2019 will mark the 50th anniversary that humans first landed on the moon on July 20th, 1969. The Apollo program developed technologies that connected humanity with its dreams. The winning conferences in 2019 will highlight the promise of technology and its potential is to connect people and facilitating experiences that matter.
Consumers in Motion Group has attended major industry events around the world since 2000 to learn about the technologies and consumer trends that are shaping our future. We have curated these events based on the quality of their content, exhibitors and attendees and have listed the top events to attend in 2019.
A word on our methodology: We ranked the events by four key criteria: 1) Distinct, value-added programming that highlights the direction our industry is going; 2) A diverse, high-caliber attendee list of marketing leaders, and 3) An environment and format that supports learning, networking and community building 4) Conferences that highlight technologies to enable meaning consumers experiences
Las Vegas, Nevada, January 8–11
CES features hundreds of content sessions and with 5,700 exhibitors you could only spend fifteen seconds with each of the exhibitors at CES, if you wanted to see them all in the four days. Broadly, the most effective way to navigate CES is identify the themes and to see and experience these technologies in action. The practical consumer and business applications for artificial intelligence, understanding the enabling processors and chip set in development. The role out and capabilities for 5G. Vehicle tech and self-driving cars. The rise of smart cities. Technologies useful for disasters and personal safety. Medical therapeutics.
New York, New York, January 13–15
NRF 2019: Retail’s Big Show is a marketplace for ideas and relationships. A chance to forge new partnerships, try out best-in-class experiences, and learn from some of the biggest players transforming retail today. An event guaranteed to drive impact. Because after all, what’s the point of a show if you have nothing to show for. Highlights: The Big Show features over 800 exhibits, including Digital Commerce, Acquisition & Blockchain, Future Tech + Innovative New Products, In Store & Customer Experience Tech and Logistics, Supply Chain & Fulfillment the NRF Retail’s Big Show is a major forum for global retail industry and world leaders.
Davos, Switzerland, January 22–25
The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is the only yearly gathering that brings together leaders of global society. The heads and members of more than 100 governments, top executives of the 1,000 foremost global companies, leaders of international organizations and relevant non-governmental organizations, the most prominent cultural, societal and thought leaders, and the disruptive voices of the Forum’s Young Global Leaders, Global Shapers and Technology Pioneers come together at the beginning of each year to define priorities and shape global, industry and regional agendas.
Barcelona, Spain, February 25–28
The theme of this year’s event is ‘Intelligent Connectivity’ – the term we use to describe the powerful combination of flexible, high-speed 5G networks, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and big data. Intelligent connectivity marks the beginning of a new era defined by highly contextualized and personalized experiences, delivered when and where you want them. This is the future of our industry and our world. Within Intelligent Connectivity, we developed 8 core themes around which we will focus our content for this year’s event. From conference keynotes, track sessions, partner events, tours, and seminars.
Austin, Texas, March 8–17
South by Southwest (SXSW) dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, television and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. Five days of compelling presentations and panels from the brightest minds in emerging technology held in March. SXSW offers scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders and an unbeatable lineup of special programs, video games and startup ideas.
Highlights: There are four main shows designed to enhance and complement conference programming. Each show encourages targeted connections and new discoveries through niche pavilions including Come and Capture, Future of Food, The Sport Spot and The MedTech Pavilion. Several stages located throughout the shows feature content aimed at promoting discovery, education and inspiration, including Next Stage, Pitch Stage and Podcast Stage.
Las Vegas, April 6–11
The NAB Show, held in Las Vegas, is the world’s largest convention encompassing the convergence of media, entertainment and technology. With 100,000 attendees from 161 countries and 1,800+ exhibitors, NAB Show is the ultimate marketplace for solutions that transcend traditional broadcasting and embrace content delivery to new screens in new ways. From creation to consumption, across multiple platforms and countless nationalities, NAB Show is where global visionaries convene to bring content to life in new and exciting ways. New gear. Impressive tech. Big thinking. This is the real deal. And where deals are done. NAB is in the business of storytelling and this is where you need to be. With a global community finding inspiration, building skills, discovering solutions and powering profits. NAB advances the art, science and business of content.
