The Ultimate List of Can’t-Miss Virtual Events and Conferences for 2021

March 16, 2021
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Virtual events are bigger and more frequent than ever before. And as experts in the field, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of all the virtual events you DON’T want to miss this year. Get those calendars ready! It’s time to register for the must-attend virtual events and conferences of 2021.

In 2020, many businesses had to make a quick swap to virtual if they wanted to save their events. This year, they were afforded some prep time to really make an impact on the virtual front. About 73% of event planners said they have been able to successfully pivot their event to virtual, and 71% say they plan to continue to use a digital strategy once they can return to in-person events.

Event organizers have witnessed the value of virtual, and they want to keep their remote audience. Virtual attendees are changing their opinions as well, with 57% believing they can conduct the majority of their event objectives online. As event planners discover more advanced virtual event platforms and tools, attendees are sure to find that their goals are more often being met or exceeded from virtual options.

Discover all your can’t-miss virtual event options this year as planners and attendees continue to explore the remote possibilities. The conscious effort to focus on virtual in 2021 instead of waiting to plan in-person or hybrid events may result in quite the virtual experience.

Virtual Events and Conferences 2021

January 2021 Virtual Events

NameHostDateIndustryDescription
CESConsumer Technology AssociationJan. 11-14TechnologyCES likes to kick off the start of the year and set the tone for the consumer industry. This year it offers its first all-digital show. The annual trade show, which began in 1967, features presentations and product introductions in the consumer electronics industry, touching on “every aspect of the tech sector.”

Historically, CES has introduced many important tech products on its stages, including VCRs in 1970 and the Microsoft Xbox in 2001. Leaders from Google, Twitter, Microsoft, Vox Media, and the WNBA are some of the featured speakers at this year’s event.

Opex Week: Business Transformation World SummitInternational Quality and Productivity CenterJan. 25-29BusinessEncouraging businesses to adapt to the ever-changing work environment, OPEX Week offers discussions, debates, and demonstrations to help attendees navigate uncharted territory.

This is its first year going global, with a 100% virtual experience. Network with peers around the world to learn new operating models and work to make your business as resilient as possible — with optimal growth. Speakers include experts from Goldman Sachs, Sprint, Twitter, and AT&T.

February 2021 Virtual Events

NameHostDateIndustryDescription
DeveloperWeekDevNetworkFeb. 17-19TechnologyMore than 8,000 developers will gather for this virtual event, broken down into more than 15 conferences and tracks. This is the first year DeveloperWeek will be hosted online. 

Tracks include API, AI and machine learning, Javascript, DevOps, and many more. Hear from experts at Microsoft, IBM, Citrix, and Oracle. Network, learn, and join the hackathon for some fun challenges.

Influencer Marketing ConferenceInfluencer Marketing WorldFeb. 17MarketingInfluencers have quite an impact on consumers today, and businesses eager to tap into this trend can learn valuable insights at the Influencer Marketing Conference.

Marketing and social media topics include authentic engagement, emerging platforms, audience targeting, crisis control, budget management, and more. Speakers include marketing leaders from Universal Music, Lancome, Colgate-Palmolive, and Dove Global.

Social Media Strategies SummitGlobal Strategic Management InstituteFeb. 25-26MarketingMarketing professionals from Starbucks, Ocean Spray, and Nickelodeon are among the many speakers who will share their successful social media strategies.

Learn how to leverage their success for your own brand, complete with live Q&A sessions, a networking lounge, and one-on-one meetings with fellow attendees.

International Digital Fashion WeekFNL NetworkFeb. 25FashionA prime example of how various industries adapted to the pandemic, International Digital Fashion Week was created so designers from all over the world could continue to share their work.

Download the app and unlock access to the work of more than 100 designers. The program will stay on the platform for six months.

Social media strategy on your mind? Check out 19 Social Media Tips for Event Promotion

March 2021 Virtual Events

NameHostDateIndustryDescription
Microsoft IgniteMicrosoftMarch 2-4Technology & DesignMicrosoft decided to split its Ignite event into two parts, with the first part taking place in September 2020, and the second part March 2-4. Both parts are global, digital events.

A statement from Microsoft said in place of its usual Ignite Tour, they are leveraging the benefits of virtual events to bring the global Microsoft community together. They will provide opportunities for local community meetups and skill building with Microsoft Learn and certifications.

On March 2-4, listen to the experts at Microsoft discuss the latest technology, schedule a one-on-one consultation, and collaborate with your community.

SXSW EDU OnlineSXSWMarch 9-11EducationClosely followed by the popular SXSW event, SXSW EDU’s focus is on cultivating and empowering the community to advance teaching and learning.

While the organization traditionally hosts its annual EDU event in Austin, Texas, it does host smaller community events online and in-person. But both SXSW and SXSW EDU are hosting their main events fully virtually this year.

