Events

Here are all the 2018 events that you should be at

By Oliver Smith 3 January 2018
Al Gore speaking at Slush 2017. Image: (C) Petri Anttila.
Summary

Time to fill up your diary.

If you thought 2017 was busy, just wait until you see what the new year has in store.

There’s a literal deluge of tech events, conferences, meet-ups, networking dinners, and more… but pick the wrong ones and you might waste a lot of time and money.

With that in mind, we’ve separated the wheat from the chaff to give you only the very best.

So without further ado, here are the 25 key tech events and conferences in 2018 that you need to know about:

Image: David Ramos/Getty Images.

January

CES 2018. It’s lights, cameras, action as Las Vegas comes alive once again for 2018’s premier tech conference. Expect new smartphones, super-cars and so much more. Las Vegas, 7–12 January, tickets from $100.

RE-WORK: AI Assistant Summit & Deep Learning Summit. Bringing together an all-star lineup of speakers from the artificial intelligence teams at Tesla, Apple, Google and startups like X.ai (creator of the Amy email assistant), Re-work’s dual AI and deep learning conferences are not to be missed. San Francisco, 25–26 January, joint tickets from $2,095.

February

Mobile World Congress. MWC, as it’s known, has become the event for Samsung, Lenovo, Sony and others to launch their flagship 2018 smartphones. In recent years it’s also become about more than just ‘mobile’, with tablets, drones and even smart cars driving across the show floor. Barcelona, 26 February – 1 March, tickets from €799.

Tech Chill. Riga hosts the Baltics leading tech conference, with speakers this year including Taxify boss Martin Villig, The Nordic Web founder Neil Murray, and Revolut’s Nikolay Storonsky. Latvia, 8–9 February, tickets from €159.

Tinder's co-founder and chair Sean Rad at Advertising Week Europe. Image: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images.

March

Global Education & Skills Forum. No industry is being transformed more by tech than education. Smartphones are now owned by around 2.1 billion people, making them the most popular computer in the world. The Global Education & Skills Forum sees education’s leading minds come together to share how technology is being used to revolutionise education around the world. Dubai, 17 – 18 March, tickets available on application.

SXSW 2018. Filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, Uber Chief Brand Officer Bozoma Saint John and London Mayor Sadiq Khan are among the headline speakers of SXSW (pronounced “South by Southwest”) 2018, a four-part conference which blends tracks on film, music, comedy and technology together. Texas, 9 – 18 March, tickets from $1,450.

Advertising Week Europe. Former chancellor-turned-editor George Osborne, advertising guru Rory Sutherland, and women’s rights activist Helen Pankhurst are among the speakers already revealed for this 4-day tour de force of the advertising and technology industry. Expect virtual reality, artificial intelligence and more to be discussed by the greatest minds in advertising. London, 19 – 22 March, tickets from £399.

April

TED 2018. TED’s theme for 2018 is ‘the age of amazement’, and this week-long conference will surely not disappoint. The speakers are closely guarded, but with its alumni including presidents, spiritual leaders and titans of industry, you’re sure to be amazed. Canada, 10 – 14 April, tickets from $5,000.

Dublin Tech Summit. After Web Summit moved to Lisbon in 2017, Dublin’s tech community came together to put on its own annual conference, now in its second year. Twitter’s Bruce Daisley, Starling’s Anne Boden, and Blippar’s Ambarish Mitra are among the speakers already confirmed for 2018. Dublin, 18 – 19 April, tickets from €349.

COLLISION. Created by the team behind Web Summit and attended last year by the co-founders of Reddit, WeWork, Twitch and Bitmoji, Collision is bringing tech to New Orleans as America’s fastest-growing tech conference. New Orleans, 30 April – 3 May, tickets from $745.

Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller at WWDC 2017. Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

May

Microsoft Build and Facebook’s F8. ‘Tis the season for developers’ conferences as Microsoft and Facebook host their annual pilgrimages for all those coders building apps on their platforms. Expect announcements and updates aplenty from the software giants. Microsoft Build: Seattle, date and tickets TBA. Facebook F8: San Jose, 1 – 2 May, tickets TBA.

