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Take 5: Top Technology Conferences Around The World

This post was written by Janet Newenham, Community with

January went by so fast; most of us hardly had time to plan our yearly events calendar. Now suddenly February is flying by and we are still trying to catch up with post-Christmas emails and enquiries!

Fret not, for I have dedicated some time this week to compiling a list of some of the best technology conferences around the world taking place in 2015 to put in your diary. These are the top events for discovering innovative new technology, meeting up-and-coming start-up teams, listening to inspiring fireside chats from the world’s most influential technology leaders and of course the perfect opportunity to network with people in and outside of your industry.

5. Mobile World Congress, Barcelona

In short: The GSMA Mobile World Congress is a combination of the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry and a conference featuring prominent executives representing mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors and content owners from across the world. Spanning over 5 days from the 2nd to the 5th March in Barcelona, Spain, the conference attracts up to 80,000 visitors from 200 countries across the globe.

A hot topic at this year’s conference will be mobile payments thanks to the recent launch of Apple Pay and the ever increasing demand for secure mobile payment systems.

Speakers: An incredible line up including; Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, Charles Scharf, CEO of Visa and Marty Beard, COO of Blackberry.

Where to stay: Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona

Located in Barcelona city center, The Hilton Diagonal Mar is only 10 minutes walk form the beach and offers stunning views of the sea and the rising sun. It is also the perfect base point for traveling to the conference which is accessible from the city center by bus, metro and a free shuttle service for all attendees.


4. SXSW – South by Southwest, Austin Texas

In short: South by Southwest (SXSW) is so much more than a technology conference. It is a set of film, interactive, and music festivals and conferences that take place early each year in mid-March in Austin, Texas, United States. It started as a small gathering in 1987 has now grown to a 10 day event known by technology leaders, writers, bloggers and musicians the world over. It is much more relaxed than most tech conferences, so don’t go there expecting to launch your new start-up or get millions of investment. Better to just use it as the best networking event of the year – because simply put, that’s exactly what it is!

Speakers: Dr. Astro Teller head of Google[X], Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al-Saud, Alfa Intl, Ava DuVernay, Winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Best Director Award.

Where to stay: Hyatt Regency Austin

The perfect balance between the city’s vibrant energy and a resort-like tranquillity, the Hyatt Regency Austin is the perfect base for SXSW. With unrivalled facilities including an outdoor pool overlooking the lake, it is the perfect place to unwind after a long day networking. Set on the shores of Lady Bird Lake, The Hyatt Regency lets you experience the best of Austin, a eclectic city famous for live music, rock-star dining and innovative ideas.

3. Velocity, Santa Clara, California

In short: Velocity is the best place on the planet for web ops and performance professionals to learn from peers, exchange ideas with experts, and share best practices and lessons learned about challenges and progress in web operations. Most companies with outward-facing dynamic websites face the same challenges: pages must load quickly, infrastructure must scale efficiently, and sites and services must be reliable, without burning out the team or breaking the budget. So, why attend Velocity? It will help you to build faster web Apps, spend quality time with industry experts and spend three intense days devoted to web operations and performance. Runs from May 27th to 29th in Santa Clara, California.

Speakers: Have not been released yet but they are actually accepting proposals if you fancy speaking at it!

Where to stay: Santa Clara Marriott

The Santa Clara Marriott, part of the ever expanding Marriott Hotels group (which now has almost 1 million rooms worldwide) is an excellent choice for your stay in Santa Clara. In the heart of Silicon Valley, the Santa Clara hotel is just minutes from the Santa Clara Convention Center and San Jose International Airport, and is within walking distance of Levi Stadium. Make the most of the sunny Californian weather by using their large outdoor pool and leisure center, in a hotel that is known and frequented by an endless stream of business travellers. Excellent choice for late night or early morning networking!

2.CES International, Shanghai, China

In short: The International CES is a global consumer electronics and consumer technology trade show that takes place every January in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, this year they are hosting the first ever CES in Asia, which takes place from May 25th to 27th in Shanghai, China. The conference will include a series of keynotes and conference sessions designed to highlight the global innovations taking place in the consumer technology industry and reflected in the exhibits on the show floor. As China is one of the fastest growing market for new technology, this is the perfect chance to go to a technology conference outside of both silicon valley.

Speakers: More famous for product debuts than speakers, such as the launch of; Smart devices such as Tablets and Notebooks, The Plasma TV, Blu-ray discs and Microsoft Xbox!

Where to stay: Le Royal Méridien Shanghai

This 5 star luxury hotel located on one of the most important streets in Shanghai, in China’s financial and commercial hub is the perfect hotel to base yourself for your stay. With a choice of 4 restaurants,2 bars and an incredible on site spa, in addition to stunning views of the Shanghai skyline, this hotel has everything you need to unwind after a long day of networking. All the bedrooms have dazzling views of the Bund and the city’s skyline and state-of-the-art-technology including high speed WIFI – essential when attending a tech conference!

1. Web Summit,Dublin, Ireland

In short: Last year Guardian Media called Web Summit the ‘Davos for Geeks’ while the event itself promoted the event with the phrase ‘where the tech world meets’. Only in it’s fifth year, this new kid on the block had become on of the biggest and hottest tech events overnight. Attracting hugely influential speakers from the top tech companies around the world, such as Drew Houston of DropBox,Werner Vogels of Amazon and Peter Thiel of PayPal, Web Summit attracted 20,000 attendees last year over a 3 day period, and this number is growing each year. The event is split up in a variety of ‘mini summits’ such as music, enterprise, builders, marketing, investors and the always popular night summit which is where all the most important networking is done and where many big investment deals have been signed.

Speakers: This year’s speakers have not been confirmed, but last year included Bono. Eva Longoria, John Collison and Padmasree Warrior

Where to stay: The Herbert Park Hotel, Dublin

Less than a stone’s throw away from the RDS, which is the venue for the Web Summit 2015, this luxury 4 star hotel is the perfect base. Voted Ireland’s Business Hotel of the Year for 2015. Facilities are second-to-none and include the hotel’s own AirSpeed dedicated Wi-Fi network which provides high speed internet access at all times and is offered free of charge to residents and conference delegates. With the hotel less than a 5 minute walk from the Web Summit, it is the perfect spot for hosting Pre or Post conference meetings with other delegates or for simply getting some work done in the mornings or evenings.