We're breaking out our brand-new 2024 calendars and marking our favorite tech and IT conferences for sysadmins, MacAdmins, and IT professionals.
From mind-blowing, state-of-the-art tech demonstrations to awe-inspiring keynote speakers, tech conferences are a great way to learn from industry experts and renew your passion.
So which conferences should you attend? Good question! To help, we've compiled a list of some of the best tech conferences the industry has to offer. Keep in mind that some conferences haven't finalized their plans yet for 2024. So be sure to check back here as we'll update this blog as more details become available!
Get in, sysadmins — we're going conferencing. 😎
NANOG 90, 91, 92: February 12–14, June 10–12, October 21–23
If you're a network engineer looking for a conference focused on all things networking, consider attending NANOG. From backbone internet strategies to enterprise networking technologies and operational practices, NANOG (North American Network Operators’ Group) has something for everyone at all skill levels.
NANOG conferences are typically hybrid events hosting both in-person and virtual attendees. If budget is a concern, consider attending virtually. Tickets are cheaper, and slippers are optional.
Pink24: March 3–6
Pink24 is an industry-leading IT service management conference in its 27th year. Covering leadership, governance, Lean, Agile, DevOps, change management, and more, Pink24 touches on almost all facets of IT service management.
Team discounts are available.
BrainStorm: March 10–12, May 5–7, November 17–19
BrainStorm offers conferences across the East and Midwest for IT professionals working in education. You can network with other sysadmins in IT, attend your pick of dozens of sessions, and demo products at the Vendor Fair.
The three-day conference is held in person.
PowerShell + DevOps Global Summit: April 8–11
The PowerShell + DevOps Global Summit was established in 2013 and continues to be the premiere event for PowerShell and DevOps professionals. It's an in-person gathering tailored toward those who work with PowerShell, Desired State Configuration, Python, GIT, and related technologies.
The conference offers an additional OnRamp track with content tailored for entry-level IT professionals. Subject-matter experts and leading PowerShell instructors guide attendees through an introduction to the PowerShell community and ecosystem. Scholarships are available for the OnRamp track.
Midwest Management Summit (MMS): May 5–9, October 20–23
Event only: $1,899 (May 5–9); $1,699 (for locals at the October 20–23 event)
Hotel bundle: $2,649 (May 5–9); $2,999 (October 20–23)
Location: Bloomington, Minnesota (May 5–9); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (October 20–23)
Event type: In person
Target audience: IT professionals, solutions architects, IT managers
The Midwest Management Summit is a 4-day event with a 750-person attendee cap to ensure attendees have the opportunity to network with presenters. Session topics usually range from getting the most out of Microsoft tools to security best practices.
Red Hat Summit: May 6–9
Red Hat Summit is the premier open-source technologies conference. Attended by thousands of IT professionals each year, Red Hat Summit focuses on innovation around technologies like automation, Linux, the cloud, and Kubernetes.
Group rates are available, so the more the merrier.
RSA Conference: May 6–9
One of the most critical topics in tech today is cybersecurity, and one of the fastest ways to get information about emerging trends and technologies in cybersecurity is to attend a conference dedicated to it.
Initially, the RSA Conference primarily focused on cryptography. (RSA references the public-key encryption technology, as well as the last names of the company’s three cofounders.) Over the years, it transitioned into a broader IT security conference. Now, the RSA Conference is one of the largest cybersecurity conferences in the world.
Prices are lower if you book early, and group rates are also available.
WWDC: TBA; June 2024
Location: Cupertino, California
Event type: Online
Target audience: MacAdmins
As you probably know, the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) features all things Apple. If you manage Apple devices, you’ll want to tune in for updates on macOS, iOS, iPadOS, and more.
While a few lucky developers (and students) can attend the all-day event at Apple Park, most of us will be watching online to catch Apple’s latest updates.
MacDevOpsYVR: June 19–21
If you’re a MacAdmin who wants to add DevOps to your skillset, this is the conference for you. At MacDevOpsYVR, you’ll network with DevOps engineers and MacAdmins from all over the world. Speakers typically hail from companies large (think Disney and Airbnb) and small. The MacDevOpsYVR event expects to bring in more than 20 educational sessions and 10 hours of networking opportunities for MacAdmins and DevOps professionals. This conference includes workshops, a hack night, educational sessions, and networking events.
MacAdmins Conference: July 9–12
Covering topics such as security, best practices, and professional development, MacAdmins Conference gives attendees a chance to collaborate and network with fellow Mac and iOS administrators.
Black Hat: August 3–8
Black Hat is another event that highlights the importance of cybersecurity and advancing cybersecurity technologies. This conference provides the InfoSec community with the latest research, developments, and trends in cybersecurity.