The keynote speakers at SXSW EDU are set to include Oprah Winfrey and Chris Evans. In addition to the keynotes, there will be film screenings, showcases, networking, and exhibitions.

SXSW OnlineSXSWMarch 16-20Technology & DesignSXSW usually consists of a huge, in-person festival that brings together the latest innovations in the realms of technology, film, media, and music. This year, they are hosting SXSW Online, which will feature keynotes and sessions, film screenings, music showcases, networking, and exhibitions available to a wider virtual audience. Some of the speakers will include Stacey Abrams, Mayim Bialik, Mary J. Blige, and James Cameron.
AI in Healthcare Virtual SummitRe-WorkMarch 25-26Technology & HealthListen to experts who will share how to use AI in health companies large and small. From practical examples and real-world case studies, learn how AI is delivering more productive and efficient care. Best of all, you can participate in interactive Q&As and roundtable discussions.

Purchasing one ticket will give you access to two tracks: Implementation of AI in Healthcare, and AI in Healthcare and Pharma. This virtual summit is recommended for healthcare professionals, data scientists and engineers, founders, investors, and CTOs.

April 2021 Virtual Events

NameHostDateIndustryDescription
11th International Learning Analytics and Knowledge Conference (LAK21)Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR)April 12-16EducationLAK21 is taking its second fully digital opportunity to create an engaging, interactive conference that builds on the success of its first, LAK20, and makes it even better. LAK20 was supposed to be a hybrid event, and within 10 days had to be fully converted to virtual-only.

SoLAR’s goal is to explore the role and impact of analytics on teaching, learning, training, and development, and they are working to create a vibrant conference that enhances social engagement.

Midwest Digital Marketing ConferenceUSML BusinessApril 26-29MarketingBeginning in 2013, the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference has grown to become the largest in the Midwest and now draws in-demand speakers.

The first two days of the conference will include workshops and an academic summit, while the final two days will feature 14 speakers. Live sessions will be accompanied by more than 70 on-demand breakout sessions on topics such as social media, ecommerce, content marketing, and strategy. This year’s speakers include leaders from TikTok and Fox Communications.

Auto#DigitalWeekDigital Automotive MeetingsApril 26-30AutomotiveFeaturing a virtual exhibition, online B2B meetings, and webinars, Auto#DigitalWeek is an entire week dedicated to exploring the global automotive supply chain.

Network with peers in chats and use the matchmaking platform to schedule online B2B meetings with contacts of your choice. Speakers include leaders from Jaguar, Deloitte, Siemens, and Mercedes-Benz, with topics related to the pandemic’s effects on the industry, technology, and women in engineering.

CollisionCollisionApril 20-22Technology & DesignConsidered one of the world’s biggest tech conferences, Collision is a highly anticipated event with more than 40,000 attendees around the world. With a constant stream of quick sessions ranging from technology and digital media to culture, music, and politics, Collision believes in the simple power of bringing everyone together.

Ample networking opportunities with its thousands of guests have left past attendees with fresh perspectives and inspiration. Event partners include AWS, Slack, and Microsoft, and this year’s speakers include Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jameela Jamil, and leaders from Walmart, Headspace, and Impossible Foods.

Adobe Summit — The Digital Experience ConferenceAdobeApril 27-29Technology & DesignThis year’s Adobe Summit is a free virtual event with more than 200 sessions and training workshops. The 11 session tracks include topics such as the Adobe Experience Platform, B2B marketing, analytics, campaign management, content creation, trends, and more. 

You’ll learn the best practices from top brands on everything from data and personalization to marketing automation. Last year’s speakers included the CEOs of Microsoft, Chegg, and Best Buy, but this year’s speakers have yet to be announced.

Red Hat SummitRed HatApril 27-28Technology & DesignHailed as “the ultimate open source technology event,” Red Hat Summit has big plans for 2021. Starting with an immersive virtual experience, attendees will be able to hear the latest news, ask questions to tech experts, and hear from customers around the world. 

Red Hat also is planning a world tour of small-scale, in-person events, so you’ll be sure to hear more about that, too.

Want to create your own on-demand event content? Read More: How To Create and Transform Webinars Into an Always-on Demand Generation Strategy

May 2021 Virtual Events

NameHostDateIndustryDescription
Social Media Week New YorkAdweekMay 4-7Marketing#SMWNYC is a worldwide virtual event for leaders in social media marketing. Its goal is to serve as the “central meeting point” for the entire social media marketing industry. 

Speakers from Google, VICE Media, Peloton, TikTok, and more will share their tips, ideas, and best practices. Attendees can participate in main stage talks, panel debates, fireside conversations, academy classes, product demos, networking events, and more.

Content tracks will include relevant, timely topics such as storytelling and creativity, society and culture, and emerging trends.

