There are tons of design, tech, music, and women-focused conferences that millennials can access to get a leg up in their fields. Below is our curated list of can’t-miss conferences that will give you the opportunity to grow professionally, to network with influential peers, and to transform yourself into a leading lady.
1) Summit 21 | Various Locations
Presented by Blavity, the EmpowerHer conference, which was renamed Summit21, is a black women’s conference to explore, leadership, creativity and tech. Speakers include top multicultural bloggers and influencers such as Gabifresh, Luvvie, and Teen Vogue Beauty Editor Elaine Wenthworth. Timeframe: late May. Cost: $220
2) Alt Summit | Various Locations
Alt is a place for design bloggers, lifestyle writers, and creative entrepreneurs to connect at an in-person event. Conversations and classes are centered around what is new in the blogging and creative world and what innovative tools are “next”.Past speakers have included everyone from leading branding experts to Emmy award-winning actresses like Sarah Michelle Gellar. Timeframe: Early winter. Cost: $300 – $600
3) The Yellow Conference | Los Angeles, California
The Yellow Conference is a gathering for entrepreneurial women who are passionate about living extraordinarily in their everyday routines. This 3-day event is geared towards women that are passionate about bringing social change into the world through creative ways. Past speakers have included Darling Magazine founder Sarah Dubbeldam. Timeframe: late August. Cost: $355 – $555.
4) Inc. Women’s Summit | New York City
This powerful women’s summit gathers together business owners and entrepreneurs for an opportunity to be inspired by high-profile speakers, informative panels, and a networking lunch. This year’s keynote is led by Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran. Cost: $350.
5) Propel | Various Locations
Propel exists to equip and empower women by giving them the tools to identify themselves as the natural born leaders they are. They will be hosting activate events in a few states (including Mississippi and Ohio) and focuses on cultivating leadership through a spiritual lens. Cost: $75 – $80.
6) Create & Cultivate | Los Angeles, California
Create & Cultivate is a creative conference for female entrepreneurs in the digital space. The one-day event, which has a millennial focus, gathers together 500 women to talk business building and content strategy. It also allows women to get one-on-one access to leading female entrepreneurs in the industry with mentor power hours. Speakers include big acts like Chelsea Handler and Jessica Alba among many more. Cost: $350 – $500.
7) Designer Vaca | Palm Springs
Designer Vaca is the ultimate “anti-conference” — a cool mix between a poolside retreat and a rad women’s networking session. Based in the California desert, the event gathers female graphic and web designers from all across the world to relax, collaborate, and learn from each other’s life experiences. The intimate environment fosters direct connections with big names in the design industry. Timeframe: Mid-October. Cost: $299.
8) Creative at Heart | Various Locations
Each conference is designed to be an inviting atmosphere for creative women of all industries — photographers, planners, hand-letterers, designers, etc. You’ll hear keynote speakers who discuss heartfelt and practical topics that can be carried across all industries, and also receive one-on-one time in panel sessions specific to your craft. Two-day events are held in select cities across the nation. Cost: $650 – $750.
9) Rising Tide Society Summit | Online
Learn from some of the most creative minds on entrepreneurship, marketing, and more without leaving your couch. If you want affordable access to the best educators and creatives in the industry that will help you turn your ideas into a business then this conference is for you. A portion of the funds also go to charity. Cost: $130.
10) Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing | Houston, Texas
The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is the biggest event that brings in the most impactful women technologists (around 15,000 women!). The event includes thematic sessions around programming and diversity to highlight the contributions of women to technical science. Cost: $350 – $950.
11) BlogHer | Various Locations
Presented by SheKnows Media, the 2016 BlogHer conferences are the world’s largest celebration of women content creators across social media, video, photos, and the web. This year’s staple BlogHer conference will be hosted in Los Angeles in early August, while it’s food-focused conference (mmm nom nom) will be held in Austin in early October. Cost: $99 – $700.
12) The Influence Network | Charlotte, North Carolina
These conferences are a celebration and a chance for like-minded women to come together to worship, connect and learn together. Livestreamed online classes geared towards spiritual leadership are available in addition to the one-day women’s conference. Cost: $100 – $160.
13) Pinky Promise Conference | Atlanta, GA
A live 3-day event for Christian women. The panel of speakers will talk about everything from managing your money to being single in a modern world to finding your purpose. The program also offers a day care service for any one that cannot travel without their children. Cost: $55.00.
