Make 2019 the year you attend more conferences!
As someone who owns a small business or is self-employed, you might not think conferences are worth your time—after all, you’re busy developing business relationships, managing your own finances and a million other tasks. But don’t underestimate the value of conferences. The right ones will help you network, build skills, gain inspiration and discover new solutions and services all within a matter of a day or two.
So open your schedule and save the dates for these top conferences in 2019. So far, we’ve included the most relevant conference details through May 2019. But we will keep updating this article as more details are released for the entire calendar year. So add this article to your bookmarks!
Small Business Expo (Small Business)
The Small Business Expo is a hub of entrepreneurial activity and learning. In each city, the Expo offers access to resources such as talent, capital and industry connections, making it one of the best opportunities to start a business. Each host city is also a massive consumer-facing marketplace.
- Focus: Small Business
- Size: Not specified
- Price: Free
- Editor’s note: The Small Business Expo travels across several U.S. cities
Startup Grind (Starting Up)
February 12-13, 2019; Silicon Valley, CA
With 7,000 founders & investors, more than 200 speakers, 100 sessions, workshops, investor Q&A and over 300 exhibiting startups, 2019 will be Startup Grind’s largest event ever. Bringing together great content and great people in an incredible setting, introducing some custom-built networking technology, and topping it all off with an unrivaled feeling of intimacy is how we guarantee amazing business and an awesome time.
- Focus: Startups and small business
- Size: 7,000
- Price: Starts at $355 for a full-access pass (early bird price until Jan. 16)
- Editor’s note: The main sponsor is Google for Entrepreneurs
March 8-17, 2019; Austin, TX
The South by Southwest (SXSX) Conference & Festivals celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW is the premier destination for discovery: Some of the world’s most promising and innovative startups are first recognized during SXSW’s Interactive program.
- Focus: Innovation and startups
- Size: 72,000 (including the music and art content)
- Price: Starts at $1,025 for the Interactive badge
- Editor’s note: “SXSW Interactive” content is the most relevant to entrepreneurs and small business owners. You can enter your startup to be a part of SXSW.
The SaaS Connect (Small Business)
March 26-27, 2019; San Francisco, CA
This event was previously called The Small Business Web Summit and recently rebranded as SaaS Connect. It is the single event for SaaS companies, platforms, API services, channels, distributors, resellers, app stores, and investors. For 7 years, B2B SaaS executives across the industry put together this event because they needed an intimate space to talk with others in the industry.
- Focus: SaaS
- Size: Not specified
- Price: $459-$659
- Editor’s note: The event is organized by The Cloud Software Association (formerly The Small Business Web), the trade association of companies selling cloud software.
April 4-6, 2019; Florence, Italy
EICS Summit delves into the emerging world of immersive technologies (XR), innovation and creativity. Keynote speakers focus on various business sectors including “Architecture, Art and Design,” “Entertainment,”, “Healthcare,” and “Industry 4.0.” EICS is designed to engage the most important companies, professionals and investors —big and small—working on new technologies.
- Focus: Immersive technology (XR)
- Price: Starts at €99
- Editor’s note: EICS will also feature a special “Startup” track that will select five early-stage startups that will introduce and workshop their business ideas.
Social Media Week New York (Social Media & Marketing)
Social Media Week New York is one of the world’s premier conferences for professionals at the intersection of media, marketing and technology.
- Focus: Marketing, media and communications
- Size: 2.5K
- Price: $937 for a standard ticket through Dec. 21, 2019
- Editor’s note: 65% of attendees are aged 25-35; attendees under age 25 enjoy a significant ticket discount
May 8-10, 2019; New York, NY
The 99U Conference is a one-of-a-kind live experience that inspires creative professionals to bring their ideas to life and shape the future of the industry. Learn from the world’s top thinkers and doers in a series of main stage talks over two days. 99U speakers offer pragmatic, real-world insights that transcend creative sectors. Expert-hosted breakout sessions explore new ideas and methodologies around leadership, teamwork, productivity and more.
- Focus: Creative professions and businesses
- Size: 1,000
- Price: $999
- Editor’s Note: You can attend for free by volunteering.
May 28-29, 2019; Sydney, Australia
Organized by WOBI each year in different cities across the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia, World Business Forum is a two-day event that brings together thousands of restless minds who share the same passion for business. Those who attend do so to learn and be inspired by some of the most influential figures in the business world and beyond; A blend of content delivered by CEOs, entrepreneurs, innovators, thought leaders and creative minds.
