Corporate event planners and organizers know how to host phenomenal events and conferences, and when they come together to share emerging and original ideas, the sky’s the limit. When it comes to exciting experiences specifically tailored for event professionals, there’s a lot in store for 2023.

Ready to be inspired? Consider checking out one (or more) of these 2023 event planner conferences.

What are event planner conferences?

It doesn’t get more meta than event planning conferences—and they’re special events indeed. These types of shows are planned and hosted events where other event professionals go to learn, collaborate, develop business relationships, and discuss the state of the event planning industry (and its adjacent branches).

A meeting of the minds comes together at these types of events to discuss event marketing, event technology, innovations, revelations, data—you name it. And there’s a lot to choose from.

Each conference offers a tailored experience to a certain shared interest within the event planning space, and with so many planned shows for 2023, it can be hard to pick out which are worth attending.

Check out our top 15 picks for corporate event planner functions to attend in 2023, and why you won’t want to miss out.

The top 15 event planner conferences to attend in 2023

1. Connect Spring Marketplace

Date: April 11-13
Location: Las Vegas
Venue: The Venetian Resort

Connect Spring 2023 boasts over 190 exhibitors and 800 hosted buyers—a fitting lineup for their motto “where business gets done.” This year’s show is said to be an experience-heavy event. According to Connect, attendees can experience:

  • Connect’s signature one-on-one appointments
  • Top-of-the-line educational content
  • Exciting networking opportunities
  • A vibrant trade show floor overflowing with new business opportunities

2. Emerging Leaders by Northstar Meetings Group

Date: April 20-22
Location: Louisville, Ky.
Venue: The Galt House Hotel

With a focus on the next generation of meeting and incentive planners, this year’s Emerging Leaders event seeks to connect event professionals with pertinent suppliers that will be highly relevant throughout their careers.

Throughout the three days of the event, attendees will have a chance to build lasting relationships by networking, participating in collaborative content sessions, and touring venues. Further, it seems there will be some local flair afoot during planned social sessions, and Emerging Leaders are confident that attendees will leave with new, valuable ideas and strong professional relationships.

3. Event Tech Live (ETL)

Date: April 26-27
Location: Las Vegas
Venue: The Expo at WMCLV

This is the place to be if you’re an event professional. ETL claims to be the “only event portfolio dedicated to event technology,” and that’s enough to get us interested. Some of the world’s largest brands attend this conference to get news and insight on the latest and greatest event tech.

ETL puts a major focus on thought leadership and networking at this conference, so there will be lots to learn and even more people to meet. ETL 2023 will even offer hybrid attendance options and an entirely separate conference for people in the UK (November 15-16 at ExCeL London).

4. Confab Content Marketing Conference

Dates: April 30–May 3
Location: Minneapolis
Venue: Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

This one is for all the content-oriented people and storytellers—but you don’t have to be a content strategist to attend! Confab encourages everyone to join in, including people who lead, design, build, or manage digital content.

This year they’re “pulling out all the stops,” including speakers, sessions, and activities about UX, accessibility, and storytelling, among everything else that this wonderful and jam-packed conference offers.

If you’re an in-person event kind of person, you won’t want to miss this one in Minneapolis because it’s the final year Confab will be hosted physically and at such scale (and maybe even at all). The event organizers, called Brain Traffic, say they don’t know what’s next, but that they would like to end on a high note.

5. Experiential Marketing Summit (EMS)

Date: May 9-11
Location: Las Vegas
Venue: Caesars Palace

EMS calls itself the “#1 conference for creators of the brand experience”—and for good reason. Its emphasis on experiential marketing seeks to set attendees up for future success in their industry.

EMS 2023 plans to host brand-side event marketers who will speak and share their years of cumulative knowledge. Over a three-day span, EMS attendees will be able to meet and network with peers, connect with new business partners inside what organizers are calling the “Hall of Ideas,” and find solutions to common industry challenges.

“If experiential marketers are talking about it, we’re talking about it,” so they say.

6. Exhibition & Convention Executives Forum (ECEF)

Date: May 31
Location: Washington, D.C.
Venue: Grand Hyatt

ECEF is an event with plenty to offer in terms of information sharing and networking. Organized by Lippman Connects, this one-day event is held exclusively for leaders and independent event organizers, and offers “non-stop networking opportunities” and “provocative C-level presentations.”

ECEF presented some intriguing data following last year’s conference, including:

  • Nine out of 10 organizers will use the information [gleaned from the event] within six months
  • 91% [of event organizers] renewed valuable contacts
  • 100% [of attendees] say ECEF is valuable—48% say it “exceeded expectations”

You won’t want to miss this one.

7. Event Industry Expo (EIX)

Date: June 5-7
Location: Las Vegas
Venue: South Point Hotel and Casino

The self-proclaimed “largest trade show and conference for event rental companies, manufacturers & suppliers in North America” is stepping up to the plate for their inaugural annual event.

