April 30, 2024
By Mike Fletcher

There are many valuable trade shows and conferences for the meetings and events industry. But which are the key events that you should have in your calendar?

Whether you're looking to build your network, connect with clients, or learn about the latest developments in the industry, attending a trade show or conference provides endless opportunities to achieve your goals.

Additionally, many in-person events not only feature exhibitor suppliers but also have education programmes that provide opportunities to learn from the experts, ask questions and network with industry peers.

To help you plan your trade show and conference diary for 2024, check out this list of the key events and conferences to attend in Europe this year.

Event: BOE International

Date: 17-18 January

Location: Messe Dortmund, Rheinlanddamm 200, 44139 Dortmund, Germany

Website: https://www.boe-international.de/en-gb

Why attend: Every year at BOE International, suppliers of experiential marketing solutions showcase themselves to more than 10,000 global trade visitors. A content programme takes place across four stages and covers topics including digital’s place within the experience marketing mix, sustainability and AI. 

 

Event: AEO Forums

Date: 26 January

Location: Business Design Centre, 2 Upper St, London N1 0QH

Website: https://www.aeoforums.org.uk

Why attend: AEO Forums is attended by junior to middle-management marketing, ops and sales professionals, as well as event managers. Directors may also wish to attend to learn with their teams. It's a three-stream event covering ops, marketing & sales and offers a fantastic opportunity to network with industry peers.  
 

Event: C&IT Agency Forum
Date: 26 - 27 February
Location:  etc Venues 155 Bishopsgate London EC2M 3TQ
Website:  https://www.citagencyforum.com/

Why attend: Spanning two days, this forum for agency planners features one-to-one meetings with suppliers who are matched to your needs. Delegates also get hosted dinners, evening entertainment, a one-night stay at one of Shoreditch’s most fashionable hotels, networking opportunities and themed content on ‘An Era of Co-Creation’. 

Event: International Confex
Date: 28 - 29 February
Location:  ExCeL London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, London E16
Website: https://www.international-confex.com

Why attend: With seven education stages and 200+ exhibitors, International Confex is a must-attend exhibition, with over 40 years of experience showcasing what's new in the industry and offering support to anyone looking to find the 'one-stop-shop' for event planning and organisation.

Event: European Meetings & Events Conference (EMEC)
Date: 3 - 5 March
Location:  ECCL Luxembourg Convention Centre, 4 Place de l’Europe, L-1499 Luxembourg
Website:  www.mpi.org/emec

Why attend: This year, EMEC 2024 will bring members of MPI (Meeting Professionals International) together with qualified hosted buyers in Luxembourg to develop valuable business connections by participating in one-to-one meetings and networking.

Event: ITB Berlin
Date: 5 - 7 March
Location:  Messe Berlin, Messedamm 22, 14055 Berlin
Website: https://www.itb.com/en/

Why attend: ITB Berlin has been an annual fixture in the world of business travel since 1966. It’s possibly the largest trade show for the travel industry and yet it’s surprisingly easy to navigate, with halls divided up by market tracks such as MICE, Business Travel, Travel Technology, Responsible Tourism, Luxury Tourism and more. Over 180 destinations are represented and an adjoining conference (again organised into easy-to-navigate tracks) makes it a must-visit for all incentive and travel planners. 

Event: British Tourism and Travel Show
Date: 20 - 21 March
Location:  The NEC, Perimeter Road, Birmingham B40 1NT
Website:  https://www.tourismshow.co.uk/

Why attend: Seeking travel inspiration for group tours across the British Isles? This show is bursting with ideas and exciting experiences for groups. Discover over 200 destinations and hidden treasures and attend free keynote presentations from leading brands and industry professionals. 

Event: The BNC Show
Date: 16 April
Location:  Central Hall Westminster, Storey's Gate, London SW1H 9NH
Website:  https://bnceventshows.com/

Why attend: The BNC Show takes place twice a year so if you can’t make the April event, there’s a second chance in October, held at Mansion House. 

At the Central Hall Westminster in April, you’ll have the chance to chat with hundreds of venues and suppliers while enjoying complimentary catering and fun experiences such as pamper treats. Every visitor also gets a glamorous gift to take home and is entered into a luxury prize draw.

Event: CMO Leadership Summit
Date: 21-23 April
Location:  Twickenham Stadium, 200 Whitton Road, Twickenham, TW2 7BA
Website:  https://quartznetwork.com/event/connect-cmo-uk-spring

Why attend: This three-day free-to-attend event is for senior-level marketers to connect, network and learn from their peers. You’ll enjoy exclusive networking events and a lineup of 30+ speakers who are shaping today’s marketing landscape.

