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30 event planning conferences you won't want to miss this year

Conferences are gateways to opening up the mind to learning more information about certain areas of study in your career. It's also a great place to make new business associates and contacts. In this case, we have compiled two lists surround event planning and music based events! Here are 15 different event planning conferences and 15 music event conferences for you to consider attending. 

Event Planning

  1. Experiential Marketing Summit
    People talk at booths of EMSWhen and Where: April 27-29th, 2022 at the MGM Grand in Los Vegas, NV.
    Overview: Be a part of the craze, Experiential Marketing, which is a concept that allows you to fully engage your consumers with your products. This conference offers the ultimate training in this concept, making it the perfect place for event planners. The Experiential Marketing Summit, or EMS for short, was also ranked "The #1 Conference for Creators of the Brand Experience", and will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year! This is going to be a conference you won't want to miss.
  2. ESPA Live
    people watch as the presenter speakWhen and Where: January 21-23, 2022 at the Crown Center in Kansas City, MO.
    Overview: This event has passed but it will be coming back in January 2023 with a new location, Pittsburgh, PA! This conference makes it their mission to teach you about "The Heart of it All... Services". ESPA Live is perfect for people interested in learning about services for convention centers, hotels, and other attractions. Connect, learn, and grow with amazing people that want to help you boost your professional skill set. Join them for interactive sessions and even some breakout opportunities. 
  3. Meeting Professionals International- World Education Conference 
    Crowd gathers for the speakers
    When and Where: June 21-23rd, 2022 in San Fransico, CA. 
    Overview: The World Education Conference or WEC for short has been changing the name of the game for conferences. In 2020 while everyone else was pausing their events, The Meetings Professionals International decided to push forward and innovate their conference. The MPI, Meeting Professional International, continued "to host safe and successful in-person events". They have been changing with the times for 50 years and want to be "Your Gateway to the New Era of Events".
  4. IMEX America
    People walk around different booths and exhibitsWhen and Where:  October 11-13, 2022 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV.
    Overview: This is one conference you are not going to want to miss. This fall, learn with "200-plus educational events", network with "3,400-plus global decision markets", and connect with the global meeting industry including "2,200-plus exhibitions from 190-plus countries". This is a room full of innovators, experts, and exhibitions that will blow you away. Be a part of "one of the biggest meetings markets in the world" by attending IMEX America.
  5. The Special Event
    Confetti rains down onto the peopleWhen and Where: May 2-5th, 2022 at Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA.
    Overview: Join this conference as they celebrate this amazing industry. This conference strives to help the people "See the Trends. Set the Trends". The Special Event wants to encourage people to stay competitive by giving them access to some of the best speakers. They also try to provide inspiration and influence by bringing "the entire industry under one roof". They have a wide audience such as event planners, business owners, producers, and even universities. If these facts didn't make you want to go, then here are 5 more reasons to go, the Special Event provides "Education, Real Connections, Showcasing Events, Tradeshow, and Two Shows in One". We hope to see you at this conference here soon in May!
  6. Techsytalk GLOBAL
    A panelist sits and talks upon the stageWhen and Where: November 18th, 2022, and 4 different locations (NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, or London) with a virtual option
    Overview: Techsytalk wants to create an environment that promotes the ideas of a "tech-centric world". The creator of Techsytalk wanted to start "helping organizations of every size leverage technology to produce more engaging & seamless event experiences". This conference with try to help you find the right models for your company while giving you tools to plan, measure success, and communicate with others business professionals. Techsytalk has over "1,000+ event planner attendees, 25+ speakers, and 4 in-person locations" during their conferences. Enjoy this hands-on event, while putting their ideas to the test!
  7. Cvent CONNECT
    people talk one-on-one and in groups around the conference roomWhen and Where: April 11-14th at Caesars Forum in Los Vegas, NV.
    Overview: Cvent Connect has multiple locations worldwide, including in the U.S. and England. They will have another event on October 4-6th in London. This event planning conference  "brings together meetings, events, and hospitality professionals to evolve and inspire their meetings and event programs, and put cutting-edge strategies into practice." This conference will help you visualize how your attendees view your events and technology, help to push you past your normal boundaries, and discuss new ideas to take you to the stars. Cvent Connect will also help to connect you to like-minded individuals to help you innovate and engage with the newest technology. The most important thing about Cvent Connect is that they want to create an event that will "celebrate your success with event productions that [will leave] lasting memories".
  8. The Event Planner Expo
