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40 Upcoming Design, Development & Social Media Conferences Worth Attending

Attending conferences and seminars can noticeably boost your knowledge and work productivity. Design, development and social media conferences give you the wonderful chance to acquire essential knowledge in spheres you’re interested, get in touch with the masters in the field and be up-to-date about the freshest trends. These conferences usually gathers together hundreds of designers, developers and social media experts so they can be a great place to connect with people and gain friends or business partners. Most of the conferences also offer workshops where you can test your skills in work and learn new useful techniques.

I suggest every designer, developer or emerging social media enthusiast to attend some kind of conference because it can be an invaluable experience and you can gain unique insights you wouldn’t gain anywhere else. This post presents 40 upcoming design, development, social media and other type of conferences sorted by date.

1.  O’Reilly MySQL Conference


The O’Reilly MySQL Conference & Expo is an interactive learning community—four days packed with connections to MySQL developers and open source experts who know their subject inside and out. You’ll gain unique insights from speakers, vendors, project leaders, and other participants who are using MySQL to successfully run the world’s most demanding applications, saving millions of dollars over proprietary software and hardware solutions.

When: April 11–14
Where: Santa Clara, CA
Costs: $699–$1449
Workshops: No, but there will be in-depth tutorials

2. MIX 2011


MIX is a gathering of developers, designers, UX experts and business professionals creating the most innovative and profitable consumer sites on the web. Sessions range from technical, code-based topics to expert advice on content strategy, usability and design. Explore the future of the standards-based web – join the conversation at MIX11.

When: April 12–14, 2011
Where: Las Vegas, NV
Costs: $1395
Workshops: No

3. PHP Community Conference


The PHP Community Conference is a two-day event, taking place April 21st and 22nd, 2011 in Nashville, TN. They have an awesome line-up of speakers, including a keynote address by Rasmus Lerdorf. Things will kick off with a tutorial day that will introduce you to tools and ideas that you can use in your code right away. The second day will consist of presentations that will inspire you to create something new with PHP. With the help of our sponsors, organizers are able to offer admission to the entire event for $350 USD. They’ll provide lunch and snacks on both days. On Friday night, the conference will finish with a party featuring pecha kucha talks by our awesome attendees.

When: April 21–22, 2011
Where: Nashville, TN
Costs: $350
Workshops: No information

4. The Next Web Conference


The Next Web Conference brings together the best audience and companies from Europe and the US to discuss the future of the web and mobile. The Next Web has a soul, a vibe that is shared amongst the speakers, the attendees, the partners and the organizers. Something you have to have experienced before you can put a finger on it.

When: April 27–29, 2011
Where: Amsterdam
Costs: €595 (before April 1st) – € 999
Workshops: No information

5. Google I/O Extended


Google I/O brings together thousands of developers for two days of deep technical content, focused on building the next generation of web, mobile, and enterprise applications with Google and open web technologies such as Android, Google Chrome, Google APIs, Google Web Toolkit, App Engine, and more. Unfortunately the tickets are sold out though there still is a chance to connect with the I/O speakers. Google I/O Extended are free events focused on live-streaming parts of Google I/O. Depending on location, the event could also include local developer demos and other speaker sessions.

When: May 10–11, 2011
Where: Multiple locations
Costs: Free, though registration is required
Workshops: No

6. Web Directories Unplugged


HTML5 is fast becoming the way to develop not just web apps, but native apps for platforms like Android, iOS and webOS. Join Unplugged for two groundbreaking days of practical development and design presented by leading experts in this exploding field.

When: May 12–13, 2011
Where: Seattle, WA
Costs: $799 (before April 1st)
Workshops: $349 (conference attendees)

7. Future of Web Design


The Future of Web Design is coming back to London in 2011. Following on from the success of last year they will be bringing you three beautiful days of essential web learning. Not only that, they’re also back at The Brewery for the conference where you will have two tracks and four workshops to choose from. They’re full day workshops, so you can really get into it and learn loads about the topic you’re most passionate about.

When: May 16–18, 2011
Where: London
Costs: £714
Workshops: Yes, additional £120

8. Web Directories @media


Get together with the local web community to stay in touch with the freshest design ideas and the latest development techniques. Meet the biggest names and the newest faces, over two packed and fun-​​filled days with some of the friendliest people on the web. HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Mobile, Interaction Design, User Experience, and everything else that’s hot right now — it’s all on the carefully curated Web Directions @media program for 2011.

