8 Conventions You Won’t Want to Miss this Year

One of the signature aspects of the meetings industry is the many inspiring, educational and fun annual conferences scheduled throughout the year. These events have been more exciting than ever recently due to the rapidly evolving offerings, which mirror the dynamic industry, in general.

Here is a rundown of eight of the must-attend conventions, including some fresh features that will be added this year.

The Special Event 2018

Jan. 30–Feb. 1, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans

New Orleans is always a popular meetings destination, and this year it should be off the charts because the city is celebrating its 300th birthday. Drawing more than 5,000 attendees and featuring more than 100 education sessions, The Special Event (TSE) is one of the largest trade shows and conferences for event professionals. Thousands of products will be displayed on the exhibit floor and the opening party at historic Generations Hall will be one for the ages.

IACC-Americas Connect 2018

April 16–18, Chubb Hotel and Conference Center, Philadelphia

Participants in the IACC-Americas Connect conference will focus on the latest meeting trends and innovations. They will collaborate with professionals from around the world, selected for their expertise on the newest technologies, unique educational formats and F&B trends.

2018 National Planning Conference

April 21–24, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans

The American Planning Association’s 2018 National Planning Conference, also slated for Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in The Big Easy, will bring together thousands of planners, planning commissioners, appointed and elected officials, and students to discuss fresh ideas and innovative planning. The conference is a great place to connect with colleagues, meet planners from around the world and find a mentor.

World Education Congress 2018

June 2–5, Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis

Always a prominent event, this year Meeting Professionals International’s World Education Congress will introduce a completely redesigned education and engagement program intended to ignite new ideas and connect participants with the people they need to meet. WEC18 will feature customizable education, networking and business exchanges; WEC villages, rather than session rooms, intended to get participants’ minds moving and networks growing; and morning WEC Pep Rallies to stimulate and inspire participants.

2018 PCMA Education Conference

June 10–13, Cleveland Convention Center

Organized by Professional Convention Management Association, PCMA Education Conference always includes conversations with thought leaders who bring fresh perspectives on hot issues in the meetings industry.

2018 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition

Aug. 18–21, McCormick Place, Chicago

At this American Society of Association Executives conference, thousands of association professionals and industry partners will gather to exchange time, resources, strategies and solutions. The goal at ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition is to equip attendees with a year’s worth of support in their daily responsibilities as leaders in the association industry.

The Event Planner Expo 2018

Oct. 2–3, Metropolitan Pavilion, New York City

New York City’s premier trade show for the events and hospitality industry, The Event Planner Expo 2018 will give attendees the opportunity to network with like-minded industry professionals, discover amazing partners for their upcoming events and increase business. More than 3,000 event professionals, corporate professionals, event planners and CEOs are expected to attend. The show will feature 150 exhibitors representing the best vendors and venues in the city. Sign up to hear from three visionary speakers: Martha Stewart, CEO of Martha Stewart Living; Colin Cowie, CEO of Colin Cowie Enterprises; and Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media.

IMEX America 2018

Oct. 16–18, Sands Expo and Convention Center, and The Venetian/The Palazzo, Las Vegas

One of the meetings industry’s signature annual events, IMEX America 2018 will feature a trade show, inspiring speakers, fresh ideas and continuous inspiration. More than 180 educational and networking events will be offered. Last year, more than 3,200 exhibitors, from more than 130 countries, participated.