59 Innovation Events for Q4 2015

by Jason Williams

Believe in the magic of exploring, of curiosity, of humans, of innovation. When you step outside of your comfort zone and discover new people, places and events, that is when magic happens.

Earlier this year, I shared a list of 46 Innovation Conferences for 2015. That list has grown to over 150 and provided the inspiration for Explorious Ventures. Explorious Ventures is both a collector and connector. We have curated the world’s largest list of innovation-related events, conferences, festivals and happenings. Regardless of which route you take, we challenge you to try something you’ve never done before, go someplace you’ve never been and connect with people you’ve never met. You just might discover the magic of innovation along the way.

Following is a list of events happening across the globe in Q4 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.

Did I miss any events happening in the next 3 months that should be on here? Let me know in the comments section and I’ll be sure to add them to Explorious Ventures and include them in future updates here.

AR Innovation Conference

October 7: New York, NY

Innovative architecture requires expanding the boundaries of the discipline by spurring creativity through design and technology. At this year’s Innovation Conference, Architectural Record brings together key figures who have generated a range of imaginative solutions for the built world today and for the future. From architects practicing outside the discipline to principals of large firms to materials experts and graphic designers, the event’s participants represent different approaches to original problem solving in a rapidly changing world.

Awesomeness Fest

October 22-25: Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Awesomeness Fest is an invite-only transformational event that gathers an extraordinary community of change-makers and visionaries who are driven by epic ideas to impact the world – entrepreneurs, employees, artists, leaders, innovators, visionaries and more. The festival takes place twice a year in paradise locations across the world.

BEI: Back End of Innovation

October 21-23: San Jose, CA

The Back End is the make or break point for ideas in the innovation process. It’s where great ideas will either flourish or die. This is your reality check. What you take to market and HOW you execute on innovation determines your ROI and growth. BEI: Back End of Innovation unites cross-industry leaders sharing challenges, lessons learned and best practices on commercializing new ideas and profitably executing your go to market innovation strategy. Move beyond incremental product and service improvements and discover the lessons of ground breaking innovation – meaningful disruption across categories, value chains and markets. An IIR USA event.

Big Kansas City

October 8-10: Kansas City, MO

Founders, designers, developers, investors and the like converge on the Midwest for two and a half days of sharing ideas, co-creating experiences, and inspiring altered landscapes. Big Kansas City is for the entrepreneur, the corporate innovator, the college student. Whether you’re building a business, strengthening foundations, or choosing your career path. Produced by Silicon Prairie News.

Camp Grounded: Texas

October 9-12: Marble Falls, TX

“Genius comes when you disconnect from tasks and reconnect to space,” says Good Life Project’s Jonathan Fields. Camp Grounded is where grownups go to “unplug, get away, and be kids again.” Trade in your computer, cell phone, email, Instagrams, clocks, schedules, work-jargon, networking events and conferences for an off-the-grid weekend of pure unadulterated fun in the woods. Disconnect to reconnect. You will leave refreshed, inspired, equipped and ready to take on new and exciting challenges!


October 4-6: Las Vegas, NV

Celebrate is a 3-day journey and tech conference held in downtown Las Vegas, NV. Attendees will learn, discover and engage directly with advisors, coaches, influencers, investors, startup experts, founders and more industry thought leaders.

Chicago Ideas Week

October 12-18: Chicago, IL

Chicago Ideas Week is an annual seven-day celebration of ideas, innovation and community, aiming to become the platform for ideas, created for innovators, thinkers, doers. CIW’s goal is to stimulate new initiatives and ventures, create new connections and collaborations, and establish a community of people who have the desire to achieve great things.

Chicago Innovation Awards

October 27: Chicago, IL

The goal of the Chicago Innovation Awards organization is to make Chicago a recognized hub of innovation by igniting a new narrative for the region, strengthening its economic future and building the spirit of innovation throughout the community. They host several programs throughout the year, but the centerpiece is the Chicago Innovation Awards event each fall. It is the largest 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.

CINO: Chief Innovation Officer Summit

October 22-23: London, England

December 8-9: New York, NY

Innovation Enterprise’s Chief Innovation Officer Summits bring together innovation leaders from the world’s most reputable companies. Each event is a unique opportunity to learn innovation best-practices from leaders of the world’s biggest brands. Share insights with innovation executives who are capturing the essence of innovation & leading the change to a structured process that drives business growth. Presentation led, the summit also features stimulating panel discussions, engaging workshops & breakout activities over the two days.

CMX Summit West

October 14-15: San Francisco, CA

CMX Summit is the premier conference for community professionals, founders, and organizations. It is unlike any tech conference you’ve been to. Every year, hundreds of community professionals gather to be a part of the fast growing community industry, to learn from the world’s greatest community builders, and to build their network. It’s not all tech. CMX recognizes that you can apply learnings from all different kinds of fields to the work you do.


