Conferences for entrepreneurs in 2020 did not go as planned. Many were turned virtual on short notice, and there were definitely hiccups. Now that 2020 is behind us, we can look forward to the diversity of the best online and in-person conferences in 2021. Continue reading to find out the top offline and online conferences for entrepreneurs in 2021!
Benefits of virtual conferences for entrepreneurs
- Reduced cost: The top benefit of online conferences for entrepreneurs is the reduction in the cost of attendance. You no longer need to pay for hotel rooms, eating out, flights, and more, which often comes to over $2,000. Instead, you get to stay in the comfort of your space.
- Recordings: After checking that the conference does not offer you access to recordings of each event, you can set up your own recording of events. This benefit of online conferences for entrepreneurs means you never have to worry about being late or stepping away for a moment.
- Travel time: Travel time eats up a lot of time when traveling to conferences for entrepreneurs, and it’s exhausting. Without travel time, you have more energy to invest in your business. Plus, there’s no pollution if you’re traveling to your home office.
- Niche focus: With online conferences for entrepreneurs, you can also choose more niche conferences that you would normally skip. With the reduced costs and time commitments, you can hit that online startup conference you’ve always wanted to go to.
- Investment options: You’re not the only one who benefits from virtual conferences for entrepreneurs. The event organizers have more flexibility in who they can book since everyone is virtual. Additionally, there’s more money for speakers since event organizers don’t have to commit to a convention center.
Best online conferences for entrepreneurs
Here, we’ve included the most relevant conference at the beginning of 2021. We will keep updating this article as more details are released, so make sure to stay tuned.
Please note that some of the following live business conferences may be changed to online events or may be canceled due to covid19.
Online conferences for entrepreneurs in February
Dates: January 28 – July 29, 2021
- Business-critical keynotes
- Virtual speed networking
- Online webinars
Live event: August 25 – December 16, 2021
Live cost: Free
Small Business Expo has delivered expos for over 30 years. In 2021, the company offers multiple national virtual expos, virtual regional expos, and regional in-person options. Registration is free so that you can attend multiple expos.
Small Business Expo is offering separate in-person and virtual events. If you choose the online conference for entrepreneurs, you will attend via a virtual expo hall. There are also multiple levels of the pass, with the basic one being free.
The Small Business Expo is a hub of entrepreneurial activity and learning. The Expo offers access to talent, industry connections, making it one of the best opportunities to start a business.
Dates: February 23 – December 14, 2021
Cost: $149 (average)
- Focused learning experiences
- SEO, PPC/SEM, analytics,
Instead of offering a single conference for entrepreneurs in 2021, SMX developed multiple learning experiences you can register for. Each event lasts a day, and there are optional follow-up workshops to sharpen what you learn, including content marketing, CRO, technical SEO, marketing technology.
Dates: February 24 – May 25, 2021
- Each event has a different focus
- 25+ sessions per conference
- Networking space
Live Event: Pending COVID-19 restrictions
Live Cost: $445
Location: August 5-6,- December 8-9, 2021
Digital Summit focuses exclusively on the marketing and digital aspects of running a business. Usually, the company offers multiple in-person summits and hopes to go back to that this year. Right now, Digital Summit is holding one 3-day online conference for entrepreneurs every month.
Dates: February 23-25, 2021
Cost: Choose your price ($0 to $50)
- Influential talks from pioneers
- 15,000 global startups attending
- Workshops on over 30 topics
Location: San Francisco, CA
Startup Grind Global Summit is a three-day virtual event this year (four days if you’re in Startup Summit). The online conference for entrepreneurs promises unique content and networking to help startup companies move forward. With 7,000 investors, +200 speakers, 100 sessions, workshops, investor Q&A and over 300 exhibiting startups 2020 will set the record for the decade.
Dates: February 22 – 25, 2021
- Six tracks with a combined 50+ sessions
- Presentations include a mix of experts and practitioners
- Mentor access
B2B Marketing Exchange is entirely virtual this year. There are multiple tiers of passes, and each has slightly different access. The basic pass lets you sit in on all the keynotes and sessions, but not workshops or certification courses.
Dates: February 9-10, 2021 – to be announced
- A mix of talk subjects
- Live broadcasts
Rather than doing one large event as Dreamforce, Salesforce offers a series of broadcasts that you simply need an account to access for 2021. These sessions are designed to boost your productivity and ability to use Salesforce for success.
Online conferences for entrepreneurs in March
Dates: March 16-20, 2021
- Over 200+ sessions
- Not just a tech conference
- Mentor sessions
SXSW is going virtual in 2021 due to COVID-19. However, the access pass is still just as powerful as it would be in person. From film to business keynotes, this conference has everything you expect.
SMX West is for you if you can create content but want to improve in terms of search. SMX West offers training in SEO and SEM. They provide attendees with actionable tactics that boost traffic, leads, and profit
SXSW also offers aspects of online startup
Dates: March 2021
- 31 days of content
- Networking opportunities
- Focus on women-owned businesses
WBENC is changing how they offer conferences online for female entrepreneurs. Instead of one or two days, the conference content is spread through the month of March. For most of the classes, you only need a few hours.
Dates: March 23 – 25, 2021
- Keynote speakers
- Networking options
Festival of Marketing is digital this year. This year, the theme is focusing on time and money, followed by measuring the results. The virtual festival pass gets you access to this one event.
