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Leadership Professional Development

Top 40 Event Planning Conferences to Attend in 2023

By Meaghan Maybee on November 7, 2022

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Meaghan Maybee
Meaghan Maybee

As pc/nametag's in-house Word Wizard, Meaghan creates educational content that brings people together and drives meaningful conversations in the events industry.

Attending a conference, workshop, training, seminar, or virtual event is the perfect way to gain new knowledge, meet like-minded professionals and expose yourself to new perspectives in your field. Let’s make 2023 the year that we expand our skillsets, earn continuing education credits, and prioritize our professional development goals!

Are you a meeting planner, event marketer, venue manager, supplier, buyer, or experiential events enthusiast? If so, you are in luck. Attend any of the meetings, conventions, and events in our 2023 round-up to learn the latest trends, meet vendors, find products, gain knowledge, meet people, and network!


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Event Planning Conferences 2023

PCMA Convening Leaders 2023

Dates: January 8-11, 2023

Location: Columbus, OH

Attendance Options: In-person, Virtual

PCMA Convening Leaders 2023 is designed to lead the meetings and events industry into the future. Join in for an epic gathering filled with dynamic discussions and powerful networking. You'll even get a chance to tune in to awesome 2023 keynote speakers like Thomas Barg, Ammar Kandil, Allyson Felix, and Adam Grant. Get ready to explore ways to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow!


Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA) Annual Conference

Dates: January 20-22, 2023

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Attendance Options: In-person

Do you work for a venue, convention center, or destination marketing organization? If so, ESPA's annual conference is for you! Gather for informative breakout sessions and roundtables, tune in to awesome keynotes, and participate in mobile workshops. You'll even get a chance to tune into tracks for leaders, event services, and sporting events.


Independent Planner Education Conference (IPEC)

Dates: January 24-26, 2023

Location: Memphis, TN

Attendance Options: In-person

Hosted by Northstar Meetings Group, the Independent Planner Education Conference caters to independent planners who are not associated with any 3rd party organizations. Here, you'll find the perfect mix of education, networking, and meetings. You'll gain industry insights from guest speakers, expand your network and meet face-to-face with top destinations, hotels, resorts, cruise lines, DMCs, DMOs, and tourism offices from around the world.


Northstar Meetings Group's SMU International

Dates: March 13-15, 2023

Location: New York, NY

Attendance Options: In-person

SMU International is an elite event for North American meetings and incentive travel buyers who are focused on placing programs around the world. This year's agenda is filled with opportunities to learn from industry experts, make invaluable business connections, and experience unforgettable landmarks around New York. Connect with premier international suppliers during pre-scheduled one-on-one business appointments and unique experiential activities.


Catersource + The Special Event 2023

Dates: March 27-30, 2023

Location: Orlando, FL

Attendance Options: In-person

Are you a corporate planner, caterer, florist, event entertainer, rental company, or event professional? This event was designed for you. Discover the most cutting-edge suppliers and the top industry professionals while experiencing unmatched opportunities to source, network, and learn in one place. This experience is ideal for people who want to stay competitive in their space, meet with a variety of high-caliber suppliers, make industry connections, and find business solutions that fit their needs.


Connect Spring Marketplace

Dates: April 11-13, 2023

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Attendance Options: In-person

Connect Spring Marketplace is an experience-heavy event with multiple tracks and over 1,000 fully vetted buyers to take appointments. This event is ideal for event professionals in the Association, Business Travel, Citywide, Corporate, Diversity, Financial, and Incentive areas. Sports tracks include Connect Sports, LGBTQ+ Summit, and Women in Leadership in Summit.


Event Tech Live

Dates: April 26-27, 2023

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Attendance Options: In-person, Virtual

You've found it... Event Tech Live Las Vegas is the only hybrid expo dedicated to event technology in the United States. This year's event will kick off virtually on Tuesday, April 25th, then move to in-person on Wednesday, April 26th. get excited for 100+ educational sessions, 100+ exhibitors, and attendees from across the globe.


Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum

Date: May 31, 2023

Location: Washington DC Metro

Attendance Options: In-person, Virtual

The Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum (ECEF) is an information-sharing and networking event for leaders at associations and independent organizers. You will find a robust schedule of networking opportunities, video galleries, C-level sessions, live Q&As, receptions, demonstrations, and more.


Event Industry Expo

Dates: June 5-7, 2023

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Attendance Options: In-person

Join the Event Industry Expo for three jam-packed days of learning! You'll get the chance to learn from the very best minds in the event industry. The 2023 agenda is filled with opportunities for event professionals to network, mingle, learn, and become inspired.


