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Top 100 Events in the United States & Canada 2021

The music festivals, trade shows, conferences and other gatherings in the U.S. and Canada that set the standard for the event industry during this unprecedented time.

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Photo: Courtesy of TED Conference

This year's "Top 100 Events in the United States & Canada 2021" is sponsored by 6Connex, a virtual event venue and hybrid event platform that offers planners a secure, cloud-based platform that expands audience reach and drives in-depth content engagement.

Register now for the Top 100 Events in the United States & Canada Virtual Showcase taking place on Thurs., Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. ET. The special virtual event powered by 6Connex will feature in-depth conversations with select event leaders at the helm of some of the year's biggest events—from the Super Bowl and Robin Hood Benefit to Dreamforce, South Beach Wine & Food Festival and more. 

Over the last 18 months, the event industry has faced unprecedented challenges—from the shutdown of large-scale gatherings at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to the pivot to virtual and now the evolution of hybrid events (or “phygital,” as some folks like to call them).

But throughout the economic and emotional toll, event producers and organizers have continued to believe that the show must go on. Whether showcasing new gadgets at virtual trade shows, calling up celebrities via Zoom for award shows or hosting black-tie galas for at-home patrons, the top events in the United States and Canada delivered experiences that wowed both virtual and in-person guests along with viewers around the globe.

Because of cancellations, some tentpole events such as Coachella, are noticeably absent this year—but are expected to make a strong return in 2022. Some events, including the Tribeca Film Festival, are making their mark for the first time as a testament to ongoing innovation and ingenuity. Canada’s event scene continues to build a robust recovery, after facing rigid lockdowns and travel restrictions. That’s why, in light of the tumultuous times, we decided to combine events from both countries into one comprehensive list.

To choose and rank the annual events on this list, we look at several factors, including economic impact, buzz, innovation and an event's prominence within the communities it intends to serve.