Supply Chain and Logistics Conferences to Attend in 2017

Editor’s Note: This is one of the most popular posts we publish every year: our list of supply chain and logistics events to attend in the coming year. Most of the conferences on our list are in the U.S., although some are in Europe, South America, and Asia. Many of the leading ERP and supply chain software vendors have customer events in various countries around the world.; you can check their websites for information regarding dates and locations. Also, if you have a favorite industry conference not included on the list, please post it in the comments.

handraise_conferenceSupply chain professionals often cite peer-to-peer learning and networking as the most valuable investment of time and money. “Who better to give me practical knowledge and advice about a problem or opportunity I’m working on,” they say, “than other executives who have already been down that road.” Conferences are a great example of peer-to-peer learning in action, but with so many supply chain and logistics conferences available, how do you decide which ones to attend? As I’ve shared in the past, here are three questions you should ask yourself:

1. Does the conference agenda align with the key initiatives I’m working on? Simply put, give priority to events where you will walk away with knowledge and information that you can immediately apply at your company to get your job done better and faster. And if you require the support of your technology and 3PL partners to accomplish your initiatives, then you should attend their user conferences and schedule meetings with their senior executives to let them know what’s working well and what improvements they can make to better serve you.

2. Will I learn something new, particularly in an area that I don’t know much about today but is critically important for my career and leadership development? If you’re a transportation professional, for example, and all you know is transportation, your opportunities for advancement are limited compared to someone who has a broader supply chain perspective. So, go ahead, attend a session on Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP), supply chain risk management, business intelligence and analytics, or other area outside your comfort zone to brighten your horizon.

3. Does the event promote peer-to-peer learning and networking or will I spend most of my time sitting through numerous PowerPoint presentations? In my experience, events that enable attendees to share knowledge and advice with each other (via small breakout sessions, for example) instead of just sitting through an endless stream of PowerPoint presentations, provide the greatest learning value.

Below is a short list of the supply chain and logistics conferences scheduled for 2017. I’ve attended many of them in previous years, often as a speaker, and I’ve always walked away with some great insights and new business connections. Here are some posts I wrote this year sharing my takeaways from various conferences:

Before 2016 comes to a close, take another look at your budget for next year and make sure you’re not skimping on talent and leadership development.

I hope to see many of you at one or more of the following conferences this coming year. If you’re an event organizer and are interested in having me speak at your conference, please contact me.

Happy learning and networking in 2017!

Vendor Conferences (alphabetical order)

Industry Conferences (chronological order)

For other European supply chain events, see this list compiled by Supply Chain Movement (the dates are for 2016, but you can click on the link for each event for 2017 information).

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