Events and conferences are a great way for employees to recharge, regain passion, and find a new perspective on their work. However, one of the perks of traditional conferences has always been the in-person networking and energy—and with social distancing guidelines extending into 2021, many conferences are remaining virtual.
While you may pause at the thought of participating in business conferences as a virtual attendee, a recent study found that people who had attended a virtual event were 51% more likely to attend one again. Think about it—your virtual meeting can be just as enriching and accessible from your couch or office.
These aren’t your run-of-the-mill video calls. COVID-19 adjustments mean that the best selection of professional conferences are easily accessible and affordable virtually. Many of these events are discounted or free, and there’s no added travel to tack on.
We’ve compiled a list of best virtual conference options that you won’t want to miss. Take a look and find one—or more—that is right for you.
Best virtual business conferences of 2021
|Past Virtual Conferences|
|Influencer Marketing Conference||February 17, 2021|
|Developer Week Virtual||February 17-19, 2021|
|Collision From Home||April 20-22, 2021|
|Social Media Week||May, June, July, 2021|
|The Accounting & Finance Show||May 18-19, 2021|
|Upcoming Virtual Conferences|
|AICPA & CIMA Engage 2021||June 7-10, 2021|
|Gartner Data & Analytics Summit||June 8-9, 2021|
|MozCon Virtual||July 12-14, 2021|
|ProductLed Summit||July 28-29, 2021/ongoing|
|Gartner Marketing Symposium||August 31-September 2|
|Momentum||October 27-28, 2021|
|Digital Summit Series||Ongoing|
AICPA & CIMA Engage 2021: June 7-10
Cost: $845-2,245 | Register here
Are you an accountant? This is probably the best virtual conference for you. Engage boasts of the greatest depth and breadth of specialized instruction for improving your CPAs and Management Accountants. A variety of focus areas ensure that attendees from any field can enjoy learning in a variety of finance areas, such as accounting and auditing, estate planning, corporate finance, tax strategies, career development, and more.
Access passes vary, allowing attendees the level of access and credits that best suit their needs and schedule within the virtual event platform. The cheapest option will give you online access to 10 sessions from the conference and 10-15 credits, while the premium pass gives you onsite and online access to all conference offerings and up to 34 credits.
Gartner Data & Analytics Summit June 8-9
Cost: $1,325 | Register here
Gartner is a strong virtual event platform that can help your team building and attendee development. The markets and technology all around us constantly change, but keeping a finger on the pulse of data and analytics can prevent your business from getting left behind. From entry level techs to your Chief Data Officer, Gartner Data & Analytics Summit promises to inform you of the latest developments in data collection, AI application, and organization.
Breakout sessions allow attendees to connect with others in similar roles or with similar challenges. This virtual conference is organized into six tracks to best meet the needs of your unique business, including leadership and data architecture.
MozCon Virtual: July 12-14
Cost: $129 | Register here
Looking to boost your digital marketing prowess in 2021? MozCon touts itself as “not your typical marketing conference“, and they’re right. MozCon is hosted by Moz, a renowned Seattle-based search and content platform. Past speakers include experts such as Moz and SparkToro founder Rand Fishkin, Wil Reynolds of Seer Interactive, and Dr. Marie Haynes.
So if you want to learn more about SEO, paid search, content marketing, digital PR, social strategies, conversion optimization, and more, virtual meeting registration is $129—a full $1,000 less than in-person attendance. A digital MozCon ticket includes all Birds of a Feather discussion groups via video conferencing, live virtual meeting session Q&A, and full access to the MozCon recordings.
To top it all off, MozCon donates some of the proceeds to charity.
ProductLed Summit: July 28-29
Cost: Free | Get your ticket
ProductLed Summit is an expert-driven, on-demand virtual conference platform for all things product. They aim to support businesses by helping them discover the following:
- What it means to be product-led
- If your business should develop a product-led strategy
- How to create a product-led growth strategy
- Key metrics and tracking
ProductLed Summit is an entirely virtual meeting, and on-demand. But the best part is that you can reap the benefits of all the expert discussions and keynote speakers with a totally free ticket. If you’re looking to expand your knowledge of product strategy for multiple departments in your business, ProductLed Summit is the perfect way to educate and explore new options.
Gartner Marketing Symposium: August 31-September 2
Cost: $1,250 | Sign up
“Marketers are resilient. They continue to blaze a new path forward in these unprecedented times. Join us for our showcase of thought leadership on how you can fortify your marketing strategy for the continued uncertainty to come.” – Cassandra Nordlund, Director, Advisory, and Conference Chair
This marketing symposium is a forward-thinking approach to developing your marketing strategy through innovation, data, leadership, and knowledge. The strongest feature of this marketing conference is the CMO Circle, a program specifically for Chief Marketing Officers to tackle the biggest challenges of ever-changing marketing strategies in 2021.
