8 Of The Best Conferences To Attend In 2020 To Inspire Creativity And Innovation

8 Of The Best Conferences To Attend In 2020 To Inspire Creativity And Innovation

If you’re looking to make new connections, learn about the latest industry trends, learn how to take your company to the next level and hear thought-provoking keynotes from business leaders, former presidents and Nobel prize winners; tech, creativity and leadership conferences are the place to be. 

But there are thousands of worthwhile conferences held around the world each year and of course, you probably have a limited budget and/or time to be able to spend attending them.
So we’ve done the research and compiled a list of some of the best ones to attend in late 2019 to 2020 according to past and future speakers, attendee growth and general industry buzz. Whatever industry you may be in, at least one (or all) of these conferences will be worth the time/money for you or your team to attend.

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SXSW Interactive

Austin, USA
March 13-22, 2020

The Austin based festival, South By South West is a 10-day marathon conference/festival features three different overlapping conferences focused separately on music, film and digital. The Interactive conference focuses on innovation, launch parties, panel sessions and diverse networking. This year's highlights included the premiere of Jordan Peele's latest film, Us, and keynotes by Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger and filmmaker Jessica Brillhart.

Cannes Lions: International Festival of Creativity

Cannes, France
22-26 June 2020
The biggest focus of this festival is the awards, where the marketing, communications and advertising industry recognise the most creative work in the industry produced over the previous 12 months. The conference was first started in the 1950s as the cinema advertising execs’ response to the Cannes Film Festival. Panel discussions and keynote speaker events were added in the ’90s to break up the awards-fest and have since included the likes of Arianna Huffington and Annie Leibovitz as drawcard speakers.

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The Design Conference

Brisbane, Australia
May 1-June 29, 2019 / 2020 TBA
Meet other designers, create your own work in breakout sessions, and hear some of the many fantastic Australian creative keynote speakers. This is a great hands-on workshop-style conference featuring keynotes from leading advertising creative strategists and well-known artists, alongside breakout sessions to network and put those new creative skills to use.

Web Summit

Lisbon, Portugal
4–7 November 2019
This well known digital conference is usually held in Dublin each year however Web Summit has moved in 2019 to a new home of Lisbon. The conference is in its 11th year, and is seen as the pivotal tech event in the tech and marketing conference calendar. 

Attendees are there to scope out the latest emerging technologies and internet innovations. Previous keynotes speeches have been given by Al Gore and Stephen Hawking and this year’s line-up includes the CEOs of eBay and Tinder and the Presidents of Croatia and Ghana. 

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Consumer Electronics Show

Las Vegas, US 
7-10 January 2020
If there is a game-changer technology that has launched in the last 50 years, you can be sure that it launched at the Consumer Electronics Show aka CES. Pocket radios were the hottest product launched her in 1967, the first VCR was unveiled in the 1970s and then fast forward to curved TVs and autonomous cars, they’ve all launched at CES. Bill Gates has spoken at the event several times over the years and at this year’s show, robots, AI and driverless cars were once again the main takeaways. Whatever you’ll be purchasing in 2025, a version will be here in 2020.


Toronto, Canada
22–25 June 2020
The organisers of North America’s fastest-growing tech event, Collision, are the same ones behind the highly successful Web Summit and the similar new and trendy Rise conference in Hong Kong, makes sense right? The creative environment of this event makes it perfect for entrepreneurs and investors and already has over 25,000 attendees. Seth Rogen and Justin Trudeau were among the speakers at the 2019 event. 

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Hong Kong
March 30- April 2, 2020
Following on from successful events in Europe and North America, the logical next step for Web Summit’s organisers was to bring their conference formula to Asia. Similar to Collision in Toronto, the emphasis of this event is on start-ups and growth. Rise also offers Night Summit, allowing attendees to mix business with pleasure while seeing Hong Kong’s night-life and network at the same time.

Forbes Under 30 Summit

Detroit, USA
October 27-30, 2019
Focusing on the innovations of young and upcoming entrepreneurs, leaders, founders and creators, the 2019 Forbes Under 30 Summit is more of an immersive experience than a regular conference. From A-list speakers to a music festival, investor speed-pitching, industry-focused field trips and even a large scale networking pub crawl. 

This event brings together young leaders from all sorts of fields including technology, entertainment, finance, fashion, food and philanthropy over four days to connect, learn, teach and build the future. 

Words: Sam Aldenton

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