Not all conferences are created equal. Some conferences are forgettable, while others are transformative. At the most dynamic conferences, big things happen: industries shift, connections are made, and ground-breaking ideas are presented.
No matter where you are in your career development, attending at least one conference should be on your yearly professional to-do list. If you’re are an expert within your field, consider attending as a speaker. Presenting at a conference will keep your public speaking skills sharp, expand your network, and strengthen your credibility. If speaking at a conference is not on your agenda, plan to attend as an audience member, and soak up all of the opportunities and insights that abound.
For inspiration, here are 5 of the best conferences left for 2014:
When: November 9-11, 2014
Where: Half Moon Bay, CA
Probably one of the only conferences in the world that can be described as alluring, Techonomy is an invitation-only event with an advisory board that includes Marc Benioff of Salesforce, Jack Dorsey of Twtter, and Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn. In 2014, the intrigue of this thought-provoking conference is amplified by the venue, the Half Moon Bay Ritz-Carlton, which is perched atop a bluff overlooking the rugged Northern California coast.
At Techonomy 2014, you can bend your mind on topics like, Moving to the Fourth Dimension, and Mobile Omnipotence: Influencing the New Nomads, as well as stretch your body and relax with some of the optional activities that include coastal bike rides, sunrise yoga, a golf clinic, and a hike in the Purisima Creek Redwood Preserve.
Techonomy explores the many ways technology transforms and accelerates progress for business and society. Techonomy isn’t a tech conference, but one about how technology transforms everything else. Techonomy website
2. C-Suite Network Conference
When: November 16-18, 2014
Where: Marina del Rey, CA
The C-Suite Network Conference mission statement is summarized in the tagline, Deepen Your Success in The C-Suite. To qualify for attendance, you must be a VP or C-level executive for a company with 10 million or more in revenue. If you qualify, attendance is free, minus the expenses of travel, meals and lodging. The 2014 speaker list includes Gary Vaynerchuk, Mark Sanborn, and Elisa Steele.
The C-Suite Network Conferences provide an arena for C-Suite executives and the world’s most elite thought leaders to candidly talk about the challenges of success in a world that’s unlike any we have experienced. C-Suite Network Conferences Website
3. The Market Research Event
When: October 20-22, 2014
Where: Boca Raton, FL
With one glance at the 2014 agenda for The Market Research Event, it is evident why this event claims the title as the most comprehensive insights conference in the world; a variety of concurrent sessions are scheduled for most hours of the conference, and the impressive list of speakers includes Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, Jonathan Gottschall, author of The Storytelling Animal, and Simon Sinek, author of Leaders Eat Last.
More than 150 insights leaders share stories curated to blow your mind, teach you something new and share ways you can apply similar thinking. More than 1300 leading insights executives from across the globe unite at TMRE every year – making it the most diverse, experience rich gathering of influencers in the entire world. The Market Research Event Website
The Market Research Event is just one of many conferences in event portfolio of The Institute for International Research (IIR), the world’s largest conference company. Visit the IIR calendar for other great Marketing and Business events.
When: December 1-3, 2014
Where: New York, NY
IGNITION, the flagship conference of Business Insider, boasts a list of past speakers that includes Elon Musk, Sheryl Sandberg, and Arianna Huffington. In 2014, this phenomenal event will be held at the beautiful TimesCenter in the heart of the Times Square District.
IGNITION: Future Of Digital is the cutting-edge conference on the future of media as it intersects with technology and changes everything about how we learn, work, and live. The speaker line-up includes luminaries from tech and media, highlighted by a rare interview with Jeff Bezos. IGNITION Website
5. TED Global
When: October 6-10, 2014
Where: Rio Janeiro, Brazil
At this point, almost everyone has heard of TED conferences, and probably even watched at least one TED talk, but only a small minority has actually attended a TED conference. To attend, you must submit an application and be accepted into the TED network, so be prepared to provide lengthy insights into who you are, and what you can contribute to the TED community. Since the audience is “curated” through the application process, you can bet that your networking experiences at TED will be above and beyond networking at almost any other conference. If you’re ready to apply to speak at TED, read our 10 Tips for becoming a TED Speaker.
TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. TED website
In conclusion, if you have not yet attended a mind-blowing conference in 2014, you still have time and options to make that happen. Conferences can open your mind to new ways of seeing the world, while also providing opportunities to make the connections that you need to achieve your goals. Pick a conference that resonates with you, purchase your ticket, and get out of your comfort zone; that’s where the magic happens.
Question: What conferences do you recommend to other business leaders?