Event: FinTech B2B Marketing Conference
Date: 23 April
Location:  Leonardo Royal London, St Paul’s, 10 Godliman St, London EC4V 5AJ
Website:  https://fintechb2bmarketingconf2023.fintechb2bmarketing.com/

Why attend: This one-day event covers the latest themes in B2B Marketing impacting financial services and technology marketers. Topics to be covered by expert speakers on the day include market trends; macroeconomics; demand generation and growth market strategies; digital transformation and hyper-personalisation.

Event: ITM Empower Conference
Date: 24 - 25 April
Location:  Hilton Brighton Metropole, Kings Rd, Brighton BN1 2FU
Website:  https://www.itm.org.uk/events/evt-000071

Why attend: If you’re a Business Member of the Institute of Travel Management (ITM), this is a great opportunity to join over 500 colleagues from the UK and Ireland’s business travel community and empower your travel programme, career, wellbeing, ESG focus and individuality. A black-tie gala dinner celebrates member impact with two awards for individuals who have made significant contributions to the industry over the past year.

Event: ABPCO’s Festival of Learning
Date: 29-30 April
Location:  SEC Glasgow, Exhibition Way, Glasgow G3 8YW
Website:  https://fintechb2bmarketingconf2023.fintechb2bmarketing.com/

Why attend: The Festival of Learning brings the UK's association events industry together and provides opportunities for sharing, learning and collaboration. It’s attended by 100 PCOs and a range of industry partners. 

Event: Advertising Week Europe

Date: 14 - 16 May

Location: Picturehouse Central, Piccadilly Circus, Corner of Great Windmill Street and, Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 7DH

Website: https://advertisingweek.com/event/advertising-week-europe-2024/

Why attend: This is one for marketers, eager to hear from some of the leading brands, media agencies, publishers and technology suppliers. However, if you’re an event planner who has ever wondered how a conference with 15 different tracks and more than 200 sessions would work across a multi-storey cinema complex in central London, Advertising Week Europe is well worth experiencing from a logistics point-of-view as well. 

Event: IMEX Frankfurt
Date: 14 - 16 May
Location:  Messe Frankfurt Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1 60327 Frankfurt, Germany
Website:  https://imex-frankfurt.com/

Why attend: IMEX’s hosted buyer programme features no matchmaking, just a basic commitment to meet with between six to eight exhibitors daily. By being part of the hosted buyer programme, you get free flights from Europe and free four/five-star accommodation. In between meetings, explore more than 150 education sessions across six tracks ranging from Event Marketing and Experience Design to Technology, Trends and Research. 

Event: SITE Night Europe
Date: 13 May
Location:  Depot 1899, Textorstraße 33, 60594 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Website: https://siteglobal.com/event/site-nite-europe

Why attend: If you’re in Frankfurt for IMEX why not take the opportunity to meet with around 500 incentive professionals from all over the world at SITE’s annual networking event, held the evening before the trade show opens? 

Event: Associations World Congress
Date: 9 - 11 June
Location:  Messe congress Graz, Messeplatz 1, 8010 Graz, Austria

Website: https://www.associationexecutives.org/events/associations-world-congress/host-congress-centre.html

Why attend: Open to leaders and event specialists employed directly by international or European associations, societies and federations, this three-day event in Austria’s second city offers 16 half-day sessions across five streams - Association Strategy, Conference and Events Strategy, Membership Strategy, Professional Development and Executive Skills.

Event: The Meetings Show / Business Travel Show Europe
Date: 19 - 20 June
Location:  ExCeL London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, London E16 

Website: https://www.themeetingsshow.com/

Why attend: You get three exhibitions for the price of a London tube ticket when you visit The Meetings Show, as it is co-located with both the Business Travel Show Europe and the Travel Tech Show. By joining The Meetings Show’s hosted buyer programme, you’ll receive a pass to the pre-show conference and welcome reception, two-night accommodation, one-to-one dedicated appointments, and travel from within the UK and Europe.

Event: C&IT’s Festival of Forums
Date: 3 - 5 July
Location:  Host city and venue TBC

Website: https://www.citfestivalofforums.com/

Why attend: Now in its third year, C&IT’s Festival of Forums is three days of content, meetings, and site visits showcasing the best of what the host city has to offer. Last year’s event took place in York and saw an agenda crammed full of industry professionals and roundtable sessions discussing the hottest industry topics.  

Event: Convening EMEA 
Date: 30 September - 02 October 
Location:  Hilton Diagonal Mar, Pg. del Taulat, 262, 264, Sant Martí, 08019 Barcelona

Website: https://www.pcma.org/convening-emea/

Why attend: Convening EMEA is the Professional Convention Management Association’s (PCMA) annual EMEA flagship event. It brings together the global business events industry for an immersive three-day programme and this year it’s heading to the Catalan capital. The event attracts 500+ business event leaders from over 40 countries to challenge each other and develop ways to move forward together. It is a platform to share knowledge, make meaningful connections, learn, do business, be inspired and to grow as an individual and organisation.

