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Staying on top of trends and networking with peers is essential for the success of event managers and professionals in the hospitality industry. The year 2024 offers an exciting lineup of conferences that cater to various aspects of event management and hospitality. Each conference has its unique offerings, from innovative technology showcases to in-depth industry insights, making them valuable for anyone looking to enhance their skills and business.

Whether you're looking to enhance customer experience, improve operational efficiency, or stay ahead in a competitive market, these conferences have got you covered.

Best Event Planning Conferences 2024 Shortlist

Here's my shortlist of the best event planning conferences I think are worth attending in 2024:

  1. Catersource + The Special Event 2024 - Austin, Texas (February 2024)
  2. International Confex Conference - London, England (February 2024)
  3. Connect NYC 2024 - New York, New York (February 2024)
  4. Event Production Show - London, UK (February 2024)
  5. Connect Spring Marketplace 2024 - Las Vegas, Nevada (April 2024)
  6. Northwest Event Show 2024 - Seattle, Washington (April 2024)
  7. NPC24 - Minneapolis (April 2024)
  8. Small and Boutique Meetings | Spring - Montgomery, Texas (April 2024)
  9. Event Tech Live Las Vegas - Las Vegas, Nevada (May 2024)
  10. Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum - Washington DC (May 2024)
  11. CEMA Summit 2024 - Seattle, Washington (August 2024)
  12. Canadian Meeting + Events Expo (CMEExpo) - Toronto, Canada (August 2024)
  13. TEAMS ‘24 Conference & Expo - Anaheim, California (September 2024)
  14. Event Planner Expo 2024 - New York, New York (October 2024)
  15. Event Organisers Summit - London, UK(October 2024)
  16. Expo! Expo! 2024 by IAEE - Los Angeles, California (December 2024)

Best Event Planning Conferences Of 2024

1. Catersource + The Special Event 2024 - Austin, Texas (February 2024)

Crowd at the Catersource + The Special Event conference
Catersource + The Special Event Conference

Overview:

Catersource + The Special Event is a fusion of culinary brilliance and extraordinary event planning. It's designed to cover a wide range of topics such as the latest trends in catering, event design, business strategies, and technology. Renowned chefs and event professionals often headline the speaker lineup, sharing their expertise and experiences.

Why You Should Attend:

This is the ideal conference for those looking to blend culinary excellence with event planning prowess. Given the increasing emphasis on unique culinary experiences in events, it's crucial to stay ahead in this area. Networking opportunities with top chefs and event planners are a key highlight.

2. International Confex Conference - London, England (February 2024)

Attendees at the trade show of International Confex Conference
The trade show at the International Confex Conference

Overview:

International Confex Conference is a powerhouse of information for event professionals. It covers a range of topics from the latest in event technology, and sustainability in events, to marketing strategies and engagement techniques. The speaker lineup often includes leading experts from various aspects of event management.

Why You Should Attend:

As the event industry shifts towards more sustainable and technology-driven events, this conference offers a perfect blend of both. Attending will keep you at the forefront of these crucial trends.

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3. Connect NYC 2024 - New York, New York (February 2024)

An attendee meeting suppliers at the Connect NYC 2024 Conference
Connect NYC Conference

Overview:

Connect NYC this conference offers a deep dive into the business of event planning. The focus is on corporate events, with discussions on topics like client relationship management, budgeting, and ROI analysis. The lineup of speakers usually includes high-profile corporate event planners and industry leaders.

Why You Should Attend:

In today's business climate, where proving the value and ROI of events is paramount, this conference offers practical insights, templates, and tools. It's especially beneficial for those managing corporate events.

4. Event Production Show - London, UK (February 2024)

Educational session with the panel at the Event Production Show Conference
Panel discussion at the Event Production Show Conference

Overview:

Also in London, this conference is tailored for those involved in the production aspect of events. Topics often include stage design, audio-visual innovations, and production logistics. The guest speakers are typically seasoned professionals in event production, offering real-world insights.

Why You Should Attend: As events become more experiential, understanding the nuances of event production is crucial. This conference provides a hands-on approach to the latest in production technology and design.