TechMentor: August 5–9
TechMentor covers the Microsoft 365 Admin Center, Microsoft Teams, Azure, Active Directory, PowerShell, AI, cybersecurity, and more. Speakers are experts in their fields and provide insight into managing Microsoft products. This event takes place at Microsoft's headquarters.
DEF CON: August 8–11
The popular DEF CON hacker conference immediately follows Black Hat. While Black Hat is more formal and business focused, DEF CON is much more informal and antics filled. If you are considering attending DEF CON, you'll probably want to disable your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your devices. Don't say we didn't warn you.
GMIS MEETS: August 25–28
GMIS International is an association for government IT leaders, so it should come as no surprise that GMIS MEETS focuses squarely on technology for the public sector. The event provides opportunities to learn about the latest relevant topics from industry leaders and network with peers.
VMware Explore: August 26–29
Cost: TBA; the 2023 conference cost $2,095–$2,495
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Event type: In person
Target audience: System administrators, network engineers, and developers, specifically those heavily involved in virtualization and multicloud infrastructures
It's getting awfully cloudy outside, and we're not talking about the white fluffy kind. As cloud services take over, many organizations struggle to manage multicloud infrastructures. VMware, the industry-leading virtualization platform, is tackling this issue head on.
Formerly known as VMworld, VMware Explore is backed by some of the biggest names in tech, such as AWS, Dell Technologies, and NVIDIA. In addition, VMware Explore typically engages some of the most prominent voices in the industry, including Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, and Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud.
If this sounds like all work and no play, worry not. VMware Explore is famous for hosting some of the biggest bands, such as Imagine Dragons, Bon Jovi, and Blink-182 (just to name a few), to help attendees unwind after a long week of virtualization.
SpiceWorld: TBA; September 2024
SpiceWorld is one of the largest and fastest-growing conventions dedicated to IT professionals. This event provides the perfect environment for thousands of IT professionals and vendors to network, collaborate, and surround themselves with like-minded individuals. With less emphasis on business suits and more emphasis on fun and learning, SpiceWorld's unique conference approach is something that all IT professionals should experience.
Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo: October 21–24
The Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo is designed for IT executives. It explores emerging technologies, strategies, practices, and approaches to equip leaders to drive outcomes, optimize business value, and enhance innovation and resilience. The event typically covers applications, platforms, software engineering, AI, data analytics, cloud infrastructure, operations, and so much more.
Group rates are available.
System Admin: TBA; Fall 2024
The TCEA System Administrator and Technical Support Conference is tailored for IT professionals in the education sector. This demographic of IT professionals faces many unique challenges. From managing student-operated devices to maintaining systems to mitigating security risks with limited resources, IT professionals in this field are often tasked with doing more with less.
Microsoft Ignite: TBA; Fall 2024
Microsoft Ignite, formally known as TechEd, has been around almost as long as Windows itself. Launched in 1993, Microsoft Ignite focuses on the future of tech and what Microsoft is doing to provide the tools users need to succeed in an evolving workplace. Microsoft Ignite is a great opportunity to learn directly from Microsoft's own experts and MVPs as well as other industry leaders.
Microsoft Ignite was held virtually for a couple of years because of the pandemic, but it embraced a hybrid approach in 2022.
Past 2024 conferences
FETC: January 23–26
Future of Education Technology Conference is geared toward those who work in a K–12 setting. Tailored tracks address topics relevant to administrators, information technology professionals, educators, library media specialists, coaches, campus leaders, and assistive technology professionals. IT sessions cover technical cybersecurity, cyber insurance, cybersecurity awareness, and other relevant topics.
FETC is an in-person conference with tiered pricing based on how early you register and whether you want to attend workshops. Team discounts are also available.
Best 2024 tech and IT conferences FAQ
Are conferences worth attending?
Yes, conferences are worth attending for professional growth. They provide attendees an excellent opportunity to network and collaborate with like-minded individuals, get feedback and support directly from vendors, and, most importantly, learn and grow in their respective fields. And don't forget: Many conferences heavily invest in having fun. (But maybe don't focus on that part when you pitch it to your boss.)
Which events will PDQ be attending?
If, for some reason, you can't get enough of PDQ, you can meet up with us face-to-face at select conferences. We’re already planning our trips to the following conferences: PowerShell + DevOps Global Summit, Midwest Management Summit (MMS), MacDevOpsYVR, TechMentor, MacAdmins, GMIS MEETS, SpiceWorld, and System Admin.
But you never know where we’ll turn up. We can’t wait to meet you in person!