    The panelists talk on the stageWhen and Where: October 11-13th, 2022 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York, NY.
    Overview: The Event Planner Expo is the perfect place to be this fall! This "premier destination for event planners, corporate decision-makers, and PR professionals" will help to expand your pool of business professionals. They created this conference to help connect individuals with " executives from Fortune 500 and 1000 [different] corporations". This year The Event Planner Expo is celebrating its 10th anniversary alongside "2,000+ attendees, 50+ speakers, 3 days, and 2 trade show floors". Join them in the celebration while listening to top professionals in their fields.
  9. TEAMS
    people gather for the exhibits and meetingsWhen and Where: October 24-27th, 2022 in Oklahoma City, OK.
    Overview: TEAMS was started back in 1998, and has been a leading conference for more than 20 years. "TEAMS has helped define the sport-event and appointment-based trade show industries". Even if this is not your particular field, there is still so much to learn from this billion-dollar industry. Take the tools from this conference and be able to apply them to your particular industry. Join them for networking opportunities like no other.
  10. International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition- ICMPC
    Banner for the ICMPC conferenceWhen and Where:  April 22-24th, 2022 in Beijing.
    Overview: The International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, or ICMPC is hosting its 13th international conference. ICMPC has focused their conferences around the idea of the world having a"' cognitive revolution' [which was started in] the late 1950s and 1960s [where they had] specialist journals... Psychology of Music (1972) and Music Perception (1983)". This conference has taken these ideas and in "1989 started the international series under the title [ICMPC]". We hope to see you at this one-of-a-kind learning experience.
  11. VenueConnect
    Overview of the people and exhibits at VenueConnectWhen and Where: August 2nd, 2022 in Phoenix, AZ.
    Overview: VenueConnect allows you access to the newest trends set forth by the industry. This conference "hosts professionals from a spectrum of public assembly venues including arenas, convention centers, amphitheaters, fairgrounds, performing arts centers, stadiums, universities, and more." Join VenueConnect as they inspire future leaders by providing a personalized education, and creating professional relationships to last a lifetime. This conference also offers "80+ educational sessions designed to increase revenues and reduce expenses, including the new executive sessions". VenueConnect is coming together for their 92nd annual VenueConnect Annual Conference and Trade Show that will be worth your time.  
  12. Women in Leadership Meetings + Incentives
    5 women sit on chairs talking on stageWhen and Where: TBD normally in March
    Overview: Women in Leadership + Meetings, or WILMI for short "is an exclusive conference for executive-level women in the event industry- by women, for women." This conference is all about showing people the leading females in their fields through the use of meetings, networking, and presentations. One interesting fact about women in the workforce is that "...Nearly 65% of the workforce in hospitality overall in the United States are women, Over 77% of meeting planners are women, Over 72% of travel agents are women, Women make over 70% of all travel-buying decisions". Be ready to be a part of the movement and learn how to support women in business!
  13. Event Design Level 1
    sketch of a room with ideas for designWhen and Where: March 3, 2022- Virtual
    Overview: Event Design has multiple different levels depending on how experienced you are with this element of event planning. For beginners, we suggest you "Join this Level 1 Certificate course to learn how to apply the #event canvas methodology and join the community of change-makers embracing the process...". This conference and certificate course will allow you to learn all about how to support your creative process and elements of design. Event Design 1 also focuses on not losing sight of "return on time, resources, and financial investments" allowing you to make the best decisions about your event design that you can. 
  14. Event Tech Live Las Vegas
    2 women sit talking on a stageWhen and Where: June 7-9th, 2022 in Las Vegas, NV- Hybrid (both in-person and virtual)
    Overview: Event Tech Live in Las Vegas is the place to be. This conference knows that "Your time is valuable and that's why Event Tech Live focuses on quality content, industry-leading exhibitors, and networking opportunities that link you [to the people] you want to meet". Event Tech Live is on a mission to show you the event technology within the United States. This conference is really "a 'one-stop-shop for your digital event requirements'" while featuring over "100+ educational sessions, 100+ exhibitors and attendees from across the globe". Experience this conference with us this summer!
  15. Academy for Venue Safety and Security (AVSS)
    A group gathers after the AVSS conferenceWhen and Where: February 27th-March 4th, 2022 in Las Vegas, NV.
    Overview: The Academy for Venue Safety and Security, or AVSS for short, wants to help you grow as a professional while giving "Each student... their toolkit of useful reference materials, including your own 'Action Plan' to implement your new learning right away". This conference is creating the professionals of tomorrow including venue managers, event planners, public safety professionals, educators, business leaders, and more. The AVSS is raising the bar of the industry to heights most people wouldn't have thought possible, until now. This is one event you are not going to want to miss in 2023.

