happen on the same time, we decided to create a quick guide to picking the right conference to match your goals and field of interest. Found something you like? Just go to their website and learn more about the location, participants and the costs. Most conferences have special discounts for educators and entrepreneurs, and some are willing to waive the cost altogether if you fit a certain criteria.
From our experience, contacting the producers can save you up to thousands of dollars, and sometimes even provide you with some extra benefits, like we did in ASU GVS, where we got to pitch and even got a presentation table just because we asked to (disclaimer: ASU GSV voted examPAL as ‘amongst the 100 most important Venture/Growth stage companies in the broader learning & talent technology landscape’, so we must’ve caught their attention).
Another great idea - if you’re an entrepreneur or just an educator with a great idea on how to change the world (of education) - is to register for contests in the conferences you intend to go to. In just 4 months we won Google’s award at the DLD innovation festival in Tel Aviv, Reimagine Education European bronze in Philadelphia and LearnLaunch higher-ed award in Boston, and we’re in the SXSW finals this March in Austin. Not only did we receive abundance of global exposure, free PR and many partnership options, it saved us a lot of money on admission fees, presentation booths and other expenses.
So here’s the list with the most important edtech conferences taking place this year, divided into four main categories, according to their main focus:
Business-oriented conferences that bring together entrepreneurs and investors to discuss potential partnerships, investments and opportunities. The best places to get your startup the growth boost in needs.
BETT Europe - The largest European edtech tradeshow (over 35,000 visitors). January 24-27, London, UK.
LearnLaunch - Digital learning entrepreneurs, investors, admins. Well connected to Boston’s higher-ed ecosystem. February 1-2, Boston, MA, US.
SXSWedu - A true edtech festival. March 5-8, Austin, TX, US.
ASU+GSV - The most important edtech event in North America, attracting global companies, startups and investors from all around the globe. April 16-18, San Diego, CA, US.
BETT Middle East - The Middle-Eastern little sister of the British edtech tradeshow. April 23-24, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Connect - Canada’s largest edtech conference, from K-12 to higher-ed. April 24-27, Ontario, Canada.
Milken-Penn GSE - A rare kind of competition: an education-business plan competition. May 1, Philadelphia, PA, US.
BETT Brasil Educar - The largest edtech summit and tradeshow in Latin America. May 8-11, São Paulo, Brazil.
EdTechXEurope - The place for European entrepreneurs to find partnerships and investors. June 19, London, UK.
BETT Asia - A smaller edtech gathering than the British and Brazilian BETTs - far less global. November 19-20, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
To be determined (time and place):
Reimagine Education - showcasing startups and academic innovation.
TransformingEDU - World’s largest Edtech conference (over 150,000 attendees in 2017).
BETT Latin America - Latin America edtech summit & tradeshow
Teaching-oriented conferences focused and teaching tools, skill improvement and innovative teaching methods. Best for innovative teachers and institutions, and, of course, for companies with innovative products.
ELI - Multimedia and computing. January 29-31, New Orleans, LA, US.
ITC eLearning - IT leaders on developments in instructional tech. February 11-14, Tucson, AZ, US.
INTED - Educators’, developers’ and researchers’ project presentation. March 5-7, Valencia, Spain.
LAK - Analysts and analytics researchers. March 5-9, Sydney, Australia.
Digifest - Digital workshops and demonstrations. March 6-7, Birmingham, UK.
TLT - FREE event! Incorporating technology in teaching. March 15, Rolla, MO, US.
Innovations - Innovation at community colleges. March 18-21, National Harbor, MD, US.
OLC Innovate - Online learning, blended learning and emerging tech. April 18-20, Nashville, TN, US.
IMS Global - The future of teaching and learning technology. May 21-24 Baltimore, MD, US.
NYT Higher Ed Leaders - An invite-only event for higher-ed leaders. May 30-31, New York, NY, US.
Teaching Prof Tech - New tech pedagogy. June 1-3, Baltimore, MD, US.
UBTech - IT, AV and student success. June 4-6, Las Vegas, NV, US.
LearningHouse Connect - Online higher-ed. June 12-13, Louisville, KY, US.
NMC - Learning approaches and emerging technologies. June 12-14, Denver, CO, US.
OTC - Faculty staff and admins’ online solutions. June 18-20, Anaheim, CA, US.
EdMedia - Multimedia and distance learning. June 25-29, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
EDULEARN - Innovation in education. July 2-4 Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
Campus Technology - One of the most long-lasting events. July 23-26 Philadelphia, PA, US.
CLS - Digital media and learning. August 1-3, Cambridge, MA, US.
Digital Pedagogy Lab - Technology’s role in teaching. July 30-August 3, Fredericksburg, VA, US.
DT&L - Maybe the the most enduring distance learning event (over 30 years). August 7-9, Madison, WI, US.
E-Learn - Higher-ed, government and healthcare. October 15-18, Las Vegas, NV, US.
WCET - Incorporating technology into teaching and learning. October 22-24 Portland, OR, US.
EDUCAUSE - Education IT - one of the largest conferences. October 30-November 2, Denver, CO, US.
OLC Accelerate - Accelerating innovation in online learning. November 14-16, Orlando, FL, US.
POD - Over 40 years - edtech, teaching and research. November 14-18 Portland, OR, US.
OEB - Cross sector conference on technology support in learning and training. December 5-7 Berlin, Germany.
Community-oriented conferences focused on very specific needs of communities within the learning space. Great benefit if you’re part of the specific community, and a complete waste of time if you’re not.
DREAM - Community college. February 20-23 Nashville, TN, US.
ICTCM - College math. March 15-18, Washington D.C, US.
Engaging Employers for Student Success - Career development. March 21-23 Stuart, FL, US.
CNI (Spring) - Info tech and libraries. April 12-13, San Diego, CA, US.
OE Global - Open approaches to education. April 24-26 Delft, Netherlands.
CBExchange - Sharing resources and lessons. September 24-27 Lake Buena Vista, FL, US.
Quality Matters - Quality assurance in online education. October 30- November 2 St. Louis, MO, US.
Product-Oriented conferences focused on users of specific learning management systems. If you’re using the system - there’s always a lot of new stuff to learn and teach your team.
Ellucian Live - Ellucian. April 8-11 San Diego, CA, US.
BbWorld - Blackboard. July 16-19 Orlando, FL, US.
InstructureCon - Canvas. July 24-26 Keystone, CO, US.
D2L Fusion - Brightspace. July 25-27 Houston, TX, US.
With conferences throughout the year, on any aspect of the innovative places where education and technology meet, and with admission costs ranging from free to a few thousands of dollars, all that’s left to click on the conference’s name and find the best place for you to attend. Good luck!
Jack has 22 years' experience in the field of test prep - teaching over 4,000 students, writing dozens of books, courseware and course plans, and managing content teams. He is CEO and co-founder at examPAL, an online test prep solution that uses AI to personalize every aspect of the course.