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Leadership Professional Development

Top 50 Event Planning Conferences to Attend in 2024

By Meaghan Maybee on November 18, 2023

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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 2024 the year 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? 👏 Attend any of the meetings, conventions, and events in our 2024 event planning conferences round-up to learn the latest trends, meet vendors, find products, gain knowledge, meet people, and network!

Find an Event Planning Conference:

FREE TEMPLATE Conference Justification Letter Convince your boss to let you attend the conference of your dreams!   

Event Planning Conferences 2024

PCMA Convening Leaders 2024

Dates: January 7-10, 2024

Location: San Diego, CA

Attendance Options: In-person, Virtual

PCMA Convening Leaders 2024 is designed to help meeting and event professionals think bigger! This three-day event will feature 50+ sessions, 5k attendees, and 20 unique networking experiences to help you grow your business. Join in on dynamic discussions and powerful networking, then tune in to awesome keynote speakers, including Mayim Bialik, a neuroscientist and Big Bang Theory actress.


2024 NACE Evolve Conference

Dates: January 20-22, 2024

Location: Richmond, VA

Attendance Options: In-person

The National Association for Catering and Events puts on the NACE Evolve Conference, a 3-day event that provides valuable insights for event professionals. Participate in icebreaker activities, general sessions, workshops, happy hours, and "ask an expert" Q&As. 


Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA) Annual Conference

Dates: January 19-21, 2024

Location: Indianapolis, IN

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 engaging workshops. You'll even get a chance to take a sightseeing tour of Indianapolis and participate in fun after-hours activities. This year's opening keynote explores "Events with Impact: Addressing Environmental and Social Challenges."


Independent Planner Education Conference (IPEC)

Dates: January 21-23, 2024

Location: Greenville, SC

Attendance Options: In-person

Hosted by Northstar Meetings Group, the Independent Planner Education Conference caters to event professionals 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.


Catersource + The Special Event 2024

Dates: February 12-15, 2024

Location: Austin, TX

Attendance Options: In-person

Are you a corporate planner, caterer, florist, event entertainer, rental company, or event professional? The Special Event was designed for you. Discover 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.


International Confex Conference

Dates: February 28-29, 2024

Location: London, England

Attendance Options: In-person

Held annually over a two-day period, International Confex presents a dynamic event featuring over 200 suppliers, venues, tech platforms, and more for event professionals of all skill levels. This year's programming features 60+ industry-leading speakers and multiple tracks including event technology, DE&I, Event Sustainability, Event Marketing Innovation, Future Event Trends, and more. Register today to gain fresh perspectives, stay ahead of the curve, and explore upcoming software releases!

Northstar Meetings Group's SMU International

Dates: March 11-13, 2024

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.

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Connect Spring Marketplace 2024

Dates: April 2-4, 2024

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Attendance Options: In-person

Connect Spring Marketplace 2024 is an experience-heavy event that draws 2000+ attendees, 800+ hosted buyers, 1000+ suppliers, and 20 speakers. This event is ideal for event professionals in the Association, Business Travel, Corporate, Diversity, Financial, and Incentive areas. Register now to participate in innovative educational sessions, networking opportunities, one-on-one business meetings, and an incredible trade show overflowing with the latest solutions for your events.


Northwest Event Show 2024

Dates: April 3-4, 2024

Location: Seattle, WA

Attendance Options: In-person, Virtual

Unlock your event's potential at the Northwest Event Show! This gathering celebrates everything about the Pacific Northwest and adjacent areas of North America. Discover unique destinations, venues, and suppliers at 300+ booths, participate in industry discussions, network with 4000+ professionals, and learn from a variety of esteemed speakers.


National Planning Conference 2024

Dates: April 13-16, 2024

Location: Minneapolis, MN

Attendance Options: In-person, Virtual

The National Planning Conference (NPC24) conference is your ticket to an unforgettable experience for event professionals! Gain access to industry experts, thought leaders, and event planning professionals who all share their unique expertise and perspectives for shaping the future of planning. Core topics for the 2024 show include sustainable events, digitization, DE&I, health equity, transportation, and more.


Event Tech Live

Dates: May 1-2, 2024

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Attendance Options: In-person

Event Tech Live Las Vegas is the only dedicated event in the United States for event technology. Here, you'll join other event professionals to learn more about the latest advancements in event technology solutions. Exhibitors will include several big-name brands, including Bizzabo, Choose 2 Rent, Cvent, Hubilo, Kaltura, Webex Events, and more! 


Meeting Professionals International – World Education Conference 2024

Dates: May 20-22, 2024

Location: Louisville, KY

Attendance Options: In-person

MPI-WEC (WEC24) is MPI's signature event, jam-packed with elite speakers, unmatched content, and networking opportunities like no other! This year's experience will feature a unique mix of business and leisure. You'll also encounter coaching opportunities, attendee meals, break-out sessions, and exciting activities. Get hosted, get connected, and get business done with MPI-WEC.


Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum

Date: May 29, 2024

Location: Washington DC

Attendance Options: In-person

The Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum (ECEF) is a networking event for leaders at associations and independent organizers. Take advantage of event technology demos, C-level sessions, live Q&As, receptions, networking lunches, and more. Choose this event if you're looking for actionable ideas and valuable contacts to benefit your brand, events, and career.


EsportsTravel Summit

Dates: May 29-31, 2024

Location: Raleigh, NC

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 if you're a travel and tourism professional wanting to understand and profit from the esports industry.

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Small and Boutique Meetings Event

Dates: June 2024

Location: TBD

Attendance Options: In-person

The Small and Boutique Meetings Event by Northstar Meetings Group is the premier hosted-buyer event designed to connect you with top suppliers and destinations in the United States and beyond. This event caters to small and boutique-sized meetings. Participate in one-one-one scheduled appointments, gain industry insights, learn from guest speakers, and more.

The Meetings Show

Dates: June 19-20, 2024

Location: London, England

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.


Cvent CONNECT 2024

Dates: June 10-13, 2024

Location: San Antonio, TX

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.


NACE Experience Conference for Catering and Events

Dates: July 21-23, 2024

Location: Denver, CO

Attendance Option: In-person

The National Association for Catering & Events puts on the Experience Conference for Catering and Events, an experiential event filled with educational opportunities .Learn about the latest trends in catering and events, network with decision-makers and peers, and experience new products and services under one roof. 


Destination Midwest by Northstar Meetings Group

Dates: August 5-7, 2024

Location: Wichita, KS

Attendance Option: In-person

Destination Midwest by Northstar Meetings Group is a must-visit hosted-buyer event, featuring Midwest suppliers for meetings, events, conferences, and more. Meet with the top hotels, CVBs, DMCs, and venues from across the Midwest. Schedule one-on-one appointments, network with your industry peers, and explore Wichita!


Canadian Meetings and Events Expo

Dates: August 13-14, 2024

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Attendance Option: In-person, Virtual

As the premier and most enduring tradeshow for meeting and event professionals, the Canadian Meetings + Events Expo (CMEExpo) provides a platform for networking with suppliers specializing in event venues, technology, décor, and beyond. Special education sessions and workshops provide insight, tips, and applicable learning experiences - including opportunities to earn continuing education credit!


Connect Marketplace 2024

Dates: August 27-29, 2024

Location: Milwaukee, WI

Attendance Options: In-person

Connect Marketplace 2024 by Connect Meetings will draw 3000+ attendees, 1100+ hosted buyers, 200 exhibitors, and 35 speakers for this year's gigantic event. Meetings and events professionals will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with industry experts, key decision-makers, and like-minded peers. Explore the interactive trade show floor, find fresh ideas, and gain the resources you need to take on the future of event planning.

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TEAMS ‘24 Conference and Expo

Dates: September 23-24, 2024

Location: Anaheim, CA

Attendance Options: In-person

Labeled the "Business Development Opportunity of the Year," the TEAMS conference, presented by SportsTravel, 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!


Convening EMEA

Dates: September 30-October 2, 2024

Location: Barcelona, Spain

Attendance Options: In-person

Put on by PCMA, Convening EMEA is the annual flagship event bringing together the global business events industry. This immersive 3-day program in Europe attracts 500+ business event leaders from over 40 countries. Attend to share knowledge with peers, make meaningful connections, conduct business, get inspired, and to grow as a professional.


IMEX America

Dates: October 8-10, 2024

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. This award-winning show is FREE to attend, and the four-day program offers special education, networking, and much more. IMEX America welcomes professionals from a wide range of disciplines and sectors. Sign up today!

The Event Planner Expo 2024

Date: October 15-17, 2024

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 2024! This must-attend conference is for anyone who wants to make connections and collaborate with top owners and executives. This three-day event draws 2000+ attendees and 50+ speakers. Tune in to esteemed keynote speakers, participate in fireside chats, and more.


Wedding Merchants Business Academy

Dates: November 12-14, 2024

Location: Las Vegas, NV

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. This massive event features 160 seminars, 100+ speakers, 225+ exhibits, and more for wedding enthusiasts!


Expo! Expo! 2024 by IAEE

Dates: December 17-19, 2024

Location: Las Angeles, CA

Attendance Options: In-person

Expo! Expo! by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) brings events industry professionals together for new ideas, fresh approaches, 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.

woman speaks with two customers at an event booth

Event Marketing Conferences 2024

Social Media Marketing World

Dates: February 18-20, 2024

Location: San Diego, CA

Attendance Options: In-person, Virtual

Social Media Marketing World is all about discovering 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.