Festival of Marketing also had two other events later this year so far. If you pay to get an annual pass, you get access to those events free.
Online conferences for entrepreneurs in April
Date: April 1, 2021
- Leadership focus
- Concise format
This online conference is focused on senior technology positions. There is no charge, but you must be approved to attend. The format involves two hours of your time by default, unlike many other conferences that require a few days.
Dates: April 20 – 22, 2021
Cost: Roughly $150
- Six distinct content themes
- 100+ speakers
Collision, like many online conferences for entrepreneurs, is going virtual this year. The conference centers around six distinct content areas, and you can jump between them. It’s a networking and a learning opportunity rolled into one.
Collision is also suitable if you are looking for online startup conferences.
Online conferences for entrepreneurs in May
Dates: May 4 -7, 2021
- Ten content tracks
- Multiple talk formats
- Networking options
This event is entirely virtual for 2021, and that’s opened more global participation. The standard pass gets you to access to everything on the main stage, while the more expensive levels get you the playbacks and other goodies.
Highlights reveiw :
Dates: Multiple May 5-6, 2021- TBD (Lima)
Cost: $1900 (some variation)
- Specialized themes
- Global networking
The World Business Forum is holding in-person events in 2021. So far, there’s Miami in May, London in June, Sydney in September, and New York in October. Each event has a distinct set of speakers.
The World Business Forum focuses on business leaders and the associated concerns. These range from innovation to emotional intelligence.
As a secondary note, the World Business Forum began offering a unique pass. With it, you receive exclusive access to 10 talks per year not available anywhere else. All talks are virtual.
Online conferences for entrepreneurs in June
Dates: June 8-10, 2021, October 12-13, 2021
Interactive Week: June 8-10, 202
- Five central themes
- Over 50 speakers
- Post-event report
Strategic Marketing 2021 is a marketing conference with five central themes. It’s offered in two stages this year. Interactive week in June involves live Q&A, presentations, and the works available virtually.
The virtual event is available in October. In order to access it with its keynotes, expo, networking platform, and more, you’ll need a premium pass for $1,999.
Date: June 17, 2021
- On-demand content available
- Focused on creative self
99U is a little different this year since Adobe will be hosting it free on Behance. Sessions will be available after their view time, which is great if you’re in a different time zone. Everything centers around the creative self, something we all need to recharge from time to time.
Online conferences for entrepreneurs in July
Dates: July 12 – 15, 2021
- Hybrid approach
- Required to hit U.N. sustainability goals
Live event: July 12 – 15, 2021
Live cost: $840
This event is hybrid and will run both aspects concurrently. Not only does this conference present panels, but it’s also committed to making connections. Often, that’s between business and venture capitalists.
Dates: July 12 – 14, 2021
- Common topic networking
- Marketing focus
MozCon is one of the bigger marketing conferences for entrepreneurs, and this year it’s virtual. There are three days of talks to enjoy still, though the networking space has moved. Plus, there’s a broader community focus.
Online conferences for entrepreneurs in September
Date: September 2, 2021
- 12 TED-style talks
- Afterparty included
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Growth Marketing Summit is a one-day event that is only available in-person. You can book a ticket now, and the company will refund it through the end of July. This event is aimed at management and higher.
All talks will be in English.
Dates: September 27-29, 2021
Cost: Information not available for 2021, $1340+ in 2020
- 100s of workshops
- Mentoring program
- Venture capital opportunities
Live event: September 27-29, 2021
Live cost: Unknown, presumed same as general cost
Location: San Francisco, CA
SaaStr Annual is in its 7th year, and it boasts over 50,000 attendees. In 2021, the conference is currently scheduled to offer both online and in-person events simultaneously. This conference is aimed specifically at SaaS industry leaders.
SaaStr is one of the online conferences for entrepreneurs offering startup webinars and other activities.
Dates: September 28 – October 1, 2021
- Over 100 hours of content
- Summit or industry-specific forums
- Content workshops
Live event: September 28 – October 1, 2021
Live cost: $1599
Location: Cleveland, OH
Connect Marketing World Conference and Expo offers both virtual and in-person tickets, though virtual is less expensive. Attendance is bookended by premium experiences like industry-specific forums that can help you drill down on specific problems.
Dates: September 21 – 24, 2021
Cost: Roughly $549
- Interactive workshops
- Extended Q&A
Live event: September 21 – 24, 2021
Live cost: $549
Location: Indianapolis, IN
The SBDC conference this year is set for September, and it is set up for in-person attendance. However, that is subject to change. The SBDC focuses on development, so most of the panels have an eye on how your business will change.
Online conferences for entrepreneurs in October and beyond
More announcements are coming out each week regarding conferences for entrepreneurs. Those towards the end of the year are holding out for the possibility of in-person as well as packing their schedules with high-value speakers.
Regardless of your opinion on online conferences for entrepreneurs and startups, they do have benefits. Each event that offers a virtual component makes it easier for you to attend. Plus, with so many choices, you can find one that’s perfect for your business needs.
The more prominent conferences appear to be keeping things virtual or moving their events far enough into 2021 that there will be vaccinations. Some of the events currently in-person may become virtual if you want to be patient.
The opportunities for both conferences and business growth in 2021 are limitless. You are likely to gain something useful from every conference for entrepreneurs and startups you attend. It’s just a matter of narrowing down your choices.