One of the largest digital conferences in Europe, Cebit, made news this year when they announced the end of the conference after 33 years. While the tech community and politicians in Germany are mourning, there are still a ton of interesting conferences for tech companies and startups to consider for attending, presenting and speaking opportunities in 2019.
Over time we are putting together the most comprehensive list of tech and startup conferences that are worth your time. If you want to know which conferences are especially great for speaking opportunities and media attention depending on different startup stages, let us know.
08-11, Las Vegas, Nevada
182.000 people gathered last year at CES making it the first and the largest conference around consumer electronics. The team behind CES handles over 4.400 companies that are exhibiting and over 1.000 speakers under the eyes of over 6.600 journalists from all over the world. If these numbers don’t scare you, then you should give it a shot. According to the organizers, CES 2018 received over 107.000 media mentions and more than 71 billion potential media impressions in January alone.
19-21, Munich, Germany
DLD (which stands for Digital Life Design) has been launched 14 years ago by Steffi Czerny and Marcel Reichart. It’s a global conference network and a platform for an exchange of future visions and experiences, “driven by the mission to create a network of innovation, digital prospects, science and culture”. The event is invite only and anyone is free to apply if they have an interesting story to tell. The team behind the DLD is very selective when it comes to their speakers (previous conference speakers have included Mark Zuckerberg and Arianna Huffington), but this makes the event so special.
25-28 in Barcelona, Spain
There are tech conferences and then there is Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Over 100.000 people and over 7.700 CEOs attend the conference each year, making it one of the most important tech and business conferences on the planet. Depending on your budget there’s a ton of things that you can do to attract attention and make a name for yourself.
08-18 in Austin, Texas
South by Southwest is an annual celebration of film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences in Austin. The party started in 1987 and has grown ever since. Tech companies should be aware: SXSW is far from being your average conference and if you decide to use it for your business, make sure to invest a ton of creativity to make it work.
06-08 in Berlin, Germany
re:publica Berlin is Europe's largest internet and digital society conference. The organizers have the talent to host and attract very interesting debates, exhibitions and installations for their 10.000+ attendees. The event is packed with an incredible amount of talks and presentations from 950 artists, entrepreneurs, politicians, and scientists from all over the world. If you have something interesting that is tied to developments in society and politics or you have an idea for an interesting installation, then re:publica is for you.
07-08 in Hamburg, Germany
Online Marketing Rockstars is without the doubt the best marketing conference that Germany has to offer. It’s insightful, fun, inspirational and the team has a knack for attracting the best talent in the industry. If you can’t wait to go there in May, you should definitely follow their podcast and blog in the meantime. They are both available in German and English. It’s one of the best resources on anything Online Marketing that you can find on the web.
16-18 in Paris, France
Viva Technology came out of nowhere in 2016 but attracted over 40.000 visitors from all over the world in its first year already thanks to the massive network from Publicis Groupe and Groupe Les Echos, who are organizing the conference. And within the last two years, Viva Tech just became bigger and bigger. Over 100.000 people, 9.000 startups, almost 2.000 journalists and 1.900 investors attended the conference last year. But the conference doesn’t just attract the biggest names in the tech industry like Mark Zuckerberg, Satya Nadella or Dara Khosrowshahi – they also put a big emphasis on helping startups to launch new products and build meaningful connections with potential business partners. Highly recommended.
06-07 in Berlin, Germany
WeAreDevelopers started in 2015 in Vienna with a little over 300 attendees, but reach and size of the conference have pretty much skyrocketed in the last years. In 2018 over 8.000 tech people and developers from over 70 countries attended to listen to keynotes from Steve Wozniak or John Romero. If you are deep into tech or are in need of tech talent – We Are Developers is a great place to start.
02-05 in Berlin, Germany
Tech Open Air – or TOA how it’s called by everyone, wants to be one of Europe’s Leading Technology Festivals – and they really get this right. TOA goes beyond the traditional approach of many tech conferences and the team puts a lot of effort to build bridges between tech, music, art, and science. It’s not as big as many of the other major conferences – which offers an interesting opportunity for startups that are at an early stage and don’t yet have the resources to conquer the main stages of the bigger conferences.
03-04 in Hamburg, Germany
The HORIZONT Digital Marketing Days became somewhat of a get-together, an annual convention of the digital industry in Germany. Over 250 decision makers, creatives and digital marketing professionals are gathering in Hamburg to discuss the latest trends, buzzwords and everything in between.
25-02 in Black Rock City, USA
There’s nothing like the Burning Man Festival. It’s probably best described as the most creative experiment on the planet and the whole happening is dedicated to anti-consumerism and self-expression. It all started in the 90s with just a little over 200 participants. Today almost 70.000 people are flying in from all over the world to experience… well, the Burning Man experience.
06-11 in Berlin, Germany
IFA is a trade show known for showcasing some of the latest innovation in consumer electronics and appliances. You can expect a lot of media attention from all over the world while some of the largest tech companies on the planet reveal new products.
30-02 in Munich, Germany
Branded as the biggest founders’ festival in Europe, Bits & Pretzels quickly became certainly one of the most popular tech and startup events in Germany in recent years. 5.000 startups, investors, journalists, and tech enthusiasts are gathering each year while Munich is busy with Octoberfest. Everyone spends the third and last day of the festival in a tent at Octoberfest making sure that everyone has a blast and can discuss deals and partnerships while enjoying beer and pretzels.
02-04 in San Francisco, California
You can’t have a startup and tech conference list without TC Disrupt. If there’s one publication that is serious about startups and offers a global stage for them to investors, journalists and early adopters – then it’s TC Disrupt. Previous speakers include Marc Andreessen, Marc Benioff, Jessica Livingston and many others.
04-07 in Lisbon, Portugal
If you create a list about the most important and largest tech conferences on earth, Web Summit will be very much at the top. Over 70.000 people attended the conference last year and the organizers attract the biggest names in science, politics, and tech to talk on stage: Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Al Gore were all there. If you want to have an impact at the conference, make sure to have a big budget ready or an outstanding creative idea to make up for the missing marketing spent. There are certainly ways to use the annual gathering to make yourself heard…
tba in Helsinki, Finland
Slush is one of the world's leading startup events happening in Helsinki, Finland. While the numbers are not yet in for 2018, over 2,600 startups, 1,600 investors, and 600 journalists from over 130 countries gathered at the conference in 2017.