5. Connect Spring Marketplace 2024 - Las Vegas, Nevada (April 2024)

  • Dates: April 2-4, 2024
Attendees at the Connect Spring Marketplace Conference
Connect Spring Marketplace Conference

Overview:

This Las Vegas annual event is all about networking and business development. It's designed for event planners to meet with suppliers, venues, and service providers. The program usually includes industry leaders discussing market trends and business strategies

Why You Should Attend:

With the hospitality sector constantly evolving, forming strong business relationships is key. This event is ideal for expanding your network and discovering new suppliers and trends.

6. Northwest Event Show 2024 - Seattle, Washington (April 2024)

Tech Zone at the Northwest Event Show Conference
Exhibit at the Northwest Event Show Conference

Overview:

Taking place in Seattle, Washington, this conference focuses on innovation in event planning. Topics typically include emerging technologies, creative event formats, and attendee engagement strategies. The speaker lineup often features innovators and disruptors in the event industry.

Why You Should Attend:

In an age where standing out is crucial, this conference offers fresh perspectives and innovative ideas. It's a must for those looking to bring something new to their event-planning repertoire.

7. NPC24 - Minneapolis (April 2024)

Networking opportunities for professionals and leaders at the NPC24 Conference
NPC Conference

Overview:

NPC24 in Minneapolis is a comprehensive conference focusing on urban planning and development. It covers topics like sustainable city design, community engagement, and technological advancements in urban planning, with speakers often being leading urban planners and policymakers.

Why You Should Attend:

This conference is essential for understanding the intersection of technology, sustainability, and community in urban development. It provides unique insights into creating livable, future-forward cities, a crucial aspect in today's rapidly urbanizing world.

8. Small and Boutique Meetings | Spring - Montgomery, Texas (April 2024)

Connected planners and suppliers at the Small and Boutique Meetings | Spring conference
Small and Boutique Meetings | Spring Conference

Overview:

This conference caters to the niche of small and boutique meetings, focusing on personalized event experiences and innovative meeting formats. It typically features industry experts in boutique event planning and personalized service, offering insights into this specialized sector.

Why You Should Attend:

As the event industry shifts towards more intimate and tailored experiences, this conference offers valuable strategies for creating impactful small-scale events. It's a must-attend for those looking to excel in boutique event planning in the current market.

9. Event Tech Live Las Vegas - Las Vegas, Nevada (May 2024)

Exhibitor booth at the Event Tech Live Las Vegas conference
Event Tech Live Las Vegas Conference

Overview:

Event Tech Live in Las Vegas is a leading annual conference on the latest technology in the event industry. It showcases cutting-edge event technology and features tech experts and innovators discussing trends like virtual reality, AI in events, and digital engagement.

Why You Should Attend:

This conference is for anyone looking to integrate the latest technology into their events. It's particularly relevant as the industry continues to blend digital and physical experiences in innovative ways.

10. Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum - Washington DC (May 2024)

Industry professionals at the Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum
Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum

Overview:

The Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum in Washington DC focuses on the challenges and opportunities in large-scale events and conventions. It covers strategic event planning, market analysis, and operational excellence, featuring speakers who are veterans in large event management.

Why You Should Attend:

This is an ideal platform for understanding the dynamics of large-scale event management, especially critical as the industry adapts to post-pandemic challenges and opportunities.

11. CEMA Summit 2024 - Seattle, Washington (August 2024)

A keynote speaker presenting at the CEMA Summit Conference
CEMA Summit Conference

Overview:

CEMA Summit in Seattle is a premier conference for event marketing professionals, delving into marketing strategies, digital engagement, and brand experience in events. The speakers usually include top marketing executives and brand strategists from leading companies.

Why You Should Attend:

In an era where branding and marketing are integral for a successful event, this summit provides valuable insights into creating compelling event narratives and engaging audiences effectively.