- Focus: Business networking and thought leadership
- Size: Thousands
- Price: Starts at $2,190
- Editor’s Note: Check out highlights from the 2019 event here.
The Startup Conference (Starting Up)
June 17, 2019; Redwood City, CA
With 1,500 entrepreneurs and investors, the Startup Conference is one of the largest conferences in Silicon Valley for starting your startup, learning how to pitch VCs, find co-founders, launch your product to the press, reach early adopters and influencers and more.
- Focus: Entrepreneurship
- Size: 1,500
- Price: Not specified
- Editor’s note: Has a video archive of last year’s conference
June 25-27, 2019; Baltimore, MD
The WBENC National Conference & Business Fair is the largest event of its kind for women business owners. Expect a high energy affair with thousands of women entrepreneurs and corporate executives ready to make connections and do business. Immerse yourself in a dynamic ecosystem of entrepreneurs and professionals, all dedicated to increasing opportunities for women-owned businesses.
- Focus: Women in business
- Size: 4,700
- Price: $699 – $1,350 through June 14
- Editor’s note: This event will host 1,300+ matchmaker meetings
July 7-14, 2019; Orlando, FL
Tech Cruise is a 7-night tech and digital marketing networking cruise. Attendees come to improve customer loyalty, lead generation, increase sales, and drive stronger consumer engagement.
- Focus: Digital marketing
- Size: Unspecified
- Price: Starts from $1,500 (Event pass + Royal Caribbean cabin)
- Editor’s note: The cruise will host events at sea and on land throughout the Caribbean
July 16-17, 2019; Columbus, OH
SkySprout Summit is a 2-day networking event for entrepreneurs, marketers, and startups looking to significantly boost their brand’s identity. Learn the ins and outs of the digital marketing world from the leading experts of the industry and create connections that will elevate your own business.
- Focus: Digital marketing
- Size: 1,000+
- Price: Starts from $399
- Editor’s note: Summit features notable speakers including Gary Vaynerchuck
August 28–29, 2019, Sydney, Australia
TECHSPO Sydney brings together developers, brands, marketers, technology providers, designers, innovators and evangelists looking to set the pace in our advanced world of technology.
- Focus: Tech
- Size: Not specified
- Price: Starts from $17 AU through $297 AU
- Editor’s note: This conference features various levels of access, making it affordable for everyone.
August 5-9, 2019; Online
Hosted by Social Media Examiner, you’ll learn that you don’t need special equipment, you don’t have to be a professional speaker, and you don’t need a crazy personality to get great results with video marketing. You’ll learn how to create Facebook video ads, Youtube content and ads, live video, Instagram Story video content and more.
- Focus: Video marketing
- Size: Online
- Price: $247 (this is $150 off if you register by July 30th)
- Editor’s note: An easy-to-access live online training event
September 9-13, 2019; Online
Facebook is an amazing driver of sales. In one week of online training, you’ll pick up the skills that usually takes years to master. You’ll discover how to implement innovative ad strategies and refine your ads based on smart testing and analysis. Brought to you by Social Media Examiner.
- Focus: Facebook marketing
- Size: Online
- Price: $97
- Editor’s note: The largest gathering of Facebook ads experts
October 21-22 | New York, New York
The only CMO led event for brand, digital, performance and content marketing professionals. Hear from marketing leaders at the world’s biggest and most recognizable brands.
- Focus: Branding
- Size: 500+
- Price: $150 (early bird)
- Editor’s note: Three tracks in one conference
October 23-24 | New York, New York
The Customer Service Summit is the ultimate opportunity to ensure your customer service team is exceeding customer expectations and delivering an unforgettable experience that keeps them returning.
- Focus: Customer Service
- Size: 350+
- Price: $100 (early bird)
- Editor’s note: Brochure available for download
December 10-11, 2019; San Francisco, CA
Growth Marketing Conference is the leading, globally-focused event for B2B and B2C growth marketers. Join world-class thought leader speakers, workshop instructors, and 2,000+ attendees. Learn growth strategies and tactics that drive rapid, cost-effective, and sustainable revenue and user growth.
- Focus: Growth marketing
- Size: 2,000
- Price: $Starts at $862.50 (save 25% by registering in July
- Editor’s note: Draws large companies as well like Google, Apple, LinkedIn, and Adobe