46 Innovation Conferences for 2015

by Jason Williams

Learn new tools, resources and best practices for your industry. Apply what’s working in other industries to yours. Meet with new strangers and old connections. Discover new clients, contributors and collaborators. There are many reasons to attend conferences and workshops.

Following is a chronological list of events happening across the globe in 2015 that cover everything from innovation, creativity, trends, startups, consumer insights, technology and new ideas. Some of these events are well-known on the innovation circuit. Several of them may be unexpected. All of them will leave you inspired and prepared to continue down a path of successful innovation.

Which events listed here provide the most value? Which do not? Are there any events not listed that should be?

Keep the conversation going in the comments section and I’ll provide updates throughout the year. Safe travels and happy conference going!

Global Innovation Summit + Week

Where: Silicon Valley

When: February 15-21

How do you build innovation ecosystems anywhere? Over 1,000 “new economy builders” from over 50 countries will come together to learn, build and apply the newest tools for accelerating innovation.

Store Brands Innovation & Marketing Summit

Where: Chicago, IL

When: February 25-27

The Innovation & Marketing Summit is firmly established as the premier educational and networking conference for store brands executives responsible for brand management, product development, innovation, marketing, packaging and sales.

International Home + Housewares Show: Innovation Theatre

Where: Chicago, IL

When: March 7-10

Innovation always plays a big role in the International Housewares Association’s programming at this annual event. The Innovation Theatre presents leading designers, trendspotters and marketers offering inspiration to help identify the right products for consumers and present the latest thinking on design and practice.

Great Ideas Conference

Where: Orlando, FL

When: March 8-10

ASAE’s Great Ideas Conference creates a space for attendees to generate and be exposed to countless great ideas. Develop executable actions that you can implement when you return to your office by rejuvenating your creativity in a relaxed environment.

Forbes Reinventing America Summit

Where: Chicago, IL

When: March 11-12

Leading the next industrial revolution. Thanks to a new generation of pragmatic, tested leaders in industry, finance, education and government, the nation’s industrial core is rebounding—and creating unprecedented business opportunities across America’s heartland. Forbes Reinventing America Summit is your best chance for meeting—and profiting from—the people leading the next great wave of American industrial innovation.

FEI Europe 2015

Where: Vienna, Austria

When: March 11-13

Mobilizing Innovation: Fueling Forward the Innovation Engine. Join forces with other innovation executives passionate about creating paradigm shifting change. The Front End of Innovation events are all about creating meaningful opportunities for innovators to collaborate based on content.

Creative Innovation

Where: Melbourne, Australia

When: March 23-25

From disruption to sustainable growth. Creative Innovation 2015 will feature over 40 global leaders, innovators and thinkers delivering world class ideas and pragmatic solutions. It will offer credible forecasts, strategies and practices to help transform you and the leadership of organizations.

Innovation Leader: Seattle Field Study

Where: Seattle, WA

When: March 25-26

Field Study is an exclusive tour program for senior innovation leaders. Join Boston’s Innovation Leader as they take attendees into innovation labs and startup spaces around Seattle. Executives from companies like Starbucks, Alaska Airlines, Pearson, Adobe and Nordstrom will lead small group whiteboard sessions about how to accelerate your progress and deal with the inevitable conflicts and challenges that every innovation program faces.

The Economist: Innovation Forum 2015

Where: Chicago, IL

When: March 26

The Economist’s Innovation Forum will make its debut in Chicago to discuss how exponential technologies, frugal engineering and radical business models are disrupting top industries. The event will bring together Fortune 500 CEOs, policymakers and entrepreneurs who are continuously disrupting the status-quo.

FUSE

Where: Chicago, IL

When: April 13-15

Brand strategy, design, marketing, creative, innovation, insights, trends and strategy. FUSE connects brand and design leaders to what matters – and each other. In the age of unprecedented collaboration, it is more important than ever for brand strategists and designers to work hand in hand to bring brands to life strategically, visually, emotionally and culturally. FUSE is the only event that unites all the players across industries, disciplines and the world.

Spring 2015 Cassandra Sessions (New York)

Where: New York, NY

When: April 28

The Intelligence Group is a youth-focused consumer insights company dedicated to identifying emerging movements in popular culture and translating that information into relevant knowledge for companies, brands and institutions. For nearly 15 years, their syndicated Cassandra Report has been the leading ongoing study of your trends, behaviors, and preferences in the US.  At the organization’s daylong Cassandra Session events, executives gain the awareness and strategic vision necessary to engage young consumers.