#FinCon21: September 22-25
Cost: Starts at $250 virtual and $275 in-person | Buy a pass
FinCon is producing a hybrid event this year—allowing in-person attendance in Austin with virtual attendance from your own home. This is the best virtual event platform for anyone involved in the world of Personal Finance (fondly called Money Nerds), from tech to influencers, can find something new and interesting at this jam-packed finance conference.
Important features of #FinCon21 are keynotes, breakout sessions (virtually and in-person), success labs, and coaching for promoting and monetizing your finance-related business. Upgrading to the Pro Pass gives you additional access and 1:1 networking meetings.
Momentum: October 27-28
Cost: TBD | Sign up for the prospectus
The theme of this year’s Momentum Reuters Event is “Improving Lives Through Technology,” and will include more than 60 speakers and 15,000 attendees via video conferencing. You’ll hear from Chief Technology Officers from Google, Bank of America, Ford, Cargill, and more. It’s the most jam-packed online meeting an attendee could hope for.
One of the most attractive features of Momentum is their networking concierge service, which will ensure that you have the opportunity to meet other influential business connections in a one-on-one environment—critical when you’re missing the in-person aspects of business conferences.
Digital Summit Series: Ongoing
Cost: $175 | Register here
After the success of their 2020 Digital Summit at Home, a whole series of virtual events has been launched in 2021 with a wider variety of topics and speakers. Most of their conferences are three day events with interactive networking spaces, breakout sessions, and guest speakers from Fortune 500 companies like Nike, Salesforce, and Amazon. The agenda covers a wide range of marketing topics from adapting to the new normal, becoming data driven in your approach, and beefing up your social media approach.
“I had such an intense amount of thinking, dreaming, and learning at Digital Summit.” —@aholmaas
Past virtual conferences
Influencer Marketing Conference: February 17
Influencer Marketing is back with a free one-day conference with over 25 speakers all focusing on the power of influencer marketing for your business. Speakers include Jasira Zondervan, Influencer Marketing and Social Media Manager of Universal Music, Claudia Tezcan, Senior Communications manager of Dove Global, and Curtis Midkiff, Brand Building Social Strategy Leader at Kroger.
This is the best virtual conference for businesses focusing on social media and influencer relationships. Some breakout sessions cover producing content, navigating the world of social media, and influencing—check out the agenda here.
Developer Week Virtual: February 17-19
Cost: $100+ | Register here
Developer Week Global is the largest developer and engineering online conference, and it’s going virtual for the very first time. There are a myriad of sessions to attend, including API innovation, developer technology, and global development management.
Developer Week will be hosting more than 250 keynotes this year. There are more than 15 conferences and tracks as a part of Developer Week, allowing you to narrow your focus to what you’d like to learn and experience. Developer Week will also include a two week Hackathon and a two day virtual expo on February 18 and 19th.
Collision From Home: April 20-22nd
Cost: $49 | Register here
Politico called Collision “the Olympics of tech.” By using the Collision app, over 32,000 attendees connected with companies and participants across the globe during the 2020 conference. There will be over 350 speakers attending the conference, including Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister of Canada), Parag Agrawal (CTO of Twitter), and Brad Smith (President of Microsoft).
“Investors attended in droves looking for that gem in the rough, and gems there were.” – Forbes
Early bird registration allows you to nab a ticket for just under $49, with discounts if you buy in a three- or five-pack bundle. The VIP pass ($999) includes access to every single resource and a special networking session. You can take a look at previous events in this quick 1 minute recap.
Social Media Week: May, June, and October, 2021
Cost: $500 | Register here
Social Media Week or #SMW, is a free four-week marketing conference with 300 speakers and more than 100 hours of live-streamed sessions. With over 10,000 registered participants, #SMW will feature three flagship conferences: New York City in May, Los Angeles in June, and London in October. For every pass purchased, #SMWONE will give a pass to a small business, non-profit, or student professional impacted by COVID-19.
With speakers like Gary Vaynerchuk (chairman of VynerX) and Rachel Tipograph (founder and GEO of MikMak) Social Media Week surely won’t disappoint. Breakout sessions include topics like encompassing brand leadership, emerging trends, and marketing with an influence.
The cost of the conference includes intractable and OnDemand breakout sessions, speaker presentations, and 12 months of access to SMW insider: their online video platform with 450 hours of exclusive interviews. Take a look at their social channels to get key conference updates every Wednesday at 12pm EDT.
The Accounting & Finance Show: May 18-19
Cost: Free | Register here
Proclaiming itself to be “The Largest Independent Accounting & Finance Conference and Exhibition”, The Accounting & Finance Show is remaining virtual in 2021. Catering to accountants, bookkeepers, CFOs, and other finance professionals through eight top areas and 100 presentations, perhaps it really is the largest independent accounting conference.
You can register for free and learn from business leaders in relevant industries to help you improve your practice. Speakers are still being chosen, and you can apply here to be a presenter.
Tune in and develop your skills
Virtual conferencing, webinars, and online events are a great way to learn new industry skills, recharge, and connect with fellow attendees. While it can feel difficult to maintain a growth mindset in this unprecedented time, these conferences are sure to motivate you to keep moving forward.