IMPACTDeloitteMay 10-13Human ResourcesIMPACT works to delve into the latest technologies, trends, and research driving the future of Human Resources. In its 14th year, IMPACT’s new virtual experience will include “immersives:” curated content and activities that allow participants to learn and problem solve.

There will be plenty of networking opportunities and wellness sessions, too, and attendees will be able to peruse a 3D exhibitor gallery and click to chat.

WSJ The Future of Everything FestivalThe Wall Street JournalMay 11-13Technology & CultureThree days of unscripted interviews and interactive workshops will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn and collaborate with entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, and athletes.

Themes include technology, culture, style, money, and health. The Future of Everything aims to be an “intersection of industries,” with speakers from Delta Air Lines, Poshmark, OnlyFans, and more.

Accounting & Finance ShowTerrapinnMay 18-19FinanceThis independent accounting and finance conference has blossomed to include more than 7,000 attendees and 100 expert speakers. Topic areas include digital innovation, accounting and bookkeeping, practice management, and taxes.

Network, see demos from more than 50 software startups and showcase your own solutions with a speaking slot or exhibition booth.

Running RemoteRunning RemoteMay 21Human ResourcesRunning Remote is aimed at those with a remote-first company or a remote team within a hybrid or traditional company. Learn the tools and strategies you need to build successful remote teams.

Running Remote held its first event in 2018, and with the swap to virtual events in 2020, the company’s new goal was to design an experience that breaks barriers and aligns with everyone’s emotional worlds. With the tagline “not just another webinar,” Running Remote’s virtual platform has advanced features to push for meaningful human bonds.

June 2021 Virtual Events

NameHostDateIndustryDescription
ENGAGE 2021AICPA & CIMAJune 7-10FinanceTaking into account the major challenges and developments of 2020, ENGAGE 2021 is focusing on the new opportunities of the year — and they are confident no other event will provide what they can. Covering a wide range of focus areas including advanced accounting, corporate finance, sports and entertainment management, and estate planning, ENGAGE wants to push attendees to reimagine their future while improving skills.

Offering exclusive insights and networking opportunities, you can choose the level of access you need.

World Conference 2021: It’s About TimeInternational Association of Business Communicators (IABC)June 28-30CommunicationsThe IABC’s 2021 World Conference is a virtual event focusing on “collective strength” and the ability to impact the world around us. Discussions will center on the continuous state of change we’re currently experiencing, what’s next, and how we can accomplish it.

The event will include networking opportunities, breakout sessions, and workshops. Last year, organizers had to make a quick shift from in-person to virtual for the conference. This year, they decided to focus on bettering the virtual experience in the midst of the pandemic, instead of trying to schedule the event when in-person gatherings became possible once again.

July 2021 Virtual Events

NameHostDateIndustryDescription
EdMedia + Innovate LearningAssociation for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)July 6-8EducationThis annual, international conference is a forum for all things related to innovation and education. Live keynotes, Q&As, workshops, and virtual sessions will define a week of cutting-edge research aimed at educators and researchers.

Topics include everything from advanced technologies for learning and teaching to ultra-relevant discussions on virtual and distance learning. This is its first time going virtual, but there’s a big emphasis on the live aspects, which are meant to maintain the face-to-face connections you would get at an in-person event.

MozConMozJuly 12-14MarketingLed by “Ringmaster Roger,” learn the latest in SEO, search marketing, mobile, and conversion optimization from industry leaders. Aimed at everyone from beginners to experts, attendees say they leave with fresh ideas and new skills.

Their speaker lineup is TBD — so keep an eye on the event page for updates. This year’s all-virtual format was planned in an effort to keep all attendees safe, yet still able to connect and enjoy all MozCon has to offer.

Annual Modeling and Simulation Conference (ANNSIM)The Society for Modeling and Simulation International (SCS)July 19-22Modeling & SimulationANNSIM is a new conference that was created by merging SpringSim and SummerSim. This will be a hybrid event, covering state-of-the-art developments in Modeling and Simulation.

Keynote speakers will include technology and industry leaders, and there will also be vendor exhibits, technical sessions, and professional development tutorials. Anyone who develops or uses Modeling and Simulation methods and tools is invited to participate or present their original contributions during the conference.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out Using Event Marketing to Drive Growth in 2021

August 2021 Virtual Events

NameHostDateIndustryDescription
Distance Teaching & Learning Conference (DT&L)University of Wisconsin-MadisonAug. 2-5EducationConnect with distance educators, trainers, practitioners, and administrators from around the world and hear about the best tools, products, and services that are enhancing productivity and online practice.

Throughout more than 100 sessions, you can learn, network, and share your own experiences. DT&L emphasizes evidence-based practice and innovation within distance and online learning.

