Conferences are uniquely valuable. 

They offer networking opportunities, chances to learn and pick up new skills, as well as a break from your day-to-day routine. And even with the pandemic still looming (and likely looming for several more months), you can enjoy these very benefits by attending conferences virtually. 

So which events—virtual or in-person—should you try to take part in over the coming year? We’ve done the heavy lifting for you by researching and identifying the best ones for BT and IT professionals. 

Without further ado, here are 9 conferences that are worth attending!

1. DeveloperWeek 2021
(Virtual / Feb. 17–19, 2021)

DeveloperWeek is the largest developer conference & event series. It typically hosts 1,000+ attendees for its hackathon activities and 800+ attendees for its tech hiring expo. The conference also holds a series of workshops, technical talks, and keynotes, where developers, engineers, software architects, dev teams, managers, and executives gather to discover the latest in developer technologies, languages, platforms, and tools. 

Despite the pandemic, it’s fair to say that DeveloperWeek 2021 will be invaluable for attendees, as it’ll have speakers from companies like, Lyft, Google, Adobe, Oracle, Citrix, Box, Twilio, among others.

2. Microsoft Ignite
(Virtual / Mar. 2–4, 2021)

Microsoft Ignite is a Microsoft commercial unified technology conference and exhibition that covers content previously introduced at other Microsoft events, such as TechEd and Microsoft Management. 

Microsoft Ignite allows IT and BT leaders, architects, developers, and data professionals to explore the latest tools, receive deep technical training, and get questions answered by Microsoft experts. The event covers topics such as virtualization, cloud strategies and technology, data management, SQL servers, enterprise and business, IoT, and more.

3. Adobe Summit
(Virtual / Apr. 13–15, 2021)

Adobe Summit is the premier event for “Experience Makers.” If you’re creating, optimizing, or monetizing customer experiences, you should look into this global event. 

It offers the latest trends and insights around digital customer experience, the chance to hear Adobe’s strategy and technology vision, and an opportunity to connect with your peers in the community. 

Previous Adobe Summit speakers include Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, Jensen Huang, Founder and CEO of Nvidia, and Dan Rosensweig, CEO of Chegg. Whether you’re interested in data, analytics, content, or marketing automation, you’ll be able to learn from leaders at top brands, like AT&T, HP, Palo Alto Networks and Microsoft.

4. Red Hat Summit
(Virtual / Apr. 27–28, Jun. 15–16, 2021, In-Person, Locations TBD / Sept.–Dec. 2021)

Red Hat Summit is the premier open-source technology event that brings together thousands of IT professionals to discuss topics around Linux, cloud, automation and management, container, and Kubernetes technologies. You can attend to get the latest news, ask experts your technology questions, hear from customers around the globe, and learn how open source is innovating the future of the enterprise. 

In 2021, the summit will expand. It’ll consist of a 2‑part immersive virtual experience as well as tentative small-scale, in-person events held in several cities. You’ll be able to explore labs, demos, training offerings, and networking opportunities.

5. Collision 2021
(Enercare Centre, Toronto / Jun. 21–24, 2021)

Collision, North America’s fastest-growing tech conference, is run by Web Summit, a company from Ireland that holds events across the globe. Collision hosts huge names in the business, academic, and entertainment spaces, including Arianna Huffington, Founder of Thrive Global, Steve Aoki, DJ and Grammy-nominated Producer, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The meetup brings together emerging tech innovators and thought leaders to discuss where technology is headed, and how we can use it for good. It also provides a space for tech enthusiasts to network with each other.

6. Biz Systems Magic
(Location TBD / Aug. 2021)

Biz Systems Magic is the first and only conference for business systems professionals. It offers sessions that feature leaders in tech, among other industries. This includes the likes of Mark Settle, author and seven-time CIO, Stephen Franchetti, CIO of Slack, Sylvie Veilleux, CIO of DropBox, Jerry Greenfield, Co-Founder of Ben & Jerry’s, and Kathryn Finney, author and founder of digitalundivided. 

The conference, which prohibits vendors from attending, allows you to learn directly from your peers, whether it’s how they’re managing their systems, evangelizing their impact, or redefining their role internally. By joining, you’ll also become a member of the Systematic Community, where nearly 1,800 business technology and ops professionals share ideas, best practices, and job openings.

7. SaaStr Annual
(San Francisco Bay Area / Sept. 28–29, 2021)

SaaStr Annual, hosted by SaaStr, is the largest non-vendor B2B software conference in the industry. It typically attracts 50,000+ attendees, who consist of SaaS executives, founders, and VCs from all across the world. 

The event offers 2 full-day sessions from 100+ speakers who lead prominent SaaS companies, like Twillio, Slack, Zoom, among others. The content they present generally aims to provide actionable tips and insights for growing your business.  

8. Salesforce Dreamforce
(Virtual or San Francisco / Q3 or Q4 2021)

Dreamforce, hosted by Salesforce, is an annual software conference that attracts more than 100,000 attendees. 

It brings together thought leaders, industry pioneers, thousands of IT professionals, and others, where they can hear keynote addresses, learn about new products from Salesforce, attend training sessions, network with peers, and earn certifications. 

You can get a sense of the quality of the event by simply looking at some of last year’s  speakers. These include Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Laureate and Co-Founder of Malala Fund, Corinne Sklar, CMO of IBM iX, Maria Martinez, Chief Customer Experience Officer at Cisco, and Shamim Mohammad, Chief Information & Technology Officer at CarMax. 

9. Gartner CIO Symposium/Xpo (Orlando, Florida / Oct. 18–21, 2021)

Through the Gartner CIO Symposium/Xpo, you can meet fellow IT leaders and gather valuable insights around creating a composable business, leading during disruption, maximizing cybersecurity, and much more. 

By attending the event, you’ll also get a chance to meet with experts from Gartner, who can help you uncover ways to deliver business value in and beyond the enterprise, create agile information and technology operating models, and defy conventional thinking during times of uncertainty.

What other conferences are BT and IT leaders talking about? Join our Systematic Community to find out!

Jennifer Supit
About Jennifer Supit

Jennifer works closely with IT and business systems leaders as an Automation Advisor. She's excited to be more involved in the business systems community.