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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 2018. 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:
- Elevating the Heavy Building Materials Supply Chain (Takeaways from Command Alkon ELEVATE 2017 Conference)
- More on The Future of Delivery (Takeaways from MercuryGate Velocity 2017 User Conference)
- The Transportation Revolution: Takeaways from CLX Logistics’ 6th Annual Customer Conference
- Still Think Dangerous Goods is Just Paperwork and Labels?
- Where Does Supply Chain Design End and Planning Begin? (Takeaways from LLamasoft’s SummerCon 2017 Conference)
- Takeaways from Manhattan Associates’ Momentum 2017 Conference
- Shoveling Snow with a Dustpan (Takeaways from BluJay Solutions’ SOAR 2017 Conference)
- The Trends Shaping Supply Chain and Logistics: Takeaways from Descartes Evolution 2017
Before 2017 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 2018!
Vendor Conferences (alphabetical order)
- 3Gtms: Innovate 2018, May 1-3, Dallas, TX
- Amber Road: eVOLVE 2018, TBA (2017: May 11-12, Washington, DC)
- BluJay Solutions: SOAR 2018, May 14-17, Orlando, FL
- CLX Logistics: Annual Customer Conference, TBA (2017: September, Philadelphia)
- Command Alkon: ELEVATE 2018, TBA (2017: November 8-9, New Orleans, LA)
- Dematic: Material Handling & Logistics Conference, September 9-12, Park City, UT
- Descartes Systems Group: Evolution 2018, March 6-8, West Palm Beach, FL
- GT Nexus: Bridges 2018, TBA (usually co-located with Inforum conference, see below)
- HighJump Software: Elevate 2018, March 11-14, Dallas, TX
- Infor: Inforum 2018, September 24-27, Washington, DC
- JDA Software: Focus 2018, May 6-9, Orlando, FL
- LabelMaster: Dangerous Goods Symposium, September 5-7, Rosemont, IL
- LLamasoft: SummerCon 2018, June 13-15, Atlanta, GA
- Manhattan Associates: Momentum 2018, May 21-24, Hollywood, FL
- McLeod Software: UC2018, September 30 – October 2, Birmingham, AL
- MercuryGate: MercuryGate 2018 User Conference, TBA (2017: October 1-4, Las Vegas, NV)
- Nulogy: xChange 2018, May 6-8, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Oracle:Modern Supply Chain Experience 2018, January 29-31, San Jose, CA
- Quintiq: World Tour 2018: TBA: Various dates and cities around the world
- SAP: SAP SAPPHIRENOW, June 5-7, Orlando, FL
- SMC3: Jump Start 2018, January 22-24, Atlanta, GA and Connections 2018, TBA (2017: June 26-28, Palm Beach, FL)
- TMW Systems: in.sight User Conference + Expo 2018, September 9-12, Houston, TX
- Transplace: Shipper Symposium, May 8-10, Frisco, TX
Industry Conferences (chronological order)
- Retail Supply Chain Conference, February 25-28, Phoenix, FL
- 18th TPM Annual Conference, March 4-7, Long Beach, CA
- 2018 Food Industry Transportation and Logistics Conference, March 11-13, Phoenix, AZ
- The 2018 IWLA Convention & Expo, March 11-13, Tampa, FL
- SITL 2018, March 20-23, Paris, France
- Logistics Summit & Expo, March 21-22, Mexico City, Mexico
- TIA 2018 Conference, April 8-11, Palm Desert, CA
- 2018 Georgia Logistics Summit, April 9-12, Atlanta, GA
- MODEX, April 9-12, Atlanta, GA
- Home Delivery World 2018, April 18-19, Atlanta, GA
- NASSTRAC Annual Shippers Conference & Transportation Expo, April 28 – May 1, Orlando, FL
- Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) Conference, May 6-9, Charlotte, NC
- The Logistics & Supply Chain Forum, June 3-5 in Ponte Vedra, FL and November 4-6 in Tucson, AZ
- 20th Annual EMEA Supply Chain & Logistics Summit, June 4-6, Amsterdam
- Eft 3PL & Supply Chain Summit, June 5-7, Atlanta, GA
- TMSA 2018 Logistics Marketing & Sales Leadership Conference, June 10-13, Fort Myers, FL
- Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) EDGE 2018, September 30 – October 3, Nashville, TN
- APICS 2018, September 30 – October 2, Chicago, IL
- Logistics & Operations Conference, October 25, Santiago, Chile
- LogiChem US 2018, November 12-13, Philadelphia, PA
- eft 5th Annual Asia-Pacific 3PL and Supply Chain Summit, TBA, Singapore (2017: Nov 20-21)
For other European supply chain events, see this list compiled by Supply Chain Movement (the dates are for 2017, but you can click on the link for each event for 2018 information).