This three-day experience will kick off with a welcoming party and see more than 20 tradeshow and educational speakers over its duration before ending with a closing party on the final day.

Meeting and mingling, learning from industry experts, and exploring a plethora of new opportunities are just a few of the promises EIX is making for 2023.

8. MPI WEC23

Date: June 13-15
Location: Riviera Maya, Mexico
Venue: Mexican Caribbean

Another stellar event planner conference from MPI, WEC23 is dubbed “the expert event for event experts.” This year, WEC is offering all new programming that’s bound to be exciting and “unexpected,” according to MIP.

There’s a bold claim that “the people you meet will reignite your passion for live events”—so if you’re enthusiastic about all things event planning, you’re going to want to make the trip to Mexico to catch this one.

9. Event Design Certificate Program

Dates and locations:
June 28-30 – Atlantic City, N.J.
August 23-25 – Montreal, QC
Venue: Multiple venues, see event website for details

The event design certificate program is a three-tiered course offered by Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Their recurring yearly programs offer an introduction to event design, a ten-step visual approach to design, and more. You’ll experience what it’s like to work as part of an event design team while learning critical skills that stakeholders look for. You’ll also document and design an original case study using #EventCanvas—a strategic management template.

Registration will be open soon for upcoming U.S. and Canadian dates.

10. VenueConnect 2023

Date: July 31-August 3
Location: Pittsburgh
Venue: David L. Lawrence Convention Center

2023 marks the 98th annual VenueConnect (VC23) Conference and Trade Show, hosted by the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM). Industry leading venue professionals from far and wide who are experts in convention centers, amphitheaters, fairgrounds, performing arts centers, stadiums, universities, and more will be joining to inspire and educate.

Tailored education sessions developed by the very same industry leaders will help attendees acquire the knowledge and skills they need to:

11. Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA) Summit

Date: August 6-8
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Venue: Hyatt Regency

Whether you’re attending in-person or virtually, be ready for a host of speakers, workshops, networking opportunities, and breakout sessions at CEMA. If you’re on-site for all the fun, you’ll be able to enjoy breakfasts and lunches, as well as some planned wellness activities to keep your head right while you enjoy the goings-on.

It’s CEMA’s goal to “affirm the value of event marketing” through this robust event and to “achieve clarity of vision” through collaboration with like-minded individuals.

12. TEAMS ’23 Conference + Expo

Date: October 2–5
Location: The Palm Beaches, FL
Venue: The Palm Beaches

Here’s one for all the sports event organizers and planners: TEAMS ’23. As the world’s leading conference for sports travel, events, and management, exhibitors will have a lot of knowledge to bestow. This year, at The Palm Beaches, there will be plenty of time for a little rest and relaxation in between sessions over the event’s four-day span.

Attendees will delight in:

  • Innovative programming
  • One-on-one meetings with sports event organizers, host cities, venues, and sponsors
  • Best practices seminars from USOPC Olympic & Paralympic SportsLink and NGB
  • Unrivaled networking opportunities

This is without a doubt the best place to be this year if you’re in the business of designing, planning, or hosting sports-related events.

13. The Event Planner Expo

Date: October 10-12
Location: New York City, NY
Venues: Various locations at and around the Metropolitan Pavilion

The Event Planner Expo 2023 boasts a large showing, with the opportunity to connect with more than 2,000 event professionals this fall in New York City. Over the conference’s three-day span, attendees will enjoy 50+ speakers, long-lasting partnership opportunities, panel discussions, and fireside chats.

So “bring your sales team, a friend, or colleague,” they urge, because this one is bound to be the best yet.

14. IMEX America

Date: October 17-19
Location: Las Vegas
Venue: Mandalay Bay

If a full day of free education isn’t enough to pique your interest, how about three full days of jam-packed trade show action?

IMEX America has an impressive collection of stats from last year’s show, and if it provides any indication of what’s to come for IMEX America 2023, there’s a lot to get excited about. Education programming will cover topics such as Respect for People and Planet, Future Self, Event Planner Toolkit, and Innovation and Creativity in a variety of formats. Expect to be part of group sessions, one-on-ones, and audience-to-live podcasts, too.

15. Expo! Expo! 2023

Date: December 5-7
Location: Dallas
Venue: Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center

The International Association of Exhibitors and Events (IAEE) has been in the tradeshow game since 1928. Today, they represent over 12,000 individuals in more than 50 countries, and appropriately call themselves “the show for shows.” Expo! Expo! 2023 is still pending an agenda, but attendees can expect to meet industry professionals looking for new ideas and approaches to business, and learn from resources to enhance show managers’ skills and knowledge, as well as marketing and sales educational opportunities.

If you can’t wait until December to experience this show, Expo! Expo! MENA is happening in mid-September in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Why you should consider attending an event planner conference

The knowledge gleaned from events like the ones we’ve listed here can help you develop as an event professional and deliver experiences that consistently exceed attendees’ expectations.

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