Business leadership conferences worth exploring in 2019

These business leadership conferences will help both IT and line-of-business executives expand their horizons in 2019. Consider these options to grow as a leader
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You know that high you get from attending a good conference? Those feelings of motivation, encouragement, and validation can be enough to propel you past any obstacles you're currently facing at work. If you're looking to break out of your bubble in 2019 and surround yourself with brilliant speakers, then here's a good starting point. 

We've rounded up five interesting conferences in 2019 to help you grow as a leader

The Economist Innovation Summit 

When: March 7, 2019

Where: Chicago, IL

Why you should go: If you rely on The Economist for your news, then you won't want to miss one of their premier events. This year's summit will explore the role of technology in shaping profit and progress - no doubt something all business leaders need to understand. The summit's "why attend" section makes the case for your registration by saying: "The Innovation Summit is designed for C-level and senior executives responsible for information, technology, strategy, and marketing, who are charged with driving innovation and new product development—across industries and sectors within their business. Attendees will participate in a full day of stimulating, interactive discussion and debate."


When: May 20-23, 2019

Where: Toronto

Why you should go: Billed as the "fastest-growing tech conference in America," Collision offers an impressive list of speakers and attendees alike (you can peruse the list of featured attendees from 2018 on their site - chances are there were quite a few people whose brains you would've liked to pick). For executives in particular, you can expect to be surrounded by your peers, with more than 3,750 CEOs attending last year, and 69 percent of attendees coming from senior management. One ticket gives you access to 14 different tracks, including topics like money, health, content, and more. The conference website touts that it's moving to a new host city in 2019: "From its diverse population to its position as an AI torch-bearer, there is a lot going on in Toronto’s startup scene."

[ Are you known as a leader with high or low EQ? See our story, 10 things leaders with emotional intelligence never do. ]

The Future of Everything Festival

When: May 20-23, 2019

Where: New York, NY

Why you should go: The festival website promises "revelatory insights from must-see speakers," and indeed its 2018 line-up included a broad array of leaders, from famed home designer Jonathan Adler to Microsoft President Brad Smith. If you're the kind of leader who wants to keep abreast of the latest innovations and breakthroughs in business – from artificially intelligent everything to tasting menus designed for your genotype - you won't want to miss this festival organized by The Wall Street Journal. The 2019 themes touch on hard and soft topics including technology, money, health/humanity, culture/systems, and style. 

Leadercast Live 2019

When: May 10, 2019

Where: Duluth, GA or at simulcast locations around the world

Why you should go: One of the big perks of this conference is you don't actually have to be in Duluth, GA to attend. The entire conference is broadcast live each year to hundreds of host sites around the world. You can check to see if there's a location near you to stream it. The conference promises it will "give you practical guidance on how to enhance your leadership, both for yourself and your team." And with tickets starting at $129, it may also be the best bang for your buck. 

World Business Forum

When: Nov. 20-21, 2019

Where: New York, NY

Why you should go: This conference is for anyone whose goals include growing their business exponentially, cultivating extraordinary performance among teams, and developing an organizational culture that leads to success for years to come. The two-day event will include speakers who are CEOs, entrepreneurs, innovators, thinkers, artists and sportspeople. From the event's website: "In a world of information overload, World Business Forum focuses on the issues most relevant to today’s businesspeople, stimulating new thinking and inspiring action. It also provides a unique networking environment to connect with like-minded professionals."

[ Are you considering a job hunt? Get winning tactics and relevant data in our new eBook: IT job searching in 2019: A practical guide. ]

Ginny Holden is an independent consultant who brings the practice of IT to life through memorable storytelling.