It’s an exciting time to work in product management. Product management continues to be one of the hottest jobs. It seems like everyone wants to become a product manager these days (even some of our developer and designer friends).
If you’re a product manager, you know how rewarding the job can be – and how challenging. To stay on top of your PM game, you need to invest time to sharpen your skills. Conferences are a great way to do that by learning from thought leaders and your peers.
As a conference speaker, I make it a point to keep track of the product conferences that are happening. Wait, what’s that? You’re too busy product managing to research them all? Don’t worry, I got your back. So just take a break from that Jira board, sit back, and relax.
Now, conference season doesn’t usually start until the spring, so I usually publish my list before any of them start. But this year some people just couldn’t wait to have their conferences. And I was very busy the first part of the year, so I’m publishing my list a bit later than usual this time around.
Each year, there are more product conferences than the year before, which is very exciting. Would you believe my list this year has 30 conferences on it? That’s up from 21 from my list last year, which is over 40% growth!
Here’s your guide to the top product conferences of 2019 (in chronological order):
February 7 – 8: Mind the Product Engage, Manchester – Mind the Product has expanded beyond their two large annual conferences to offer additional events (lucky for us!). See Singapore and Hamburg below. Learn more at https://www.mindtheproduct.com/mtpengage/manchester/
April 10-12: Atlassian Summit, Las Vegas – Product people around the world all use Jira, Trello, and Confluence from Atlassian every day. The Atlassian Summit is a great conference to compare notes and improve how you use those tools. I had a great time speaking there this year. Learn more at https://www.atlassian.com/company/events/summit.
April 15 – 17: Industry Europe, Dublin – Industry is a great conference organized by Product Collective. They’ve consistently grown their main conference in Cleveland. Last year, they decided to expand to Europe for the first time, so this will be their second conference in Dublin. Half-day workshops are offered on the first day (I’ll be teaching one), followed by 2 days of conference. I’m excited to speak there. Learn more at http://europe.industryconference.com.
April 23: ProductCon, San Francisco – Product School entered the product conference circuit last year with 4 events in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, and New York (I had a great time speaking at 2 of them). They’re back again with 4 conferences this year, and their first conference is in San Francisco. Learn more at https://www.productschool.com/productcon/san-francisco/
May 9: ProductCraft, San Francisco – Pendo hosted a new all-day product conference at the Palace of Fine Arts. The crowd was very engaged, and I had a great time speaking there. Learn more at https://events.productcraft.com/conference/
May 22 – 24: Gainsight’s Pulse Conference, San Francisco – Gainsight’s Pulse conference has grown over the years and was over 5,000 people this year (in the Moscone Center). It was great to speak there (brought back fond memories of O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 Expo that used to be held there). Learn more at https://www.pulse19.com
March 25: Product Camp Silicon Valley, Santa Clara – Organized by SVPMA, Product Camp Silicon Valley is the longest-running Product Camp. I always enjoy speaking there. There are volunteer-driven Product Camps all over the world. To find Product Camps near you, check out http://www.productcamp.org/schedule.html.
June 6 – 7: Front Case Study Conference, Salt Lake City – Front has been hosting product & UX conferences that look pretty good twice a year for a few years now (more on their annual Workshop event below). Learn more at https://www.frontutah.com/conference/
June 25: ProductCon, Seattle – Product School entered the product conference circuit last year with 4 events in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, and New York. They’re back again with 4 conferences this year, and their first conference is in San Francisco. Learn more at https://www.productschool.com/productcon/seattle/
July 15 – 16: Mind The Product, San Francisco – MTP San Francisco is always a fantastic event, put on by Martin Eriksson, James Mayes, Simon Cast, Janna Bastow and the rest of the awesome MTP team. The organizers curate the world’s top product speakers for a 1-day, single track conference. The venue, Davies Symphony Hall, is impressive (and the seats are comfy). And they throw a rockin’ afterparty to boot. Don’t miss the chance to hang out with 1,600 of your soon-to-be closest product pals. I had a great time giving a talk there last year. The day before the main conference, Mind the Product offers great all-day workshops (I’ll be teaching one) and a special invite-only all-day event for product leaders. Learn more at http://mtpcon.com/sf/.
August 7 – 8: Traction, Vancouver – The Traction conference may not be on your radar, but it should be, especially if your product is transitioning to the growth stage. This is their seventh year in a row, and they’re adding a Product track the day before the main conference that I’m hosting. Organizers Lloyed Lobo and Ray Walia always plan a great conference with fun networking events. Plus, Vancouver is gorgeous in August. Learn more at https://www.tractionconf.io.
August 15 – 16: ConveyUX, Boston – The ConveyUX conference has been held in Seattle for a few years now and is expanding to Boston for the first time. I look forward to speaking there. Learn more at https://boston.conveyux.com
September 9 – 11: Pendomonium, Raleigh, North Carolina – Pendo’s product helps product managers better understand their users. Pendo threw their first Pendomonium conference 2 years ago. They’re back again this year with a two-day conference. In talking with the organizers, it sounds like they try to give attendees a taste of Raleigh plus a dose of southern hospitality. Learn more at https://www.pendo.io/pendomonium/.
