Ten Top Innovation Conferences of 2020
2019 featured an amazing roster of inspiring innovation conferences, providing ample opportunity to experience deep dives on trends, thought-provoking insights and unique networking opportunities. And the good news is that these conferences keep growing both in quantity and quality, making 2020 the best year to attend an innovation conference yet.
Here’s a look at ten of the top innovation conferences to check out this year (listed inchronological order).
1. CES (January 7-10) Las Vegas, Nevada
Formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show, this conference is an inspirational wonderland for manufacturers, developers, marketers, innovators and everyone else who does business in consumer technologies. Featuring over 175,000 attendees, 1,000 speakers and more than 4,500 exhibiting companies, CES serves as a grand stage for the world’s most innovative thinkers as they offer insights that not only change the industry, but also our lives. Attendees will be able to tap into presentations on the latest trends and emerging technologies from speakers at companies like iRobot, Delta, IBM, Facebook, Samsung and Apple.
This year, Cherri Prince, Sandip Narang, Donna Zaring and Jeff Johns from the Seed + Burke team will be in attendance, so be sure to stay tuned for the latest trends and learnings straight from the show.
Click here to see our 4 Top Tech Takeaways from CES2020.
2. Innovation Summit 2020 (March 5) Chicago, Illinois
Interested in harnessing the powers of artificial intelligence, blockchain, quantum computing and other breakthrough technologies? Then you’ll want to make plans to join Fortune 500 leaders, policymakers, academics and disruptive entrepreneurs at the Innovation Summit where you’ll gain insights on how companies can leverage exponential technologies to shape progress. You’ll hear from thought-leaders at places like Google, The Economist, Harvard University and more about how to leverage the latest tech advancements to build an intelligent—and successful—company.
3. Epic International Summit (March 26-28) Santa Barbara, California
Are you looking to grow your creative leadership skills? If so, then this annual three-day conference is for you. The Epic International Summit brings professionals from a wide range of industries and locations together for workshops, activities and sessions that ignite both creativity and innovation. The event stresses experiential learning and puts an emphasis on disconnecting from the fast-paced, over-complicated world (speakers and attendees are asked to go tech-free during the conference). You’ll hear from thought-leaders at organizations like Disney, NASA, Lionsgate Films and more. If you go, be sure to look out for Seed’s Cherri Prince who has been invited to speak at the conference about key insights from Seed’s SheQ™ Study.
4. Front End of Innovation Conference (May 4-6) Boston, Massachusetts
This three-day event offers unprecedented access to top innovators, tech evangelists, project and product managers, designers and R&D executives—connecting attendees with the people, insights and strategies they need to systematically tackle the innovation process from ideation through execution. The conference features elite leaders from some of the world’s most ambitious companies (like Anheuser-Busch, Exxon, Target and Volvo) speaking on how to generate the momentum needed to create transformative products, services and business models.
5. Social Innovation Summit(June 2-3) Washington, D.C.
Described as “a global convening of black swans and wayward thinkers,” this annual event puts an emphasis on action and an unapologetic push towards scale. The summit brings together leaders in technology, investment, philanthropy, international development, and business to investigate solutions and catalyze inspired partnerships that are committed to disrupting history. Past speakers include leaders from TOMS, Discovery Education, YouTube, Sephora and Nike.
6. 99U (June 3-5) New York City, New York
Powered by Adobe, this vibrant conference with main stage talks, expert-led breakout sessions, hands-on workshops and organized networking events, offers one-of-a-kind live experiences that inspire creative professionals to bring their ideas to life. This year, the conference will focus on what it means to be a “creative”—helping you unpack your creative identity, explore how to establish purpose, find ways to nurture your talents and redefine success on your own terms. Oh, and this conference is known for its killer closing party. So, if you are passionate about putting ideas into action and you like to have fun doing so, then you will love this conference. Be sure to sign up in advance as seats are limited.
7. Future Festival (September 15-17) Toronto, Canada
Billed as a place for the world’s top innovators to prototype their future, this three-day world summit hosted by Trend Hunter (a top trend firm) features engaging presentations, personalized innovation assessments and one-on-one consultations—plus the opportunity to engage in the same workshops that NASA used to prototype its mission to Mars. This conference will inspire you with next-level trends and consumer insights that will help you accelerate your future innovations. Plus, if you can’t make it to the main event, Future Festival is hosting one-day super sessions in several other locations throughout the year.
Here’s the list of Super Sessions for 2020:
Seattle (Feb 3)
Minneapolis (Feb 5)
Orlando (Feb 7)
New York (March 12)
Los Angeles (March 17)
Boston (March 23)
Cincinnati (March 25)
Atlanta (March 27)
San Francisco (May 4)
Austin (May 6)
Mexico City (May 8)
Barcelona (June 22)
London (June 24)
8. HLTH (October 11-14) Las Vegas
With 7,000+ attendees and more than 300 speakers, HLTH is the leading innovation conference for professionals in the health industry. This conference brings together senior leaders from payers, providers, employers, startups, pharma, policy makers and innovation centers to solve the most pressing problems and to create the future of health.
9. Fast Company Innovation Festival (Fall 2020, Date TBD) New York, New York
The Fast Company Innovation Festival features a full slate of talks by big-name speakers, immersive hands-on workshops and Fast Tracks field trips—intimate, behind-the-scenes tours of some of the most dynamic companies in NYC. The flexible format of this weeklong conference allows attendees to craft their own inspiring agendas, mixing creativity, design, leadership, social good, tech and more for a uniquely customized experience.
10. Harvest Summit (Fall 2020, Date TBD) Sonoma County, California
Say bye-bye to the ballroom and hello to the fertile terroir of California’s wine country. Break out of industry silos and collaborate with a diverse group of leaders in technology, media, entertainment, food, wine and agriculture—all at one of the most beautiful places on the planet. This summit aims to facilitate the cross-pollination of inspiring ideas and a continuous exchange of transferable insights from a variety of outstanding leaders in their respective fields in order to spark innovation that can change the world. You’ll see attendees from a wide range of companies (including Nest, NBC, Impossible Foods, Instagram, MGM, and Visa) and hear talks from leaders at organizations like Apple, Audi, Accenture, Google, Sales Force, James Beard Foundation and more. Uniting innovators and influencers together with chefs, winemakers and artisans to discuss everything from raising capital, igniting transformational change and making a social impact, this inspirational one-day conference is sure to leave both your stomach and mind full… and happy.
The Harvest Summit is by invitation only. Click here to request an invitation or make a nomination.
So, which of these innovation conferences sounds the most inspirational to you? Will you be attending any of them? Are there any others you think we should add to the list? We’d love to hear from you—drop me an email or connect with me on LinkedIn.
Creativity conferences more your thing? Check out our list of 6 top creativity conferences you can attend in 2020.
CES has come and gone—and it was epic! Explore our articles on 4 top tech takeaways and other inspirational insights from the event.
Jeff Johns is SVP, Creative at Seed Strategy where he consistently delivers breakthrough creative at lightning speed across a wide range of best-in-class design practices: packaging, branding, shelf aisle optimization and advertising.
Edited by Adam Siegel. In addition to being the Editor of The Accelerator, Adam is a Creative Director at Seed Strategy where he draws upon his diverse experience in advertising, research and innovation to craft breakthrough creative and winning concept copy.
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