As freelancers or self-employed business owners, you might think that attending conferences is a waste of time?
You’re busy developing, managing, and juggling a million other tasks. Just a few weeks ago we explained here how to use your time correctly with The 10 E-mail Tips to Organize and Save Time… So now it’s time to do the same to your networking and professional appearance.
Don’t underestimate the value of attending conferences in 2020. Even though much of today’s networking and social appearance happens online, finding the right conference might be the best thing while developing yourself and your business.
Attending conferences as a small business, freelancer or entrepreneur will:
A) Help you build your network.
B) Improve and gain new skills.
C) Get inspiration from other professionals and colleagues.
D) Discover new solutions, services and stay up to date with your industry trends.
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
Open your schedule and save the dates for the top conferences in 2020! You can even connect your google calendar go to the Get wiser Google calendar to keep track of all the important conferences in 2020.
How to choose the best conference for you?
“When choosing the right conference for your business, the most important thing is what you get out of it in the long term.”-Miriam Rafaeli, director of Partners Marketing at vCita
Before we get into the details about all the conferences available this year, we’ve got a few guidelines to help you choose which conferences are the most suitable for you and your business.
For that, we have consulted with Miriam Rafaeli, the Director of Partner Marketing at vCita to give you further insights. “When choosing the right conference for your business, the most important thing is what you get out of it in the long term. The conference should be aligned with your business goals, and assist you with finding new ways to manage your business. Not every conference is relevant for every business, and the one that you should go to as a small business with limited resources is the one that will bring back the most – quality and quantity-wise.”
“When evaluating a business conference consider the following:
- Make sure it’s relevant to your business goals
If your goals for 2020 are to improve your marketing, make sure you attend conferences that are marketing-oriented. Every conference has a different agenda and angel to address a certain topic, which will effect not just the lecturers but also the audience.
- Make sure to check out the highlights/reviews from past year’s ensembles
Make sure to do your homework in regards to conferences. Find out how they have impacted their audiences in the past, read reviews from past participants, and find out if they’re worth the time and money. Below we have incorporated some insightful videos from past events.
- Make sure you are familiar with who is attending
If you are attending a conference to further develop your business make sure the speakers are in line with your industry. Also, networking is key.
- Make sure you have the budget to do so
If your New Year’s resolution for 2020 is to SAVE, don’t worry! Below we have provided you with a few low-cost conferences that have been around for years. In addition, there are some conferences that are free of charge and extremely beneficial. “
2020 top conferences for freelancers & SMBs
So, after introducing the “how-to” now it’s time for the what. Here, we’ve included the most relevant conference at the beginning of 2020. We will keep updating this article as more details are released, so make sure to stay tuned.
Date: February 11 – 13, 2020
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
With 7,000 founders & investors, +200 speakers, 100 sessions, workshops, investor Q&A and over 300 exhibiting startups 2020 will set the record for the decade. The combination of great content and great people in an incredible setting. Introducing custom-built networking technologies, and topping it all off with an unrivaled feeling of intimacy. This is how they guarantee amazing business and an awesome time. The main focus is on startups and small businesses.
2. SMX WEST
Date: February 19 – 20, 2020
Location: San Jose, CA
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 profits. Attendees appreciate the chance to interact with speakers, the hands-on clinics, and the mix of technical with non-technical information.
Date: February 24 – 26, 2020
Location: Hyatt Regency, Scottsdale, Arizona
This conference is recommended for those who evolve around B2B Marketing Exchange. Expect a great lineup of workshops and case studies. With 100+ speakers and 70 sessions spanning six tracks. This conference includes an award-winning ceremony. “The Killer Content Awards” (aka, The Finnys) for outstanding business-to-business marketers and campaigns. Previous speakers have included leaders from Google, Siemens, DemandGen, 3M, Oracle, et al. #B2BMX Great for B2B marketers, CMOs, B2B freelance writers, and B2B strategists.
Price: $895 +
Date: February 27 – 2020
Location: Dallas, TX
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. Each host city is a massive consumer-facing marketplace. Editor’s note: The Small Business Expo travels across several U.S. cities.
5. SXSW Tech
Date: March 13 – 22, 2020
Location: Austin, TX
The South by Southwest Conference & Festivals celebrates the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. The main focus of the show is based on innovations and startups, including the size of 72,000 (including the music and art content). SXSW Interactive” content is the most relevant to entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Price: $1475 +
Date: March 25 – 26, 2020
Locations: Italy, Milan
EICS Summit delves into the emerging world of immersive technologies (XR), innovation, and creativity. Speakers focus on various business sectors including architecture, art and design, entertainment, and industry. EICS will feature a special startup track that will be introduced in their workshop.