New York, May 10–22
Annual celebration of design, attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees and designers from across the globe. Taking place each May—next occurring May 10–22, 2019—the event celebrates a world of design and showcases over a dozen design disciplines through events taking place across the city’s five boroughs.
Amsterdam, May 14–16
Each year the Congress selects a key theme that is impacting the global retail industry. The 2019 theme truly reflects what successful retail is today – it’s all about speed and dynamism. Those that are winning in today’s supersonic environment are zealously consumer-centric, passionately embrace change and risk, have a simple, agile business model and vision, are blind to borders and are ruthlessly evolving.
Montreal, May 22–24
C2 Montréal is the annual international business conference that helps established and aspiring leaders unlock their creativity in order to better face disruption and change. For 3 immersive days, bright minds from all industries connect, collaborate and build the new set of tools they need to find actionable solutions to the challenges of our times. Get out of the office and into a world of infinite possibility.
Cannes, France, June 17–21
Cannes Lions is a multi-day program of creative inspiration, celebration, education and networking held in June. Over 15,000 delegates from around 100 countries attend the Festival, making it the only truly global meeting place for branded communications professionals to connect, share and discover.
Highlights: The Cannes Lions Festival features Health, Entertainment and Innovation as three distinct conferences within Cannes Lions. Lions Health challenges the industry’s norms and motivates it to change the course of healthcare communications – and explores the ways talent and storytelling can elevate content into the cultural mainstream. Lions Innovation is an exploration of data and tech as catalysts for creativity. Over two days it showcases the new and kick-started collaboration. It brings together the start-ups with game-changing products and services, the investors who back them, the brands who work with them and the storytellers who can bring it all to life.
Shanghai, June 26–28
The Conference at MWC Shanghai features thought-provoking presentations from some of the mobile industry’s most influential executives, who will share their visions of the mobile industry while providing essential insights on current and future trends.
Highlights: MWC Shanghai focuses on how mobile technology, from connected cars and wearable tech to IOT and smarter cities, is revolutionizing every aspect of individuals’ lives and creating a personalized experience.
Cologne, Germany, September 11–12
dMexco is the world’s leading exhibition and conference for the digital industry and stands for innovative and future-oriented developments and trends in the center of a new digital economy: The digiconomy. Within the two days of dMexco, a top-notch lineup of speakers and a unique presentation of diverse themes will put the crucial trends and business potential in the limelight.
Highlights: The program for 2019 will include more than 400 speakers from all over the world who will hold presentations on 15 different stages. The speakers will include digital stars, top executives, newcomers and trendsetters, who will hold outstanding keynote speeches, engage in exciting discussions and present visionary demonstrations.
Orlando, October 2–5
The who’s who of CMOs and other industry movers and shakers will share their remarkable stories of mastering brands and driving results in ways that didn’t even seem possible a few years ago. As one past attendee noted, “This is unquestionably the biggest and best gathering of senior marketers in the country, and it’s a great opportunity to confirm and learn about the latest trends and recent best practices.” By any measure, the ANA Master of Marketing Conference is the industry’s premier annual event, attracting more than 2,500 attendees.
Los Angeles, October 22–24
The GSMA and CTIA created a new mobile industry event in the United States. CTIA and the GSMA are equal partners in the joint event with the GSMA leading the event’s production and management.
Highlights: MWC Americas showcases how mobile is creating the connected life, transforming how individuals, businesses and entire industries communicate, interact and innovate. Mobile World Congress Americas is set to become the leading mobile industry event in the Americas.
Los Angeles, October 29–30
Highlights: ReMode is an event uniting fashion brand leaders and industry-wide professionals to inspire solutions for growth and innovation. The two-day event features talks, demonstrations, exhibits, and meetings, through which participants can: DISCOVER strategies to build and grow an omnichannel business.