Conferences are very beneficial and inspiring. Since I’m always on the hunt to learn something new or to be inspired, I can truly attest to their importance. I’ve had the pleasure of attending a few conferences over the past few years and I always get questions about how I heard about those conferences and/or if those conferences are truly worth the money. I always feel that if you learn something new, if you are inspired by someone, or you get to establish a connection with someone, then it’s totally worth it. Here are some of the conferences that I have attended and had a blast, as well as some conferences I plan on attending in the future.

Afrotech

By far my favorite tech conference for black millennials, Blavity’s Afrotech is a conference where the founders and employees of some of the fastest-growing tech startups share some of their tactics & strategies that they use to grow their products and businesses.

I attended this conference last year and it was absolutely amazing! I swear by the conference simply because after attending, I applied what I learned and soft launched my consulting gig. It’s hard not to be inspired after hearing the success stories from people who look just like you.

The conference is returning in November in San Francisco. For more information, click here.

BlogHer

BlogHer was founded in 2005 by Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort Page, and Jory Des Jardins to answer the question, “Where are the women bloggers?” Since then, BlogHer has become an unstoppable movement, inspiring women to find their voices and turn their passions into content, community and commerce, attracting some of the web’s best talent and top social sites, in topics from food and fashion to politics and parenting. Today, the BlogHer conference is the largest annual celebration of women online content creators, social media influencers , entrepreneurs, media makers and brand marketers.

I just recently returned from BlogHer17 and really enjoyed myself beyond my expectations. In the past, I’ve always thought about attending, but I would decide against it since I wasn’t necessarily interested in turning my blog into a business. However, BlogHer is soooo much more than that. Even if you don’t have a blog, it’s a good way to network and get a chance to meet so many different people. I got a chance to meet some of my favorite bloggers and meet new friends in the process. But besides blogging, BlogHer is also a good conference to attend if you need tips on branding and promoting your business.

BlogHer18 will be here before you know it — Click here to learn more about BlogHer.

Essence

Essence Festival is an annual music festival that was created back in 1995. It was created as a one-time event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Essence, a magazine aimed primarily towards African-American women. It is one of the largest events celebrating African-American culture and music in the United States.

I’ll have to admit — last year was my first year ever attending the festival. I’m not big on concerts so I always declined to go, not knowing that Essence Festival is much more than a music festival. In the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, you’ll find a lot of pop-up shops, New Orleans style food, and a ton of informative seminars, which are free.99. (The seminars are what I love most.)

While Essence Festival just ended (And I heard it was the bomb dot com), be on the look-out for next year. Click here for more information.

Women of Color

The Women of Color STEM Conference helps women improve their education and careers in science, technology, engineering and math fields. This 20-year-old conference opens up many opportunities to achieve STEM goals and aspirations through professional development workshops, networking, and mentoring opportunities.

The WOC Conference was the first conference I ever attended, so of course I have to mention it. I had just started at IBM and was really hungry for all the knowledge that I could receive in a short amount of time. A friend and I drove over to Dallas and managed to make it to a couple of sessions that I felt were very informative. In fact, they were so informative that after implementing some of the suggestions on the panels, I received a raise and then all the raises after that. I found a mentor, got into project management, and now I’m a Sr. Data Analyst and Special Projects Manager at my current place of employment.

Even if you aren’t necessarily in the STEM field, I still suggest going. You never know who you’ll meet or how you’ll be inspired.

For more information, click here.


Conferences to Check Out

A3C ConferenceAfrican Women in TechAWLO Diaspora ConferenceBEYABDPA BFPBlack Men XcelBlack Women in STEMBlogaliciousBlogger Week UnconferenceBlogging While BrownCollisionCreate & CultivateCSS Dev ConElevateEmpowerHerFinConForbes Under 30 Summit
Forbes Women’s SummitHacker HaltedHaven#HereWeGrowHustleConISTELimitless ConferenceMint ConferenceMom 2.0MYPNational Urban League ConferenceNOEWNSBEPlannerConThe Powerful WomenSxSWTech ConnextTech WeekVid ConWerk, Pray, SlayWomen of Power SummitWoman of PurposeWordTech &#9642 Women in Travel Summit

For more information, click on the links above.


