If you work in the tech industry—or even if you just have an interest in where the future is headed—there's nothing better than an awesome tech event or conference to feed your interest in innovation and spark plenty of big ideas.
Plus, it presents the perfect opportunity to make connections, hear from some of the world's brightest and most forward-thinking minds, and, well, talk about the latest season of Silicon Valley with like-minded individuals.
Fortunately, when it comes to get-togethers in the tech industry, you have tons of options to choose from. But, which ones should you put on your calendar? To give you plenty of time to plan (and to ask your boss to cover your ticket price), we pulled together four events that are going down in the second half of the year.
So, pack your bags, grab your name tag, and prepare for a few days of learning, networking, and pushing the envelope.
1. TechCrunch Disrupt SF
When: September 18-20, 2017
Where: San Francisco, CA
Ticket price: $1,795 for an all-access pass
What: You're probably familiar with TechCrunch as the online home for all news tech-related. Well, the company's web presence is also backed by IRL opportunities to learn from the biggest tech companies or even launch your own venture. TechCrunch's pillar event, TechCrunch Disrupt, prides itself on being a platform to debut revolutionary startups, introduce game-changing technologies, and discuss insights from the industry's key innovators.
A centerpiece of the event is the “Startup Battlefield", where early stage startups compete for the “Disrupt Cup"—plus a $50,000 prize and the attention of the media and investors. Some big names count themselves as previous winners—perhaps you've heard of Mint or Dropbox?
The conference's lineup includes plenty of influential speakers and judges as well. From Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, to Aileen Lee, the founder of a seed-stage focused fund, you'll find your fair share of bright minds at this event.
2. Microsoft Ignite
When: September 25-29, 2017
Where: Orlando, FL
Ticket price: $2,220 for an all-access pass/$199 for women's programming
What: You can't think about advancements in technology and avoid having the name “Microsoft" pop into your head at some point. The company has done tons of big things in the tech world—including hosting the annual Microsoft Ignite conference.
The event bills itself as your opportunity to access technical training, discover the tools of tomorrow, and connect with the tech community. There are over 700 different sessions for attendees to choose from, including deep dives and live demos on products you use and love. You can view an archive of past sessions here. One that we love is a workshop on machine-learning that taught participants how to make a simple predictive model with Microsoft Tools. You'll also hear a keynote address from Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO.
When: September 25-28, 2017
Where: Boston, MA
Ticket price: $399 for access to networking events/$1,299 for an all-access pass
What: Perhaps you don't consider INBOUND a tech event. And, you'd be right—it's so much more than that.
Geared specifically toward sales and marketing professionals, INBOUND's mission is to provide inspiration, education, and connections that are necessary to grow and transform businesses. But—don't worry—there's plenty of tech here too. Past sessions and discussions have included everything from agile leadership to how artificial intelligence impacts sales.
INBOUND also prides itself on its impressive speaker lineup, and it's easy to see why—one of this year's keynotes is Michelle Obama. And, if all of that isn't enough to convince you to attend, the level of fun had by attendees is the icing on the cake. With top-notch entertainment (Amy Schumer was there in 2015!), nightly happy hours, and food truck lunches, you're sure to both work hard and play hard.
4. Inc 5000
When: October 10, 2017
Where: San Antonio, TX
Ticket price: $1,695 for an all-access pass
What: Consider yourself an aspiring entrepreneur? Or, do you just want to be counted among some of the biggest names in business? Either way, you don't want to miss the Inc. 5000 Conference.
Packed with lively networking events and keynote presentations from plenty of inspirational and influential speakers, the conference provides ample opportunity for learning and connecting—regardless of who you are. Past speakers include people like author and entrepreneur Tony Robbins and former astronaut Winston Scott.
Plus, this isn't your average conference. The event also features the Inc. 5000 Golf Tournament and is all capped off with a black-tie gala, which is followed by their prestigious awards ceremony and dinner.
Basically, if you're eager to be around some of the brightest minds in the business world—including founders and CEOs of prominent companies—this is the event for you.
Of course, depending on your specific interest area, there are plenty more events out there that are sure to inspire and enlighten you. This is only a sampling of what the tech world has to offer.
But, here's the thing to remember: Whether you consider yourself tech-savvy or not, these sorts of conferences provide an awesome opportunity to learn, grow, and connect.
So, don't hesitate to get out there and learn about what's going to take our world to the next level—you're sure to take your career to the next level in the process!