Can’t Miss Tech Events: Spring & Summer

It’s the time of year we’ve all been waiting for: winter is finally over!

It feels like the world is finally waking up after a long hibernation. Time to put your winter coats, hats, and gloves away and wear short sleeves again. Now that the weather’s finally warming up, you can walk outside and smell the fresh grass growing and new flowers blooming, enjoy the warm sunlight during the evening hours, and plan your picnics, beach excursions, cookouts, vacations…

…and tech events!

Yup, the sunny skies and t-shirt weather doesn’t just mean it’s time to lay about and do nothing. The spring and summer are also busy seasons for tech events, conferences, summits, and exhibitions.

Don’t let your brain go to mush just because it’s perfect beach weather out: the energy and spirit of a new spring is the perfect time to grow mentally and professionally, too.

Tech events are perfect for:

  • continuing your tech education
  • keeping up on the latest developments in your field
  • growing your network and taking new opportunities
  • meeting your heroes in the field
  • furthering your career

On the west coast, you can check out San Francisco’s Developer Week, focusing on data science, programming, HTML, and mobile web design. Be sure to enter the Hackathon for a chance to win big cash prizes! At the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a famous electronics and technology trade show, you can learn about the latest developments in 3D printing, driverless cars, gaming and virtual reality, and robotics.

Down in Texas, be sure to attend the SXSW Interactive Festival to catch up on Bitcoin, drones, and other hot technology.

Closer to the east coast are tech events worth checking out, from the robotics expo at Philly Tech Week to the TechCrunch’s Disrupt NY to pitch your own startup ideas.

No matter where you’re located or what your field of expertise is, there’s sure to be tech events near you. Check out the graphic below for a look at the most popular tech events taking place in the spring and summer months.

Can't Miss Tech Events: Spring & Summer

Can’t Miss Tech Events: Spring & Summer

There are plenty of amazing tech events that take place each year across the US and the world at large. Here’s a closer look at all the ones you don’t want to miss.

CES

  • The world’s largest annual trade show, focusing on consumer electronics, as well as:
    • 3D printing
    • Driverless cars
    • Electronic gaming
    • Virtual reality
    • Robotics
    • And more
  • When:
    • Usually takes place in January
  • Where:
    • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Cost:
    • Price is usually $200 on-site
  • Highlights
    • CES 2015 had 170,000 attendees
      • At the time, there were only 150,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas
    • More than 45,000 attendees came from out of the US
    • The conference had roughly 2 miles of floor space
    • Audi sent its in-development, self-driving car 550 miles from San Francisco to Las Vegas without a driver

DeveloperWeek

  • Focuses on developer technologies, including:
    • Data science
    • Programming
    • HTML 5
    • Mobile web design
    • And more
  • When:
    • Usually takes place in February
  • Where:
    • San Francisco (Pier 27)
  • Cost:
    • Prices range from $20-$550
      • Packages allow access to a variety of events and talks, including:
        • Expo Hall
          • Dozens of electronics, software, hardware companies and more will be present to show off their apps, products and services
        • Open Talks
          • Lectures on a variety of subjects, from California traffic data, to using data to make boring topics fun
        • Workshops
          • Workshops cover everything from robotics to building apps for the Internet of Things
    • Highlights:
      • Features the largest challenge-driven hackathon in the US
        • Contestants have 30 hours to create an app
          • Their app needs to solve a challenge, which:
            • Are sponsored by a company and carry a cash prize
            • Are voted on and created by the public
        • Contestants can win up to $100,000 in cash, prizes, and services
      • Exhibitors include:
        • Robotics companies
        • Smart lock manufacturers
        • Software companies
        • Video distribution platforms

    SXSW Interactive Festival

    • Part of the South by Southwest Festival focusing on interactive technologies, such as:
      • 3D printing
      • Games
      • Bitcoin
      • Drones
      • Brain hacking
    • When:
      • Usually takes place in March
    • Where:
      • Austin, Texas
        • SXSW Interactive takes place in a number of venues in Downtown Austin
    • Cost:
      • Prices range from $1,295-$1,745
    • Highlights:
      • Edward Snowden spoke via videoconferencing at SXSW Interactive 2014
        • Other speakers at the 2014 conference included:
          • Adam Savage
          • Neil deGrasse Tyson
      • Foursquare initially launched at SXSW in 2009
      • Neary 32,800 people attended SXSW 2014
        • People came from 82 countries outside the US
      • The Winklevoss twins have been scheduled to speak about BitCoin at SXSW Interactive 2015
        • Other speakers will include:
          • Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter
          • Nathan Myhrvold, coauthor of Modernist Cuisine
          • Eric Schmidt, of Google
          • Michelle Phan, YouTube makeup artist
      • The conference will also feature a ping pong tournament
        • Registration for the tournament is free for all Platinum, Gold, and Interactive badge holders

