A new year means a brand new schedule of conferences to attend. If you haven’t already, now is the time to check out the 2019 line up and start making some decisions, but with so many to choose from, deciding which events are worth the time and money can be tricky.
And unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.
Deciding on what conferences are going to be the most valuable for you depends on many factors. Some of those include:
- What stage you are at in your entrepreneurial career
- What skills you need to acquire in order to be successful
- What business goals you’re trying to achieve
- The type of business or businesses you have
- Your industry
- Your networking goals
A good place to start is with your 2019 goals. Go back to your plan (you have created your short and long-term goals for the year, right?) and see which events align well with those goals. Look at the areas for improvement in either your own skillset or your business activities. What tools do you need to build success? Are you looking for funding or business partners? Would you benefit from finding a great mentor?
Whether you’re goal is to make the right connections or learn invaluable skills and information, conferences offer the opportunity to better your business and yourself. But because no one has infinite time or resources, you can narrow down the most valuable events by 1) considering how they relate to your business goals, and 2) what value they offer in terms of information and speaker expertise compared to the money and time investment required.
To help get you started, here are eight top picks for entrepreneurs in 2019 from across the United States.
Where: Silicon Valley, CA
When: Feb 12 & 13, 2019
What: The Startup Grind Global Conference in Redwood City, CA, is hosted by the largest independent startup community, Start Up Grind. Bringing together entrepreneurs, directors and investors from around the globe, this conference offers the opportunity to learn from startup experts and network with thousands of other entrepreneurs and investors. This year’s lineup features a slew of speakers from the likes of Y-Combinator, LinkedIn, Airbnb, Stripe and Opendoor, covering a wealth of topics from growth to product, storytelling and marketing to blockchain, cryptocurrency and much more. Click here to check out the 2019 agenda.
Where: Nashville, TN
When: February 19 – 23, 2019
What: Hosted by software giant ClickFunnels, this is a conference dedicated to teaching you how to build sales funnels to scale your business. Day 1 focuses on business foundations, day 2 is all about funnels, day 3 covers traffic, and the final day discusses impact and legacy. Learn more about the top funnel builders who will be speaking at the event, prices and the 2019 event schedule here.
Where: San Diego, CA
When: Feb 25 – 27, 2019
What: Digital marketing is always changing, so keeping on the forefront of digital best practices can be challenging. Over 5,500 attendees from businesses, marketing agencies and the startup world converge to learn what’s new and what works from leading digital marketers. This conference is perfect for entrepreneurs seeking to build or improve their digital strategy with actionable content. Learn more about the 2019 speakers here.
Where: Austin, TX
When: 8 – 16 March, 2019
What: As one of the most renowned mega-conferences with over 70,000 registered attendees, South By Southwest likely doesn’t need any introduction. Founded in 1987, it is a conference and festival-filled event dedicated to the convergence of culture and the interactive, film and music industries. A truly global event with over 25 tracks spanning content from Blockchain & Cryptocurrency to Cannabusiness, Experiential Storytelling to Brands & Marketing to Virtual Reality, Future Workplace, Entrepreneurship and Cities, Government and Politics, SXSW covers a lot of ground. The event features speaking sessions, showcases and exhibitions, screenings and networking opportunities. Learn more about 2019 tracks here, featured speakers here, and click this link to learn all about session formats.
Social Media Marketing World
Where: San Diego, CA
When: March 20 – 22, 2019
What: Held by Social Media Examiner, one of the world’s leading social media online resources, Social Media Marketing world is one of the biggest events dedicated to social media. With some 7,000 attendees, you’ll walk away with tools for building your business through social media from leading social marketers and influencers. With speakers like Mari Smith, Amy Porterhouse and Jay Bayer, plus workshops, networking sessions and parties, Social Media Marketing World offers the opportunity to really step up your social media game in 2019. Plus, if you’re not 100% sure this is for you, they offer free samples of past content on their website so you can see for yourself before you buy.
Where: New York City, NY
When: Jun 7 – 9, 2019
What: This three-day event is designed for young entrepreneurs looking for tools, knowledge and connections to assist in their entrepreneurial journey. Next Gen is a community of entrepreneurs dedicated to “seizing the opportunity to grow and learn together”. Although no details have been released on their website, if their 2019 line up is anything like last year, this will be an event new entrepreneurs won’t want to miss.
Where: Seattle, WA
When: July 15 – 17, 2019
What: Brought to you by Moz, an inbound marketing and marketing analytics software company based in Seattle, this is an event for those entrepreneurs looking to get on the forefront of digital marketing. Featuring tactical sessions in growth marketing, mobile, SEO, content marketing and more, this is an opportunity to learn about the latest trends in digital marketing, and network with other entrepreneurs and industry professionals.
Where: Portland. ME
When: September 19 & 20, 2019
What: This event offers three days of information on the latest trends in digital marketing. From SEO to social media, email marketing, mobile and search, this conference is dedicated to teaching you how to optimize search rankings, build audiences and generate more leads in the digital space. If growing your online presence is one of your 2019 goals, this might be a conference worth checking out.
For those residing outside of the US – or just looking for an excuse to travel – there are plenty of conferences to attend in other locations around the world. Here are five for starters.
- Collusion (Tech Conference)
Toronto, Canada; May 20 – 23, 2019; www.collisionconf.com
- Launch Festival (Startup Conference)
Sydney, Australia; June 18 & 19, 2019; www.launchfestivalsydney.com
- Rise (Tech Conference)
Hong Kong, China; July 8 – 11, 2019; www.riseconf.com
- Startup Fest (Startup Conference)
Montreal, Canada; July 9 – 13, 2019; www.startupfestival.com
- Youpreneur Summit (Entrepreneur/Online Business Conference)
London, UK; TBD; www.youpreneursummit.com