25 Women-Focused Conferences That You Need to Add to Your Calendar

By Mariah Thompson •  May 4, 2016

 

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) EmpowerHER | New York City, New York

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Presented by Blavity, the EmpowerHer conference 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

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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 Powerful Women’s Weekend | Dearborn, Michigan

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While the organization hosts multiple events per year, its flagship Powerful Women’s Weekend which gathers attendees from across the United States and creates an atmosphere perfect for networking, fostering unity, and cultivating a culture of excellence for women through high standards and accountability. Consider this a valuable weekend-long “girls night out” that you won’t want to miss. Timeframe: late June. Cost: $300 – $370.

4) The Yellow Conference | Los Angeles, California

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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.

5) Inc. Women’s Summit | New York City

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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. Timeframe: Early November. Cost: $350.

6) Propel | Various Locations

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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.

7) Create & Cultivate | Los Angeles, California

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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. Timeframe: Early May. Cost: $350 – $500.

8) Designer Vaca | Palm Springs

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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.

9) Creative at Heart | Various Locations

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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. Timeframe: Throughout the year. Cost: $650 – $750.

10) Rising Tide Society Summit | Online

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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 he funds also go to charity. Timeframe: late April. Cost: $130.

11) Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing | Houston, Texas

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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. Timeframe: Mid-October. Cost: $350 – $950.

12) BlogHer | Various Locations

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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.

13) The Influence Network | Charlotte, North Carolina

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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. Timeframe: Mid-April. Cost: $100 – $160. 

14) Pinky Promise Conference | Atlanta, GA

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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. Timeframe: Mid-July. Cost: $55.00.

15) TEDWomen | San Francisco, California

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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.

16) The Most Powerful Women | Laguna Niguel, California

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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.

17) The Most Powerful Women Next Gen | Laguna Niguel, California

Fortune Most Powerful Women Next Generation Wednesday, December 3, 2014: San Francisco, CA 2:00 PM SHATTER A finance pioneer-turned-entrepreneur and a new-economy star share their lessons on networks, entrepreneurism and building their careers. Sallie Krawcheck, Chair, Ellevate Varsha Rao, Head of Global Operations, Airbnb Moderator: Karen Finerman, Co-founder and CEO, Metropolitan Capital Advisors, Panelist, CNBC Fast Money Photograph by Stuart Isett/Fortune Most Powerful Women
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. 

18) SXSW Interactive | Austin, Texas

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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.

19) BeautyCon | Various Locations

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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.

20) Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit | Phoenix, Arizona

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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.

21) What Women Want Conference | New York City, NY

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Although this conference may not be annual yet, there is definitely something to be noted about this upcoming event. Co-created by the founder of Harlem Fashion Row, the What Woman Want Conference connects you with like-minded women who can help you in developing winning strategies for life, business, and relationships. Using the power of “friendship” the 3-day event offers stimulating panels, workshops, and dance breaks (yes, girl!) to help you celebrate life and make natural connections. Timeframe: Early June. Cost: $200 – 275. 

22) ColorComm | Miami, FL

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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. 

23) The Fearless Conference | Philadelphia, PA

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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. Timeframe: Early October. Cost:  $100 – $150. 

24) Write/Speak/Code International Conference | New York City

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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. Timeframe: March. Cost:  $200 – $610. 

25) Bossed Up Bootcamp | Various Locations

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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.

Let us know if there’s any conferences you believe should be highlighted in the comments section below! 

About the author

Mariah Thompson is a 20-something year old writer living and loving in Atlanta, GA. Follow her on Twitter.

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Comments

  • MyClutter May 4, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Also, DigitalUndivided – for black and brown women in tech.

    Reply
  • Bria May 7, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Unlimited You Weekend hosted by Heal a Woman to Heal a Nation http://www.hwhn.org

    Reply
  • Elizabeth Manigult May 10, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Women Who Wine Detroit Elevate Rooftop Affair

    Reply
  • Fendy May 10, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Also missing, C2 (Short for ColorComm Conference) is the ultimate business conference and retreat for women of color in communications. Unlike many conferences with thousands in attendance, C2 is an intimate group of 300 multicultural, professional women. With innovative programs and topics presented by the industry’s top practitioners and thought leaders, this conference provides a safe place to address relevant issues from like-minded women.

    Reply
    • Bauce May 10, 2016 at 7:03 pm

      Thanks for sharing. We added it to our list! :)

      Reply
  • Samantha Jansen May 12, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    SHE Summit in NYC is also a great women-focused conference.

    Reply
  • Mel June 15, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Check out The Fearless Conference for ambitious, career-driven women – http://TheFearlessConference.com!

    Reply
    • Bauce July 13, 2016 at 4:37 am

      We’ve added you to the list! :)

      Reply
  • Caitlyn July 12, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    How is Bossed Up Boot camp not on this list?!

    Reply
    • Bauce July 18, 2016 at 9:58 am

      Thanks Caitlyn! We’ve added Bossed Up Bootcamp to our list! :)

      Reply
  • Jasmine July 15, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Sister Summit Conference should be up here!
    sistersummit.com

    Reply
  • Yvette July 15, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Worthy Women conference in DTLA!

    Reply
  • Kara C July 16, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Two major tech conferences not on this list are Write Speak Code, https://www.writespeakcode.com and Lesbians Who Tech Summit, NYC and SF. https://www.lesbianswhotech.org.

    There’s also Google women’s tech makers summit but I’m not sure if their conference is annual

    Reply
    • Bauce July 18, 2016 at 9:57 am

      Thank you so much Kara! We’ve added Write/Speak/Code to our list! :)

      Reply
  • Tatianah July 20, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    There’s also the Black Women’s Expo each year in Chicago and a couple of other cities: http://www.theblackwomensexpo.com/

    Reply
  • 'Fearless' Founder Shares Tips On How to Plan a Badass Conference August 21, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    […] is your special “twist” on Fearless? What makes your conference difference from other women-focused conferences out […]

    Reply
  • EbonĂ© Smiley September 9, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Create + Cultivate will be in Atlanta this October.

    Reply
  • Sabrina Madison September 12, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    2nd Annual Black Women’s Leadership Conference presented by Heymiss Progress | May 19-20, 2017 | Madison, WI | http://www.heymissprogress.com/conference

    2016 Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHNSAyY_RIg

    The Black Women’s Leadership Conference is now a two day event for women who desire to take part in opportunities for personal and professional growth. Attendees will participate in strategic power sessions lead by women who have proven to be leaders in their chosen professions.
    Enjoy networking, shopping with vendors, connections to mentors and resources, and have a professional headshot taken.
    This conference aims to promote sisterhood while elevating the collective status of Black women.

    Reply
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