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.
Supply 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:
- The Big Bear in the Room (Insights from Kenco Customer Summit 2016)
- TMS for SMB: A Case Study with Carhartt (CSCMP 2016)
- Amazon: Disruptor or Distraction? (SMC3 Connections 2016)
- Going from Big Data to Big Decisions (Quintiq World Tour London)
- The World’s Oldest Supply Chain Analyst Report (Elemica Executive Lunch)
- Simplicity-as-a-Service: A New Value Proposition for Software Vendors and 3PLs? (JDA Focus 2016)
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)
- BluJay Solutions: SOAR 2017, May 1-3, Chicago, IL
- CLX Logistics: Annual Customer Conference, TBA (2016: September, Philadelphia)
- Dematic: Material Handling & Logistics Conference, TBA (2016: September 11-14, Park City, UT)
- Descartes Systems Group: Evolution 2017, March 28-30, West Palm Beach, FL
- Elemica: TBA, various dates and locations in US and Europe
- GT Nexus: Bridges 2017, July 10-12, New York, New York
- HighJump Software: Elevate 2017, March 12-15, Orlando, FL
- Infor: Inforum 2017, July 10-12, New York, New York
- JDA Software: Focus 2017, April 25-28, Las Vegas, NV
- Kenco Group: Customer Summit, October 2017 (for clients only)
- LLamasoft: SummerCon 2017, June 12-16, Detroit, MI
- Manhattan Associates: Momentum 2017, May 8-11, Las Vegas, NV
- McLeod Software: Users Conference 2017, September 17-19, Atlanta, GA
- MercuryGate: MercuryGate 2017 User Conference, October 1-4, Las Vegas, NV
- Oracle: Oracle Value Chain Summit 2017, February 13-15, San Jose, CA
- Quintiq: World Tour 2017: TBA: Various dates and cities around the world
- SAP: SAPInsider Logistics and SCM 2017, March 6-8, Orlando, FL
- SMC3: Jump Start 2017, January 23-25, Atlanta, GA and Connections 2017, TBA
- TMC, a division of C.H. Robinson Client Forum, October 2017 (for clients only)
- TMW Systems: in.sight User Conference + Expo 2017, August 13-16, Nashville, TN
- Transplace: Shipper Symposium, May 8-10, Austin, TX
Industry Conferences (chronological order)
- Retail Supply Chain Conference, February 12 – 15, Orlando, FL
- 17th TPM Annual Conference, February 26 – March 1, Long Beach, CA
- 2017 Food Industry Transportation and Logistics Conference, March 5-7, Orlando, FL
- Home Delivery World 2017, March 14-15, Atlanta, GA
- SITL Paris, March 14-16, Paris, France
- The 2017 IWLA Convention & Expo, March 19-21, Indian Wells, CA
- Logistics Summit & Expo, March 29-30, Mexico City, Mexico
- TIA 2017 Conference, April 5-8, Las Vegas, NV
- NASSTRAC Annual Shippers Conference & Transportation Expo, April 9-12, Orlando, FL
- Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) Conference, April 30 – May 3, Fort Worth, TX
- 2017 Georgia Logistics Summit, May 16-17, Atlanta, GA
- The Logistics & Supply Chain Forum, June 4-6 in Miami, FL and October 29-31 in Tucson, AZ
- TMSA 2016 Logistics Marketing & Sales Leadership Conference, June 11-13, Amelia Island, FL
- eft 15th 3PL Summit, June 14-15, Chicago, IL
- 19th Annual EMEA Supply Chain & Logistics Summit, June 19-21, Barcelona, Spain
- 2017 Queensland Supply Chain & Logistics Conference, TBA (2016: September 1-2, Brisbane, Australia)
- Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual Global Conference, September 24-27, Atlanta, GA
- APICS 2017, October 15-17, San Antonio, TX
- Logistics & Operations Conference, October 18, Santiago, Chile
- eft 3PL Summit and Chief Supply Chain Officer Forum, TBA, Singapore (2016: Dec 6-7)
- LogiChem US 2017, TBA (2016: December 12-13, Philadelphia, PA)
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).