Meeting Professionals International – World Education Conference 2023

Dates: June 13-15, 2023

Location: Riviera Maya, Mexico

Attendance Options: In-person

MPI-WEC Mexican Caribbean will be a conference experience like no other! This remixed experience will feature a unique mix of business and leisure. You'll encounter coaching opportunities, attendee meals, break-out sessions, and exciting activities. Get hosted, get connected, and get business done.


PCMA EduCon 2023

Dates: June 25–28, 2023

Location: Montreal, Québec

Attendance Options: In-person

EduCon is known for its energetic and immersive program geared towards thought leaders, event marketers, experience designers, and business event strategists from around the world. This conference is known industrywide for its innovative approach to education, as well as its small-group learning opportunities for relationship building.


The Meetings Show

Dates: June 28-29, 2023

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Attendance Options: In-person

The Meetings Show is the UK's leading event for the MICE industry. At this event, you can look forward to meeting live with hundreds of UK hotels, destinations, destination management companies, conference centers, venues, and tech suppliers. Gain insight and inspiration from industry leaders as you attend countless networking events at the show.


EsportsTravel Summit

Dates: July 12-14, 2023

Location: Toronto, Canada

Attendance Options: In-person

The EsportsTravel Summit is the world’s largest gathering of esports tournament and video-game event organizers. It's also the only event focused on the travel side of the esports industry. Register for this event if you are an organizer of video-game events or you're a travel and tourism professional wanting to understand and profit from the esports phenomenon.


Cvent CONNECT

Dates: July 24-27, 2023

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Attendance Option: In-person, Virtual

Cvent CONNECT is an outstanding user conference for event, marketing, and hospitality professionals. Not only will you experience cutting-edge event technology innovation, but you'll also leave with new ideas to fuel best practices and creative strategies within your organization. This event is especially useful for Cvent users who want to learn how to streamline, scale, and automate their event programs.


The Event Planner Expo 2023

Date: Fall 2023

Location: New York City, NY

Attendance Options: In-person

Event planners, business owners, decision-makers, marketers, and PR professionals will love the Event Planner Expo 2023! This must-attend conference is for anyone who wants to make connections and collaborate with top owners and executives. Form strategic, long-lasting partnerships, tune in to esteemed keynote speakers, participate in fireside chats, and more.


IBTM Americas

Dates: September 13-14, 2023

Location: Mexico City, Mexico

Attendance Options: In-person

Meetings and events professionals, unite! IBTM Americas brings planners together to do business, network, engage, and inspire one another. Last year, this event drew 4,120 participants for two full days of exciting digital and face-to-face activities. You won't want to miss this chance to create business networks with other planners and MICE professionals.


TEAMS ‘23 Conference and Expo

Dates: October 2–5, 2023

Location: The Palm Beaches, FL

Attendance Options: In-person

Labeled the "business development opportunity of the year," the TEAMS conference is all about finding new host cities, venues, vendors, and sponsors for your future meetings. Find hands-on educational programming and learn industry insights from notable thought leaders in sporting events. Don’t miss your chance to network with your industry peers and talk about the future of your events!


IMEX America

Dates: October 17-19, 2023

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Attendance Options: In-person

IMEX America is the largest trade show in the United States geared towards the global meetings, events and incentive travel industry. Its award-winning is free to attend, and the four-day program offers specialist education, networking, and much more. This event is welcoming of professionals from a wide range of disciplines and sectors.

pcnametag at IMEX America 2022

The pc/nametag team had a blast at IMEX America 2022! Stop by in 2023 for free samples and badge ribbons!


Expo! Expo! 2023 by IAEE

Dates: December 5-7, 2023

Location: Dallas, TX

Attendance Options: TBD

Expo! Expo! by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) focuses on three C's: Content, Community, and Connections! Programing caters to planners who want to learn more about industry best practices, research, trends, data, and more. Learn from a variety of experts on current topics, all in a unique learning environment that immerses attendees in the conference experience.


Wedding Merchants Business Academy

Dates: TBD

Location: TBD

Attendance Options: In-person

The Wedding Merchants and Business Academy (MBA) convention is the perfect event for wedding planners, venue managers, caterers, DJs, florists, officiants, photographers, and gown shops. Last year's event featured an impressive 150+ Seminars, 100 Speakers, and 200 exhibits.