When: May 24–27, 2011
Where: London
Costs: £499 (before April 1st)
Workshops: £299 (conference attendees)

9. Web Visions


Web Visions explores the future of design, content creation, user experience and business strategy to uncover the trends and agents of change that will shatter your assumptions about the Web. Be ready to network, share ideas and be inspired by an all-star lineup of speakers.

When: May 25–27, 2011
Where: Portland, OR
Costs: $150–$625
Workshops: Yes, additional $300

10. Interlink Conference


Interlink Conference will be a small and carefully crafted 3-day web event that will appeal to all web professionals. This international web design conference welcomes website architects, usability specialists, project managers, marketing coordinators, web developers, website designers and any other online professional that wants to meet others in the industry and get inspired.

When: June 2–4, 2011
Where: Vancouver
Costs: C$350
Workshops: Yes, though seems to be sold out

11. DIBI


DIBI (pronounced “dibby”), is the annual Design It. Build It. Conference held at The Sage Gateshead in the North East of England. DIBI brings together both sides of the web coin for an unusual two-track web conference. World renowned speakers leading in their fields of work will talk about all things web.

When: June 7–8, 2011
Where: Gateshead, UK
Costs: £199
Workshops: No

12. An Event Apart


An Event Apart is an intensely educational two-day conference for passionate practitioners of standards-based web design. If you care about code as well as content, usability as well as design, An Event Apart is the conference you’ve been waiting for.

When: June 13–15, 2011; August 8–10, 2011; October 24–26, 2011; December 12–14, 2011
Where: Atlanta, GA; Minneapolis, MN; Washington, DC; San Francisco, CA
Costs: About $400–$1400
Workshops: No

13. How Design Conference


With more than 35 sessions and 30+ expert speakers, the HOW Design Conference offers everything you need to boost your design career and create outstanding work. You’ll learn how to use your software more effectively, develop a better creative process, find inspiration whenever you need it and more. Plus, you’ll be surrounded by thousands of creatives—the perfect environment for networking, learning and soaking up all the creative energy.

When: June 24–27, 2011
Where: Chicago, IL
Costs: $595–$1195
Workshops: $175 per workshop

14. Future of Web Apps


The Future of Web Apps is coming to Las Vegas in 2011. It’s a brand new event that takes place over three days, and much like it’s sister conference FOWD, there are four workshops to choose from and with each one being a full day workshop, your brain is bound to be bursting with new skills and techniques by the end of it.

When: June 27–29, 2011
Where: Las Vegas, NV
Costs: $90–$895
Workshops: Yes, additional $100

15. Big Design Conference


The Big Design Conference is three intense days of learning within the scope of Strategy, User Experience, and Code Development. Experts from across the country will gather to present theories, research, experiences, and best practices to students, professionals, and executives looking to stay on the bleeding edge.

When: July 14–16, 2011
Where: Addison, TX
Costs: $150 (before April 30th)
Workshops: Yes, additional $50

16. UX Australia 2011


UX Australia 2011 is a  four day user experience design conference, with inspiring and practical presentations, covering a range of topics about how to design great experiences for people.

When: August 22–26
Where: Australia
Costs: $300–$750
Workshops: Yes, $300–$600

17. London Design Festival


First staged in 2003, the London Design Festival is one of the world’s most important annual design events. The nine-day Festival programme is made up of over 200 events and exhibitions staged by around 160 partner organizations across the design spectrum and from around the world

When: September 17–27, 2011
Where: London
Costs: Most events are free to enter
Workshops: No

18. Adobe MAX


MAX is a unique opportunity to connect with thousands of designers, developers, and business leaders as we shape the future of digital media together. Discover how to realize the full potential of your content and applications. Find new opportunities presented by rich experiences across screens. Explore new methods for monetizing content. Learn about innovative technologies that enable designers and developers to work together more effectively. Join us and get inspired.

When: October 1–5, 2011
Where: Los Angeles, CA
Costs: No information
Workshops: No information

19. Pivot – AIGA Design Conference


Design is at a critical inflection point as a practice, thought process and force for change. At “Pivot,” this year’s AIGA Design Conference in Phoenix, they’ll explore the shifts prompting this change—in design thinking, practice, education, technology, society and business—and discuss how designers can prepare for the complexities of the future.