October 1-2: Seville, Spain

The European Conference on Corporate R&D and Innovation. CONCORDi 2015 will center around the theme of Industrial Research and Innovation: Evidence for Policy. Participants will discuss the role of scientific analyses in the design and implementation of an EU industrial policy based on research, innovation and technological advancement.

Corporate Researchers Conference

October 5-7: St. Louis, MO

The Corporate Researchers Conference (CRC) is the only conference specifically for corporate researchers. Over 500 attendees from a variety of companies and industries will participate in round table discussions, solve challenges together and learn from in-depth courses on the latest innovation and research methods.

Day of Innovation

October 15: Indianapolis, IN

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.

Denver Startup Week

September 28 – October 2: Denver, CO

Innovation is everywhere. Bringing it to life takes the skills and drive of an entire team; founders, developers, product managers, designers, marketers, sales teams, and makers. Denver Startup Week is where every member of that team can come to learn, grow, and be ready to take on the next challenge. Each track is geared towards one of these roles, with workshops, keynotes, and panels that will help you grow yourself and grow your startup. Denver Startup Week is free to attend.

Digital Healthcare Innovation Summit

November 3: Boston, MA

The Digital Healthcare Innovation Summit emphasizes disruptive solutions to the Health Care conundrum. Leading stakeholders from hospitals, insurers, and critical regulatory bodies sit down with the technology industry’s top innovators, investors, and entrepreneurs to discuss how technology can unwrap the inefficiencies of the massive healthcare sector. This isn’t a showcase of gadgets. It’s the source of the conversation for healthcare solutions and opportunities, delivered through new and innovative technologies.

Disrupt Europe (TechCrunch)

December 7-8: London, England

TechCrunch Disrupt is one of the most anticipated technology conferences of the year. Each day starts with panels and one-on-one chats featuring TechCrunch writers and editors, special guest speakers, leading venture capitalists and fascinating entrepreneurs addressing the most important topics facing today’s tech landscape. Each afternoon, they host the Startup Battlefield competition.

European Innovation Summit

December 7-10: Brussels, Belgium

The 7th European Innovation Summit, organised by Knowledge4innovation, will take place in the European Parliament in Brussels. The 4-days event will call for “A Pact for Innovation”. Highlights of this year’s programme include topics such as ‘policies and politics for innovation: creating a framework for success’; ‘European Innovation Ecosystems’; tackling the society’s grand challenges in areas such as water, energy, environment, agriculture, bio-economy, health, transport and the role of the digital revolution in areas such as smart manufacturing. Very importantly, the Summit will engage actively with young people and discuss the opportunity for them in driving the future of innovation in Europe.

Fast Company Innovation Festival

November 9-12: New York, NY

The Fast Company Innovation Festival will span New York City, showcasing the most intriguing stories of innovation, creativity, leadership, and more. Hear the best in business have bold, unexpected conversations and access a lineup of 60+ immersive site visits with leading companies across the city.

Foresights & Trends Conference

September 29 – October 1: Los Angeles, CA

The Foresight & Trends conference facilitates the interconnectivity of innovators and provides context for forecasters and analysts charged with predicting future trends to drive commercial success. Be better prepared and inspired to meet the challenges the future holds. Find out how to spot new trends, bring foresight to strategy and engage with your future consumer. The event is organized by IIR USA.

Future Festival

September 30 – October 2: Toronto, Canada

Trend Hunter’s Future Festival is an exclusive event where the world’s top innovators prototype their future. This is not a conference. It is an immersion of content, trend safaris and workshops specifically designed to plan your success. Experience the future while working with your team on 5 – 10 disruptive and executable ideas. Plus, learn award-winning innovation methods and enjoy an epic, all-night, 1,000,000 person art festival.


October 3-10: Boston, MA

Where art, science and technology collide. HUBweek is a weeklong series of events and experiences, taking place all throughout Greater Boston. The unique confluence of art, science and technology that is the hallmark of the Boston region has created a unique culture of meaningful innovation and problem solving. HUBweek is a celebration of the big ideas and bold solutions that emerge from the spirit, intellectual energy and creativity of that community, and will showcase the world-changing work, art and thinking being imagined and built in Greater Boston.


November 11: Washington D.C.

Innovate. Inspire. Ignite. CNBC and Inc. have joined forces to create The iCONIC Tour, a three-part event series designed to bring together the country’s most dynamic businesses for a rare chance to network, overturn conventional thinking and come away inspired. Each stop is a hard-hitting one day event to connect with fellow visionaries and provocateurs, ignite new ideas and be inspired by today’s biggest business icons.