Music Conferences 

  1. Music Biz
    People listening to a speaker, and a few panelistsWhen and Where: May 9th-12th, 2022 at the J.W. Mariott in Nashville, TN.
    Overview: Music Biz is "brought on by the Music Business Association". Help find your footing in a growing industry, with personal and professional development, informative conversations, and a growing network of peers. The list of the 2022 companies will be added one month before this event. This conference focuses on helping "...newcomers kick off their careers on the right foot" while "representing more than 90 percent of the industry at large". This is a great conference to advance your growth and knowledge of the music business industry while interacting with professionals in the field.
  2. CD Baby’s DIY Musician Conference
    Crowd gathers for a speaker on stageWhen and Where: August 26-28th, 2022 at the Hilton Austin in Austin, TX.- hybrid (in-person and virtual)
    Overview: CD Baby's DIY Musician Conference "takes place for independent musicians, giving them a platform to succeed in this industry. At this conference, you will learn from the best and get a chance to network with many like-minded artists". This conference is fueled by many leaders of their industry, allowing you to network with people who have experienced success, and get a plan of action for your path. CD Baby's conference will help take your career to the next level, so make sure to keep checking their website to hear all about the sessions that should be announced very soon!
  3. SXSW
    3 speakers discuss on the SXSW stageWhen and Where: March 11-20th in Austin, Texas.
    Overview: If you love this festival you should see their amazing conference. You can read about the festival on our blog. The return of SXSW will continue to be insane, due to 2020's event being canceled, and 2021's event which was completely online. This was SXSW's first in-person event in the last three years. "...SXSW is going to be even more iconic and epic than ever before". Join them as they bring you opportunities from around the globe with cutting-edge ideas, a crowd of professionals, and "...a variety of tracks that focus on the most important breakthroughs in technology, film, culture, and music..." This is an event you won't want to miss, where it becomes even better with every passing year!
  4. Midem
    People gather at a previous Midem eventWhen and Where: The 2022 conference is canceled.
    Overview: The conference was one of the most well-known in the music conferences realm. Midem was for decades the primary international conference for the music industry. Midem used to showcase the biggest artists and executives from around the world dating back to 1967. Unfortunately, this event will not be coming back in 2022, but hopefully, it will make a comeback and showcase all the amazing things that music conferences can do very soon!
  5. LAUNCH Music Conference
    People sit at the LAUNCH Music ConferenceWhen and Where: April 14-17th, 2022 at the Historic Downtown Lancaster, PA. 
    Overview: LAUNCH Music Conference features a "schedule packed full of Panels, Seminars, Parties, Events, and Performances, [and] the Conference portion [to provide] a unique opportunity for artists, music industry professionals, and fans to meet, network and further their careers from the up-and-coming artist to the seasoned music industry veteran." This event will give you access to workshops, one-on-one mentor sessions, panels, and performances. This is an event that you should attend in 2023 because the lessons are once-in-a-lifetime!

