show, organized by the Consumer Technology Association, always takes place in Las Vegas. CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technology; and no other event gives attendees this depth of exposure and reach. Big (and small) product announcements, informational presentations, and exciting reveals are made at CES. In 2016, a whopping 3,600 companies and 177,393 people attended the show. So, just like the city CES takes place in, you should most definitely visit this conference at least once in your life.
When: January 5 – 8, 2017
Where: Las Vegas, NV
Why: Visit CES because it is THE place to be for almost all big announcements on electronics and tech.
— CES (@CES) November 10, 2016
The list is not complete without an event that takes place in our own hometown of Vancouver. The #BCTech Summit is the largest technology conference in British Columbia, showcasing the province’s vibrant and growing technology industry. The conference brings tech entrepreneurs, anchor companies, and business leaders from traditional industries together. The conference also brings investors and professionals from government and academic institutes together to nurture existing networks, establish new connections, and exchange fresh ideas.
When: March 14 – 15, 2017
Where: Vancouver, BC
Why: Visit BC Tech Summit if you’re based in BC and want to showcase your company or want to support the local tech community.
— BC Innovation Council (@bcic) June 11, 2016
Another notorious name on this list, TechCrunch Disrupt is a conference every tech-lover knows. It is the world’s authority in debuting revolutionary startups, introducing game-changing technologies and discussing what’s top-of-mind for the tech industry’s key innovators. There are several disrupt conferences throughout the year; in New York, San Francisco and London. Regardless of which you visit, you’ll be able to meet the hottest up-and-coming entrepreneurs, investors, and hackers. You’ll never be bored at TechCrunch Disrupt what with the Startup Battlefield competition, a 24-Hour Hackathon, Startup Alley, Hardware Alley, and plenty of after-parties to network at.
When: December 5-6, 2016 / Q2 2017 TBD / Q3 2017 TBD
Where: London, England / New York City, NY / San Francisco, CA
Why: Visit TechCrunch Disrupt if you’re into game-changing, ground breaking, emerging tech from Silicon Valley pros and the rising stars of the startup world.
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) November 6, 2016
“The new hot ticket on the tech conference scene”, RISE is certainly rising to the top of the tech conference scene; regardless of the fact that it’s only two years old. Produced by the team behind Web Summit, it draws global media, hundreds of investors, and thousands of attendees from all around the world. You’ll be brushing shoulders with and listening to speakers from North American companies such as Tinder, Facebook, and DJI, but also Asian companies such as Tencent and 9GAG. Prepare yourself to be blown away by the exhibiting startups, after-parties and networking events, and of course, the city of Hong Kong itself.
When: July 11- 13, 2017
Where: Hong Kong
Why: Visit RISE to get in touch with people from all around the world. And, to get some insight into the booming and ever-growing startup scene in Asia.
— RISE (@RISEConfHQ) October 12, 2016
Dubbed “the most intimate technology festival on the planet” by CNBC, The Next Web (TNW) Conference is setting the bar ever-higher for 2017. In May 2017, 15,000 entrepreneurs, developers, marketing managers, CEOs and policymakers will head over to the whimsical city of Amsterdam for TNW Conference. A lot has changed since 2006, when TNW Co-Founders Boris and Patrick, debuted the first edition of what would, 11 years later, become one of Europe’s largest tech events. With 7 stages of content, 250 innovative exhibitors and a host of inspiring A-list speakers, TNW will undoubtedly be filled to the brim with tech enthusiasts from all corners of the globe. A full conference pass costs €530. However, select startups are eligible for ticket discounts and even demo/pitching opportunities that cuts to cost to about €299.
When: May 18 & 19
Why: Visit TNW Conference to connect with like-minded and passionate tech-lovers. If you’re keen to learn about AI, growth-hacking, the Cloud, mixed reality, Fintech, Big Data, Branding, and more, you should just go ahead and buy your tickets now. Plus, who doesn’t want to visit Amsterdam?
FTC attracts researchers, scientists and technologists from around the world. Including from some of the top companies, universities, research firms, and government agencies. So, if you’re looking to learn about breakthroughs in Computing, Electronics, AI, and Robotics, FTC might be for you. If you’re jumping in your seat just reading about it, you can still make the 2016 conference; it’s taking place on December 6 and 7 in San Francisco. 2017 dates are not yet confirmed, but we expect the conference will take place again in Q4.
When: TBD (likely 2017 Q4)
Why: Visit FTC if you’re interested in hearing about the groundbreaking technology behind the technology.
Essentially, there are conferences a’plenty for you to go to. It’s just about who will be there and if those people are meaningful for you and your company. But also, where the conferences are taking place, what your budget is, and what you’re interested in. Be sure to stock up on plenty of business cards – you’ll be handing them out left, right, and centre.