Business professionals sitting at event.
For great leaders, personal and professional development is an ongoing process. As a new year brings new players and new ideas to the table, business leaders need to be prepared to face a new set of challenges as well.
Leadership conferences offer a great way to connect with other minds and work together to make the business world a better place. I’ve spoken at several of the conferences listed below, and I’ve talked to many keynote speakers about the events they feel leaders must attend. By choosing strong events to attend in 2020, you can set yourself and your business up for success.
Here are a few conferences that can do that for you:
1. EY Strategic Growth Forum; date and location TBA
EY’s invitation-only CEO event certainly has a prestigious pedigree, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of touch. The Strategic Growth Forum 2019 was a four-day conference packed with helpful breakout sessions and all-star speakers like Ariana Huffington, Nicole Kidman, and Alex Morgan — the conference’s 2020 iteration is sure to pack the same punch. Each year’s conference also concludes with the annual Entrepreneur of the Year award; I was a regional award recipient in 2016. The experience was something I will never forget as one of my favorite moments as an entrepreneur.
2. Summit at Sea; May 28-31; International Waters (sails from Port Everglades, Florida)
It’s not just a gimmick — the Summit at Sea really makes the most of the fact that the entire conference is held on one ship. Though the conference boasts 1,700 annual attendees, the space makes it feel remarkably intimate. Add to that a history of speakers ranging from Richard Branson to Kendrick Lamar, and 2020’s Summit at Sea is poised to be the most valuable cruise you’ll ever take.
3. Inc. 5000 Conference; date and location TBA
The annual Inc. 5000 list is an invaluable tool for seeing what the business landscape looks like right now and what it might look like in the coming years, and the annual Inc. 5000 conference is a great way to get that kind of insight in person. By bringing together many of the country’s best and brightest entrepreneurs, the Inc. 5000 event ensures opportunities for networking and growth that few other conferences can rival.
4. The Human Gathering; April 2-4; Malibu, California
On first glance, The Human Gathering barely sounds like a conference: an invitation-only event with no schedules, recordings, or speakers is a far cry from the hotel convention centers of the past. But that’s just what makes The Human Gathering so special — by shedding everything that makes traditional conferences so laborious and tiresome, The Human Gathering makes genuine connection possible. It may seem unconventional, but that level of discretion, privacy, and respect allows attendees to be more comfortable and candid than they could be anywhere else.
5. Forbes Under 30 Global Women’s Summit; Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, with August date TBA
The Under 30 Global Women’s Summit has earned a reputation as the world’s greatest event for young female entrepreneurs. With a track record of world-famous speakers, exciting locations, and life-changing activities, the Under 30 Global Women’s Summit is a great venue for young women to connect with one another and form solutions to the problems they face in the workplace and beyond. Empowerment is the name of the game here.
6. Tugboat Institute Summit; June 23-25; Sun Valley, Idaho
If you haven’t heard of the Tugboat Institute Summit, it’s time you gave it a look. This annual event is exclusively for CEOs of “evergreen” companies — companies that focus on long-term benefits for society instead of nearsighted growth and profiteering. It’s not easy to be a business leader focused on the long game, so the Tugboat Institute Summit is an invaluable opportunity for meeting like-minded individuals who share your passion for making the world a better place.
7. Talent Development Think Tank; January 22-23; Sonoma, California
After wildfires forced a reschedule, 2019’s Talent Development Think Tank is now taking place in 2020 but remains as unmissable as ever. Taking place in the beautiful Hyatt Regency Sonoma, the Talent Development Think Tank comprises two days packed with opportunities for leaders, executives, and other professionals to consider the future of talent development. Whether it’s for the speakers, the networking, or the quiet of the countryside, talent development professionals are hardly lacking reasons to attend.
8. YPO Global Edge; March 5-6; San Diego, California
If you’re tired of conferences featuring the same business-focused topics and sets of familiar faces, you might want to take a look at YPO Global Edge. By inviting leaders from across the fields of science and academia, as well as business, YPO Global Edge puts an emphasis on collaboration and innovation that most conferences only hint at. Whether your business needs new leadership angles on data, sustainability, or something else entirely, YPO Global Edge can likely provide the perspective you need to tackle whatever problems you face.
9. World-Changing Women’s Summit; January 29-31; Sonoma, California
The name says it all here: This conference is for women who want to make the landscape a better place and are looking for a little help or guidance along the way. Focusing on both individual achievements and group support, the World-Changing Women’s Summit provides a space for women to zone in on their own goals while helping others do the same.
The new year will undoubtedly bring new challenges with it — challenges you need to be prepared to face. Conferences can be great opportunities to learn what these challenges might be and how you might face them. Find one that works for you and pack your bags — it’s time to take a vacation that will actually benefit your business.