It’s an exciting time to be working in product, especially since product management has become the “new dream job” according to the Wall Street Journal. I’m passionate about how product managers learn their craft and share best practices. That’s why I’ve been coaching product teams for over 8 years and why I wrote The Lean Product Playbook.
Conferences are a great way to learn about product management and to compare notes. Plus, whenever a bunch of PMs get together, there’s always plenty of product manager therapy that naturally happens: “Your developer told you what??? Oh no he didn’t!”
Thankfully, there are more product-focused events than ever before. But you’re a busy PM with backlogs to groom and total product domination to plan: how are you supposed to figure out which ones are worth going to?
Don’t worry, I gotcha covered. So close that JIRA window, sit back, and relax. Here’s your guide to the top 10 product conferences in 2017 that you don’t want to miss (in chronological order).
By the way, I plan to be at 8 of the 10; hope to see you there!
May 19: Product Leader Summit – I’m excited to be one of the organizers of a very special conference for product leaders (VPs and directors) in Redwood City, California. Hosted by Omidyar Network, we have a stellar speaker line-up that includes Reid Hoffman, Aaron Levie of Box, OG Sean Ellis (that’s Original Growth-hacker), and product leaders from Facebook, Slack, Tesla, and Netflix. Learn more and apply for this invitation-only event at https://productleadersummit.com.
May 31 – June 1: Traction – I attended the Traction Conference in Vancouver, Canada, for the first time last year and was really impressed by the high quality of the event. The speaker list includes top CEOs and experts in product, growth, and marketing. In addition, organizers Lloyed Lobo and Ray Walia put a lot of thought into selecting great venues and designing the networking parts of this 2-day conference, including an impressive reception at the Chinese Garden. Plus, for you SF Bay Area folks, Vancouver is just a short 2-hour flight away. I look forward to speaking there again this year. Learn more at https://www.tractionconf.io.
June 12 – 13: Mind The Product San Francisco – If you’ve never been to Mind the Product (aka MTP), you’re in for a real treat. Picture yourself at Davies Symphony Hall sitting back in a comfy seat surrounded by over 1,000 fellow product people while you learn from the world’s top product and design experts. After all those amazing talks, your brain cells won’t be able to take any more; but don’t worry, you can put them out of their misery at the sweet afterparty. I’m excited to be giving an all-day workshop there. Tickets sell out fast, so grab yours quickly at http://mtpcon.com/sf/.
August 17: UserVoice BASiS – UserVoice is putting on a new all-day product conference called BASiS in San Francisco. UserVoice designed this conference for data-driven product teams and leaders to learn about cutting-edge product management methodologies, processes, and technologies. I look forward to speaking at this inaugural event.
September 7 – 8: Mind The Product London – MTP London is the world’s largest product gathering, put on by Martin Eriksson and the MTP team, who know how to throw an excellent conference. Held at the gargantuan Barbican Centre, it’s always a well-curated, high production value event with top speakers. I’m excited to be giving an all-day workshop there. Learn more at http://mtpcon.com/london/.
Sep 12 – 14: Industry – I’ve been following this up-and-coming product conference in Cleveland, Ohio, for a while now. I’m impressed by the work that Mike Belsito and Product Collective have been doing and am excited to participate for the first time (I’ll be giving a workshop and a keynote talk). This conference will be 2 days of pure product goodness. You can also tack on a workshop to really fill your brain. Learn more at http://indsum.com.
Oct 19 & 24: Leading the Product – I had a great time speaking at Leading the Product’s conferences in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, last fall. The Brainmates team knows how to put on a great event that creates a sense of community with top speakers, enthusiastic attendees, and great venues. Learn more about this great reason to go Down Under at https://leadingtheproduct.com.
Oct 25 – 27: Productized – I haven’t been to this product conference in Lisbon, Portugal, yet, but it’s been on my radar. I’ve heard good things from other speakers and have been learning more about it from founder André Marquet, who is passionate about product management. Did you know that Portugal has more product managers per capita than any other country? That may or may not be fake news, but who really needs a good excuse to visit the Iberian Peninsula? (not me: I grew up in sunny southern Spain). I plan to give a workshop and a keynote talk there. Learn more at http://productized.co.
Nov 1 – 3: Lean Startup Conference – If you’ve never been to the Lean Startup Conference in San Francisco, you may not know that it’s largely a product management conference. Over 70% of the people I’ve met at past Lean Startup Conferences were product managers, which makes sense because we’re the ones responsible for achieving product-market fit (those hypotheses aren’t going to test themselves). The conference itself is 2 days of great speakers sharing case studies and advice. There’s also a workshop day. If that’s still not enough for you, you can go all-in with a ticket for the whole Lean Startup Week. Learn more at https://2017.leanstartup.co.
Nov 15-16: Product Management Festival – This conference in Zurich, Switzerland, has been running for several years. I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, but you can learn more at https://productmanagementfestival.com.
So there you have them: the top 10 product conferences of 2017. I think it’s awesome that there are 10 major product conferences in the next 7 months, all over the globe.
Wait, what’s that? You’re still looking for more great product events? Well, nice work, my friend: you just discovered the post-credits trailer…
Lean Product (monthly in Silicon Valley) – If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area or are visiting, I invite you to check out my monthly Lean Product event in Palo Alto. I founded it 3 years ago and we’ve grown to over 5,000 members.
One evening a month, I host the same world-class speakers who speak at the conferences I listed above. My speakers are experts in product management, Lean Startup, UX design, analytics, and marketing, and many of them have written leading books on those subjects. Past speakers include Marty Cagan, Geoffrey Moore, Ken Norton, Josh Elman, Laura Klein, Ash Maurya, Nir Eyal, Teresa Torres, Rich Mironov, Amy Jo Kim, Tony Ulwick, Hiten Shah, and Steve Portigal.
Our next Lean Product event is May 18th: growth expert Sean Ellis will be sharing advice from his new book Hacking Growth. Come join us for dinner, an amazing speaker, and great conversation. Learn more at https://meetup.com/lean-product/.
I look forward to seeing you at one or more of these events!