12. Canadian Meeting + Events Expo (CMEExpo) - Toronto, Canada (August 2024)

Panel discussion at the Canadian Meeting + Events Expo (CMEExpo)
Canadian Meeting + Events Expo (CMEExpo)

Overview:

The CMEExpo in Toronto is a leading conference and tradeshow for event professionals in Canada, covering a wide array of topics including the latest in event technology, innovative event design, and effective marketing strategies. The keynote speaker lineup typically features industry leaders in event management, technology experts, and marketing gurus.

Why You Should Attend:

Attending this expo is crucial for staying abreast of the latest trends and best practices in the rapidly evolving event industry, particularly in the Canadian context. It offers unique networking opportunities, learning from top professionals, and discovering new products and services on the tradeshow floor.

13. TEAMS ‘24 Conference & Expo - Anaheim, California (September 2024)

One-on-one meetings with sports-event organizers at the TEAMS Conference & Expo
One-on-one meetings at the TEAMS Conference & Expo

Overview:

TEAMS ‘24 in Anaheim focuses on the sports event industry, offering insights into sports event management, destination marketing, and hospitality. This three-day conference features sports event planners, destination marketers, and hospitality leaders as speakers.

Why You Should Attend:

This is a must-attend for industry professionals involved in sports event planning and destination marketing, offering specialized knowledge in a niche yet growing sector of the event industry.

14. Event Planner Expo 2024 - New York, New York (October 2024)

Attendees at the Event Planner Expo's trade show event
Trade show event at the Event Planner Expo

Overview:

The Event Planner Expo 2024 in New York City is a leading conference for event and marketing professionals, covering a wide spectrum of topics such as effective sales and marketing strategies, current event trends, and innovative event management ideas. The event features keynotes, fireside chats, and panel discussions with top executives, marketing experts, business owners, and seasoned event professionals.

Why You Should Attend:

This expo is an unparalleled opportunity for professional development and networking in the event industry, providing a platform to forge meaningful partnerships and exchange innovative ideas. In the current business climate, attending this conference offers the chance to gain valuable insights and strategies that are vital for adapting and thriving in the future of event planning and marketing.

15. Event Organisers Summit - London, UK(October 2024)

Meeting with solution providers at the Event Organisers Summit
One-on-one meeting at the Event Organisers Summit

Overview:

The Event Organisers Summit in London is specifically designed for senior event professionals, focusing on current and future trends in event management, digital innovation in events, and effective strategies for audience engagement. It features a curated list of speakers, including top event organizers, industry thought leaders, and technology innovators, who provide in-depth insights and practical advice.

Why You Should Attend:

his summit is essential for gaining advanced knowledge and strategies in the rapidly evolving event industry, particularly in the post-pandemic era. It offers a unique opportunity for senior professionals to network, share ideas, and discover new solutions, making it invaluable in today’s dynamic hospitality landscape.

16. Expo! Expo! 2024 by IAEE - Los Angeles, California (December 2024)

A keynote speaker interview at the Expo! Expo! by IAEE conference
Speakers at the Expo! Expo! by IAEE conference

Overview:

Expo! Expo! 2024 by the International Association of Exhibitors and Events( IAEE) is a comprehensive event for exhibition and event professionals, encompassing a wide range of topics such as exhibition management, digital engagement, and the latest event technologies. The conference boasts a lineup of experienced exhibition managers, technology experts, and marketing professionals who share their insights and strategies.

Why You Should Attend:

This conference is crucial for keeping pace with the latest innovations and trends in the world of exhibitions and events, which is especially important in an industry rapidly adapting to digital and experiential transformations. It offers an unparalleled opportunity for professional growth, networking, and staying ahead in the competitive hospitality sector.

Summary

In summary, these event planning conferences are rich sources of knowledge and excellent networking hubs for those in the event planning sector. They serve as essential platforms for learning, idea sharing, and keeping pace with the dynamic nature of the event industry.

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By Cory Masters

Cory Masters is a dynamic professional with 10+ years of experience working across hotel and hospitality management, accounting, financial management, office management, and operations. She's passionate about elevating other professionals in the community, using her 4 years as an Assistant Hotel Manager at Four Seasons to share the lessons she's learned about managing guest interactions, reservations, hotel staff, hotel services, hotel management systems, and more.