Top 15 Leadership Conferences for Operations Professionals

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Leadership is an essential part of business success. This is more true than ever for operations professionals.

You’re tasked with making your company operate. Without you, the business just wouldn’t run as smoothly.

There’s obviously a lot of math, research, and decision-making that goes into making a business run properly. But at the end of the day, you also need leadership skills.

Even if you’re at the top of your game, there’s always room for improvement, especially when it comes to leadership.

So in this post, you’re going to learn about the 15 best leadership conferences for operations professionals to help you level up your business and perform better in your job.

If you’ve been looking for a way to expand your horizons, network with other professionals, and take yourself to new levels of success and effectiveness as a leader, these conferences could be a fantastic opportunity for you.

Table of Contents

1. MIT Sloan CIO Symposium
2. Collision
3. Executive Leadership Development
4. Leadercast
5. Future Festival
6. Strategic Growth Forum
7. International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management
8. YPO EDGE
9. International Conference on Business Operations, Research and Management
10. The Forbes Summits
11. ACUHO-I Business Operations Conference
12. Inc. 5000 Vision Conference
13. Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Conference
14. EntreLeadership
15. Business Agility Conference


1. MIT Sloan CIO Symposium

Male presenting delivering speech in front of projected PowerPoint

Our list starts off with the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium.

This hybrid in-person event is generally held at the MIT Sloan Samberg Center and Wong Auditorium in Cambridge, Massachusetts. However, you can also gain digital access to the conference via the Mighty Network Platform.

Here’s a snippet from their event summary for 2022’s conference, Digital Ecosystems: Reshaping the Future of Business:

“How will CIOs adjust their approach to organizational and technical architectures, risk management, talent acquisition, decision making, and data management to meet this volatility? Join us at the 2022 MIT Sloan CIO Symposium to discuss how your enterprise can leverage the service economy, supply chains, cybersecurity, and accelerated digitalization to prosper in the 2020s.”

Are you or your team heading to a conference this year? Hotel Engine gives you access to corporate hotel discounts that can help you save big on group bookings!

2. Collision

Collision Tech Conference was described by Politico as “the Olympics of tech,” and that statement couldn’t be more correct.

In 2022, the conference is taking place in Toronto. Like past Collision Tech Conferences, it will feature a wealth of amazing keynote speakers, social media influencers, and entrepreneurs.

Some names for their 2022 roster include:

  • Ryan Reynolds
  • Nicole Kidman
  • Bret Taylor
  • Ukonwa Ojo
  • Ashton Kutcher

This conference focuses mostly on leadership training, networking opportunities, and lead generation.

If you’re looking to get exposure for your startup and dive deep into professional development as an operations expert, Collision Tech should definitely be on your future conference trip list.


3. Executive Leadership Development

The Executive Leadership Development Conference, orchestrated by The Stanford Graduate School of Business, 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 conference takes place in-person in Stanford, California in July of 2022. The curriculum is designed for leaders of companies in any industry or role (including operations) who want to improve their performance and contribution to their organization.

Find lodging during the conference here: 10 Best Business Travel Hotels in California


4. Leadercast

Leadercast 2022 is a one-day conference event taking place in Cincinnati, Ohio that describes itself as follows:

“We have invited 10 of the world’s most influential and acclaimed leaders to share the stage for one amazing day to answer the same question: What is the one thing that makes a leader worth following? Attend, experience, and find your ‘One Thing.'”

Leadercast is a leadership summit where operations experts can learn various leadership skills at breakout sessions hosted by thought leaders in the leadership world. The goal is to help those leaders rise to the top of their industries.


5. Future Festival

Future Festival is known as “the world’s best innovation conference,” and we have to agree.

Many prolific companies rely on this festival to help them train leadership. This includes companies like Starbucks, Netflix, Samsung, Lego, Google, and even NASA!

97% of attendees rate the Future Festival World Summit as the best innovation conference they’ve ever attended.

If you want to network with top leaders in operations, this is most definitely a conference to look into.


6. Strategic Growth Forum

The 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

If that sounds like a way you’d want to spend a weekend, this is most definitely the conference for you!


7. International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management

The last ICIEOM, which took place in January of 2022 in New York, aimed to “bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and research scholars to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of Industrial Engineering and Operations Management.

This is a highly specialized operations management conference that maintains an open call for contributors and plenty of sponsorship opportunities. So, if you’re interested in cutting-edge technology initiatives in the operations sector, you should definitely check it out.