Chief Innovation Officer Summit: London

Where: London, England

When: April 30 – May 1

The Chief Innovation Officer summit brings together innovation leaders from the world’s most reputable companies for a unique opportunity to learn innovation best-practices from the leaders of the world’s biggest brands.

Open Innovation Summit: Europe

Where: London, England

When: April 30 – May 1

Come and learn Open Innovation best-practices and applications from the leaders of Europe’s most innovative companies.

InsighTech

Where: San Francisco, CA

When: May 4-6

Innovations in research methodology and technology.The producers of The Market Research Event present this highly curated agenda covering innovative new ways to deploy mainstream methodologies and presenting emerging technology likely to disrupt the industry even further.

Collision

Where: Las Vegas, NV

When: May 5-6

Collision is a vision for a new type of tech conference for America: A meeting place for 10,000 people who are both building the companies of tomorrow and managing the companies of today.

Big Omaha

Where: Omaha, NE

When: May 6-8

The nation’s most spirited conference on innovation and entrepreneurship. Big Omaha brings together the nation’s most passionate members of the entrepreneurial community including founders, investors, designers, and emerging leaders to build community, start conversation, and provide inspiration.

Spring 2015 Cassandra Sessions (Los Angeles)

Where: New York, NY

When: April 28

The Intelligence Group is a youth-focused consumer insights company dedicated to identifying emerging movements in popular culture and translating that information into relevant knowledge for companies, brands and institutions. For nearly 15 years, their syndicated Cassandra Report has been the leading ongoing study of your trends, behaviors, and preferences in the US.  At the organization’s daylong Cassandra Session events, executives gain the awareness and strategic vision necessary to engage young consumers.

FEI USA 2015

Where: Boston, MA

When: May 18-20

Mobilizing Innovation: Fueling Forward the Innovation Engine. Join forces with other innovation executives passionate about creating paradigm shifting change. The Front End of Innovation events are all about creating meaningful opportunities for innovators to collaborate based on content.

Chief Innovation Office Summit: San Francisco

Where: San Francisco, CA

When: May 21-22

The Chief Innovation Officer Summit San Francisco brings the insights of Global 500 innovation professionals to the west coast, for two days of sharing challenges, identifying opportunities & networking with fellow industry innovators.

Intrapreneurship Conference

Where: London, England

When: May 27-29

The Intrapreneurship Conference is the premier global event for corporate entrepreneurs, innovation managers and experts to learn the best and next practices for implementing and scaling intrapreneurship.

Pioneers Festival

Where: Vienna, Austria

When: May 28-29

Pioneers is all about pioneers. Festival gathers the smartest minds in technology and science entrepreneurship to help make Europe a hub for the best minds in tech, science, and design.

Unique Camp

Where: Big Bear, CA

When: May 28-31

No cellphones. No email. Action-packed days with workshops and panels. CAMP is a 4-day creative conference that strategically curates workshops and experiences in three areas to give entrepreneurs and creatives the tools to succeed. There are business workshops, creative classes and outdoor challenges – all designed to help you thrive by stimulating both sides of the brain.

8th National Meeting of Chief Innovation Officers

Where: Paris, France

When: June 16-17

Hosted by the European institute for Creative Strategies and Innovation, the National Meeting explores the world of innovations which improve life in an extraordinary way. It is the largest gathering of those responsible for innovation in Europe.

Invention and New Product Exposition

Where: Pittsburgh, PA

When: June 16-18

InventHelp’s INPEX is America’s largest invention trade show. It showcases numerous inventions, new products and innovations that are available to license, market or manufacture. “The Invention Show” brings inventors and entrepreneurs together with industry representatives in one convenient forum.

Chief Innovation Officer Summit: Singapore

Where: Singapore, China

When: June 17-18

The Chief Innovation Officer provides interactive learning and unparalleled networking opportunities with innovation leaders from the world’s most reputable companies. Reinvigorate your business with fresh ideas, meet industry pioneers and discover how to deliver breakthrough results.

World Domination Summit

Where: Portland, OR

When: July 9-13

The World Domination Summit (WDS) is a gathering of creative, interesting people from all over the world. Every summer, thousands of people travel to Portland, Oregon for an immersive experience in life, work, and travel.