Date: April 2, 2020
Location: Dallas, TX
This business conference is suitable for CIOs in today’s fast-changing economy. The conferences will focus on information technology (IT) strategy. How to execute new sources of technology-driven innovation along with the cultural transformation that’s necessary to drive successful business outcomes.
Date: April 15 – 16, 2020
Location: San Francisco, CA
The Small Business Web Summit was changed to the SaaS connect. It is the only event for SaaS companies, platforms, API services, channels, distributors, resellers, app stores, and investors. B2B SaaS executives needed an intimate space to meet with others in the industry. This event is organized by The Cloud Software Association. The trade association of companies selling cloud software.
Price: $ 499+
Date: May 5 – 7, 2020;
Location: New York, NY
Social Media Week New York is one of the world’s best premier conferences in regards to social media. The main topic of focus is marketing, media, and technology communications. The size is roughly around 3000 people, 60% of attendees are aged 25-35. Special note: attendees under the age of 25 can enjoy a significant ticket discount.
Date: May 27 – 28, 2019;
Location: Sydney, Australia
Organized by WOBI each year in a different city across America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The World’s Business Forum is a two-day event that brings together thousands of restless minds who share the same passion for business.
A blend of content delivered by CEOs, entrepreneurs, innovators, thought leaders, and creative minds. 1000+ people will attend, check out highlights from the 2019 event here.
Date: June 3–5, 2020;
Location: 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. 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. The event sizes up to 1,000+ people. You can attend this event for free by volunteering.
Date: June 25–27, 2020
Location: Toronto, Canada
Collision is slowly getting recognition for North America’s fastest-growing tech conferences. In just seven years, this event has 30,000 participants, representing 100 + counties world-wide. In 2019, Collision had the pleasure to have Seth Rogan and Steve Aoki grace the stage.
Date: June 25–27, 2020
Location: Atlanta, GA
The WBENC National Conference & Business Fair is the largest event of its kind. Expect high energy with thousands of female 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. This event will host 1,300+ matchmaker meetings, 4,700 attending, and 40+ speakers. Don’t miss out ladies!
Date: July 7 – 10, 2020
Location: Paris, France
The International Council for Small Business (ICSB) is a non-profit organization. It is devoted to the interests and advancements of small businesses globally. The main focus is to promote the growth of small businesses worldwide. Bringing together educators, researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners.
Date: July 6 – 8, 2020
Location: Seattle, Washington
Moz is a three-day conference that has only one track. If you’re seeking a conference that doesn’t require a ton of decisions making this one is for you. Here you’ll have many opportunities to gain actionable takeaways from sessions that dive into SEO, analytics, content marketing, social media, and customer experience.
MozCon speakers range from in-house Mozzers to marketing industry leaders. Great for: SEOs, content marketers, agency employees with a specialization in content, SEO, analytics, and marketing consultants.
Date: August 7 – 10, 2020
Location: North Carolina
The Carolina Photo Expo is recommended for photographers that are looking to gain valuable information on how to develop their own. This small business conference is leading in the USA.
Date: August 19– 20, 2020
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
According to the digital summit webpage, this is one of the best business conferences focusing on digital marketing. With over 1500+ attendees and 1500+ minutes of content.
Your ticket includes access to speakers presentation slides and recordings. Your company can reference and utilize business initiatives, year-round.
Date: September 1, 2020
Location: Germany, Frankfurt
This conference is based on digital growth and optimization. Speakers from all around the world to discussing topics from the digital world and learning from world-class talks. It’s all about data-driven, customer-oriented and an agile approach to scale sustainably.
Price: 770€ +
Date: October 21–22
Location: New York, NY
The only CMO event for branding, digital media, performance, and content marketing professionals. Hear from marketing leaders at the world’s biggest and most recognizable brands. 500+ attending and three tracks in one conference.
Date: November 9 –12, 2020
Location: San Francisco, CA
Dreamforce promises 2,700 sessions, workshops and 50 different keynotes. Dream force will help you reach the next level of entrepreneurial success. You can watch the conference online, tickets for the event are sold-out.
Price: Free Live Stream
All updates in the coming year will be added as they are released! Make sure to stay tuned.