There are literally thousands of IT focused events every year. As an IT Service Management professional, it can be hard to know which conferences are worth your limited time and budget.

Need to stay on top of emerging technology and trends? Want to get a read on what all of your customers are talking about? Looking for a new job? Need to fill a vacancy on your team? Hope to network with potential customers? Ready to research or shop for a new product with all the vendors present? Whatever the intent, it’s always good to get out there, grow your network and mingle with peers in casual surroundings.

Most of the teams we work with only get approval to attend two or three events a year so I’ve created a short list of our favorites and listed some of the reasons why we think they’re the best and keep us coming back year-after-year.

20th Annual IT Service Management Conference and Expo

https://www.pinkelephant.com/en-US/Pink16/Home
Date: Feb 14-17, 2016
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada – Bellagio Hotel

Pink events are awesome. We’ve always found their content and breakouts to be some of the best in the industry. The conference itself is also a great size. It’s not so huge that you get lost, but there is still a wide variety of people and vendors. This year, the conference is celebrating its 20th anniversary! If you need some sort of excuse to stay at the Bellagio, now you have it.

TIP bring your partner or spouse since the event is over Valentine’s day and make it a couples getaway!

HDI Conference and Expo

http://www.hdiconference.com/
Date: April 12-15, 2016
Location: Orlando, Florida – The Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel

HDI events are fun. One thing we love about HDI is they know when to have a good time and let loose. It is not an overly stuffy event. Everyone who attends, from vendors to analysts, are remarkably friendly and open. The content and keynotes are always filled with fantastic speakers and material. I think HDI has accomplished something many other event managers have been unable to by offering rock-solid content mingled with some good ole fun. Go to this event if you want expand your personal network AND recharge.

Tip go to all the mixers and chat with vendors in a non-salesy environment. It’s also a great place to find a new gig!

Service Desk Conference

http://www.servicedeskinstitute.com/events/sdi-conference-2016/
Date: April 13-15, 2016
Location: Birmingham, UK – Hilton Metropole

Service Desk Institute events are thought provoking. With excellent in-depth tracks and keynotes, we’ve found the SDI event to be filled with some of the industry’s top experts. There is a heavy focus on ITIL, so you can expect a lot of content around methodology, benchmarking and other formalized process approaches which can be overwhelming for a novice ITSM professional. If you are local, the expo only pass is a great way to check it out without spending a lot of money.

Tip attend the awards dinner gala to hear some great case studies and make sure to nominate your own team as well (http://bit.ly/1QpLo9c)!

The Service Desk and IT Support Show

http://www.servicedeskshow.com/
Date: June 8-9, 2016
Location: Olympia, London

SITs is a comprehensive ITSM event and has tons of options; depending on your skill-set and what you’re looking to get out of the event. With over 4,000 attendees, the show is large and you can expect to find every major vendor in attendance. It is a great venue to check out all of the technologies and get a sense for what is out there. I love that you don’t have to break the bank to get a lot out of this event. With over 50 free seminars and keynotes, they offer more complimentary opportunities for  ITSM community than any other single event that I am aware of.

TIP this conference runs simultaneously with InfoSec. Mosey on over to their vendor showcase as well, the show floor is connected (http://www.infosecurityeurope.com)!

Fusion 16

http://www.servicemanagementfusion.com/
Date: November 1-4, 2016
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada – MGM

Fusion is unique. Produced by ITSMF USA and HDI, the conference rolls the best of both organizations into one event. You can find the heavy-hitting ITIL methodology experts and the happy-go-lucky Help Desk Manager still happily using excel  mingling in the same location. Simply put, they welcome serious experts, newbies, and everyone else in between and somehow manage to make it fun. Their mixers are not to be missed! I’ve also noticed a large amount of senior VP/Director level ITSM executives in attendance, compared with other events.

Tip sign up early for a killer discount.

Interchange

http://interchange.landesk.com/
Date: May 23-26, 2016
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada – The Mirage

Although Interchange is not strictly an ITSM event, we had to add this as an honorable mention.  In addition to a comprehensive Service Management track, Interchange offers a host of options around strategic IT, end-point management, and security. You get a huge bang for your buck here if you wear a lot of hats in your support organization. Plus we think their solutions are some of the best in the industry.

Tip sign up for one of the pre-conference workshops, known for their incredible instructors and individualized attention.

Let me know what you think. What events do I miss? Should anything else should be added to our list?

About INVICTA SOFTWARE

Established in 2014, INVICTA SOFTWARE is a leading provider of IT Service Management Solutions to small and medium size organizations worldwide. Focusing on solutions that take the best of ITIL and operational best practices, INVICTA SOFTWARE offers best-of-breed solutions in the areas of Asset Management, Desktop Systems Management, Service Desk Management, and Password Reset. With rock solid partnerships, a proven executive team, and a reputation for innovative solutions and affordable technologies, INVICTA SOFTWARE is uniquely poised for exponential growth. Headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., INVICTA SOFTWARE continues to expand globally; establishing presence throughout the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Visit www.invictasoftware.com for more information.