Check out these lodging options: 10 Best Business Travel Hotels in New York


8. YPO EDGE

Large group of people in a conference afterparty

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 2022 has yet to be announced. But if you search “YPO Edge” on YouTube, you can see some incredible videos from events that they’ve held in the past.


9. International Conference on Business Operations, Research and Management

The ICBORM, which is another conference orchestrated by WASET (we’ve already mentioned one similar conference in this list), is set to take place in August of 2022 in New York City.

As far as goals go, it’s very similar to the WASET conference for Industrial Engineering and Operations Management—except that this international conference is specifically dedicated to business operations.

They also maintain 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.”

If you’re interested in cutting-edge roundtable research contributions from the greatest minds in business operations, research, and management, then this conference should definitely be on your radar.


10. The Forbes Summits

Anyone who has ever done any research into leadership conferences has heard of the Forbes Summits.

These summits combine live events with on-demand webinars to bring you “unique access to the world’s most influential leaders, policy-makers, entrepreneurs, and artists — uniting these global forces to harness their collective knowledge, address today’s critical issues and discover innovative solutions.”

They host various types of events throughout the year. And thankfully, since they also offer virtual events, the pandemic has not shut them down.

If you’re looking to learn from people with top-level credentials and affiliations, the Forbes Summits are conference opportunities that you’ll definitely 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, titled The 2021 Forbes Power Women’s Summit.


11. ACUHO-I Business Operations Conference

The ACUHO-I Business Operations Conference last took place in October of 2021.

This conference is committed to providing “critical spaces for professionals whose roles are focused on assignments and occupancy, information technology, marketing, conference services, dining, and business administration to share new and emerging best practices.”

As of 2021, they’ve gone virtual! This means that even remote operations professionals can take advantage of the many benefits offered by the conference.


12. Inc. 5000 Vision Conference

The Inc. 5000 Vision Conference is another one of those big-time leadership conferences that anyone who has looked into conferences has probably read up on.

Last year’s lineup featured some amazing talent, including names like Gary Vaynerchuk, Arianna Huffington, Reid Hoffman, Elizabeth Cutler, and many more.

From entrepreneurship to wellness, this conference showcases bold conversations on all kinds of topics from some of the business world’s most brilliant minds.


13. Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Conference

The Kelly School of Business at Indiana University hosts the Manufacturing and Service Operations Management Conference to talk about various issues.

Here’s what they say on their About page:

“At Kelley, we talk a lot about making connections that lead to momentum. Never has it been more important to bring together researchers, educators, students, and practitioners to explore ideas, share insights, and create opportunities that benefit the greater good. Innovations in business operations will help define the post-pandemic world.”

In 2021, they held the event virtually.

The event features presentations that are also recorded and made available after the fact.

This way, if you can’t make it to the conference directly, you can still watch it later.

This is definitely a valuable conference opportunity for anyone involved in manufacturing and service operations management.

Find a place to stay during the conference here: Our 10 Favorite Business Hotels in the Midwest


14. EntreLeadership

EntreLeadership, put together by Dave Ramsey, is said to go ‘beyond business theory’ to give you “real-life, proven advice from world-class leaders who’ve done it.” 

If you’re a business owner in the operations sector and want to improve customer retention, increase your bottom line, and be a better leader, this world-class leadership conference has got you covered.

It features invaluable lessons and insights from real top CEOs, business giants, thought leaders, and more.


15. Business Agility Conference

The 2022 Business Agility Conference, orchestrated by the Business Agility Institute, is scheduled to take place in March at Times Square in New York City.

It will include two full days of conference programming, which will include the following:

      • Stories from executives, thought leaders, and practitioners on their business agility journeys
      • Deep-dive conversations where you’ll be invited to share your stories and connect with others to brainstorm ideas
      • 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 definitely be on your to-do list.

Here’s a list of just some of the confirmed speakers for 2022:

      • Rocío Briceño
      • Karen Burns
      • Dr. Annika Steiber
      • Yesim Pınar Kitapçı

… and many, many more.


Conclusion

Make no mistake, there are a lot of business and leadership conferences planned for 2022 and beyond.

And a lot of them look amazing. ​

But, these 15 were hand chosen because we believed them to be the absolute best for business leaders in the operations sector.

Attending a leadership conference is a great way to reignite that passion for leadership amongst your team and will undoubtedly help you to make your operations company the very best that it can be.

Of course, if you do plan to go to a conference or to send your team to one, don’t forget to let us here at Hotel Engine help with your business lodging!

It’s free to sign up. When you do, you’ll gain access to a huge pool of hotel partners and start saving both money and time on your lodging.