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Top 5 Event Industry Conferences for Corporate Event Planners in 2022

Are you wondering what the best conferences are for corporate event planners to attend in 2022?

As we are coming out of the pandemic, I know we event professionals are itching to get back to in-person events. It’s what we do. It’s what we love.

And now more than ever it’s important for event planners – whether in-house planners or third-party planners or event business owners – to stay in the know about how to get back to meeting safely and successfully in this new era. So what better way to do that than attend some conferences ourselves?

That said, there are a ton of industry events out there, so we’ve helped narrow it down to our top five conferences to attend this year if your goal is to up your corporate event game and come back stronger than ever.

Check out the list:

1. Cvent CONNECT 2022

April 11-14 | Caesars Forum, Las Vegas + Virtual

First up is our only solution provider-hosted conference to make the list: Cvent CONNECT. While there are other great conferences and events hosted by event tech companies, Cvent is the biggest and baddest of the bunch.

Celebrity keynotes, industry icons, leader panels, and product experts will be the core of Cvent’s programming—they designed 110+ sessions to educate, delight, and inspire. Bring your post-pandemic pain points because they’ve got a solution or opportunity for each and every one.

Cvent CONNECT Europe

2. The Special Event

May 2-5, 2022 | Anaheim Convention Center, California + Virtual

The Special Event trade show is a bustling marketplace—a vibrant agora bringing together thousands of the catering and event industries’ most invested professionals and solution providers. This is where welcoming exhibitor booths, relaxed happy hours, community-building receptions, award ceremonies, and bonus education all converge to celebrate our industry and drive it forward. This conference is great for those of you who are supplier-side, especially.

Plus, I’m speaking in two sessions during the conference! Together with Grace Gittinger and Erin Branham, we’ll talk about:

Catersource + The Special Event

3. WEC San Francisco

June 21-23 | Moscone West Convention Center, San Francisco

The World Education Congress is MPI’s signature annual conference – and was my favorite event of the year last year in Las Vegas! This year in 2022 the event is headed to one of our often-visited cities, San Francisco!

The organizers say, “Learning is a journey, and an experiential journey is exactly what you’ll be taken on at WEC San Francisco. From keynotes to breakouts to learning labs, each day will be themed and programmed with your goals and senses in mind. Say hello to learning that’s 100% interactive, experiential and collaborative—and say goodbye to the Zoom suck.” Hear, hear!

Note that there are many pre-conference Certifications available, so for those of you looking to up your credentials, check those out. For example, last year I did the Certification for Hotel Venue Contract Negotiation and got a ton of value from it.

WEC Vegas 2021

4. Connect 2022

August 8-10 | Huntington Place, Detroit

Connect Meetings brings together the most active planners, suppliers and experts across multiple meetings and events industry markets throughout the year. They expect about 4,000 event professionals at their flagship event in Detroit this year for B2B business development and networking, as well as incredible education and keynote speeches from world-renowned personalities.

Planners will experience the Connect difference with highly curated reverse-style appointments. You will meet only with the destinations and venues that are good fit for your future meetings, conferences and events. These short meetings will be the building blocks for site selection on your events for the next several years.

Since Connect Meetings acquired Bizbash in December 2019, they’ve combined their large annual events into one event, so you also have the option to attend the event via Bizbash.

BizBash Tampa

5. IMEX America

 October 11-13 | Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

Beyond a trade show, IMEX offers brilliant speakers, fresh ideas and continuous inspiration at 200-plus educational and networking events over four days. This is the big kahuna of events for the event industry!

Like the Connect Meetings / Bizbash Conference and MPI WEC, you may attend as a hosted buyer, but it’s also very common to attend as a general attendee as well.

From the conference, “Get the lowdown on the latest industry research from industry experts in small group sessions. This is your opportunity to keep up to date with fast-changing trends. Take advantage of valuable peer-to-peer learning with small, moderated discussions with your peers on topics relevant to you. Ask more in-depth questions at one-to-one sessions with IMEX speakers on one of the topics offered at the show.”

Pro Tip: If you’re an incentive meeting planner, SITE Global typically has it’s own SITE NITE party, so be sure to check that out.

Somehow I have never attended IMEX – and this will be my first year! Will I see you in Vegas?

PS – If you’re thinking about hosting your own event in Vegas, check out our City Snapshot.