Last year we recommended 5 Bay Area technology conferences we found to be the most meaningful and productive in digital innovation. This year, we reached out to clients, prospects, friends, and peers to get their perspective on the top events worth attending. Whether you’re sponsoring a project soon, trying to stay up to date on the latest technology trends, or networking, this is a great way to start planning which shows to attend.
Thanks to all who sent in their suggestions!
The first conference on our list is coming up in a few short months in our home city, and we’re super excited. Held every fall in San Francisco, Oracle’s OpenWorld takes over Mission Street and the Moscone Center and puts on a big show. Here you will find the latest in industry and product thought leadership and innovation.
This year’s OpenWorld focused on many topics including:
- App Development
- Customer Experience
- Big Data & Analytics
- Supply Chain & Finance
One of the biggest highlights of OpenWorld is the music. Each year, Oracle brings in an A-list performer to top off the event, with past performers including Aerosmith and Elton John. In 2016, Billy Joel capped off the event at AT&T Park.
Many wrote that this is a must attend (several Digital Foundry folks attended as well) to keep up to date on Apple and its latest technologies and products. This conference is held annually in the S.F. Bay Area and its main focus is to showcase new software and technologies.
The WWDC began in 1983 and goes strong today with attendance capped at 5000.
Attendees can participate in:
- Group sessions on how to build the next generation of apps
- Hands-on labs to learn how to implement new technologies from Apple engineers
- One-on-one consultations
- A variety of speaker sessions
- And special events
You can see a more in-depth review of the Apple WWDC from some of our attendees in the previous Digital Foundry Blog Top Picks: WWDC 2017.
This one is no surprise. Starting in 2008, and similar to Google Developer Day, Google I/O showcases in-depth sessions focused on building web, mobile and enterprise applications using Google and Open Sources like Chrome, Android, APIs and Google Web Toolkit.
Like the Apple WWDC, it is targeted toward software engineers and provides a wealth of information on Google’s new and emerging technologies.
Some of the session highlights mentioned to us from 2017 were:
- Assisting the Driver: From Android phones to Android cars
- Office Hours: Design guidance on enabling your app for Android Wear, VR, TV, and auto
- Building apps for Google Assistant
- The after-hours concert
Sponsored by the NVCA (National Venture Capital Association), several people in our network mentioned this great event hosted in Sonoma, CA. The beautiful wine country location could have something to do with that!
Innovation and Corporate Ventures are everywhere now. Most large companies have their corporate ventures groups, and it has been the year of the Chief Innovation Officer. This conference attracts big names from very large companies and addresses innovation and venture capital in the corporate world. Companies are constantly looking to invest in new technologies as well as other companies that can help their cause. The Summit brings some of the brightest, most experienced talent to discuss innovation, entrepreneurship and venture investing.
The workshops address topics like:
- Corporate Investing Reimagined
- Staying True to Investing in Innovation
- The IoT Revolution
- The Future of Innovation & the Role of Venturing
Added bonus: you can get some good golf and wine tasting in if you make it up to the Innovation Summit.
Organized by the GSMA (Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association) and held in Barcelona each year, the MWC is one of the largest gatherings for the mobile industry. It attracts speakers and attendees from some of the largest companies in the world, like AT&T, Huawei, Netflix, Nokia, Telefonica and many more.
There were more than 2,300 companies exhibiting in 2017. Everything from connected cars and virtual reality to 3D printing and privacy protection.
Highlights from 2017 involved sessions and discussions about:
- Spotlight on AI
- IoT Security
- The Disruptive Impact of Blockchain
- Digital Reinvention in the Cloud
- Connected Living and Smart Cities
The location is a big draw for this event, and many say it is a must attend at least once, although many of the respondents attend every year.
Thanks again to our friends and colleagues for the great recommendations. We hope to see you out and about an event later this year or next. Please contact us if you’d like to meet up at one of these shows or discuss your next digital project.