Ai4 2021: Exploring Artificial Intelligence Across IndustryAi4Aug. 17-19TechnologyAi4 brings together business leaders and data practitioners in efforts to spread artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to various industries.

All speakers will be people who are actively involved in artificial intelligence projects. Last year’s lineup included speakers from UCLA, John Hopkins Healthcare, UPS, and T-Mobile.

September 2021 Virtual Events

NameHostDateIndustryDescription
FinCon 2021FinConSept. 22-25FinanceFinCon, simply put, is aimed at anyone creating personal finance content on the Internet, including bloggers, YouTubers, coaches, podcasters, authors, and social media influencers. The goal is to bring the community together to connect and collaborate. 

Currently, the event is going hybrid: You can attend virtually or in-person. Regardless of how you want to attend (the in-person event is in Austin, Texas), virtual attendees will also have access to networking opportunities and will be able to attend the opening party and all main stage speaking events.

Open Source SummitThe Linux FoundationSept. 28-Oct. 1TechnologyThe North American Open Source Summit, scheduled for August, was cancelled due to the pandemic. The company then decided to shift its efforts instead to the European event, which now has taken on a global focus and become a hybrid event. An in-person component will take place in Dublin, Ireland, but attendees can participate virtually from anywhere in the world.

As you can see, in 2021 companies still are continuing to shift and learn how to incorporate virtual components. In short, this event connects the entire open source ecosystem under one roof, allowing for collaborations between developers, admins, architects, and more.

October 2021 Virtual Events

NameHostDateIndustryDescription
INBOUNDHubspotOct. 12-14MarketingWidely hailed in the marketing world, INBOUND’s purpose is to provide the inspiration, education, and connections that attendees need to grow their businesses. More than 70,000 people attended the 2020 digital experience, which included speakers John Legend, Kerry Washington, and Bob Iger.

The 2020 content library is still available on their website for you to peruse while you wait for 2021’s special announcements. If last year’s digital event pulled in that many guests, we can only imagine what this year’s event can do.

November 2021 Virtual Events

NameHostDateIndustryDescription
Web SummitWeb SummitNov. 1-4TechnologyWhile the Web Summit team is hopeful they can hold their event in person by November, they will have a virtual option as well.

Called “the world’s largest technology conference,” Web Summit aims to bring together the people and companies redefining the global tech industry. Speakers this year include tennis player Serena Williams and leaders from Zoom, Facebook, PayPal, and 23andMe.

MOMENTUMReuters EventsNov. 2-3TechnologyAt MOMENTUM, more than 10,000 attendees and 60 speakers join together with the goal to build a better future through technology and overcome global challenges. MOMENTUM wants to provide a platform for tech innovators to share their insights and perspectives on how technology can positively shape our future.

Speakers will include leaders from Bank of America, Google, Ford, Zoom, and John Hopkins University. Discussions will include responsible AI, technology in healthcare, lessons learned from the pandemic, and much more.

AWS re:InventAmazon Web Services (AWS)Nov. 29-Dec. 3TechnologyHear the latest news from AWS leaders about customers, products, and services. Last year’s speakers discussed how AWS solves today’s difficult technology problems and how they think differently about reliability and efficiency.

Check out their website for highlights from 2020’s event and to subscribe for updates to this year’s as they become available.

December 2021 Virtual Events

NameHostDateIndustryDescription
OEBCloserStill MediaDec. 1-3EducationOEB (Online Educa Berlin) is an international event focused on how technology can support learning. Discussions center on the most important developments and trends that shape the future of learning in the corporate, education, and public service sectors.

More than 140 sessions and keynote speakers from around the globe will offer attendees new perspectives and ideas.

 

Choose the Perfect Platform for Your Virtual Events in 2021

Feeling inspired to plan your own can’t-miss virtual event or conference in 2021? You need the right platform. Fortunately, there’s SpotMe. Whether you are planning a huge hybrid extravaganza or are sticking to virtual events for 2021, SpotMe can support your goals and then some. 

Create an immersive experience for your viewers, with a blend of live and on-demand content. Seamlessly incorporate Q&As and word cloud features to engage your audience and interact with them. Gamification options keep your content fresh and relevant by setting up tasks, driving actions, and allowing people to trade points for prizes.

Set up breakout rooms for workshops and brainstorming sessions, and make sure everything is perfectly personalized to put your brand and sponsors on display. Keeping attendees engaged and fulfilled is simple with SpotMe.

During and after your successful event, you can keep track the whole time with reporting and analytics. This will drive the success of future events, because you’ll know exactly what kept people engaged and what might need a boost for next time.

If you’re ready to give SpotMe a try for your next virtual or hybrid event, contact us right away to request a demo or learn more. Dig into the platform and see the possibilities for yourself.

Planning your own event? Check out the One Event Marketing Plan to Rule Them All.

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