Top 15 Leadership Conferences for Operations Professionals
Leadership is essential to success in business, particularly when it comes to operations professionals and managers.
Even if you’re at the top of your game, there’s always room for improvement.
Check out the 15 best leadership conferences for operations professionals to level up your business and perform better in your job.
1. Future Festival
When: March 7
Trend Hunter calls its Future Festival “the world’s best innovation conference,” and we have to agree.
Many prolific companies rely on this festival to help them train their leadership, such as Starbucks, Netflix, Samsung, Lego, Google and even NASA!
- 1:1 Assessments — Personal advice from industry experts
- Trend Safaris — Head off-site and see emerging trends in action
- Future Party — Learn what new technology is on the horizon
97% of attendees rate the Future Festival World Summit as the best innovation conference they’ve ever attended.
2. Executive Leadership Development
When: April 24 to May 12
Where: Stanford, CA or Online
Organized by the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the Executive Leadership Development Conference describes itself as follows:
“Learn to lead with confidence in this rigorous general management program for executives on the verge of achieving even greater things.”
The curriculum is designed for leaders of companies in any industry or role (including operations) wanting to improve their performance and contribution to their organization.
Specifically, you’ll walk away from this conference with:
- Improved core analytical skills
- Design thinking principles
- Awareness of your leadership style and how it’s perceived
3. Business Agility Conference
When: April 26-27
Where: New York City or Online
Business Agility Institute’s Business Agility Conference features two full days of conference programming:
- Stories from executives, thought leaders and practitioners on their business agility journeys
- Deep-dive conversations where you’ll get to share your stories and connect with others to brainstorm new perspectives
- Social events at top-level New York attractions
If you’re in operations and want to hear a range of amazing speakers, then the Business Agility Conference should be on your to-do list.
4. MIT Sloan CIO Symposium
When: May (exact date TBA)
Where: Cambridge, MA and Online (Hybrid)
The MIT Sloan CIO Symposium is a hybrid in-person and online event held at the campus’s Sloan Samberg Center and Wong Auditorium. But you can also gain full digital access to the conference via the Mighty Network platform.
Geared towards operations professionals and leaders in information technology, it includes various panels and interactive learning features.
The conference keeps two main goals in mind:
- Help CIOs, CDOs, and other IT managers deal with an ever-changing industry.
- Provide practical education and networking opportunities.
5. Leadercast: Human Intelligence
When: May 3
Where: Online (Live Stream or On-Demand), In-Person TBA
The goal is to help attendees rise to the top of their industries.
When: May 30 to June 2
Let’s face it.
If you’re interested in attending a leadership conference, you’ve probably heard of business finance and personal growth guru Dave Ramsey.
His leadership conference, EntreLeadership, is said to go “beyond business theory” to give you “real-life, proven advice from world-class leaders who’ve done it.”
This one is perfect if you’re a business owner in the operations sector and want to:
- Improve customer retention
- Increase your bottom line
- Be a better leader
It features invaluable lessons and insights from top CEOs, business giants, thought leaders and more.
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When: June 26-29
Collision Tech Conference focuses on leadership training, networking opportunities and lead generation.
Like past Collision conferences, 2023’s will feature a wealth of amazing keynote speakers, social media influencers and entrepreneurs to be announced soon.
Some of the impressive names from their 2022 roster included:
- Lupita Nyong’o — Actress
- Nicolas Cary — Co-founder and Vice Chairman of Blockchain.com
- Tope Awotona — Founder and CEO of Calendly
- Carmelo Anthony — NBA All-Star
8. ACUHO-I Business Operations Conference
When: June 28 to July 1
Where: Portland, OR
The ACUHO-I Business Operations Conference last took place in September 2022.
This conference aims to have operations professionals across various industries discuss real-world examples of their successes growing their skills and discovering new best practices.
The number of fields represented casts a wide net:
- Assignments and occupancy
- Information technology
- Conference services
- Dining and business administration
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When: August 2-5
eWomenNetwork’s (eWN) ICON is their premier annual women’s leadership conference. ICON is all about empowering women in managerial and other leadership roles.