September 10: ProductCon New York – Product School is back in NYC again this year. Learn more at https://www.productschool.com/productcon/new-york/
September 19: Product Leader Summit, Silicon Valley – I am one of the organizers of the Product Leader Summit, which has featured top speakers like Reid Hoffman, Aaron Levie, and product execs from Facebook, Slack, and Tesla. This year’s summit, hosted by Spero Ventures, will be a similar event with top speakers and a curated audience of around 120 product leaders (the event is by invitation only; everyone has to apply to attend). View talks from past summits and learn more at https://www.productleadersummit.com.
September 23 – 25: Industry Global, Cleveland – Organized by Product Collective, this 2-day conference has been growing every year. In fact, they expanded to Dublin, Irelend, this year (see above). Organizers Mike Belsito, Paul McAvinchey, and Rebecca Feliciano do a great job bringing together lots of awesome speakers and PMs from all over. There is also an optional workshop day. Learn more at http://global.industryconference.com.
September 28: Product Camp Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – It’s great to see a new Product Camp emerge! This will be their 2nd year in a row at Carnegie Mellon University, which offers a new MS in Product Management degree. I’ve enjoyed getting to know organizer Greg Coticchia, and it promises to be a good event. I’m excited to give the keynote talk. See yinz there? Learn more at https://www.pghpcamp.com
October 7 – 8: Amplify by Amplitude, San Francisco – Leading analytics company Amplitude hosted their first all-day product conference last year and they’re back again this year. Amplitude knows how to throw high-quality product events, so it should be good. Learn more at https://amplify.amplitude.com
October 17 – 18: MTP London – The Big Kahuna of product conferences. Mix and mingle with 1,600 other product people at London’s Barbican Centre as you learn from world-class product speakers at this single-track conference. As they would say in Hollywood, this conference has high production value. There is also an optional workshop day beforehand. Keep calm, carry on, and be sure to RSVP quickly when tickets go on sale: they usually sell out in less time than your average stand-up. Learn more at http://mtpcon.com/london/.
October 17: Leading the Product, Melbourne, & Oct 22 Sydney – Do you like product conferences? Have you been looking for a good reason to visit Australia? Brainmates puts on a great set of Leading the Product conferences in Melbourne and Sydney. I had a great time speaking there. 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 at https://www.leadingtheproduct.com.
October 23 – 25: Lean Startup Conference, San Francisco – 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. As a Lean Startup Co. Senior Faculty member, I’ve spoken at this conference several times. Most of the people I meet there are product managers, which makes sense because we’re the ones responsible for achieving product-market fit (those hypotheses aren’t going to test themselves). Learn more at https://leanstartup.co/2019-conference/.
November 5: ProductCon Los Angeles – Product School is back in Los Angeles again this year. Learn more at https://www.productschool.com/productcon/los-angeles/
November 6 – 7: Front Workshop Series, Salt Lake City – Front has been hosting product and UX conferences that look pretty good twice a year for a few years now. This Workshop event lets you choose your own 6 workshops out of 20 total over 2 days. I’m excited to check it out as I’ll be speaking there for the first time. Learn more at https://www.frontutah.com/workshops/
November 12 – 13: Women in Product, Burlingame – Last year, Women in Product grew their annual conference to over 1,000 attendees. I plan to teach a workshop there. Learn more about this year’s event at https://www.womenpm.org.
November 13 – 14: PM Festival Zurich, Switzerland – This conference in Zurich, Switzerland, has been running for several years. I’ve never been, but you can learn more at https://productmanagementfestival.com/zurich/.
November 21 – 22: Productized, Lisbon – André Marquet and his team put on a wonderful conference. I had a great time speaking there. The 2-day conference is chock full of great product speakers from around the world, and there’s an optional workshop day. Plus, Lisbon is an awesome city: do you really need an excuse to visit? Learn more at http://www.productized.co.
So, what do you think? Is that a lot of product conferences or what? Hopefully you found one or more from my list that you’re excited to attend.
Wait, what’s that? You’re still looking for more great product events? Okay, okay, I’ve got one more product event for you.
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 Mountain View. I founded it over 5 years ago and we’ve grown to over 8,000 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, growth, and marketing, and many of them have written leading books on those subjects. Past speakers include Marty Cagan, Jake Knapp, Geoffrey Moore, Ken Norton, Josh Elman, Laura Klein, Ash Maurya, Nir Eyal, Teresa Torres, Amy Jo Kim, Tony Ulwick, Hiten Shah, and Steve Portigal. Learn more at https://meetup.com/lean-product/.
You’re still here? Your thirst for knowledge is insatiable! You should definitely check out the Product Decoded podcast, then. Produced by 3 of the same folks that bring you the Product Leader Summit (Ha Nguyen, Gib Biddle, and me), Product Decoded features interviews with top product leaders: Aaron Levie from Box, Deb Liu from Facebook, Todd Yellin from Netflix, Michael Sippey from Medium, Chris Abad from UserTesting, Amanda Richardson from HotelTonight, and Justin Bauer from Amplitude. Check out Product Decoded on iTunes.
I hope you found my article helpful. I look forward to seeing you at one or more of these events!