Worldwide conferences 2012 – 2013

Paddi Macdonnell.
September 26, 2012

ThumbnailAfter a packed summer of seminars, inspirational talks, and crowd-pleasing predictions, we’ve reached the tail end of the conference season.

October is the time your boss expects you to get started putting some of that new found knowledge to work. But if you’re not yet feeling inspired, there’re still a few gems to attend before the holiday season is upon us. And if you’ve already blown your expenses budget this year, there’s plenty to look forward to in 2013.

We’ve gathered together a list of some of the world’s most exciting and inspirational web related conferences for the next 12 months. Some of them are so fresh their schedule for 2013 hasn’t been confirmed yet, others are selling out fast.

You know, that one in Hawaii looks particularly educational…

SMX East

Oct 2 – 4 2012, New York, NY


With over 100 speakers, more than 50 sessions and a handful of specialised workshops, SMX East is attempting to cover web marketing and seo from every possible angle. The potential downside is that with so many things happening at once, no one can attend everything.

There are a further 10 SMX conferences scheduled over the next 12 months:

Stockholm, Oct. 15 – 16, 2012; Las Vegas, Dec. 5 – 6, 2012; Jerusalem, Jan. 6, 2013; San Jose, March 11 – 13, 2013; Munich, Apr. 9 – 10, 2013; Toronto, April 2013; London, May 2013; Sydney, May 2013; Seattle, June 4 – 5, 2013; Paris, June 2013; Melbourne, Sept. 2013.

Schedules and prices vary for each event. See searchmar​ketingexpo​.com for more info.

Focuses on: SEO, paid search advertising, search media marketing, semantic SEO.

Who should attend

Anyone wanting to improve their understanding of marketing, SEO and e‑commerce.


Prices range from $499 for 1 day Boot Camp’ to $2695 for an all access pass with workshop. On the door prices are from $549 to $2895. Group rates are also available.



Oct 24 2012, London, UK


The focus at O’Reilly’s Velocity is on optimization and performance for both web and mobile web, looking in particular at Ajax, CSS, Javascript and images.

Focuses on: Ajax, CSS, Javascript, web and mobile performance.

There are a further velocity conferences scheduled soon:

Dec 45 2012, Beijing, China; Jun 1820 2013, Santa Clara, CA.

Who should attend

Developers, engineers, technical executives.


London, from £349 (approx. $567) for preconference tutorials to £799 (approx. $1297) for tutorials and conference. Prices increase on the door.

Beijing prices TBC.

Santa Clara prices TBC.



Oct 4 – 5 2012, Amsterdam, Netherlands


Two days of presentations covering areas such as responsive design, CSS, HTML5 video and JavaScript. There is also a pre-conference workshop day with 2 different workshops available.

Who should attend

Front-end developers.


Ranges from €275 (approx. $357) to €700 (approx. $909).


JBoss OneDayTalk

Oct 10 2012, Munich, Germany


Although this is more of a programmer’s event, this year the topics are to focus on core front-end technologies like HTML5 JavaScript and CSS.

Who should attend

Software developers, back-end developers, project managers, Java nuts and front-end developers who would like to look a bit deeper into what makes what they do possible.


99 (approx. $128). Group discounts available.


Usability Week

Oct 14 – 19 2012, London, UK


Instead of presentations, Usability Week claims to provide deep learning’ through full day tutorials. The focus here is on how users behave and how that can be used to make sites more successful.

There are further Usability Week events in New York, Oct 28-Nov 2; Seattle, Nov 5 – 9; Las Vegas, Dec 2 – 7 2012. Prices and sessions vary.

Who should attend

Designers, copy-writers, information architect, web marketers.


From £509 (approx. $826) for 1 day to £2221 (approx. $3606) for all 6 days.


UX Intensive

Oct 15 – 18 2012, Atlanta, GA


Four days of workshops focusing on the key aspects of successful user experience design.

Who should attend

Experienced designers looking to build on their understanding of UX design.


$795 per day, or $2595 for all 4 days.

UX Intensive

a4u expo

Oct 16 – 17 2012, London, UK


Although primarily aimed at the advertising and publishing sectors, this conference on performance marketing is also ideal for anyone working with SEO, web marketing and e‑commerce.

Who should attend

E‑commerce developers, mobile developers, social network developers, SEO specialists.


£525 (approx. $852); £425 (approx. $690) for publishers, taxes not included.


Web Directions South

Oct 16 – 19 2012, Sydney, Australia


Four workshops over two days, looking into flexible content, visual design, Javascript and UX design, are followed by a very packed program of presentations. These have been split into 4 different tracks: design, development, big picture’ and start up. There is a lot on offer here so choosing which sessions to attend may be tough.

Who should attend

Designers, front and back-end developers, mobile developers, budding web entrepreneurs.


Conference only $1049 AUS (approx. $1097); Workshops only $550 AUS (approx.$575); Conference and Workshops $1499 AUS (approx. $1567).

Web Directions South


Oct 19 2012, Bristol, UK


WDC aims to bring together students and professionals for unique networking opportunities. Presentations are kept short with dedicated QA, and speakers are a mix of veterans and debutants.

Who should attend

Designers, front-end developers, creative technologists. WDC is intended to be student friendly, but it is not exclusively for students.


£60 (approx. $97), students £40 (approx. $65).



Oct 20 2012, Milan, Italy


This free one day conference is all about the future of .NET in web development, looking at JavaScript, .NET server-side frameworks, non .NET server-side frameworks, CMS and Cloud. HTML5 and jQuery are in there too. And if it’s not what you were hoping for, you can always go and buy yourself a beautiful suit.

Who should attend

Backend developers, committed .NET developers, JavaScripters, front-end developers, and snappy dressers.


Free, yes free. (Except for lunch.)