  6. TAXI Road Rally
    2 gentlemen sitting on the stage in-front of a crowdWhen and Where: November 3-6th, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
    Overview: The TAXI Road Rally has been around since 1992. "Before TAXI, it was almost impossible for musicians to get their music shared with the right people unless they lived in one of the major capital cities of music and had a well-connected manager or label behind them." This conference helps to bridge the gap and connect people with specific classes, panels, one-on-one mentoring sessions, feedback sessions, and more. This conference's goal is to help you get your music on the right path, with the perfect pitch, and network with the right people. Join TAXI Road Ralley for a night full of good music and great connections.
    A group of people who attended MUSEXPOWhen and Where: March 20-23rd, 2022 in Burbank, CA.
    Overview: MUSEXPO understands the need for making new relationships in the business world, ones that inspire you and help you to create solutions in a changing industry. That's why MUSEXPO made "This event [that] will offer an in-depth analysis of the global music landscape from the industry's leading executives and innovators across different facets of the industry". This conference is seen as one of the most popular events for broadcasting while providing insights through many different experiences such as lectures or panels. MUSEXPO's "lectures and panels focused on worldwide synch business including TV, film, advertising, gaming, and brand partnerships." This is one conference that will be back in 2023, you should start getting excited about it!
  8. A3C Music Conference
    People walking through different exhibitsWhen and Where: October 2022, dates TBD at the Atlanta Convention Center in Atlanta, GA.
    Overview: A3C Music Conference is "Heralded as one of the premier hip-hop festivals and conferences, A3C Music Festival & Conference draws some of the biggest artist and industry insiders to Atlanta every year. This four-day festival features non-stop music and professional development events." This conference has been running for 16 very successful years featuring many panelists, technology innovation, and expressing the culture around them. Their "... 2021 Conference [infused to contain] deeper dives into various segments of Culture; including topics in Fashion, Gaming, Film, Tech, Entrepreneurship, and Music! A3C 2021 [was] a hybrid event [and]... [was] streamed to [their] global audience." We are so excited to see what they do this upcoming fall! This is an amazing opportunity you won't want to miss, giving you the ability to learn about so many different topics all in one place.
  9. SF Music Tech Summit
    A panel of speakers sit in front of the audienceWhen and Where: June 28-29th, 2022 in San Francisco, CA.
    Overview: SF Music Tech Summit was "Founded by Brian and Shoshana Zisk. [This event] is a daylong meeting of musical and technical minds. This music conference focuses on the intersection of technology and the music business". The SF Music Tech Summit helps to join together the industries of music, business, technology, ecosystem, and more to a plethora of different kinds of people. Learn how you can be one of the evolving minds in the industry by attending the SF Music Tech Summit! 
  10. Canadian Music Week
    The panel of speakers sit on the stage in-front of the audienceWhen and Where: June 6-11th, 2022 in Toronto and Ontario, Canada.
    Overview: Canadian Music Week is celebrating its 40th anniversary. This event is one of Canada’s premier music industry events. Every year they bring together the best in Canadian and international talent and speakers for 5 days of music education and entertainment. "One of the things that have helped CMW stand out in the past is its Mentor Café, where musicians and music industry hopefuls can chat with successful mentors in the industry and pick their brains about everything to do with success and growing [their] music career." One interesting thing is they help to teach musicians who are starting how to break out, get discovered, and utilize platforms such as TikTok.
  11. National Association of Music Merchants
    People walk and see the exhibits within the large open roomWhen and Where: June 3-5th, 2022 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. 