SA Innovation Summit

Where: Cape Town, South Africa

When: August 27-30

Local Innovation, Global Conversation. The SA Innovation Summit aspires to raise awareness in innovation, facilitate collaboration among multi-helix actors and contribute to building the national system of innovation. SA’s premier innovation event of the year brings together thought leaders and practitioners in the field of innovation to show-case success stories, share lessons learnt, connect with peers, be inspired by those who keep on moving and practice by doing…innovation!

Day of Innovation

Where: Indianapolis, IN

When: August (to be announced)

The Day of Innovation is the only Indiana innovation event that brings together leaders and practitioners from all sectors and backgrounds. The convergence of minds from business, non-profits, academia and start-ups creates for an unprecedented mix of energy and creativity.

World Congress of Play

Where: San Francisco, CA

When: September 8-10

The World Congress of Play is a conference that brings all of the play industries together in one place at one time. Categories include Video Games, Traditional Toys, Digital Play, Board Games, Music, Entertainment, Theme Parks, Play Advocacy, and more. Bringing the diverse play industries together will foster new relationships, ideas and business so that all may prosper in a rapidly changing play market.

Chief Innovation Officer Summit: Sydney

Where: Sydney, Australia

When: September 16-17

The Chief Innovation Officer provides interactive learning and unparalleled networking opportunities with innovation leaders from the world’s most reputable companies. Reinvigorate your business with fresh ideas, meet industry pioneers and discover how to deliver breakthrough results.

DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival

Where: Tel Aviv, Israel

When: September (dates to be announced)

DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival is Israel’s largest international Hi-tech gathering, featuring hundreds of start ups, VC’s, angel investors and leading multinationals. Boasting top technological talent, the highest venture capital investments per capita and multi-national centers for industry leaders such as Google, Microsoft, Kimberly Clark, Amazon, GM, Amdocs, Facebook and more. Tel Aviv is the best location to get up close and personal with the entire Hi-tech hub.

IdeaFestival

Where: Louisville, KY

When: September 29 – October 2

IdeaFestival is a celebration for the intellectually curious. It’s an eclectic network of global thinkers and one-of-a-kind innovators bound together by an intense curiosity about what is impacting and shaping the future of the arts, business, technology, design, science, philosophy and education. The content of IdeaFestival is as diverse as the network itself where “seemingly unrelated topics offer surprising relationships and insights.”

Denver Startup Week

Where: Denver, CO

When: September 28 – October 5

Since 2012, the most creative and well-connected innovators from Colorado and beyond have come together for a week of learning, discussion, networking, and more. In 2013, 5,500+ startup community members and over 650 companies engaged in over 125 community-driven events all with the goal of celebrating everything entrepreneurial in the Mile High City.

Big Kansas City

Where: Kansas City, MO

When: October 8-10

For the entrepreneur, the corporate innovator and the college student. Big Kansas City features founders, developers, designers, investors and the like converging on the Midwest for two and half days sharing ideas, co-creating experiences, and inspiring altered landscapes.

Chief Innovation Officer Summit: London

Where: London, England

When: October 21-22

The Chief Innovation Officer summit brings together innovation leaders from the world’s most reputable companies for a unique opportunity to learn innovation best-practices from the leaders of the world’s biggest brands.

Chicago Innovation Awards

Where: Chicago, IL

When: October 27

The Chicago Innovation Awards is an annual celebration of innovation in the Midwest. Chicago’s business and civic leaders come together to honor the creative spirit of the Chicago region by recognizing the most innovative new products and services introduced in the market.

Open Innovation Summit: Boston

Where: Boston, MA

When: October 28-29

Come and learn Open Innovation best-practices and applications from the leaders of America’s most innovative companies.

Fast Company: Innovation By Design Awards

Where: to be announced

When: October (dates to be announced)

The 2014 Innovation By Design Awards and Conference brings together problem solvers from the worlds of business and design to explore the newest ideas in everything from apps to architecture. The conference includes six hours of highly visual sessions, two days of off-site design experiences, and concludes with a cocktail party and awards ceremony recognizing the smartest, most ambitious, most inventive design working in concert with business and culture.

STORY Conference

Where: Chicago, IL

When: October (dates to be announced)

STORY is a conference for 1,500 creatives held each October in Chicago. Their goal is to fuel your greatest work with captivating talks, meaningful connections and unforgettable performances. STORY has grown into a global community of creatives who apply their artistic talents to businesses, non-profits, and cause-based organizations.

