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10 Tech Conferences Every CTO Should Attend in 2024 

Amidst the plethora of events crowding the 2024 calendar, identifying the key tech conferences becomes imperative for CTOs navigating the shifting tech landscape.

Technologies like AI continually undergo significant advancements, contributing to the overwhelming pace of developments in the tech realm. To assist CTOs in prioritizing their time and investments for optimal digital transformation, we’ve curated a list of the top 11 tech conferences worth considering in 2024.

Let’s delve into the details.

1) Mobile World Conference 2024 (MWC)  

Location: Fira Gran Via, Barcelona
Date: February 26 – 29
Price: $970 for a standard ticket, up to $5400


Mobile World Conference, better known as MWC, is the only event on this list occurring outside of the USA. Accounting for the price of travel and the cost of an entry ticket that is nearly $1,000, MWC is not an inexpensive event.  

Still, it is included in this list for being the leading conference for mobile technologies. This includes discussion around 5G and beyond, and how mobile technologies connect and interact with a number of other products.

As such, any organization interested in the mobile world or in the Internet of Things (IoT) will find MWC to be an invaluable event for any CTO.  


2) Red Hat Summit 

Location: Denver, Colorado
Date: May 6 – 9
Price: Early Bird $1,099  


Red Hat Summit is the leading event for enterprise open source solutions. Typically, this event has seen a mixture of professionals, customers, and industry partners all collaborating to discuss the latest technologies from data management, to the cloud, and beyond. Last year’s event saw over 1,300 companies in attendance, represented across 71 countries.

Not only does the event serve in providing a number of sessions on breakthrough technologies like AI and machine learning, but also the collaborative nature of the event involves a unique opportunity for business leaders to connect with their customers and end-users.  


3) RSA Conference 

Location: Denver, Colorado
Date: May 6 – 9
Price: $2,195 for a Full Conference ticket, or $495 for an On Demand ticket (virtual) 


RSA Conference is likely one of the best known cybersecurity events each year. Hosted in Denver, Colorado, RSA Conference offers a blend of the latest trends, emerging threats, and practical solutions.

This year’s theme is “The Art of Possible”, encouraging attendees to explore beyond the traditional approaches to cybersecurity by pairing strategies with collaboration among industry partners.  


4) EmTech Digital 

 Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Date: May 22 – 23
Price: $850 Virtual ticket, up to $3,000 in-person 


Hosted on the highly-regarded MIT campus, EmTech Digital is the institution’s conference on artificial intelligence and its impact on business.

AI took the world by storm in 2023, and a number of companies are exploring how Generative AI could transform their respective industries.

Because of this, even CTOs without a direct tie to AI would find value in attending this event, which will also host a number of high profile attendees from companies like Accenture and Cisco Systems.  

5) Pax8 Beyond 

 Location: Denver, Colorado
Date: June 9 – 11
Price: $499 


Pax8 remains to be one of the leading events for CTOs interested in effective business strategies that grow companies. Unlike a multitude of events that often involve breakouts around deep technical insights, Pax8 possesses an appreciation for tech companies interested in practical knowledge and best practices that drive growth.

These breakouts in the past have included conversations around effective sales, operational pitfalls, and the overall valuation of a brand – all driven by a foundation of embracing the latest technologies across the industry.


6) Black Hat USA 

 Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Date: August 3 – 8
Price: $4,000 


Like the RSA Conference, Black Hat USA is one of the leading events in the cybersecurity space. This conference blends practical knowledge with the latest in cybersecurity research, which involves breakout sessions on the latest vulnerabilities, exploits, and attack methods.

Black Hat often involves real-world security scenarios that provide hands-on experience. Unlike many conferences, Black Hat is also vendor-neutral, allowing attendees to attend an event that emphasizes practical knowledge.  

7) DefCon 32 

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Date: August 8-11
Price: Typically ~$440 


Def Con 32 is certainly the most controversial tech conference to make the list. Calling Def Con a cybersecurity conference does not fully illustrate the infamous reputation of the event.  

On paper, Def Con has typically attracted a number of cybersecurity professionals interested in the latest robust strategies against exploits, attacks, and threats. More commonly, the event has been a mainstay for a number of hackers (some of whom describe themselves as “ethical hackers”) interested in not just the latest trends but also real-world applications.

Def Con can be a great event for staying ahead when it comes to digital defense… but attending likely means bringing both a burner phone and laptop.  


8) VMWare Explore 

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Date: August 21 – 24
Price: $2,495 for the Full Event Pass 


VMWare Explore 2024 is the premier conference for all things cloud. Evolved from VMWorld, VMWare Explore is known for its deep appreciation for multi-cloud systems for businesses continuing to scale. The conference brings together a multitude of industry experts, vendors, and developers in the space – all to provide an event that blends technical discussions with business-oriented sessions. 

As companies continue to evolve in a digital world, so do the strategies needed to stay ahead of the game on innovative cloud solutions, as well as the security needed for multi-cloud architecture. This is especially true for businesses that have embraced a hybrid workforce. With this in mind, any CTO invested in a foundation of cloud technology for their organization will find immense value at VMWare Explore’s event later this year. 


9) Microsoft Ignite 

 Location: Typically Seattle, Washington
Date: November 2024
Price: ~$1,500 in-person, and streamed online for free 


Microsoft’s leading conference event is one of the most heavily attended, and for good reason considering how many companies are deeply rooted in Microsoft technologies.  

Microsoft Ignite typically involves a number of sessions that provide a deeper understanding of Microsoft’s vast ecosystem of products and tools, and how this ecosystem engages with cloud strategies, data management, and security

While Microsoft has not formally announced a date and time for the 2024 event, it will likely occur in November later this year and in Seattle, Washington, not far from their headquarters and matching when and where they have hosted the event previously.  


10) AWS re:Invent 

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Date: November 2024
Price: Typically ~$2,000 for full conference access, and streamed online for free 


Amazon’s re:Invent conference is its flagship event centered around Amazon Web Services (AWS). This conference typically focuses on a number of services that support AWS, like its database engine Amazon Aurora.

Any CTO whose company’s technologies are based around AWS would find value in attending, as these events typically provide opportunities to engage directly with Amazon engineers and partners.  


In brief:

There is no shortage of great conferences every CTO should consider when it comes to implementing meaningful tech strategies in their businesses. By attending a mixture of the list above, you can know that you are best prepared across a diverse range of topics to gain that competitive edge.

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Blake Binns

Blake is a marketer and consultant based in Northwest Arkansas, the home of Wal-Mart. He is a fan of all things digital and hosts the Good Advice Podcast. He lives with his wife of 10 years, Joy, and together has two kids, Blake and Maylee.

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