You’ll gain valuable advice from your industry’s best and brightest mentors — since most of its yearly guests are their company’s owners or CEOs.
In 2023, their primary goals include teaching you:
- Keys to becoming an influencer
- Technology hacks to save you time and money
- Hottest growth insights and strategies from Google
And as always, ICON is dedicated to helping your business break through the million-dollar revenue threshold.
10. International Conference On Business Operations, Research and Management
When: August 9-10 and October 7-8
Where: New York City
The ICBORM, organized by the World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology (WASET), is a two-day event every year in August and October.
Its goals are similar to the WASET conference for ICIEOM (more on that later), except that this one is specifically dedicated to business operations.
You don’t have to stay in the audience at ICBORM.
The leadership conference maintains an open call for authors and presenters who wish to “contribute to and help shape the conference through submissions of their research abstracts, papers and e-posters.”
11. ILA Annual Global Conference
When: October 12-15
The International Leadership Association’s Annual Global Conference is chock full of presentations.
- Indigenous and First Nations
12. Strategic Growth Forum
When: November (exact date TBA)
Where: TBA (Usually in Palm Springs, CA)
EY’s Strategic Growth Forum is “the country’s most prestigious gathering of CEOs, high-growth entrepreneurs, C-suite executives representing global market leaders and professional investment fund managers.”
Here’s what you can expect to do at the Strategic Growth Forum:
- Learn the latest information about strategic transaction marketplaces and capital
- Network and meet with other potential customers, investors, buyers and acquisition targets
- Form new business partnerships
- Hear inspiring stories of success from other entrepreneurs
13. YPO EDGE
When: TBA (Usually in November)
The Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) is “a global leadership community of chief executives” driven by the belief that “the world needs better leaders.”
And YPO Edge is their annual global CEO thought leadership summit.
This summit is said to connect “the top minds from business, science and the humanities with YPO’s global members to engage and explore tangible ways we can make a difference.”
YPO Edge for 2023 has yet to be announced, but 2022’s is on November 2-4 in New York City if you can still make it.
Their YouTube channel has some incredible videos from events they’ve held in the past.
14. International Conference On Industrial Engineering And Operations Management
When: Year Round
Where: Digital through June, then New York City and Worldwide
Our other selection by the WASET, the ICIEOM is a leadership conference occurring every month in major cities all over the world. They went digital-only during the pandemic but plan on going back to in-person starting in July 2023.
While New York City is your best option if you’re in the states, other global locations include:
ICIEOM is less about pep talks and more about showcasing studies with an academic and well-researched slate of information. The focus is on industrial engineering and operations management.
Interested in participating with your own data?
WASET maintains an open call for contributors and plenty of sponsorship opportunities.
15. The Forbes Summits
When: Year Round
Where: Various US locations and Online
Anyone who has ever researched leadership conferences has heard of the Forbes Summits. These summits combine live events with on-demand webinars.
They host various types of summits for leaders and operations managers throughout the year, so it’s just a matter of deciding which one fits your taste.
Keep an eye on their website for their 2023 selections.
To give you an idea, here are some of the events Forbes hosted in 2022:
- Top Creators Launch
- Power Women’s Summit
- Future of Work Summit
- Sustainability Leaders Summit
- Wealth Summit
If you’re looking to learn from people with top-level credentials, the Forbes Summits are conference opportunities that you’ll want to check out.
For a small dose of what their virtual events look like, check out this video by 23andME CEO Anne Wojcicki from the 2021 Women Leader’s Summit.
There are a lot of business and leadership conferences planned for 2023 and beyond.
These 15 were hand-chosen because they are the absolute best for business leaders in the operations sector.
Attending a conference is a great way to reignite that passion for leadership amongst your team and help you make your company the best it can be.
Audrey Fairbrother is the Content and SEO Manager at Hotel Engine. She spends her days writing about all things business travel, researching topics that are important to Hotel Engine’s audience and cultivating the company’s brand voice. When she’s not working, Audrey enjoys spending time with her family, and hiking in the nearby Rockies with her dog, Albie.