    Orlando Tech Week

    • A conference celebrating startups and technological innovations, including:
      • Gaming
      • Big data
      • Space
      • Photonics
      • Medical technology
    • When:
      • Takes place in April
    • Where:
      • Orlando, Florida
        • Various locations in Downtown Orlando
    • Cost:
      • Admission is free with registration
    • Highlights:
      • 2015’s OTW included events such as:
        • How to create a first-person style video game in the Unity game engine
        • A workshop by Verizon on the Internet of Things
        • BarCamp Orlando, a community event that focuses on cooperative learning
      • Speakers from Orlando Tech Week 2014 included:
        • Jeff Hoffman, founder of PriceLine.com
        • Robyn Peterson, Chief Technology Officer at Mashable

Philly Tech Week Presented by Comcast

  • A technology conference, presented by Comcast, that focuses on six major themes:
    • Creative (Art, Media, Entertainment)
    • Access (Issues that affect everyday citizens)
    • Civic (The economic and social aspects of technology)
    • Media (How technology affects marketing and media)
    • Business (For business owners and investors)
    • Dev (For programmers)
  • When:
    • Takes place in April
  • Where:
    • Various locations in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Cost:
    • Prices vary depending on event but range from $5-$125+
  • Highlights:
    • This year’s Tech Week will feature dozens of activities, including:
      • An outdoor arcade with food and live performances
      • Shabbat dinner
      • A robotics expo
      • A balloon mapping launch
    • Speakers at this year’s Tech Week include:
      • Matt Satell, the founder of Philly by Air
      • Adam Plotkin, from ff Venture Capital
      • Valerija Beares, of CBRE
      • Anita Andrews, of RJMetrics

TechCrunch Disrupt NY

  • A technology conference especially designed by TechCrunch to serve startups
  • When:
    • Usually occurs in May
  • Where:
    • New York, NY
      • Manhattan Center
  • Cost:
    • Tickets range from $997.50 (for exhibitors) to $1,995 (for the public)
  • Highlights:
    • Features two different competitions:
      • Startup Battlefield:
        • 30 companies pitch their products on-stage to investors, judges, press, and an audience
        • 6 are chosen to face off against each other for a final round
        • The winner receives the Disrupt Cup and $50,000
          • 2014’s finalists included:
          • Mink: An inkjet printer that prints makeup
          • Vurb: A contextual search engine
          • HeatWorks Model 1: A reinvented water heater
      • Hackathon:
        • Teams receive 24 hours to create a new product
        • After their time is up, each team presents their product to a team of judges and an audience
        • There are a variety of awards that can be won, depending on teams’ use of various sponsor technologies and APIs
      • 2015’s confirmed speakers include:
        • Bob Bowman, CEO of Advanced MLB Media
        • Rachel S. Haot, Chief Digital Officer for New York State
        • Aaron Levie, Co-founder/CEO of Box
        • Brian Pokorny, Founder/Managing Partner of SV Angel
      • Past years’ talks have covered a variety of subjects, such as:
        • Whether users should keep Bitcoin in centralized servers
        • Oculus Rift’s relationship with Facebook and video game companies
        • Vice’s growing viewership
        • The duty of those in the tech world to reduce global suffering
        • Birchbox’s expansion plans
        • Secret’s troublesome relationship with cyber-bullying

Techweek Chicago

  • A weeklong conference, expo, and festival that focuses on technology and innovation
  • When:
    • Takes place in June
  • Where:
    • Chicago, Illinois
  • Cost:
    • Prices range from $40 (for a limited time) to $2,500
    • Note: Ticket price discounts will shrink on the 1st of each month
    • Packages include access to a variety of different events, including the expo, various talks, and a hiring fair
  • Highlights:
    • Features a variety of events, including:
      • The conference, which focuses on panel discussions, workshops, and “fireside chats” about technology
      • Hiring fair:
        • Open to any Techweek attendee who comes with a resume
        • Open from 12-5 pm the Friday of Techweek
        • A place for attendees to meet with tech companies in need of their skills
      • Launch Competition
        • Startups compete to:
        • Win $50K in money and prizes
        • Meet with VCs and investors
        • Get publicity for their products and ideas