Experiential Marketing Summit 2024

Dates: April 24-26, 2024

Location: Las Vegas, NV

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. This year's tracks include innovation, technology, women in events, diversity and inclusion, and more.

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MozCon 2024

Dates: June 3-4, 2024

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.


Corporate Event Marketing Association Summit 2024

Dates: August 4-6. 2024

Location: Seattle, WA

Attendance Options: In-person

The Corporate Event Marketing Association Summit (CEMA), powered by PCMA, includes countless speakers, workshops, networking activities, and breakout sessions for event marketing professionals. This comprehensive gathering is a must-attend summit for learning best practices, discovering new solutions, and remaining competitive as a marketing professional.

HubSpot's INBOUND 2024

Dates: September 18-20, 2024

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 2024

Dates: October 21-23, 2024

Location: San Diego, CA

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 2024

Dates: TBD (Fall?)

Location: Online

Attendance Options: Virtual

FREE event alert! The Guru 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.

a small group of business executives attend a leadership conference


Venue Management Conferences 2024


Dates: March 10-12, 2024

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Attendance Options: In-person

The International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) hosts GuestX, a one-of-a-kind conference on crafting safe, exceptional, and memorable 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. This event is geared toward sports, arts, conference, and meeting industry professionals.


Academy of Venue Safety and Security

Dates: March 23-24, 2024

Location: New Orleans, LA

Attendance Options: In-person

The Academy of Venue Safety and Security (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 8-13, 2024

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 2024

Dates: July 28-31, 2024

Location: Portland, OR

Attendance Options: In-person

This year is VenueConnect's 99th annual conference and trade show! This event 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 2024

GreenBiz ‘24

Dates: February 12-14, 2024

Location: Phoenix, AZ

Attendance Options: In-person

Want to attend the premiere annual event for sustainable business leaders? Join 2,500+ sustainable business leaders and hear from 200+ speakers at GreenBiz 2024. 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 8-10, 2024

Location: Minneapolis, MN

Attendance Options: In-person

Are you passionate about sustainable business? The 2024 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 2024

Women in Tourism and Hospitality 2024

Dates: March 28-29, 2024

Location: San Diego, California

Attendance Options: In-person

The Women in Tourism and Hospitality (WITH) National Conference will host its third annual gathering in San Diego in 2024. Presented by MCCSN, this conference takes place during Women's History Month and is the premier women's conference of its kind in the western United States.

This conference offers opportunities for motivation, inspiration, networking, professional development, and celebration. The conference brings together over 300 hospitality professionals from all facets of the industry, including influential leaders, decision-makers, planners, entrepreneurs, and students. 


The Signature CEO Conference

Dates: March 18-20, 2024

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: TBD

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.

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Northstar Meetings Group Emerging Leaders Event

Dates: June 2024

Location: TBD

Attendance Options: In-person

"Emerging Leaders" is the premier event for the next generation of meeting and incentive planners and sellers. Here, you'll build authentic relationships as you listen in to content sessions, participate in one-on-one meetings, and have fun doing activities and social events full of local flare. This is a must-attend event for professionals looking to gain insights into the future of our industry. 

USA Leadership Summit 2024

Date: TBD

Location: TBD

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.


Smart Woman Summit 2024

Date: TBD

Location: TBD

Attendance Options: In-person

The Smart Woman Summit celebrates leadership in the hospitality industry. This full-day event will provide you with opportunities to advance your career, launch friendships, and gain new perspectives. Come together to network with admirable women who empower your personal and professional growth. Enjoy keynote speakers, networking breaks, a cocktail reception, and more. 

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Meetings, Travel, and Incentives Conferences 2024

ADMEI Annual Conference

Dates: February 22-24, 2024

Location: Atlanta, GA

Attendance Options: In-person

Destination management company (DMC) owners, general managers, sales, and operations staff from around the world will gather in 2024 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) 2024

Dates: April 7-10, 2024

Location: Orlando, FL

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: July 22-24, 2024

Location: Atlanta, GA

Attendance Options: In-person

The GBTA Convention returns for its 55th year in 2024! 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.


Incentive, Business Travel, and Meetings (IBTM) Americas

Dates: August 21-22, 2024

Location: Mexico City, Mexico

Attendance Options: In-person

The Incentive, Business Travel, and Meetings (IBTM) Americas conference brings planners together to do business, network, engage, and inspire one another. This event draws over 400 suppliers to help you get inspired and create new connections. This two-day event is filled with exciting activities and unlimited chances to create business networks with other planners and MICE professionals.

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.

FREE TEMPLATE Conference Justification Letter Convince your boss to let you attend the conference of your dreams!   

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