The potential for project-based networking opportunities comes in various forms, not only at project management (PM) conferences and events, but also a few business and leadership events. For this reason, I’ve included PM, business and leadership venues, since each has the potential to offer great networking and educational opportunities for project professionals. Each year, many of these are held in different locations around the world.

1. IRNOP the (International Research Network on Organizing by Projects) is hosted by various sponsors in different locations. IRNOP was founded in 1993 and was developed to connect business, economics, engineering and other scholars who have an interest in projects, project organizations, and temporary systems. Because IRNOP conferences bring together top minds from all fields, it’s been referred to as “a meeting of minds.” This type of venue offers PM professionals with a chance to talk with experts in other fields and gain insights from different vantage points. On June 11 – 14, 2017, IRNOP will be hosted by and held at Boston University.

2. PMI Global Conference put together by the Project Management Institute (PMI) is a week-long networking event, including multi-day workshops that bring together project and program managers, chapter leaders and business professionals from around the world. The goal of the event is to offer all attendees a chance to share knowledge, strengthen the PM community and influence the evolution of the profession. This year it will be held between October 26 – 30 in Chicago, Illinois.

3. PMO Symposium offers a chance for Project Management Office (PMO) leaders to network and get a “behind-the-scenes look into proven strategies and practices that drive success for some of the world’s leading PMOs”. The 2017 event will be held November 5 – 8, 2017 in Houston, TX.

4. Project Summit Business Analyst World is a two-day symposium that offers cross-disciplinary networking opportunities for industry experts, project leaders, and business analysts. It’s held in four cities across the US and Canada throughout the year and offers opportunities for education and training. The symposium is followed by an all-day workshop that gives participants a chance to pick up new tips and tools, and receive PDUs and CDUs in the process. Check out the Project Summit Business Analyst World site for the various 2017 symposium locations and dates.

5. APM Project Management Conference has built a reputation for bringing together influential and thought-provoking speakers from the project management profession. This is a conference intended for project leaders who challenge boundaries and look to develop best practices. The event offers featured speakers, a full day of activities and networking opportunities. The 2017 conference will be held in London on April 27.

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6. Agile and Beyond is considered a”grassroots” volunteer-run conference, with around 100 sessions running across two days, aimed at educating people on agile principles and practices. Content is geared to professionals of all Agile knowledge levels, from beginner to advanced. It’s a great opportunity for project teams, business professionals, and project leaders to get to talk with Agile experts and learn more about this well-recognized methodology. The 2017 conference will be held in Ann Ypsilanti, MI, from May 4 – 5.

7. Change Management Conference is another great place to meet with change management experts in this growing space. Project leaders and business professionals alike need to have an understanding of change management and this conference offers a PM with the opportunity to get up to speed on best practices. This year the conference will be held in New Orleans, LA, between May 21 – 24.

8. Strategic Planning Innovation Summit covers everything from pitfalls in strategic planning to optimizing your strategy team and strategic innovation. This summit is geared to helping professionals understand a company’s vision, mission, values, and strategies. Understanding the link between strategy and PM is foundational for project management professionals, making this summit a high-value event. The 2017 summit will be held in San Francisco, CA between May 22 – 23.

9. Gartner CIO & IT Executive Summit provides opportunities for CIOs, IT, and project leaders to meet and discuss some of the emerging challenges facing companies today. The 2017 summit will be held in Toronto, ON, June 6 – 8.

There are of course many other events available to business professionals, IT leaders and project managers. Before choosing a venue it’s smart to think about the challenges you face as a PM. Then select the venue(s) that allows you to share ideas and network with other professionals who have the experience and knowledge you seek. These events can go a long way to helping you become a stronger and more versatile project leader.

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