10 Must Attend Tech Conferences in 2014

These meetups are great opportunities to learn, network and get feedback.

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By Alon Alroy

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Attending technology shows and conferences are among the best things you can do for the future of your business. Yet many professionals within the industry ignore these valuable resources, despite everything they offer.

All conferences are designed to provide attendees, both new and established, with the unique opportunity to delve further into their areas of interest and explore the newest technologies and trends. They also present an excellent opportunity for budding startups and industry professionals to network, gain insight from peers and receive constructive feedback from leaders in the space.

With over 3,000 events each year for startups looking for funding, partnerships and exposure, it can be difficult trying to find the perfect ones that will help your business the most. Here are a few to get you started:

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Launch Festival (Feb. 24-26, San Francisco): This conference is awesome if you're looking to launch your startup, raise money or learn about starting a company. With over 40 startups launching right on stage and more than 8,000 people in attendance, you may get serious "fear of missing out" if you pass on this leading Silicon Valley mega event. This three-day conference has truly become the "must-attend" event for anyone who is active or new to the startup community.

Israel Dealmakers Summit (March 4-5, New York) – A great deal of innovation in tech has been coming out of Israel. The Israel Dealmakers Summit by Landmark Ventures is the conference to hear from great speakers and learn about cutting edge Israeli companies.

South By Southwest Interactive (March 7-11, Austin, Texas): This is more of a festival than a conference, but it's definitely a must-attend event. It is an opportunity to meet some of the leading decision makers from both Silicon Alley and Silicon Valley. Plan to get loose, network and have fun. Don't plan to launch your startup at SXSW. Those times are pretty much over.

Related: The Do's and Don'ts of This Year's Hottest Conferences

Data Driven Business Conference (March 16-21, San Francisco): This is the conference for learning how to be strategic with your business' most valuable asset -- data.

Social Media Marketing World (March 26-28, San Diego): This is the world's largest social media marketing conference of the year. Seriously up your social media marketing game while networking with the best in the industry.

VentureBeat Mobile Summit (April 14-15, Sausalito, Calif.): It's no secret mobile is the future. Mobile Summit is the conference for exploring just where this future is heading. Join a select group of the mobile industry's top executives in a debate on how to accelerate adoption, engagement and monetization.

Inside BitCoins (April 7-8, New York): Whether you are a firm BitCoin believer, have dabbled in this alternative currency or are still trying to wrap your head around the concept, Inside BitCoins will address and answer the questions you're dying to ask. Thought leaders will share their insights and knowledge on the implications of bitcoin, along with predictions on what lies ahead.

Related: 5 Rookie Networking Fails and How to Avoid Them

TechCrunch Disrupt NYC (May 5-7, New York): TechCrunch Disrupt is one of most popular tech conferences for startups. Whether you launch a product or are just looking for some press, this is a great conference to see and be seen. Make your way to "Silicon Alley" to see this year's crop of innovative startups as well as mingle with like-minded entrepreneurs, investors and speakers.

The Startup Conference (May 15, Redwood City, Calif.): As startup people ourselves, we know how important it is to meet the right people. With around 2,000 entrepreneurs at the Startup Conference, you're sure to find just what you need, from learning how to pitch VCs and finding co-founders to launching your product to the press.

Silicon Valley Innovation Summit (July 30, Mountain View, Calif.): This is a great conference for gathering with your entrepreneurial peers and engaging in debate on top trends and opportunities in such thriving industries as digital media, cloud computing, and entertainment.

It is recommended that all business owners attend between two and four conferences each year to ensure that they stay up to date with the latest changes and innovations that are constantly occurring within the industry. Also, it is imperative to research what the conferences are about and who will be there so you know if it will be relevant to your company.

Related: The Golden Rule of Starting Up: Product-Market Fit

Alon Alroy

Co-Founder and CMO at Bizzabo

Alon Alroy is the Co-Founder, CMO & BizDev of Bizzabo, a software platform for event organizers and attendees. 

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