Bright Ideas: The 15 Most Innovative Meetings 2018

Shining a spotlight on the most forward-thinking conferences, expos, and other gatherings over the past year.

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Illustration: Robert Conway/BizBash

People who attend meetings are looking for solutions—to business challenges, to career obstacles, to big, global problems. It’s up to the meeting organizer to create a setting where people can find the answers. This year’s list of the top 15 most innovative meetings have done just that, and now we’re sharing their insights with you.

In researching this list, we’ve noticed some trends. Several meetings on our list made an effort this year to focus on diversity and inclusiveness—notable at a time when meeting panels are being called out for their lack of diversity (this is the year the term “manels,” or all-male panels, entered the popular lexicon.) Other meetings on the list are tackling how to provide education in new formats, better facilitate networking, and incorporate technology in novel and useful ways.

Here are their bright ideas.

1. Adobe Max

2. IBM Think

3. Google I/O

4. C2 Montreal

5. Salesforce 2018 Connections

6. Microsoft Ignite

7. International Woodworking Fair

8. Collision Conference

9. No Barriers Summit

10. Hilton Worldwide GMLS

11. Social Media on the Sand

12. National FFA Convention & Expo

13. Volvo Ocean Race

14. M.P.I.’s World Education Congress

15. Surefire Girls

A version of this story appeared in the Winter 2018 issue of BizBash.

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