September 29 – October 2: Louisville, KY

Stay Curious. IdeaFestival is a celebration of curiosity and new ideas. Over the course of four days every autumn, IdeaFestival takes physical form in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. This event is for anyone, irrespective of any demographic, to collaborate and be inspired to think differently. The result of this is an environment that not only proves to be a disruptive catalyst for innovation, but also cultivates valuable relationships through the intermingling of diverse topics and backgrounds. IdeaFestival gives you permission to think differently and share that way of thinking with other creative minds.

Innovation Conference & Showcase

October 7: Houston, TX

Be Innovative. Be Inspired. Be Successful. IC&S is where technology, modern business, and creativity converge. This conference brings together innovative minds with speakers who think outside the box, and an exhibition with high tech startups. Connect with a diverse group of entrepreneurs, technologists, business leaders, industry executives, investors, and innovation experts.

Innovation Leader: Field Study

October 21-22: Boston, MA

An Innovation Leader Field Study is not your typical conference. In fact, the Field Study isn’t a conference at all. There are no keynotes, no PowerPoints, no exhibitors, and no traditional speaker slots. Instead, Innovation Leader provides an intimate forum for innovation executives, enabling them to visit other innovation spaces, share war stories, and benefit from the insights of their peers.

Insights Festival

October 21-23: Seattle, WA

The RELEVENTS Insights festival marks the intersections of Insights & Intelligence, human and technology, IQ and EQ, science and practice. Ultimately, it represents the crossroads between humans and the businesses and sciences trying to better understand them. It is a call to action for all practitioners, decision makers and users in the insights, marketing sciences, consumer psychology, data analytics, decision sciences, strategic planning and C-suite environments to come together and focus on the real questions that businesses today and into the future should be asking, and the need to align the answers to those questions with relevant actions.

Intrapreneurship Conference

October 21-23: New York, NY

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

ISPIM Innovation Summit

December 6-9: Brisbane, Australia

A three-day, multi-track conference for innovation researchers, industry executives, thought leaders and policy makers. Innovation Summit is full of thought provoking innovation management content. Gain an insider perspective and meet outstanding innovation leaders at the Innovation Experience @ ISPIM. Outstanding networking opportunities with delegates from over 20 countries.

Maker Faire

October 3-4: Atlanta, GA

October 3-4: Berlin, Germany

October 3-4: San Diego, CA

October 10-12: Pittsburgh, PA

October 16-18: Rome, Italy

November 7-8: Ottawa, Canada

Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. Events feature innovation and experimentation across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance and craft.

Market Research Event (TMRE)

November 2-4: Orlando, FL

Connecting you to the best insights from around the world. The Marketing Research Event (TMRE), is the world’s largest and most trusted MR and Insights event. Over 1,300 leaders across market research, consumer insights, strategy, innovation, marketing, analytics, customer experience and more will unite to shape 2016 and beyond.

Money 20/20

October 25-28: Las Vegas, NV

Money20/20 is the largest global event focused on payments and financial services innovation for connected commerce at the intersection of mobile, retail, marketing services, data and technology. With 10,000+ attendees, including more than 1,000+ CEOs, from 3,000+ companies and 75 countries, expected at our 2015 U.S. event, Money20/20 is critical to realizing the vision of disruptive ways in which consumers and businesses manage, spend and borrow money.


October 6-7: San Francisco, CA

October 8: Oakland, CA

October 15: Detroit, MI

October 20: Istanbul, Turkey

October 28: Barcelona, Spain

November 9-10: Los Angeles, CA

November 12: Portland, OR

November 19: Boulder, CO

A city-wide innovation show & tell. NewCo celebrates “businesses on a mission” through festivals, media and services. Their mission is to identify, celebrate, and connect the engines of positive change in our society. NewCo’s festival products encourage participants to “Get out to get in.” Festivals have the focus of a business conference, the feel of a music festival, and the model of an artist open studio. The brainchild six-time media and tech entrepreneur John Battelle, NewCo takes participants out of stodgy ballrooms and directly into the businesses changing the face of the modern working city. Through intimate, founder-led sessions, a NewCo festival creates lasting engagement and deep connections.

Open Innovation Summit (USA)

October 28-29: Boston, MA

Open Innovation is rapidly moving across boundaries and combining with entirely new categories enabling advances & causing disruptions across an array of industries, functions & disciplines. The Open Innovation Summit is a unique opportunity to learn Open Innovation best-practices from the leaders of the world’s biggest brands! Come and learn open innovation best-practices and applications from leaders of the world’s most innovative companies. Produced by The Innovation Enterprise.