World Domination Summit

  • A community-focused event for entrepreneurs, bloggers, and digital nomads
  • When:
    • Usually takes place in July
  • Where:
    • Portland, Oregon
    • The main event will be held in Albert Schnitzer Concert Hall
  • Cost:
    • Ticket prices are usually around $500
    • People can register at http://worlddominationsummit.com/register to put their names on a waiting list
    • Tickets have sold out every year and are not sold at the door
  • Highlights:
    • Created by Chris Guillebeau, the author of The Art of Non-Conformity
    • The event features:
      • Parties
      • Attempts at world records
        • Past years’ records were:
          • The world’s longest yoga chain (2014)
          • The world’s longest floating human chain (2013)
      • Introvert “recovery rooms” with hammocks and sleeping masks
      • Bollywood performances and dance lessons
      • Collaboration opportunities

OSCON

  • Open source convention which covers many different open source programs, including:
    • Linux
    • Perl
    • Python
    • Ruby on Rails
  • Hosted by O’Reilly Media Inc.
  • When:
    • Takes place in July
  • Where:
    • Portland, Oregon
      • Oregon Convention Center
  • Cost:
    • Ticket prices vary from the Expo pass ($25) to the standard 3-day pass ($1,395)
  • Highlights:
    • Started in 1999
    • Will feature more than 250 speakers
    • Draws over 3,500 attendees
      • Over 4,000 are expected at OSCON 2015
    • Program chairs include:
      • Rachel Roumeliotis, of O’Reilly Media Inc.
      • Sarah Novotny, from NGINX
      • Matthew McCullough, of GitHub
    • Includes a kids day where children will be able to:
      • Play with robots
      • Learn programming
      • Modify Minecraft
      • And more
    • OpenOffice.org was first announced at OSCON 2000

Podcast Movement

  • A conference created by podcasters, for podcasters
  • When:
    • Takes place in late July, early August
  • Where:
    • Fort Worth, Texas
    • Omni Hotel & Conference Center
  • Cost:
    • Ticket prices range from $297-$497
  • Highlights:
    • The event was launched from a Kickstarter campaign in 2014
      • The project creators sought $11,000 but reached $31,854
    • All ticket prices include:
      • On-demand video and audio recordings of every session
      • Entry and round-trip transportation to a party on Saturday, August 1st
    • The vendor hall features dozens of industry exhibitors
    • Sarah Koenig, host of Serial, the true-crime podcast, will be the closing keynote speaker
    • Other speakers include:
      • Aisha Tyler, creator and host of the Girl on Guy podcast
      • Lou Mongello, host/producer of the WDW (Walt Disney World) travel podcast

DEFCON

  • A hacking conference that covers a variety of tech topics, including:
    • Hacking
    • Cryptography
    • Programming
    • Social Engineering
  • When:
    • Takes place in August
  • Where:
    • Las Vegas, Nevada
    • Paris Las Vegas and Bally’s Las Vegas
  • Cost:
    • Ticket price is usually around $230
      • Admission is cash-only at the door
      • Pre-registration is not allowed
  • Highlights:
    • DEFCON is one of the world’s largest and oldest, continuously-running hacking conferences
    • The conference features a number of official (and unofficial) events and contests
      • DEFCON 22 featured:
        • Capture the Flag (hacker-style)
        • A counterfeit badge contest
        • A beard and mustache competition
        • A lockpicking contest
        • Hacker Jeopardy
      • DEFCON 23 will include talks on a variety of topics, such as:
        • How to set up self-hosted encrypted email
        • The “Right to Be Forgotten”
        • The information contained in metadata

InterDrone

  • A drone and UAV conference and exhibition
  • When:
    • Takes place in September
  • Where:
    • Las Vegas, Nevada
    • The Rio Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
  • Cost:
    • Ticket prices range from $50-$1,095
  • Highlights:
    • Features more than 80 exhibitors
    • Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics and founder of DIY Drones will be the keynote speaker
    • Dozens of classes, panels, and tutorials for:
      • Building drones
      • Programming drone software
      • Flying tricks
      • How to avoid crashing
      • Picking the right drone
    • Representing industries as varied as:
      • Border patrol
      • Surveying and terrain mapping
      • Real estate marketing
      • Search and rescue

RE.WORK The Future Technology Summit

  • A technology conference for entrepreneurs, policy makers, startups, researchers, and more
  • When:
    • Takes place in September
  • Where:
    • London, England
    • ETC Venues
  • Cost:
    • Ticket prices range from $307.49 (£200) to $1,068.52 (£695)
  • Highlights:
    • The summit is part of a larger group of events, coinciding with:
      • Future Robotics Summit
      • Deep Learning Summit
    • The summit will cover a variety of topics, such as:
      • Synthetic biology
      • Smart materials
      • The Internet of Things
      • Future manufacturing
    • Speakers include:
      • Sabine Hauert, a lecturers in swarm robotics
      • Naveed Parvez, CEO of Andiamo
      • Simon Schultz, a Royal Society Industry Fellow
      • And more
    • Some projects that will be presented at the summit include:
      • The world’s smallest autopilot, designed to be fitted into micro-aerial vehicles small enough to fit in a pocket
      • 3D, virtual human models to be used as treatment aids for doctors, perhaps even anticipating health issues
      • A genetic diagnostic test that can check blood, sputum, and tumors for specific genetic markers
      • AI in swarm robots that could potentially be used in medical technologies

