Events

8 Must-Attend Events for Making 2018 Your Best Year Ever

Here are eight great conferences and events every entrepreneur should attend this year.
8 Must-Attend Events for Making 2018 Your Best Year Ever
Image credit: Matt Winkelmeyer | Getty Images
VIP Contributor
Serial entrepreneur, mentor, advisor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com
6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The new year is upon us, and entrepreneurs around the world are looking for tools and information to make the most of their business in the coming year. There's almost no better way to get everything you need -- including some amazing connections -- than attending the best events for entrepreneurs, wherever they may be. Whether you're looking for funding, need advice on marketing or simply want to get the latest information on current best practices, entrepreneurial events are the ticket.

There are hundreds of events for entrepreneurs held every year, and it's important to nail down the best events to optimize your time and money. Here's my list of eight events that every entrepreneur should attend.

Related: Repair the 'Networking Disconnect' and Pursue Your Dream Job

8 Must-Attend Events for Making 2018 Your Best Year Ever

Next Gen Summit

When: June 8 to 10

Where: New York City

The folks who put on Next Gen Summit believe that "young people have the power to change the world -- they just need the right tools." And the summit is designed to give them those tools. The conference started in 2014 and has grown to be one of the premier events anywhere for young entrepreneurs. In addition to the fantastic connection opportunities among fellow founders who attend, the event boasts over 50 speakers, plus mentors and investors. People come from all over the world to attend this weekend event, so you never know just who you'll connect with.

8 Must-Attend Events for Making 2018 Your Best Year Ever

Traffic & Conversion Summit

When: February 26 to 28

Where: San Diego

Thousands of entrepreneurs and marketers from all over attend the Traffic & Conversion Summit (T&C) each year. It's a high-energy event, packed with information to take your marketing to the next level. In addition to well-known speakers like Ryan Deiss, founder of DigitalMarketer, Joel Comm and Bulletproof's Dave Asprey, T&C is great at finding hidden gems in the marketing world to teach what they know. The event brings in people on the front line of marketing from companies all over the marketing space. You'll leave with so many ideas, your biggest challenge will be deciding where to start.

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8 Must-Attend Events for Making 2018 Your Best Year Ever

South by Southwest

South by Southwest
Image credit: SXSW | Instagram

Where: March 9 to 17

When: Austin, Texas

With 24 different tracks to choose from, including Brands and Marketing, Design, Startup and Tech Sectors and many more, South by Southwest (SXSW) has something for everyone. Featured speakers in the business tracks include Mark Cuban, Peter Diamandis, Brian Solis and Daniel Pink, to name a few. Also, check out the Accelerator Pitch Event within the overall event. And don't forget, SXSW is a music and film festival, so expect to see some top-notch entertainment while there.

SXSW first launched in 1987, with about 700 people attending. In 2017, over 70,000 people attended and over 420,000 people participated directly, in one way or another. It's definitely become a can't-miss event.

8 Must-Attend Events for Making 2018 Your Best Year Ever

Funnel Hacking Live

Funnel Hacking Live
Image credit: Funnel Hacking Live

When: March 21 to 14 

Where: Orlando, Fla.

If you don't have a sales funnel, you probably should. If you want to learn about funnels or have one that you want to perform well, here's the event for you. Hundreds of people have generated seven figures and more from effective funnels, and many of them learned what they know at Funnel Hacking Live.

This event, put on by Click Funnels, has become one of the go-to conferences for everything having to do with building and optimizing sales funnels. Russell Brunson, the founder of Click Funnels, is just one of the superstar lineup of speakers, which also includes Tony Robbins and a who's-who of real-life funnel hackers who have realized tremendous success and who are ready to share their secrets with you.

Related: 10 Powerful Business Networking Skills to Build Rapport Quickly

8 Must-Attend Events for Making 2018 Your Best Year Ever

Startup Grind Global Conference

Startup Grind Global Conference
Image credit: Startup Grind

When: February 12 to 14

Where: Redwood City, Calif.

The Startup Grind Global Conference, held in the heart of Silicon Valley, bills itself as "the most inspirational conference around the globe for entrepreneurs." As the conference has grown to over 5,000 attendees, many apparently agree with that claim. In addition to over 40 speakers (including big names like Reid Hoffman and Guy Kawasaki), you'll be able to see 50+ exhibiting startups or submit your startup to be included in the event. Among the attendees, expect to find representatives of hundreds of industry leaders, from Google and Facebook to Slack and Lyft. 

8 Must-Attend Events for Making 2018 Your Best Year Ever

The Human Gathering

The Human Gathering
Image credit: The Human Gathering

When: April 5 to 7

Where: Los Angeles

Presented by A Human Project, The Human Gathering is an incredible invitation-only event that facilitates real conversation and connection with some of the most influential people you'll ever meet. Attendees are not just interested in business, but in changing the world by creating solutions to global needs. This unique event allows accredited investors, C-level executives, and entrepreneurs to form alliances that will propel amazing projects forward. Not many are accepted, but if you apply and get the chance to go, it can be a life-changing event.

Related: 13 Habits of Exceptionally Likable People

8 Must-Attend Events for Making 2018 Your Best Year Ever

Collision Conference

Collision Conference
Image credit: Collision | Facebook

When: April 30 to May 3

Where: New Orleans

It's not too late to apply to exhibit your startup at Collision Conference, one of America's fastest-growing tech conference. But, just attending is an excellent idea as well. Speakers last year included Chris Sacca and Wyclef Jean, as well as former NFL players, CEOs and founders of some of the most well-known and innovative companies and even a former astronaut. With over 20,000 attendees, you also have the chance to make some great connections.

8 Must-Attend Events for Making 2018 Your Best Year Ever

Burning Man

Burning Man
Image credit: John Horsley | Getty Images

When: August 26 to September 3 

Where: Black Rock Desert, Nev.

Many words have been used to describe the Burning Man event -- innovative, distinctive, experiential, weird . . . But, words cannot really do the event justice. There's a reason that everyone from CEOs and startup founders to self-made billionaires are regular attendees of this event. The atmosphere is like none other, and the overall experience has been life-changing for thousands of attendees. Burning Man is not a conference or seminar -- it's a city, temporarily built in the desert, that allows for the ultimate in self-expression and self-discovery. If you haven't attended yet, talk with someone who has and make this the year you check it out.

There are hundreds more events you can attend all year and all around the world. These are the few that I feel are the most transformative for business and life.

Which are your favorite can't-miss events? Share with us in the comments!

Related: 16 Tips for Becoming a Master Networker

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  • 8 Must-Attend Events for Making 2018 Your Best Year Ever
  • 1. Next Gen Summit
  • 2. Traffic & Conversion Summit
  • 3. South by Southwest
  • 4. Funnel Hacking Live
  • 5. Startup Grind Global Conference
  • 6. The Human Gathering
  • 7. Collision Conference
  • 8. Burning Man
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