Techsytalk Global 2023

Dates: TBD

Location: TBD

Attendance Options: Virtual

Free event alert! Techsytalk Global is a conference for event pros around the world who love all things event technology. Attendees will learn how to transform their events into memorable, engaging experiences through technology tools. Last year's event drew 1000+ event professionals who listened in to 10 speakers.

shop pc/nametag's "Be" badge ribbon pack for meetings and events


Event Marketing Conferences 2023

Event Design Certificate Program

Dates: January 12-23; June 28-30; August 23-25, 2023

Locations: San Diego; Atlantic City; Montreal

Attendance Options: Virtual

The Event Design Certificate Program is an immersive 3-day training course that teaches event management professionals how to apply design thinking to meetings and conferences. You will also receive 24 continuing education credits toward domain G (Meeting and Event Design) as defined by the Events Industry Council EIC.


Social Media Marketing World

Dates: March 13-15, 2023

Location: San Diego, CA

Attendance Options: In-person, Virtual

Discover the best social media marketing strategies from the world’s top experts! At the end of this conference, you will have gained business-building ideas you can put to work for your business or clients right away. This event focuses on organic social marketing, content marketing, and paid social marketing. Choose from on-demand access, virtual access, "marketer" access, and all-access passes.


Confab Content Marketing Conference

Dates: April 30–May 3, 2023

Location: Minneapolis, MN

Attendance Options: In-person

Confab is an event for people who love marketing and event content that's both useful and usable for everyone. You need not be a content strategist to attend! Register if you are someone who helps lead, design, build, or manage digital content for your organization. Get inspired by speakers, learn best practices from the people who create them, and experience hands-on workshops with expert instructors.


Experiential Marketing Summit 2023

Dates: May 9-11, 2023

Location: London, England

Attendance Options: In-person

The Experiential Marketing Summit is described as the #1 conference for brand experience creators! Traditional breakout sessions, Q&As,deep-dive workshops, power panels and keynotes are just some of the things you'll experience here. Get senior-level perspectives on the current experiential marketing landscape, as well as mission-critical trends, best practices, and how-tos.

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MozCon 2023

Dates: August 7-9, 2023

Location: Seattle, WA

Attendance Options: In-person, Virtual

MozCon is like a summer camp for marketers! Meet in Seattle for an immersive, three-day experience of non-stuffy networking and expert sessions delivered by industry leaders in search engine optimization, search marketing, mobile, conversion optimization, local search, and more. Delve into strategies from industry experts as you network with peers who also love marketing.


INBOUND 2023

Dates: September 5-8, 2023

Location: Boston, MA

Attendance Options: In-person, Virtual

INBOUND by HubSpot is an immersive experience meant to expand your perspective on marketing, sales, technology, and more. Highlights include attending educational sessions and workshops led by industry experts, gaining new skills and knowledge, hearing inspirational speeches by world leaders and celebrities, connecting with business leaders, developing partnerships, and more!


Content Marketing World 2023

Dates: September 26-29, 2023

Location: Washington D.C.

Attendance Options: In-person, Virtual

Sharing experiences, connecting community, and creating partnerships: That is what Content Marketing World is all about! This conference boasts 100+ sessions, workshops, and industry forums presented by leading brand marketers and experts from around the world. Networking time and fun events are planned so you connect with fellow attendees before, during, and after the event.


Guru Email Marketing Conference

Dates: TBD

Location: Online

Attendance Options: Virtual

"Enter a marketer, leave a guru." This free email marketing conference is perfect for event marketers looking to up their email game. Get actionable advice and strategies you can deploy same-day, backed by real-time data. You'll find the latest digital trends, email best practices, and emerging tools you’ll need to boost your email marketing performance today.

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Venue Management Conferences 2023

GUESTX 2023 by IAVM

Dates: January 30-February 1, 2023

Location: Atlanta, GA

Attendance Options: In-person

The International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) hosts GuestX, a one-of-a-kind conference on crafting extraordinary guest experiences. Not only will you gain invaluable insight from skills-based workshops and networking sessions, but you will also learn how every aspect of your operation impacts your venue’s ROI.


Academy for Venue Safety and Security

Dates: February 25-March 3, 2023

Location: Pittsburg, PA

Attendance Options: In-person

AVSS is the perfect place to improve your fundamental safety and security knowledge! Learn from leading experts while you network with other venue and event managers, security professionals, and other key personnel. You will come away with valuable resources that will strengthen your personal knowledge of venue safety and security.