Dublin Web Summit

  • A conference for technologists, entrepreneurs, futurists, and startups composed of several smaller summits, including:
    • Builders (Development and Design)
    • Enterprise (Enterprise Systems and Infrastructure)
    • Machine (Connected Devices and Internet of Things)
    • Marketing (Sales, Advertising, Marketing)
    • Food (Food Technology)
    • Night (Music Festival)
  • When:
    • Takes place in November
  • Where:
    • Web Summit takes place in a variety of venues in Dublin, Ireland
    • The main conference is held in the Royal Dublin Society Main Hall
  • Cost:
    • Admission is usually around $1,707.31 (€1,525/£1,108.35)
  • Highlights:
    • Speakers at Web Summit 2015 will include:
      • Bono, of U2
      • Peter Thiel, of Founder’s Fund
      • Drew Houston, of Dropbox
      • Anna Patterson, of Google
      • Eva Longoria, of Eva Longoria Foundation
      • Gavin Anderson, of Bitcoin Foundation
    • Web Summit 2014 saw over 22,000 attendees from over 100+ countries
    • Topics of past year’s talks have covered:
      • The centralization of Bitcoin
      • Women and technology
      • The relationship between Spotify and artists

Slush

  • A non-profit event designed to bring startups and techies together with investors and press
  • When:
    • Takes place in November
  • Where:
    • Helsinki, Finland
    • Messukeskus, Expo and Convention Centre
  • Cost:
    • Ticket prices range from $54.29 (€50) for students to $428.91 (€395) for standard passes
  • Highlights:
    • Features the Slush 100 competition
      • ~1000 companies are inspected by a team of judges (who are investors and entrepreneurs)
      • 100 early-stage startups are chosen to give their pitches on stage
      • Winners receive equity investments ranging from €10,000 ($10,803.40) – €500,000 ($541,520)
        • 2014’s winner, Enbrite.ly, were originally going to be awarded €250,000 ($271,065) but judges decided they needed more money
    • Speakers at Slush 2014 included:
      • Wang Jian of Alibaba Group
      • Martin Lorentzon of Spotify
      • Niklas Zennström of Skype
      • Ilkka Paananen of Supercell
    • Slush 2014 was attended by:
      • 700+ journalists
      • 750 investors
      • CEOs from 150 publicly traded companies
      • 1000+ startups
      • 14,000 people
    • The first Slush conference had only 300 attendees in 2008

Robotics Alley Conference &Expo

  • Focuses on a variety of robotics topics, including:
    • Research
    • Design
    • Business Development
    • Policy
  • When:
    • Takes place in December
  • Where:
    • Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • Hyatt Regency Minneapolis
  • Cost:
    • Many different packages are available, ranging from $99-$575
  • Highlights:
    • 2014’s highlighted robots were:
      • Throwbot, a scouting robot designed for military and police forces
      • Paro Therapeutic Robot, a seal-shaped robot created for animal therapy in Japan
      • Data, the Robot Comedian
      • Baxter, which can perform a variety of manufacturing and packaging tasks
  • Past conferences have featured a career fair for everyone interested in working in the robotics/manufacturing fields

Chaos Communication Congress

  • The C3 conference covers a number of topics, including:
    • Surveillance
    • Privacy
    • Hacktivism
    • Data security
  • Hosted by the Chaos Computer Club, Europe’s self-titled “largest association of hackers”.
  • When:
    • Takes place in December
  • Where:
    • Usually occurs in Hamburg, Germany
  • Cost:
    • Ticket prices can vary from free (for those younger than 12) to $108.59 (€100)
  • Highlights:
    • Roughly 12,000 people attended C3 2014
    • Talks in 2014 covered a variety of topics, including:
      • The Heartbleed bug
      • Password analysis
      • Quantum computing
      • Free software
  • According to their Twitter page, C3 2014 had more internet bandwidth and users than North Korea during the conference

All kinds of amazing tech events occur each year, whether attendees are interested in hacking, drones, or biometrics. Some feature amazing competitions, some will host concerts, and still others will host the world’s foremost experts in their fields. No matter what people are looking for in an expo, there’s an event out there seemingly tailor-made for them.

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