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7 Conferences for Event Pros to Attend in 2020

By Katy Mullet | 3 min read

You’ve finished your busy season and it’s a whole new year– so what better way to dive into the new decade than by learning about the latest trends and networking with others event pros? Conferences for event pros are a great places to hear from industry experts and collect new ideas for your events program. 

Check out our roundup of the seven best conferences for event pros in 2020, then keep an eye out for us at the events we’ll be attending.

ESPA Annual Conference

January 10th-12th, 2020 in Denver, CO

The Event Service Professionals Association is all about helping you connect with other event pros. This year’s conference in Denver is focused on breaking out and getting facetime with your peers.

Highlights:

  • A leadership track for attendees that are Associate Directors or higher
  • Keynotes like Mount Everest climber Jim Davidson to talk about resilience and goal setting
  • Optional sightseeing tours to attractions like the Red Rocks Amphitheater

The Special Event + Catersource

March 9th-12th, 2020 in Las Vegas, NV

This year, The Special Event and Catersource have joined forces for the first time. This combined event will include a conference and trade show for event and catering professionals that you won’t want to miss. 

Highlights:

  • Over 500 suppliers and 8,500 attendees
  • 15 education tracks from over 200 people across the events industry
  • Parties and celebrations throughout the week at the best venues in Vegas

Come see us! We’ll be joining US Foods at their booth.

National Restaurant Association Show

May 16th-19th, 2020 in Chicago, IL

If you work in private dining or catering, you’ll want to attend this four-day event that focuses solely on food. With exhibit halls featuring food trends, products and emerging technologies, this conferences highlights the latest and greatest happenings in the industry. You’ll go home with a full education on all of this year’s hot topics. 

Highlights:

  • Demonstrations from celebrity chefs like Rick Bayless, Gerry Garvin and Kari Underly
  • Special events like Young Professional Networking and Star of the Bar mixologist competition
  • Thousands of attendees, five different education tracks and workshops for everyone

We’ll be there! Make sure to follow us on Instagram to find out more about our booth.

MPI WEC

June 6th-9th, 2020 in Grapevine, TX

Meeting Professionals International’s World Education Congress is known as one of the  premier education and networking conferences for event professionals. This year the theme is authentic events.

Highlights:

  • Entire conference is focused on career-enhancing education
  • Food sourced locally from near Dallas, TX
  • Past events have included live musical entertainment

IMEX America

September 15th-17th, Las Vegas, NV

This trade show and conference allow vendors to exhibit, network and learn on a global scale. If you help plan or host global business meetings, this conference is for you.

Highlights:

  • Ten education tracks depending on your interest
  • Over 150 countries represented
  • Learn the latest in event tech

Event Planner Expo

October 13th-15th, 2020 in New York City, NY

The Event Planner Expo is one of the few conferences of its kind on the East Coast, and offers its attendees three action-packed days. With a focus on building relationships, this conference will help you network and meet influencers within the industry.

Highlights:

  • Tips from experts across marketing, branding and event technology
  • Past speakers have included Gary Vaynerchuck and Barbara Corcoran
  • Exclusive parties and cocktail hours for networking with other attendees

Wedding MBA

November 17th-19th, 2020 in Las Vegas, NV

As the largest conference for wedding planning professionals, this two-and-a-half-day meetup is a can’t-miss. Seminars are focused on helping you take your business to the next level and cover topics like wedding trends, emerging technology and more. 

Highlights:

  • 5,000+ attendees to network with
  • Over 120 seminars with speakers from across the industry
  • Parties and events held by companies like The Knot

Now that you’re working on your own professional development, it’s a good time to set new goals for your events program, too. See how Gather can help you can bring your team into the new decade with transparency and insights that drive future business.

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Katy Mullet
Content Marketing Manager

I'm the Content Marketing Manager here at Gather. Outside of writing and creating campaigns, I love to try new restaurants here in Atlanta or wherever I'm traveling.

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