When: October 13–16, 2011
Where: Phoenix, AZ
Costs: $900 (before June 8th)
Workshops: Yes, includes in price

20. View Conference


VIEW Conference is the premiere international event in Italy on Computer Graphics, Interactive Techniques, Digital Cinema, 3D Animation, Gaming and VFX. VIEW 2011 will continue to focus on exploring the increasingly fluid boundary between real and digital worlds. Through lectures, meetings, tributes, exhibits, screenings and demo presentations VIEW will reveal the new digital frontier sweeping from cinema to architecture, from automotive design to advertisement, from medicine to videogames.

When: 25–28 October, 2011
Where: Turin, Italy
Costs: €80–€300
Workshops: Yes, included in price

21. Build


Build is a small, yet perfectly formed, design conference taking place this November in Belfast, Northern Ireland. More details coming soon.

When: November 7–11, 2011
Where: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Costs: No information
Workshops: No information

22. Design City 2011


Visit Design City and see the latest graphic design tools, services, and products from the world’s largest vendors. You’ll see and test software that you’ve been wanting to try, you’ll meet the people that you talk to on the phone every day, and you’ll be wowed by some of the latest technology created for your profession.

When: November 10–12, 2011
Where: Toronto, ON
Costs: No information
Workshops: No Information

23. Web Design World


Since 1997, Web Design World has helped thousands of web designers to learn what they need to know to make better web sites, manage web projects, and get home at a decent hour. Their recipe is simple. Start with great designers and developers who also have that rare gift of being able to teach.  Add more great designers and developers who are in the trenches, creating the web sites, large and small, that we use every day. Mix for two or three days. Serve via HTTP.

When: December 5–7, 2011
Where: Orlando, FL
Costs: No information (2010 conference costed about $400–$1200)
Workshops: No information

24. Mogo Media Conferences


MOGO Media delivers best-of-class training events, conferences and seminars for the global design community. An independent organization, MOGO Media specializes in dedicated events geared toward niche and focused markets that utilize Adobe products. Partnering with the world’s leading authors, experts and professionals, MOGO Media offers focused and meaningful content to print, web and cross-media design professionals including The InDesign Conference, The Creative Suite Conference, The Vector Conference, The Pixel Conference, The Web Design Conference, and The Conference for Adobe Acrobat.

Social media, tech and other conferences

1. Mobile Research Conference


The Mobile Research Conference is the must-attend annual event for brands, agencies and academics interested in engaging consumers and capturing real-time feedback through mobile phones. Mobile, along with social media and online networks, represents the latest frontier for market research. Join other fearless pioneers and industry leading lights for MRC 2011 and discover how to engage respondents, extract insights for product innovation and optimize marketing activities.

When: April 18–19, 2011
Where: London
Costs: £650

2. Planet of the Apps Arabia


Planet of the Apps Arabia 2011 brings together the mobile application ecosystem in one location. It is a two day strategic conference, a dedicated developer masterclass and a technology showcase exhibition. The conference will feature the industry’s most respected stakeholders who will be looking closely at the opportunities and challenges brought to your business by the explosion of mobile apps.

When: April 18–20, 2011
Where: Dubai, UAE
Costs: $4395

3. Where 2.0


The O’Reilly Where 2.0 Conference explores the intersection of location technologies and trends in software development, business strategies, and marketing. The source for all things location-aware, Where 2.0 brings together CTOs, marketers, developers, technologists, researchers, geographers, startups, business developers, and entrepreneurs, to shed light on the issues surrounding:

When: April 19–21, 2011
Where: Santa Clara, CA
Costs: $1295
Workshops: Yes, $595

4. Activate New York


Activate is the Guardian newspaper’s platform for leaders working across all sectors who are proving that, through the use of technology and the internet, we can make the world a better place.

When: April 28, 2011
Where: New York, NY
Costs: $844.99

5. FITC Toronto


Now in its 10th year, FITC Toronto is one of the largest and longest running events of its kind in the world. With some of the most unique and engaging presenters from around the globe, FITC Toronto is a three day blitz of presentations, demonstrations, and panel discussions, sandwiched between our legendary FITC parties and abundant networking opportunities. Topped off with the FITC Award Show, it’s three days and nights that will leave you inspired, energized and awed.