Event: AI Expo Europe

Date: 6 - 7 October

Location: Radisson Blu Hotel, Bucharest, Romania

Website: http://www.aiexpoeurope.com/

Why attend: Have an interest in AI? This event is dedicated to the latest advancements in artificial intelligence and its applications across various industries. It brings together thought leaders, innovators, and industry experts to discuss trends, challenges, and future directions in AI technology. It includes networking opportunities and expert insights from seasoned practitioners.

Event: Forrester B2B Summit EMEA

Date: 7 - 9 October

Location: Intercontinental London – The 02, One Waterview Drive, Greenwich Peninsula, London, SE10 0TW

Website: https://www.forrester.com/event/b2b-summit-emea/

Why attend: The five tracks presented at the B2B Summit EMEA are designed to help B2B marketers make smarter decisions and improve outcomes by aligning, advancing, and accelerating their organisations’ priorities. Insightful breakouts, hands-on case studies, lasting peer connections, and inspiring keynotes all contribute to empowering the strategies of marketing, sales, and product leaders to foster results that surpass goals.

Event: GBTA & VDR Conference Copenhagen, in partnership with The Nordic Business Travel Associations
Date: 4 - 6 November 
Location: Bella Center Copenhagen, Center Boulevard 5, DK-2300, Copenhagen S

Website: https://europeconference.gbta.org/

Why attend: GBTA’s European annual conference is for business travel and meetings management professionals. It features curated topics, insightful speakers and a raft of opportunities to network and participate in training and professional development.

Event: World Travel Market (WTM)
Date: 5 - 7 November
Location:  ExCeL London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, London E16
Website:  https://www.wtm.com/london/en-gb.html

Why attend: WTM inspires and educates hundreds of thousands of travel professionals every year. Its conference programme covers every sector that matters in travel and features key insights and takeaways so that you can start applying these to your business straight away. This is an established show that has been bringing the global travel industry together since its launch in 1980.  

Event: Cvent CONNECT Europe
Date: 5-7 November
Location:  Hilton London Metropole, 225 Edgware Rd, London W2 1JU

Website: https://www.cventconnect.com/event/europe2024 

Why attend: Discover the latest innovations in event tech. This conference showcases Cvent's extensive suite of innovative technology and how to maximise different solutions to elevate your meetings and event programmes. But that's not all. Alongside demonstrations and product updates, Cvent CONNECT Europe offers a wealth of thought leadership sessions and discussions on the latest trends impacting the industry - with input from leading industry voices. 

Cvent CONNECT Europe gathering

Event: Martech Summit 

Date: 13 - 14 November

Location: London (venue TBC)

Website: https://themartechsummit.com/london/

Why attend: With an attendance of over 85% senior leadership positions, this two-day summit is the place to meet and network with other CMOs. It offers a programme filled with case studies, panel discussions, fireside chats, keynotes & Q&As on the latest MarTech trends and topics.

Event: IBTM World
Date: 19 - 21 November 
Location:  Fira Barcelona Gran Via Location,Av. Joan Carles I,08908 L'Hospitalet de Llobregat,Barcelona

Website: https://www.ibtmworld.com/

Why attend: Not only will you feel the warmth of the Barcelona winter sun, but you’ll also have an opportunity to speak with over 3,000 global destinations along with a raft of venues and suppliers. As a hosted buyer you’ll receive an online personalised diary to manage your appointments, complimentary four/five-star accommodation, access to exclusive networking opportunities and the chance to apply for a post-event tour to a global meetings destination. 

Event: Event Tech Live
Date: 20 - 21 November 
Location:  ExCeL London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, London E16

Website: https://eventtechlive.com/london/

Why attend: This show is dedicated solely to event technology. As well as two in-person days featuring more than 100 education sessions, delegates also receive content available on-demand and the opportunity to make video appointments with exhibitors across the full working week. 

Event: B2B Marketing Expo
Date: 27 - 28 November 
Location:  ExCeL London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, London E16

Website: https://www.b2bmarketingexpo.co.uk/

Why attend: This dedicated exhibition for B2B marketers is co-located with the Marketing Technology Expo and offers a glimpse into the future of marketing. Alongside 200 exhibitors, the event features sessions on everything from Programmatic Advertising to Automation and from Social Media Trends to Content Marketing along with chances to experience some truly cutting-edge technology first-hand.

For a taste of what to expect later this year at Cvent CONNECT Europe, watch select 2023 sessions on-demand here.

Mike Fletcher

Mike Fletcher

Mike has been writing about the meetings and events industry for almost 20 years as a former editor at Haymarket Media Group, and then as a freelance writer and editor. He currently runs his own content agency, Slippy Media, catering for a wide-range of client requirements, including social strategy, long-form, event photography, event videography, reports, blogs and ghost-written material.

CCE Claudia Winkleman
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