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 2019. 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 Secret of Getting Ahead (Takeaways from Command Alkon ELEVATE 2018 Conference)
- Go Boldly Together: Takeaways from Nulogy xChange 2018
- Takeaways from the IBM Watson Supply Chain Summit
- Competing on Customer Experience (Takeaways from BluJay Solutions’ SOAR 2018 Conference)
- Delivery is the Product: Takeaways from Transplace’s Shipper Symposium 2018
- Highlights from 3Gtms Innovate 2018 User Conference
- Takeaways from SMC3 Jump Start 2018 Conference
Before 2018 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 2019!
Vendor Conferences (alphabetical order)
- BluJay Solutions: SOAR 2019, April 23-26, Orlando, FL
- CLX Logistics: Annual Customer Conference, TBA (usually in September in Philadelphia)
- Command Alkon: ELEVATE 2019, November 5-6, Chicago, IL
- Dematic: Material Handling & Logistics Conference, TBA (2018: September 9-12, Park City, UT)
- Descartes Systems Group: Evolution 2019, March 26-28, Naples, FL
- enVista: FUEL 2019, TBA (2018:: September 19-21 in Chicago, IL)
- GT Nexus: see Inforum conference below
- HighJump Software: Elevate 2019, March 3-6, San Antonio, TX
- Infor: Inforum 2019, September 23-26, New Orleans, LA
- JDA Software: Focus 2019, May 7-10, Dallas, TX
- LabelMaster: Dangerous Goods Symposium, September 4-6, Chicago, IL
- LLamasoft: SummerCon 2019, June 17-21, Chicago, IL
- Manhattan Associates: Momentum 2019, May 20-23, Phoenix, AZ
- McLeod Software: UC2019, August 25-27, Denver, CO
- MercuryGate: Velocity 2019, May 5-7, Las Vegas, NV
- Nulogy: xChange 2019, TBA (2018: May 6-8, Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
- Oracle: Modern Supply Chain Experience 2019, March 19-21, Las Vegas, NV
- project44: Transform 2019, TBA (2018: September 12-13, Chicago, IL)
- Quintiq: World Tour 2019: TBA: Various dates and cities around the world
- SAP: SAP SAPPHIRENOW, May 7-9, Orlando, FL
- SMC3: Jump Start 2019, January 28-30, Atlanta, GA and Connections 2019, June 25-27, White Sulphur Springs, WV
- 3Gtms: Innovate 2019, TBA (2018: May 1-3, Dallas, TX)
- TMW Systems: in.sight User Conference + Expo 2019, September 15-18, Houston, TX
- Transplace: Shipper Symposium, May 6-8, Dallas, TX
Industry Conferences (chronological order)
- Link 2019 Retail Supply Chain Conference, February 24-27, Orlando, FL
- 19th TPM Annual Conference, March 3-6, Long Beach, CA
- 2019 Food Industry Transportation and Logistics Conference, March 3-5, Palm Springs, CA
- The 2019 IWLA Convention & Expo, March 10-12, Savannah, GA
- MODEX: No show in 2019. Next show: March 9-12, 2020 Atlanta, GA
- Logistics Summit & Expo, March 13-14, Mexico City, Mexico
- SITL 2019, March 26-28, Paris, France
- ProMat 2019, April 8-11, Chicago, IL
- TIA 2019 Conference, April 10-13, Orlando, FL
- Home Delivery World 2019, April 3-5, Philadelphia, PA
- Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) Conference, April 28 – May 1, Columbus, OH
- Transparency19, May 6-8, Atlanta, GA
- SCMA National Conference, May 29-31, Montreal, Canada
- The Logistics & Supply Chain Forum, June 2-4 in Naples, FL
- TMSA 2018 Logistics Marketing & Sales Leadership Conference, June 9-11, Jacksonville, FL
- Eft 3PL & Supply Chain Summit, June 10-12, Atlanta, GA
- Retail Delivery Connect, August 5-7, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) EDGE 2019, September 15-18, Anaheim, CA
- APICS 2019, September 16-18, Las Vegas, NV
- LogiChem US 2019, September 16-17, Princeton, NJ
- 21st Annual EMEA Supply Chain & Logistics Summit, September 24-26, Antwerp, Belgium
- Logistics & Operations Conference, TBA (2018: October 25, Santiago, Chile)
For other European supply chain events, see this list compiled by Supply Chain Movement (the dates are for 2018, but you can click on the link for each event for 2019 information).