Chicago Ideas Week

Where: Chicago, IL

When: October (dates to be announced)

Chicago Ideas Week is about sharing ideas, inspiring actions, and igniting change to positively impact our world. People who come to CIW are artists, engineers, technologists, inventors, scientists, musicians, economists, explorers and innately passionate. For one week each October, CIW brings together some of the world’s most outstanding speakers to present their ideas and inspire the innovations of tomorrow at 80+ sessions across the city.

BEI: Back End of Innovation

Where: to be announced

When: October (dates to be announced)

The Back End of Innovation is responsible for taking an idea and transforming it into an ultimate product success. Generating the idea is only half the battle. The real challenge lies in taking that innovation, executing it effectively and commercializing it, resulting in driving the bottom line profitability. BEI is an event for those in charge of bringing innovations to life, from using metrics to identify the highest yielding ideas, to creating cultures that drive innovation, to carrying it through to market.

The Market Research Event

Where: Orlando, FL

When: November 2-4

TMRE has grown to be the most comprehensive insights conference in the world. Focused on the business value of insights, it unites leaders across market research, consumer insights, strategy, innovation, marketing, analytics, shopper insights, media research, ux, customer experience, business intelligence, competitive intelligence and more.

Digital Healthcare Innovation Summit

Where: Boston, MA

When: November 3

The Digital Healthcare Innovation Summit provides insights from top industry experts, private equity and venture capital investors, corporations, healthcare IT innovators and government officials.

PIM 2015

Where: Anaheim, CA

When: November 7-11

Now in its 38th year, the Product Innovation Management (PIM) Conference is a five-day collaborative event hosted by the largest association dedicated to product development professionals. PIM delivers the latest in product and service development knowledge and practices that are applicable to real world situations.

Foresight & Trends

Where: to be announced

When: November (dates to be announced)

Foresight & Trends unites the most forward thinking, creative and innovative people from across the globe to discuss macro trends disrupting how business gets done. It reveals what’s coming next and translates that information into actionable insights. Discover how you can challenge the status quo and ensure commercial success.

Fast Company: Innovation Uncensored

Where: to be determined

When: November (dates to be determined)

Fast Company’s Innovation Uncensored is for anyone with a mind for modern business. Join more than 500 executives, inventors, strategists, designers, marketers, visionaries, and creatives from the worlds of technology, business and design for a conversation on the power of innovation and disruption in business.

Anti Summit @Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards

Where: Tribeca Film Festival, New York City

Where: April 23-24

The Anti-Summit will consist of unscripted main stagers who will check their ideology at the door in unrehearsed dialogues , modular “Do Tanks”, makers, re-mixers and musicians, off-site underground excursions joining leaders at all levels. This transformational “unlike anything you’ve ever seen before experience” is grounded in movement making and focuses on the positive disruptions necessary to design yourself into the future and stay relevant.

Set against the backdrop of Tribeca, with its internationally renowned Tribeca Film Festival, and downtown New York culture, the Anti-Summit will bring together renowned disruptors, designers, marketers, inventors, innovators, divergent thinkers and vibrant rule breaking do-ers across the ever blurring lines of industry, title and functionality.

Innovate Festival at TBD

Where:   Sacramento, CA

When:  September 16-18

TBD…To Be Determined, To Be Discovered, To Be Designed – To Be DISRUPTED

RELEVENTS is excited to announce a partnership with TBD to create a new experiential innovation event in conjunction with the TBD Music, Arts and Culture Festival in Sacramento, California that has a single purpose – to demonstrate the creative fuel required to innovate…a City by Design, a World by Design, a Life by Design.

The Innovate Festival will be co-located with TBD Festival of Music, Arts and Culture on the Sacramento’s historic riverfront. We’re inviting local and global innovators to explore what it means to tap creativity, innovate and solve problems together in context, not theory, now. This will revolutionize innovation events, bridge the gap between professional development and personal fulfillment and activate real outcomes.

Editor’s note: WOW! Thanks Jason for your passion and commitment to innovation excellence! And to our math aware readers: we’ve  added two more to this list…and to not break the url link, we left the title 46. Consider these a bonus!
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Marketer. Innovator. Connector. Jason Williams is the Owner of SPYCOMPS consulting firm and Communication Director for Centric: Indy’s Innovation Network. Connect with him on Twitter @jawbrain