The Top Product Manager Conferences You Don't Want to Miss
Product manager conferences are great opportunities to step out from behind the desk and exchange ideas with colleagues about best practices in this unique industry.
And there is no shortage of opportunities out there. The number of product management conferences has climbed steadily in recent years, and there are now more than 60 across the globe.
Here are the ones you don’t want to miss:
1. Mind the Product
One of the best-known conference series in the business, Mind the Product brings product managers together annually in San Francisco; London; Manchester, England; Hamburg, Germany; and Singapore. A global slate of attendees gather to network and hear speakers from industry giants such as Google, Slack, Medium, Tencent, and the BBC.
2. Women in Product
A nonprofit working to elevate women’s representation across the industry, Women in Product hosts an annual global conference every fall in Silicon Valley, preceded by smaller gatherings in the U.S., Canada, and Singapore. The organization boasts 30-plus chapters and hosts nearly 100 events a year for upwards of 15,000 community members.
Organized by Product School, ProductCon is one of many global events the product manager training hub hosts in such cities as New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and London featuring top-tier speakers. Can’t make an event in person? ProductCon offers free livestreaming tickets for any event, a departure from many other conferences.
4. Pixel Up!
Product managers, designers, and UX engineers based in Africa gather at Pixel Up! for three days of connecting, learning, and discovery just outside Cape Town, South Africa. Past speakers have included luminaries from eBay, Slack, and Facebook, as well as local authors and designers.
5. X4 Experience Management Summit
The product track at the mammoth X4 Experience Management Summit in Salt Lake City is known for its star power. The 2019 conference was no exception, including the likes of President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, and Ashton Kutcher. The 2020 lineup features the mega wattage of Ellen deGeneres, Michelle Obama, and Chip and Joanna Gaines. In addition to these distinguished lists of speakers, attendees dive into topics such as data-driven project road maps, habit-forming products, product research, and development feedback.
JAM runs several product management conferences across Europe in a variety of formats. Although its London offering is a fairly straight-up affair, events in Barcelona, Spain, and Wales take place in alternative venues (a convent in Barcelona!) and combine standard speakers with physical activities such as hikes, walking tours, and yoga on the beach. The unique atmosphere and the conferences’ small size allow attendees to share successes and failures in a less formal setting.
7. Product Marketing Community
Product Marketing Community’s conference series features a variety of events across the U.S. and Toronto. Created by marketers for marketers, Product Marketing Community aims to turn every product manager into “an architect of growth.” To that end, its conferences offer “a day of purpose, connection ... a fresh perspective, and a powerful community,” featuring speakers from the likes of SiriusDecisions and Gartner.
ProductCamp bills itself as an “unconference,” and, yes, it’s a bit different. In its participant-driven format, the people attending are in charge of the content. In cities across the globe that include Ottawa, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, and Atlanta, they pin sticky notes with their ideas on a board and vote on their favorites. The top three topics become the conference agenda, and the attendees who suggested those topics become the moderators. Another unique twist is the “two-feet rule,” which encourages attendees to move to another discussion at any time if they decide they want something new.
What Do I Do Once I’m There?
You’ve chosen your conference and have arrived amid a whirlwind of excitement. Now what?
- Be focused and attentive, especially if you’re the only one at your company who’s able to attend.
- Grow your network, because you never know who’s in the room, be it a future client or your next employer.
- Learn about your industry and gather all the data you can to bring it back home.
- When you get home, be sure to carve out time to pass on those new nuggets of wisdom to the larger team.
With Inspiration Comes Expansion
A great conference not only allows you to talk shop with fellow product managers outside your bubble, but it also hopefully inspires you to take those bold next steps that remind you why you work in this business and bring you closer to fulfilling your personal vision.
Hopefully, you’ll come away energized and ready to expand your company. More work means more people, and a nearshore firm may be just the solution to finding top talent within your budget. Chat with the Jobsity team to see what’s possible.
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