When: May 2–4, 2011
Where: Toronto, ON
Costs: c$699
Workshops: Yes, c$299

6. Fashion 140


E-commerce enabling customers to shop via mobile phone, tablets and Facebook;  customer engagement is now direct and more personal; the shopping experience is fast changing with new sites and mobile application allowing consumers to socialize and personalize the shopping experience –  these are just few topics Fashion140 will cover. Fashion140 is a brave collaborative inquiry into how the real time web, twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media are reshaping the fashion industry, now.

When: May 4, 2011
Where: New York, NY
Costs: $95

7. Social Loco


Social-Loco will dive into social and mobile web convergence, and what that means for SMB, big brands and consumers. Learn from real-world successes in daily deals, location based services and advertising, mobile marketing platforms and more. Executives from Groupon, Facebook, Google, ATTi, Microsoft and leading investors will address these topics in a highly interactive setting.

When: May 5, 2011
Where: San Francisco, CA
Costs: $295

8. TedxEast


TEDxEast brings the spirit of the TED conference to New York City- hosting some of the world’s most fascinating thinkers, doers and teachers to inspire attendees to create greater impact with their ideas. And true to the format of the TED conference, TEDxEast presenters will give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less.

When: May 9, 2011
Where: New York, NY
Costs: $100 though you have to apply for invitation

9. Internet World 2011


Over 300 solution providers and 12,000 visitors, combining five shows in one event, Internet World is the event for digital marketing and online business. The Internet is worth over £100 billion to the UK economy. Fast changing, ever adapting and creating more competition every second the need to be ahead of the game has never been more important.

When: May 10–12, 2011
Where: London
Costs: Free

10. iStrategy


iStrategy conferences brings together the globe’s top marketers for intimate, interactive two-day gatherings.  Their speakers are global thought leaders at major brands, and our attendees are CXOs, VPs and Directors from a wide range of verticals, resulting in unmatched learning and networking opportunities.

When: May 11–12, 2011
Where: Amsterdam
Costs: £950

11. Mashable Connect


Mashable Connect 2011 is an intimate conference experience that will bring together leaders from the digital world for three days away to share and connect offline in a unique setting. Mashable will be bringing social and content from the online to the offline.

When: May 12–14, 2011
Where: Walt Disney World, FL
Costs: $2449

12. Digital Summit 2011


Join hundreds of Internet executives, online marketers, entrepreneurs, web strategists, bloggers, and investors at the inaugural Digital Summit for expert content on opportunities and trends created by the latest in web innovation. Hear from dozens of industry thought leaders and innovators on topics such as Social Media, Mobile, Cloud Computing, Web Analytics, Online Advertising, Ecommerce, Email, and Search and much more.

When: May 16–17, 2011
Where: Atlanta, GA
Costs: $245

13. Next 2011


From the very beginning in 2006, NEXT has been a community-driven event. They always received invaluable input from the NEXT community, helping organizers to put together a programme that is attractive for participants who invest their precious time and money.

When: May 17–18, 2011
Where: Berlin
Costs: € 940.10

14. Social Media 2011


Social Media Marketing & Monitoring 2011 will bring together leading marketing experts, brands, agencies and journalists for an intensive one-day conference in San Francisco. Following the huge success of this conference last year, a team of experts will be joining us again for an update on the latest strategies, tools and techniques in social media marketing. From Facebook to Foursquare, Groupon to social gaming, social media monitoring, influencer engagement and social CRM – this conference will examine all the latest trends.

When: May 23, 2011
Where: San Francisco, CA
Costs: $195.00

15. a4u Expo Europe


a4uexpo is Europe’s largest Performance Marketing Conference with over 1,000 delegates & 36 diverse conference sessions. From the latest SEO Strategy to the current thinking on Retargeting and Deduplication their diverse conference programme covers everything you need to know to succeed.

When: June 7–9, 2011
Where: Munich
Costs: €495


What about you? Do you plan to attend any of these conferences? What’s your experience with such events? Would love to hear your feedback – I consider conferences to be an invaluable place to make new contacts and gain fresh inspiration! What’s your take here?

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