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2023 Popular Data and Analytics Conferences and the Motivations for Attending

Pulse Survey: 2023 Favorite D&A Conferences

It’s that time when we reflect on the past year, and make plans for the coming year. As we’re thinking about our conference plans for 2023, we’re curious what the rest of the data and analytics community has planned for in-person conference attendance next year. So, we sent out a brief survey during the latter half of November and this is what we heard.

Disclosure: IIA is hosting our Analytics Symposium on May 4, 2023, in Chicago. Not to be too presumptuous, but we assume this conference is at the top of our clients’ list, so our goal here is to better understand where else the D&A community is headed and why.

How did we gather our data?

Our information came from two sources: 1) A LinkedIn post, and 2) an email to our subscribers.

Responses were grouped by the respondent’s level in the organization chart according to the following:

  • Individual Contributors
  • Management (Managers and Directors)
  • Leadership (VP, SVP, C-level)

Our focus was attendance at in-person events. We did not try to gather any information about virtual-only conferences. We also did not try to gather information about those virtually attending an in-person event where that was an option (i.e., hybrid scenarios).

How many plan to attend?

I was surprised to see that 70% of Individual Contributors do not plan to attend any conference in 2023. Had I placed a bet on this, I would have lost. Maybe they are planning to attend virtually? Maybe approval for conference attendance is difficult to come by right now? Maybe they just haven’t made plans yet?

If we look at Management and Leadership, it is a completely different picture. Well over 90% of these respondents will be attending an in-person conference.

Of those that are attending, they will be going to an average of two conferences during the year. If you prefer a different measure of center, two conferences is also the median and the mode. Our most prolific attenders are planning to be at five conferences next year.

Where are people going?

We split the conferences that people are attending into 4 tiers, segmented by the percent of respondents stating that they are attending. Here are our tiers:

  • Tier 1 - Greater than 20% attendance
  • Tier 2 - Between 10% and 20% attendance
  • Tier 3 - Between 5% and 10% attendance
  • Tier 4 - Less than 5% attendance

We had one conference falling in Tier 1, and that was the Gartner Data and Analytics Summit.

We also had only one conference fall in Tier 2, and that was the Chief Data & Analytics Officer Exchange.

Here is the list for Tier 3:

  • Evanta CDO Summit
  • Predictive Analytics World
  • Analytics Unite
  • TDWI
  • Corinium CDAO
  • World AI Cannes
  • DataConnect
  • ODSC
  • AI for Good Summit

And here is the Tier 4 list:

  • Forrester Data Strategy & Insights
  • Disney
  • Informs
  • Industry of Things World

Why are people attending?

In addition to where people are attending, we also wanted to understand the reasons for attendance.

Overall, two-thirds of respondents said that the primary reason for conference attendance is to “learn new strategies/tactics.” This was followed by over half stating their goal was to “learn about emerging trends.”

It is more interesting to look at the motivations for attendance by level in the organization:

  • Executives are more likely to attend conferences for “networking with peers,” “keynote speakers,” and to “learn about emerging trends.”
  • Managers are more likely to attend to “learn new strategies/tactics” and for “keynote speakers.”
  • Individual contributors are more likely to attend to “meet vendors and learn about new technology solutions,” “professional development/certifications, and “to be inspired.”

See you on the road!

Hopefully this gives you some insight into where the data and analytics community will be next year. Let us know what we missed, and we look forward to seeing you at IIA’s Analytics Symposium in May as well as these other great events.

In fact, mark your calendars now for Machine Learning Week taking place June 18-22 in Las Vegas. I'm excited to be a part of this great lineup of speakers and content. I hope to see you there.