Any seasoned professional knows that learning should never stop, and with any growth comes consistent networking. There are always new trends, essential tips, and revelatory ideas to consider integrating into your workplace and skillset. 

Attending world-class conferences is the primary way event planning and marketing professionals remain in the know and ahead of the curve. These gatherings help sharpen the tools of the nation’s leading event planners and foster a feeling of community and togetherness, which is undeniably crucial in a time of social distancing. Attendants will reap multiple benefits, whether tuning in virtually or the new normal of hybrid in-person and online gatherings. 

From networking, talking shop, attending keynote talks, exploring vendors when expanding horizons, make sure you integrate conferences into your annual professional planning. Which one of these events will you be attending post-pandemic? 

Here are 5 event planning conferences you can’t afford to miss in 2021:

1. The Event Planner Expo, October 12-14, New York, NY. 

This particular trade show has become synonymous with top event planning in America. Each year, thousands of the country’s leading event planners, marketing professionals, vendors, and innovators descend upon Manhattan for a 3-day conference. Up and coming and seasoned professionals alike network, strike lucrative deals, and learn from some of the biggest names in the business, like Colin Cowie and Daymond John. 

2. IMEX America, November 9-11, NV.

If you’re in the world of business events, IMEX is tailor-made for you! Over four packed days, get ready to immerse yourself in intensive networking, riveting discussions by brilliant speakers, and learning about what is up and coming from leading vendors. More than 180 educational and networking events await!

3. The Experiential Marketing Summit, October 5-7, Chicago, IL.

This 3-day trade show has quickly become one of the most popular shows for event industry insiders. With a focus on B2B and B2C brand-side marketers, many of the nation’s leading agency executives, planners, trade show organizers, event strategists, experience designers, and technology mavens make a point to attend this important show. 

4. Smart Meetings Experiences (varying dates & locations).

Unlike many trade shows, SME happens in various locations, at varying times of the year, thus allowing for you to weave a few of these unique experiences into your annual calendar. Smart Meetings events provide meeting planners and suppliers alike with the chance to connect with targeted, strategic prospects. For instance, suppliers can forge bonds with qualified meeting planners with active RFPs, while planners can meet with preferred hotels and destinations. Attendees can expect informative and immersive educational sessions, plus top-of-the-line speakers and meaningful networking sessions. And did we mention your hotel and accommodations are complimentary? 

5. The Special Event, July 19-22, Miami, FL.

The Special Event is your chance to connect with the entire event planning community while also celebrating the uniqueness of this industry. Expect an impressive lineup of speakers and the opportunity to meet with other planners, vendors, and innovators. This event is an industry favorite for floral designers, producers, and marketing teams and serves as an ideal backdrop to connect with other prominent players across the vast industry.


  • Serena McKenzie

    Writer and entreprenuer

    I am an entrepreneur who has founded multiple successful businesses in the field of writing, content marketing, web design and SEO. Ever since graduating from the university, content marketing and writing has been one thing that I have been passionate about. It is my desire now to help entrepreneurs and businesses alike get their stories heard across the world.