Venue Management School and Graduate Institute

Dates: June 4-10, 2023

Location: Tampa, FL

Attendance Options: In-person

Venue managers shouldn't miss the Venue Management School (VMS) and the Graduate Institute (VMS-GI), two of the best professional education programs available within the field. Whether you are new to the industry or looking to expand your knowledge, you'll learn solid principles and practices to take back to your venue. You'll also expand your management and leadership skills by attending the Graduate Institute.


IAVM's VenueConnect Conference and Trade Show

Dates: July 3-August 3, 2023

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Attendance Options: In-person

VenueConnect hosts professionals from arenas, convention centers, amphitheaters, fairgrounds, performing arts centers, stadiums, universities, and more. Get ready for tailored education sessions developed to help you increase revenue, reduce expenses, enhance event safety and event security, boost event marketing, host inclusive events, and more.

a room of conference attendees listen to a keynote speaker


Sustainable Events Conferences 2023

GreenBiz ‘23

Dates: February 14-16, 2023

Location: Scottsdale, AZ

Attendance Options: In-person

Want to attend the premiere annual event for sustainable business leaders? Join more than 1,600 sustainable business leaders for GreenBiz '23 where you'll harness the knowledge of experts, peers, and new voices in the industry. This conference will cover how to achieve net zero, advance the circular economy, elevate social justice, safeguard biodiversity, build resilient supply chains, and more.


Brand-led Culture Change

Dates: May 22-24, 2023

Location: Minneapolis, MN

Attendance Options: In-person

Are you passionate about sustainable business? The 2023 Brand-Led Culture Change conference brings together innovators and leaders to drive positive behavior and culture change through the power of brand influence. Learn from leading brands on how to facilitate solutions and explore new business opportunities that benefit society and our environment.

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Top Leadership Conferences 2023

The Signature CEO Conference

Dates: April 11-13, 2023

Location: Alexandria, VA

Attendance Options: In-person

The Signature CEO Conference is designed to support seasoned professionals and emerging entrepreneurs looking to cultivate their CEO mindset. Here, you'll encounter an empowering, motivating, and judgment-free atmosphere where you'll ignite your business acumen and leadership skills.


Women's Leadership Conference

Date: April 19, 2023

Location: New Orleans, LA

Attendance Options: In-person

Connect with hundreds of business-oriented women at this exciting annual conference. You will have the opportunity to accelerate your professional development, listen to two keynotes, attend multiple breakout sessions, and participate in all-inclusive professional development activities.


USA Leadership Summit 2023

Date: June 1, 2023

Location: New York City, NY

Attendance Options: In-person

Network with bright minds and top decision-makers from a variety of industries! Attendees of the USA Leadership Summit will learn innovative principles provided by the brightest minds from high-performing organizations around the globe. This conference is ideal for leadership professionals who want to drive culture change and lead with conviction.

a small group of business executives attend a leadership conference

 

Meetings, Travel, and Incentives Conferences 2023

ADMEI Annual Conference

Dates: February 2-4, 2023

Location: Tampa, FL

Attendance Options: In-person

Destination management company (DMC) owners, general managers, sales, and operations staff from around the world will gather in 2023 for a variety of great programming. In-person networking events, tailored education, and an awards program are just some of the great experiences you'll have here. You're bound to find a speaker, panelist, and evening event to love here!


Global Meeting & Incentive Travel Exchange (GMITE) 2023

Dates: April 30-May 3, 2023

Location: San Diego, California

Attendance Options: In-person

GMITE has connected meeting and incentive travel buyers with global suppliers for years. This is the MICE industry's only one-to-one event held in private suites! Here, you'll gain access to productive one-to-one meetings in private suites tailored to specific business objectives. This appointment-based event caters exclusively to the meetings, incentives, conferences, and events market.


Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Convention

Dates: August 13–15, 2023

Location: Dallas, TX

Attendance Options: In-person

The GBTA Convention returns for its 54th year in 2023! As the global business travel event of the year, GBTA caters to travel buyers, suppliers, business travelers, and others for multiple days of networking. This year's event will cover curated topics, include insightful speakers, and feature leading experts on what matters most. You'll come away with valuable tools, research, data, and resources you need to navigate the road ahead.

conference attendees outside on a beach at night at an all inclusive resort

Download Your Conference Justification Letter Template ✉️

If you are interested in attending a conference but need to get your boss on board first, consider writing an attendee justification letter. Your persuasive writing skills could help convince your manager of the value and rewards you will gain from attending the seminar.

Event planning professionals and attendees alike can use the following letter layout to improve their chances of attending (or creating) a successful event that draws a wide variety of audiences.

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