    Overview: NAMM, also known as "The National Association of Music Merchants is one of the biggest music conferences devoted to promoting the [creation] of music to an audience of all ages. It is an exhibition for professionals and fans to explore new music products and technology including live sound, audio, and lighting. It is also an opportunity to build buzz around your brand, showcase your products, and connect with distributors." Brace yourself for all of the amazing experiences from fields such as marketing, sales, technology, and more. Be able to interact with creators, innovators, and like-minded thinkers like yourself. This is one conference you should add to your wishlist because your "Transformation Awaits"!
  12. International Alliance for Women in Music Conference 
    A group gathers after this successful conferenceWhen and Where:  June 2-4th in Covalis, OR.
    Overview: International Alliance for Women in Music Conference wants to bring you an array of opportunities. This conference is hosting their "in-person conference (with virtual satellite events) to cover music, music technology, live concerts, and networking opportunities. The conference will [host] discussions about female and female-identified histories, research, and music, providing a platform for unheard voices, while advocating for equality." Support them as they bring together both men and women in cutting-edge technology, many opportunities, connections, and discussions about the history of the music industry. Be a part of the amazing event to learn so much about the industry and more!
  13. Ohio University Music Industry Summit
    Two speakers sit upon a stage When and Where: April 5-6th, 2022 at the Ohio Athens Campus in Athens Ohio.-hybrid (in-person and virtual)
    OverviewOhio University Music Industry Summit was started in 2018. This conference is "made up of a gathering of national and regional music industry leaders and musicians, it’s comprised of two full days of panels, interviews, and networking opportunities for attendees." Ohio University brings in popular and inspirational music industry leaders to allow you to network, learn about opportunities, and overall learn about the industry. See inside the lives of these leaders by hearing about their "...unique perspectives [that are brought] to life with stories, practical experiences, and dialogue on present challenges and opportunities." Join them for this amazing opportunity, or check with some of your surrounding colleges to see what conferences they have that you can be a part of!
  14. Amsterdam Dance Event
    Multiple speakers sit on a stage at the Amsterdam dance eventWhen and Where: October 19-23rd, 2022 in the Dutch Capital of Amsterdam. 
    Overview: Amsterdam Dance Event, also known as ADE, is an "influential and educational gathering for electronic music and its industry. With its conference, festival, and educational breeding ground, ADE can create not only the biggest yearly industry...moment, but also a solid foundation for future generations of electronic music professionals." ADE brings together around 200 locations, and 1000 events for an unbeatable event! This conference "is the ultimate business and inspiration platform for the global electronic music industry, featuring dedicated programming for [all types of] music professionals" Order your tickets, board your flight, and get ready for this amazing event.
  15.  Illinois Music Education Conference
    A large crowd of choir/chorus singers
    When and Where: January 25-28th, 2022 in Peoria, IL.
    Overview: Illinois Music Education Conference has the vision to provide "High-quality music education for all Illinois Learners". This organization has "...more than 3,500 members, [and is one] of the largest of the 52 affiliates of NAfME: The National Association for Music Education, [that has] over 75,000 members...   ILMEA is, by far, the largest Fine Arts education organization in Illinois and among the largest in the nation". The non-profit association helps to bring music to every level of education while helping to enhance students' understanding of music. This may be one organization, in one midwestern state, but there are many other just like this one. Be a part of the music by joining a music organization, or attending one of their conferences!

Many more conferences awaiting to be seen.  Increase your knowledge in the industry, and your overall personal and professional development by attending one of these captivating conferences. Following the end of these conferences, there are normally some amazing festivals such as the SXSW festival, Amsterdam Dance Festival, and many more. Be sure to check out these amazing events after the conferences.

Abby Spanbauer
Abby Spanbauer
Abby is an Integrated Marketing Communication major at Illinois State University. She loves country music and was in choir for several years. She enjoys being able to bring her passion for music into her writing.

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