Are there any conferences that you attend annually? Share them in the comments below.

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18 Comments
  1. Kita Bryant

    July 5, 2017 at 10:14 am

    I have been to Essence but it’s been a while I don’t mind going back and think I will do so maybe next year! I am going to the photography conference next year near Savannah so I can’t wait. I think I wanna slowly let go of blogging conferences and start doing more business conference and other

    1. Rae

      July 5, 2017 at 10:21 am

      I can understand that. Blogher was my first blogger conference and although it was cool, I don’t think that it’ll be a yearly thing. I think I’d much rather attend a blogger conference on a smaller scale so that I can enjoy the intimacy. But Serena and Luvvie were everything so looks like I chose the right year to go. LOL!

      1. Fatima

        July 6, 2017 at 12:59 am

        That’s how I felt!

  2. Tasheena @ SimplyTasheena.com

    July 5, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    I’ve never been to Essence Festival. I wanted to attend this year but time got the best of me. I would love to attend the AfroTech conference this year. Thanks for sharing this list!

  3. Yetti

    July 5, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    As you know, I’m at NSBE every year, so whenever you’re ready let me know!! I’m also dying to go to Create & Cultivate!

    1. Rae

      July 5, 2017 at 4:05 pm

      I’m seriously making plans on attending next year, especially since I’ve never gone before. And when I found out that you were heavily involved, that really enhanced my desires to want to go. (Because I know when you’re passionate about something, it’s totally worth it.)

  4. Emily

    July 5, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    While I don’t think my presence would be appreciated at 3 of the 4 conference ;) – I have heard great things about Blog Her. I think it would be fun to meet up with just about anyone who is passionate about their online presence.

    1. Rae

      July 5, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      That isn’t true at all. Those three conferences that you are referencing don’t exclude other races or the race that you represent. They were created to showcase representation for people of color while also providing resources to thrive in Corporate America and/or the entrepreneurial world. Because trust me, based on my experiences thus far, they are definitely necessary because the representation is seriously lacking. Your presence is appreciated as long as you can also appreciate the reason for these type of conferences.

  5. Ariel

    July 5, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Thanks for including Blogalicious in your post, Carla!

  6. Fatima

    July 6, 2017 at 1:02 am

    I’m trying to be wherever you are LOL nah but for real, I am really waiting for more into on AfroTech. So up my alley. Mad I didn’t know more about it before. I always though essence festival was about music until this year….

  7. Faith

    July 6, 2017 at 7:15 am

    It appears that I follow a lot of people who attended the Essence conference this year and it looked like a blast! It’s weird. I don’t consider myself to be an introvert but just the thought of being around so many people I don’t know makes me anxious. I know, I know … Wish I could get over that and soon.

    1. Rae

      July 6, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      I have to admit — sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming for me as well. Essence especially because there is so much more going on besides the seminars. And it’s even more overwhelming when you’re by yourself.. trust me on this. Lol!

  8. Reginia Cordell

    July 6, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Next year, I’d like to go to the Women’s Travel Summit. Since I live abroad, it hard to make these, I’d love to go to BlogHer as well.

    1. Rae

      July 6, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      I’ve never heard of the Travel Summit. I’m definitely interested in seeing what that one is all about.

  9. Amanda Nicole

    July 11, 2017 at 8:51 am

    I’m interested in Blogher and Essence maybe if I can fit it in to my travel plans next year. I’ve been to NSBE conference and I’ll say this, it changed my LIFE. I’m not in STEM but one seminar helped transform my career prospective.

    1. Rae

      July 13, 2017 at 11:51 am

      I’m seriously considering NSBE next year.

  10. Fal

    July 14, 2017 at 11:03 am

    I need to hit one of these up someday!

  11. Vaneese

    July 18, 2017 at 8:33 am

    This is a great list. I have so much research to do! Back in June, I went to Blavity’s EmpowerHer in Chicago and it was great. It’s definitely on my “attend again” list. I’ve never been to Blogher. It seems huge tho and maybe a bit out of my wheelhouse because of that. I grabbed a ticket to Mom 2.0 for next year because I heard it’s an excellent conference. Hoping to have my blogging/business life together by then so I can really benefit from it. Glad to see it made your list!

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