There are plenty of global and influential business conferences, but here are our top 5 must-watch corporate event trendsetters. These are the top five events that define corporate trends.
Corporations host some of the largest events on the planet (like these 20), from trade shows to conferences to expos to seminars. Plus, they have the budget to make event dreams come true. And that’s precisely why corporate trends spring from these significant events each year.
Business: Forbes events
What better trendsetter than one of the most well-known business magazines out there? Forbes, a global media company focused on business, hosts a wide range of countless events each year both in-person and virtually. As the Forbes event site says,
“Throughout the year, Forbes hosts various dynamic and interactive events that bring our storied brand and iconic franchises to life. From industry events hosting the world’s leading CEOs, CMOs, and CIOs, to a city-wide Under 30 takeover celebrating millennial ingenuity, to intimate salon gatherings, ForbesLive creates unforgettable experiences that drive progress and connect the world’s doers.”
Since Forbes covers the news of corporations, it’s clear why they’re worthy of keeping an eye on.
Marketing: Cannes Lions
The next trendsetter on our list takes our eyes abroad. The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity takes place each summer in Cannes, France, and focuses on advertising, marketing, and innovation. Attracting major corporations like CNN, Pinterest, Twitch, and Twitter, this advertising festival is a culmination of creativity. Founded in 1954, Cannes Lions “has been bringing the creative communications industry together… to learn, network and celebrate.” Since it’s a conference focused on creativity, you can bet it sets event trends and sparks some serious event inspiration.
If you’re looking to stay stateside, SXSW is a similar option. It’s a music festival turned creativity conference hosted in Austin, TX every year.
Read More: 10 Need-to-Know Corporate Event Terms
Next up is the corporate trendsetter in technology; the one and only CES. Hosted in Las Vegas annually, The Consumer Electronics Show, CES, is the top destination for every tech corporation, startup, and business in between where corporations like Amazon, 3M, Google, Intel, and Sony have a significant presence. CES hosts brands and showcases products that are years before their time. And it’s undoubtedly an event trendsetter in the tech and corporate world. It’s next-level exhibits and unforgettable interactive experiences make it the “global stage for innovation.”
You may not immediately think of video games when you think of corporations, but this industry is one of the largest in the world. And E3 is the go-to event for it. The Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3 represents the world’s software and gaming corporations like Microsoft, Play Station, Xbox, Ubisoft, and more. It attracts over 60k attendees each year, plus their audience tuning into panels virtually. E3 is a trendsetter in entertainment events, especially since video games often inspire movies and other industries after!
To round out our list of corporate events, we’re rolling into the automotive industry with the popular event SEMA. This is a corporate leader since it represents the biggest car-related brands like Ford, Hyundai, Shell, Penzoil, and more. SEMA, or the Specialty Equipment Market Association, is a trade show focused on aftermarket parts. Like CES, it showcases what’s next for the industry proving itself a real trendsetter. Attendees and exhibitors receive market research and even CAD files from corporations so engineers can begin designing the next generation of parts to fit the newest vehicles.
If you’re involved in the corporate event industry, keep tabs on famous conferences and companies to keep a pulse on trends, panel topics, and more. One perk of the COVID-19 pandemic is that many of 2020 and 2021’s events have migrated online. Now you can attend these corporate events and track trends from anywhere!
Amanda Larson, CED, is a Certified Event Designer, marketer, and content creator. With a degree in journalism and special events management, Amanda has worked in marketing and events for both international startups and Fortune500 companies. She specializes in digital branding, copywriting, and graphic design freelancing for clients globally.