14) TEDWomen | San Francisco, California
TEDWomen is a three-day conference about the power of women and girls to be creators and change-makers. Known for their powerful public “talks” that are hosted all across the country and around the globe, TEDWomen gathers innovative females together to offer inspiration and solution through their personal experiences and stories. Timeframe: Mid-October. Cost: $2,495.00.
15) The Most Powerful Women | Laguna Niguel, California
Fortune Most Powerful Women is one of the world’s most extraordinary leadership communities, convening the preeminent women in business—along with select leaders in government, philanthropy, education, and the arts—for wide-ranging and inspiring discussions. The conference, which started 17 years ago, has included leaders from Fortune 500 companies, prominent celebrities, and even the First Lady herself. Timeframe: Mid-October. Cost: $2200.
16) The Most Powerful Women Next Gen | Laguna Niguel, California
Fortune MPW Next Gen is a unique gathering of the preeminent rising women in business, along with select leaders in government, philanthropy, education, sports and the arts. This conference is geared towards a younger subset of women and you must be nominated to attend. Timeframe: Late November.
17) SXSW Interactive | Austin, Texas
The SXSW Interactive Festival showcases five days of compelling panel sessions led by the brightest minds in emerging technologies, hands-on instructional Workshops, one-on-one mentor opportunities with industry leaders and a variety of exciting networking opportunities. Some sessions are even geared specifically towards women. Cost: $525 – $1750.
18) BeautyCon | Various Locations
If you’re a beauty lover (or just someone who loves stocking up on products) this event will feel like a festival from heaven. Influencers galore will be in attendance (including faves like Michelle Phan) and you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the beauty industry, content creation, and brand building. Timeframe: Throughout the Year. Cost: $30 – $330.
19) Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit | Phoenix, Arizona
Black Enterprise and ADP join together to host this powerful event for African-American women. Leaders from a variety of industry come together to discuss leadership, career progressions and work-life balance. Timeframe: Spring. Cost: $195 – $600.
20) ColorComm | Miami, FL
The ColorComm Conference, affectionately known as C2, is a business conference for women of color in communications. More than 300 multicultural professional women gather together in a warm-weathered oasis to discuss issues and innovative ideas in the industry with communications leaders like Arianna Huffington and Michelle Ebanks. The event invites women from a variety of backgrounds including public relations, journalism, consulting, social media, advertising, and media relations. Timeframe: Late July. Cost: $750 – $1,450 based on membership.
21) The Fearless Conference | Philadelphia, PA
The Fearless Conference is a two-day event in Philadelphia for career-driven women to come together in an explosion of inspiration and ambition. From creative entrepreneurs to corporate executives looking to learn from one another, the women who attend are fearless and driven. The conference will focus on hands-on workshops led by local, Philadelphia-based business owners and thought leaders followed by a happy hour. Cost: $100 – $150.
22) Write/Speak/Code International Conference | New York City
Write/Speak/Code hosts an annual international conference for women software developers. The goal of the sessions are to help female developers gain the knowledge, skills, and path to becoming speakers, open source contributors and thought leaders. The program includes four days of constructive feedback from experts, interactive panels from other women developers, and a series of workshops for attendees to develop prototypes. Childcare and scholarship assistance is also available. Cost: $200 – $610.
23) Bossed Up Bootcamp | Various Locations
Feeling a bit lost about your career and life? The Bossed Up Bootcamp is a weekend that will surround you with ambitious women and life experts that will help you find clarity, determine your life purpose, and give you a strategy plan to help you take your life and career to the next level. The bootcamp is held during various weekends of the year in different cities (D.C. and Boston to be exact) and helps you gain leadership skills to become the boss of your life. Ticket costs are reduced by 50% for full-time students, active military and veterans, and anyone facing financial hardship. Timeframe: Varies. Cost: $399.
24) SIMPLY Fashion & Beauty Conference powered by NYLON | New York City
Love fashion and beauty and want to learn the tips, tricks, and how-to’s? Aspiring to be a blogger, stylist, entrepreneur, fashion designer, or editor? Already work in the industry and trying to grow your business and network? SIMPLY NYC is a place to learn, network and get inspired as you enjoy a day full of panels and breakout sessions presented by the influencers who are making major waves in the worlds of fashion, beauty, blogging and tech. Cocktails, pampering, meet & greets and photo booth fun are always right around the corner, so don’t miss out! Cost: $50 – $500.
Let us know if there’s any conferences you believe should be highlighted in the comments section below!