From my experience, busy C-level executives are increasingly avoiding the biggest trade show events. Why compete with thousands of conference goers for key meetings and conversations? In contrast, leaders are doing an increasing amount of their business at the smaller, more exclusive events. This is also where they get ideas and data that can transform the way they run their department or company.
What today’s leaders need to know is what’s working from their counterparts at other companies, allowing them to implement fresh (and proven) ideas and strategies of their own.
Here are my picks for ten of the best events that are relatively unsung, in chronological order, where movers and shakers are sharing best practices and ideas with their peers in 2018 and beyond:
SaaStr: February 6-8 in San Francisco (already happened). A meeting place for SaaS founders, venture capitalists and business executives, this year’s SaaStr speaker lineup included Stewart Butterfield, CEO & Co-founder of Slack; Aaron Levie, CEO of Box.
Accelerate: March 5-8 in Snowbird, UT. (As a disclosure: This is my own organization.) Limited to 350 senior executives from top companies, this is an exclusive event where leaders share data-driven results about what’s working for them now to accelerate sales.
CRM Evolution: April 9-11 in Washington, D.C. Put on by CRM Magazine/destinationCRM.com and co-located with three other conferences, this is the place for executives who are driving their company’s customer relationship management (CRM).
The AI Summit
The AI Summit: September 18-20 in San Francisco. The rising venue for all things artificial intelligence (AI), the AI Summit now spans many venues—London, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Singapore, Cape Town and New York. Sponsors include Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Facebook and many others.
The Grace Hopper Celebration
The Grace Hopper Celebration: September 26-28 in Houston. The largest gathering of women technologists, the show’s 2017 speakers included Melinda Gates.
See the full list of executive conferences I recommend in my Forbes article: “10 Executive Conference Gems To Consider In 2018 And Beyond.”