Conferences are great for networking and meeting new people, visiting new places, broadening your views, getting new ideas and creating new business contacts. Many of us get so busy during the year and forget to explore what events are worth visiting. There are conferences with very specific topics from various industries and I didn’t focus on those. This list is about events that are for everyone, regardless of your profession.
The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to it’s original dimension.Ralph Waldo Emerson
I believe this quote sums up the reason why we attend events and search for different experiences. We want to stretch our minds, change ourselves, get a new perspective, open new horizons. I have always loved visiting conferences and I believe they are very beneficial both professionally and for your own personal growth. Over the years I have attended many, and here is my recommendation of events that you should not miss this year.
May 30th and 31st, Tivat, Porto Montenegro
There are not enough great words to explain and describe why you should definitely experience this conference. I wrote about it a couple of times: Spark.me 2019 highlights, What you missed if you haven’t been to spark.me (in Serbian). This event belongs to my “must attend” list, so I am planning on going there again. Even though I have no idea who are speakers this year, I trust the organization team that they are bringing some amazing people. I can’t wait to meet, see and hear them. You will get to enjoy the beautiful seaside town, get inspired, motivated and see how it looks like when an event is organized with heart.
May 4th, Bucharest, Romania
I have not attended this one before, but I have heard of it and I see that it has a great lineup of speakers this year. Most of the authors and speakers I have read and listened to. Seth Godin. Malcolm Gladwell (if you haven’t, read his amazing book Outliers, I wrote about it in Serbian in a post called Noone can succeed alone). Martin Lindstrom (I attended an event where he was the main speaker, read his great book Small data and wrote a post about it in Serbian). Gary Vaynerchuk – I started reading his book Crushing it, but I don’t like his tone and way of speaking and writing although there are useful things he is talking about.
I already wrote about Vishen and Mindvalley. They organize A fest (Awesomeness fest) in different cities and countries around the world. I haven’t been to this event, but I do want to visit it as I’m impressed by everything they do and how they do it!
November 2-4th, Lisbon, Portugal
This is the biggest technology conference in Europe. I visited it twice and wrote about it in the post – Web Summit 2018 highlights. It is worth visiting although it has so many visitors (70.000 people attend it), so it is very hard to walk around and see everything. You must plan your time and schedule well. Topics are so diverse that you can find whatever you may be interested in. However, there are lines everywhere and if you don’t come earlier, stages are often full so you are unable to watch the talks. Still, Lisbon is enchanting and no matter how many times I have been there, I am always happy to return. North America version of this conference is Collision, happening in Toronto. If you are on that part of the globe it might be more convenient to attend that one.
This is an invite-only conference organized for the first time in Belgrade last year. It brought people from all over the world, from well-known companies such as Facebook, SAP, AirBnB. It was very well organized (in a museum, which was super fun). This conference is special because they do not allow taking pictures or posting on social media during the event. It’s very private, the atmosphere is different, speakers are more relaxed. Here you can find info about last year’s event. I am sure they will update the site about a new one soon. Keep an eye on that.
TED or TEDx
I have only attended TEDx conferences so far and even was a part of the organizing team of one while I was studying in the USA. Find here the list of TEDx events (independently organized TED event). I would love to attend TED as they bring speakers that are harder to reach, but it is harder to get access to this event. Even if you are unable to attend it, there are talks about many different subjects you can watch on TED.com. They are all standardized, must be up to 18 minutes and usually, the speakers are well prepared, interesting to watch and listen to. It’s one of my favorite activities in free time.
October 20th, 2020 – April 10th, 2021, Dubai, UAE
Their tagline is – The world’s greatest show and I have no doubt that it is. They have been preparing for this for a while. Knowing how they must have the biggest, fastest, tallest attractions, I can’t wait to see what this fair will look like. It will last 173 days and I’m sure you will need at least a week to see and experience everything.
I focused on conferences abroad with very wide subjects and topics. Let me know if you would add something to this list? If this post was useful, share it with friends and sign up for my mailing list 🙂