Pioneer Nation

October 1-3: Portland, OR

Place yourself at the center of the DIY Work Revolution. Pioneer Nation is a a 3-day business retreat at the base of Mount Hood, just outside Portland, Oregon. Attendees spend a few days focusing on what your business needs next, whether you’re just starting at or have been working at it for a while. They’ve designed each of the workshop sessions to deliver the maximum impact, providing specific objectives that will help you identify actionable next steps.

Product Innovation Management Conference (PIM/PDMA)

November 7-11: Anaheim, CA

Innovation has no boundaries. PIM is the PDMA’s Annual Conference. It is the only innovation event with a unique interactive format that provides attendees with actionablee ideas, meaningful relationships and turnkey tools to immediately drive impact. Hear real-life case studies and real world applications from somee of the world’s prominent brands and industry experts from Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Nike and Disney.

Social Innovation Summit: Silicon Valley

November 17-18: Redwood City, CA

The Social Innovation Summit is a twice annual event taking place in Washington, DC and Silicon Valley, that represents a global convening of black swans and wayward thinkers. Where most bring together luminaries to explore the next big idea, we bring together those hungry not just to talk about the next big thing, but to build it.

STORY Conference

October 1-2: Nashville, TN

STORY is an uncommon creativity conference. You’ll be inspired by groundbreaking talks and unforgettable performances. You’ll meet new friends and connect with leading creative practitioners. But even more, you’ll be challenged to become a better storyteller. This year’s event will feature main-stage content, curated festival sessions, a maker fair, special evening events, and an exhibit village.

Summit At Sea

November 13-16: International Waters via Miami, FL

Summit’s mission is to build community, catalyze entrepreneurship, address global issues, and support artistic achievement, in an effort to make our world a more joyful place. They accomplish this by uniting the leaders of today and tomorrow in surreal settings and immersive experiences designed to catalyze positive personal and collective growth.


October 12-18: New York, NY

November 9-15: Los Angeles, CA

December 7-11: Miami, FL

Techweek, the nation’s leading technology conference and festival, gathers industry heavyweights and emerging tech voices to showcase local innovation at 6 emerging hubs. As a weeklong celebration of technology and innovation, Techweek hosts 12 standard events that engage and excite in every way imaginable. From our 2-day technology conference & expo to music, startup competitions and more, Techweek is designed to give you many opportunities to network, learn and explore with your local tech community.

Unique Camp: Fall Session

October 29 – November 1: Big Bear, CA

Connect. Learn. Unplug. Dance. CAMP is 4 action-packed days and fun-filled nights of workshops, art classes, inspiration, S’mores, cocktails, dance parties and more. Essentially, CAMP is a juxtoposed experience that taps into both the left and right side of the brain in order to inspire the most change and discovery.

Web Summit

November 3-5: Dublin, Ireland

Where the tech world meets. In 4 years, Web Summit has grown from 400 attendees to over 22,000 from more than 110 countries. It’s been called “the best technology conference on the planet.” Web Summit 2015 will showcase over 500 world-renowned speakers, 10 stages including the Digital Marketing, Internet of Things, Enterprise, and Builders Summits, 2,000 worldwide startups invited to exhibit their ideas, 200+ satellite events, 1,000 experienced investors, and 800 of the best tech journalists.

World Innovation Convention (WIC)

December 2-4: Berlin, Germany

The World Innovation Conventioon is a platform for innovation leaders. Meet some of the foremost innovation leaders and creative minds in today’s business world. This trendsetting conference offers you an audience driven format, a vibrant gathering of innovative thinkers and the grand opportunity to learn as well as share.

World Open Innovation Conference

November 19-20: Santa Clara, CA

The World Open Innovation Conference invites both academic scholars and industry professions from the public and private sectors in the area of Open Innovation. Engage with Open Innovation practitioners, and dialogue with world-renowned Open Innovation experts who share relevant research and expertise in their industry.

WSJ.D Live

October 19-21: Laguna Beach, CA

The Wall Street Journal’s senior editors host WSJDLive, the global technology conference that brings together an unmatched and uniquue group of top CEOs, inspirational founders, game-changing pioneers and luminaries to explore the most exciting tech opportunities emerging around the world. WSJDLive will also be covered in an excluisve worldwide report in the Wall Street Journal and on WSJD.com.

Xponential City Series: Seattle 2035

October 30: Seattle, WA

Xconomy’s national Xponential Cities series explores the ideas and technologies taking root today that will form the basis of our economy a generation from now. These unique conferences bring together visionary thinkers, investors, large companies, and disruptive startups in high-growth, transformative industries.

Image Credit: Jason Williams (Chicago Ideas Week 2014)
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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

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