Tech conferences have gone digital! Due to the pandemic, most of the biggest tech conferences have moved from convention halls to the internet. This new format will make attending some of the top tech conferences more accessible, convenient, and, in many cases, free. In some ways, digitizing tech conferences is a refreshingly innovative approach.
Although some vendors have tentatively ear-marked physical tech events for 2021, most are planning their entire schedules virtually. Or, in some cases, a mixture of both. Overall, virtual conferences are here to stay.
The biggest drawback of attending an in-person conference is the inability to re-play the events of the day. Therefore, virtual conferences are beneficial, as participants have access to a replay function not too long after the event concludes. Of course, there are also drawbacks to virtual conferences — the biggest being the inability to network in person.
Whether online or in-person, the best technology conferences still hold the same values: to educate, inform, and inspire.
If you’ve never attended a technical conference, it’s probably time you did. Why? Two words. Learning and networking. Whether you’re a small tech business, a tech startup, or a tech entrepreneur, a tech conference is the place for you to be.
Tech conferences are typically held throughout the year to educate attendees about the latest technologies.
Usually scheduled over 1-2 days, technical conferences are events where you can meet leading professionals in the technology field to discuss, exchange, and share ideas on relevant topics.
Conferences differ from one another with regard to management styles. Some are peer-led, and some are interactive, but they all share the common goal of providing the latest developments in the field. It’s up to you to decide how best to apply this newfound information to your own professional development.
For those still on the fence, here are some of the benefits that come with attending tech conferences:
Now we’ve explained why you should attend a tech conference, let’s take a look at a few of the best tech conferences to attend.
With almost all tech conferences taking place digitally for the foreseeable future, you’ll have the opportunity to attend events in your local area as well as to pursue opportunities abroad.
Here are our best picks for 2021 and why we think you should attend them.
Date: March 30-31 (Americas), March 21-1 April (APJC and EMEAR)
An immersive two-day event featuring keynote speakers, technical education, and hands-on training. Plus, this conference features celebrity speakers and musical performances, all via an online platform. You’re able to create a personalized agenda with topics from a broad range of global sessions delivered live.
Choose between an All-access pass and gain entry into everything Cisco Live offers, or choose an Explorer pass which includes keynotes, innovation talks, and access to the World of Solutions.
Date: April 27-28
A free virtual event with over 200 different sessions and training workshops to attend. Join one of the largest tech conferences to expand your skills, engage with other tech enthusiasts, and be inspired to create exceptional experiences that drive your business’s growth and increase customer loyalty. Learn from experts and visionaries in the field on how you can optimize your business venture.
Format: Virtual and In-Person
Designed to be more accessible than ever before, the Red Hat Summit features an all-new flexible three-part experience. This event kicks off with a free virtual conference on April 27-28, where attendees can get the latest technological developments. Then, from June 15 – 16, Red Hat Summit offers a second free digital event with a live “ask the experts” session. Later, and dependent on the current health crisis, the conference will end with hands-on activities and in-person networking events slated between September and December.
Date: April 29
On this free one-day event, learn about the changing role of cybersecurity in the IT department and how security roles and IT roles are increasingly overlapping. Listen to keynote speakers, learn about emerging methods of remote authentication, and so much more. The conference is relevant for professionals working across diverse industries at different points in their careers.
Date: May 11-12
This premier hybrid cloud and AI event is one not to miss. This year’s event boasts a whole new level of direct engagement, including live discussions and on-demand sessions. Attendees will learn how you and your company can positively impact the world through technologies like hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence. Plus, enjoy technical sessions led by real users and make valuable industry connections.
Date: May 17-20
As a virtual experience, the RSA Conference will feature hundreds of informative sessions for you to choose from and attend. Watch inspiring keynote speakers, expert-led sessions, solution demos, network, and engage in in-depth discussions on the latest cybersecurity issues. Despite being online, RSAC is committed to providing a meaningful, rich, and rewarding experience for all attendees.
Date: June 15
With free admission, the Interop Digital conference aims to discuss and explore the automation options available to IT leaders to better understand how to intelligently plan the target to avoid costly overruns and complexities in implementation. Listen to their expert speakers to learn about the latest tools, best practices, and pitfalls to avoid. Open to all IT professionals, regardless of experience.
Date: June 27-30
Format: Virtual and In-Person (San Antonio, Texas)
Experience ISTELive 21 at your own pace with on-demand content available to access at your own pace before, during, or after the event. Choose to participate in live sessions with interactive content and unite to engage, experience, connect, and access the latest education technology solutions.
Date: July 31-5 August
Format: In-Person (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Black Hat is back, live and in-person, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. This year, listen to leading security researchers as they take the stage to share their latest work and exploits. One of the USA’s biggest tech conferences and a must-attend for those looking to stay ahead of the latest security trends.
Date: August 22-25
Format: In-Person (Lake Buena Vista, Florida)
GMIS MEETS welcomes you to sunny Florida for their 2021 conference. A must-see for Government CIOs, technology directors, IT administrators, and those in the IT public sector. Enjoy three days of networking where you can listen to esteemed industry experts, have access to state-of-the-art sponsors and exhibitors, and exchange ideas all while staying at the luxury Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.
Date: October 5-7
Dates have finally been released for the VMworld 2021; however, details regarding the event are yet to be announced. Attendees can expect updates from VMware executives, news on the latest in VMware product and technology, hundreds of in-depth sessions, and tons of networking opportunities. Stay tuned for more details.
Date: October 26-29
Format: Virtual and In-Person (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Encouraged by recent COVID vaccine developments, the EDUCAUSE annual conference has planned for an in-person event with the best presenters, the best content, and the best networking in higher education IT. Discover solutions to today’s IT challenges from expert professionals and technology providers from around the world. Those that can’t attend in person are encouraged to attend virtually.
There’s no doubt, both virtual and in-person tech conferences provide excellent opportunities for learning, developing, and networking. Although the world is still evolving around COVID-19 disruption, some fantastic tech events are still available throughout 2021.
Want to plan your own tech conference for 2021 or beyond? SmartWorks can help make that a reality. We’ll work side-by-side with you and your team to help choose the best:
While in-person events may not be possible at the moment, SmartWorks can still create a spectacular online event experience for your attendees. As one of the best event management companies in Europe, we have years of expertise in meetings and AV production. As a result, we can help you deliver world-class virtual events with exceptional quality content that your attendees will remember for a lifetime. And, once in-person events are the norm again, we can execute high-quality in-person events for any number of businesses and associations, including DMC events.
Trust SmartWorks to make your next event a success. We simplify European event planning, handling all of the necessary logistics from start to finish. As a result, you can be confident that your event will be a smashing success!