The 15 Most Innovative Meetings 2019

IBM, Vox, Staples, and others have cracked the code on designing meaningful meetings. Get inspired by our picks for the smartest meetings, conferences, trade shows, and other business events.

Innovative Meetings
Photos: Zachary Patino (yoga), Courtesy of Google (stage), Carrie Evans (jet pack)

It’s easy to get burned out at a meeting or conference. Sitting through long, back-to-back sessions in windowless rooms isn’t always the most engaging—or creativity-inducing—environment.

But the best meeting producers are taking active steps to fight attendee fatigue, using creative programming and layouts inspired by music festivals and other gatherings. For some, that means reconceiving the layout or turning the host city into an immersive campus. For others, that means employing unique social media strategies, taking meaningful steps toward gender equality, or even asking attendees to go completely tech-free. 

Our ninth annual list of the year’s most innovative meetings, conferences, and trade shows explores these ideas and more from events throughout the United States and Canada. Click through the links below, and adapt these smart strategies for your next face-to-face gathering.

1. IBM Think
2. Code Conference
3. C2 Montréal
4. SAP Sapphire Now
5. Summit L.A.
6. Collision Conference
7. Staples Sales Conference
8. Emerge Americas
9. Epic International Summit
10. Google I/O
11. Mom 2.0
12. How Design Live
13. Western Veterinary Conference
14. Microsoft Inspire
15. Code2040 Summit

With additional reporting by Rona Gindin, Michele Laufik, Liana Lozada, Amanda Scriver & Ian Zelaya. A version of this story appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of BizBash.

More in Meetings & Conferences