VivaTech. This fast-growing Parisian conference is quickly becoming the premier French tech event, with the CEOs of Lenovo, Alibaba and LVMH all taking to the stage last year. Paris, 24 – 26 May, tickets from €100.

Code Conference. Journalists Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg host 2018’s edition of the exclusive Code conference, an invite-only event which counts Elon Musk, Hillary Clinton and Jeff Bezos among its past attendees. California, 29 – 31 May, tickets by invitation.

June

CeBit. Once the single largest computer exhibition in the world, CeBit today only draws around 200,000 visitors, with last year’s opening by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and a guest appearance by whistleblower Edward Snowden being the only highlights. But CeBit is planning a dramatic rebranding and a new set of dates for 2018 (previously it was hosted in March), which it’s hoping will give the conference a new breath of life. Hannover, 11 – 15 June, tickets from €100.

WWDC. Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is a mecca for app developers. Not only does the tech giant unveil its latest software to the world – expect iOS 12 for your iPhone and a new version of macOS for your MacBook – but it also hosts dozens of briefings to help coders build the best new apps. San Jose, dates and tickets TBA.

London Tech Week. The UK’s capital comes alive for a week of technology and innovation. Dozens of individual events and conferences spread across London, from The Europas to The Prince’s Trust Gala Dinner and the LeadersIn Tech Summit, all come together to make London Tech Week unmissable. London, 11 – 17 June, some events free.

Money 20/20. Jack Dorsey and Gemma Godfrey were last year’s headline speakers at Europe’s largest financial technology conference. With over 5,000 attendees Money 20/20 outgrew its home in Copenhagen and will move to Amsterdam for 2018. Amsterdam, 4 – 6 June, tickets €2395.

The IFA tech show in Berlin is the biggest of its kind in Europe

July

RISE Conference. Last year this Asian tech conference drew speakers including the co-founders of Alibaba, Stripe and Trivago. While 2018’s lineup has yet to be unveiled, we expect it to be just as strong. Hong Kong, 9 – 12 July, tickets TBA.

August

Black Hat USA. A hub of nefarious digital behaviour, this conference sees the world’s leading hackers compete to show off their most deadly digital discoveries. Las Vegas, 4 – 7 August, tickets TBA.

IFA. Officially Europe’s largest tech show – recently overtaking Mobile World Congress – and rivalling CES in the US as the world’s biggest tech event, IFA is a beast. Thousands of companies exhibit their latest wares across miles of conference halls, including all the big names from Samsung to LG. Berlin, 31 August – 5 September, tickets TBA.

Oslo Innovation Week: Prime Minister Erna Solberg at Girl Tech Fest. Pic: GORM K GAARE / EUP-BERLIN.COM
Oslo Innovation Week: Prime Minister Erna Solberg at Girl Tech Fest. Pic: GORM K GAARE / EUP-BERLIN.COM

September

Oslo Innovation Week. This up-and-coming Norwegian event is all about highlighting “shit that matters”. From its record-breaking girls’ coding class to Fuckup Nights which shine a light on failure, Oslo is the place to go this September. Oslo, 24 – 28 September, tickets TBA.

Tech BBQ. It may have started as a BBQ, but today this two-day conference has grown to become so much more. The best of the best of Europe’s startups come to Copenhagen for this delightful Danish tech fest. Copenhagen, 24 – 25 September, and tickets €49 – €399.

November

Web Summit. To many, Web Summit is the premier tech conference outside of the US. Its alumni of keynote speakers include Netflix founder Reed Hastings, European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager and Bono. Since moving to Lisbon in 2017 Web Summit has only grown in size and ambition, with over 60,000 attendees last year. Lisbon, 5 – 8 November, tickets from €850.

December

Slush. The perfect end to 2018 can be found in Finland, as Slush hosts its “Burning Man meets TED” techfest to brighten up the otherwise cold and depressing final weeks of the year. Helsinki, 4 – 5 December, tickets TBA.