Oct 22 – 24 2012, New York, NY


Two days of speaker sessions covering areas such as jQuery optimization, web typography, accessibility, CSS3 and adaptive content followed by a full day workshop on one of 4 topics.

Who should attend

Designers, front-end developers, creative directors, project managers.


From $495 for 1 day conference pass to $1095 for a workshop + 2 day conference pass.



Oct 27 2012, Lugano, Switzerland


Firmly focused on UX design, this one day conference aims to take a good look at the latest trends in digital design and the connection between business and design.

Note that it is not clear how many of the presentations will be in English, or if there will be a translation service for any that are in Italian. If you are not an italian speaker, or at least reasonably fluent, it might be a good idea to check this out if you are thinking of attending.

Who should attend

UX designers, front-end developers, interactive designers, mobile developers/​designers.


CHF 250 (approx. $268); students CHF 70 (approx. $75).


Web Unleashed

Nov 8 – 9 2012, Waltham, MA


A day of workshops followed by a day of presentations by among others Dave Methvin, lead developer of the jQuery Core team. Subjects include responsive design, CSS3, Javascript, UX, Mobile web and Corona.

Who should attend

Front-end developers.


From $99 for conference only to $199 for conference plus workshop day.

Web Unleashed

Full Frontal

Nov 9 2012, Brighton, UK


One day JavaScript conference with presentations and workshops on… you guessed it, JavaScript.

Who should attend

Front-end developers, JavaScript fans.


From £150 (approx. $244) to £400 (approx. $650), taxes not included.


MODXpo Europe

Nov 10 2012, Utrecht, Netherlands


Starting with a keynote by MODX co-founder Ryan Thrash, this one day event is a mixture of presentations and workshops designed to provide something for all skill levels.

Who should attend

Anyone who uses, designs for or develops with MODX.


39.95 (approx. $52).



Nov 12 – 16 2012, Westminster, CO


2 days of workshops followed by 4 days of breakout sessions focusing on accessible media including web sites and mobile applications. US legal and policy issues (relating to ADA) are also covered.

Who should attend

Designers, accessibility programmers, assistive technologists and anyone who is interested in developing accessible media.


Prices range from $200 for a 1 day pre-conference workshop to $795 for all 5 days, conference and workshops. Group and other discounts available.


FITC Vancouver

Nov 17 – 18 2012, Vancouver, Canada


Subtitled Exploring Design & Technology’, this event covers not just the usual suspects of CSS3, HTML5 and Responsive Design, but also design and creativity.

Who should attend

Designers and digital creators.


From $99 (approx. $101) for workshop day only to $179 (approx. $183) for conference and workshop day. Prices increase after Oct 12.



Nov 27 – 29 2012, Prague, Czech Republic


Covering all things web app related, FOWA starts with a full day workshop and follows up with 2 days of speaker led sessions. This conference is running concurrently with it’s sister event, FOWD, and the ticket price covers entrance to both. So you might end up learning more than you meant to!

Who should attend

Front-end developers, back-end developers, creative directors, project managers, mobile developers, designers, mobile strategists.


695 (approx. $903) for 2 day conference pass; €895 (approx. $1162) for 2 day conference pass plus one day workshop. Group discounts and student passes available.


Kings of Code

Dec 1 – 4 2012, Amsterdam, Netherlands


Kings of Code starts with a two day Hack Battle’ where teams of front-end and back-end developers and designers compete building apps and web services in under 36 hours. This is followed by a one day conference with presentations on front-end, back-end and mobile development, and the event finishes with a workshop day.

Who should attend

Front-end developers, back-end developers, mobile developers, code junkies.


119 (approx. $155) early bird; €199 (approx. $258) full price.

Kings of Code

In Control

Dec 2 – 4 2012, Honalulu, HI


A more intimate conference than some, with limited enrolment and longer sessions to allow for better interaction and more in depth discussion, and it’s in Hawaii. Session subjects include HTML5 for mobile devices, CSS3, content strategy and jQuery. And it’s in Hawaii.

Who should attend

Designers and developers who want to keep up to date with best practices and changing platforms, surfers.


Prices range from $495 for a one day pre-conference workshop to $1545 for full conference access plus one pre-conference workshop and admittance to the CSS Dev Conference (see below).


CSS Dev Conference

Dec 5 2012, Honalulu, HI


Taking place the day after In Control, this is a one day feast of CSS. Attendance at both conferences can be combined for a slightly reduced price.

Who should attend

CSS devotees, or anyone looking to advance their understanding of cascading style sheets. Anyone who wants to go to Hawaii.


$395 in advance, $495 on the day.

CSS Dev Conference

New Adventures in Web Design

Jan 23 – 25 2013, Nottingham, UK


With conference tickets already sold out for what looks to be the final outing for this particular event, there are still workshop places available: designing for iOS devices; creating a positive user experience; responsive design.

Who should attend

Designers, front-end developers, content creators.


£150 – £250 (approx. $244 – $406).

New Adventures

An Event Apart

Feb 18 – 20 2013, Atlanta, GA


Hosted by Eric Meyer and Jeffrey Zeldman, this is the conference version of A List Apart. Unlike most, this event boasts one session at a time, so everybody gets to hear everything.

There are further An Event Apart conferences taking place in 2013: Seattle, April 1 – 3; San Diego, May 20 – 22; Boston, June 24 – 26; Washington, DC, August 5 – 7; Chicago, August 26 – 28; Austin, September 30-October 2; San Francisco, December 9 – 11.

Pricing and speakers are the same for all events.

Who should attend

According to the organizers, this is for passionate practitioners of standards-based web design”.


Early booking prices are $449 for one day multi-device web design workshop; $945 for 2 day conference; $1240 for both. Prices increase closer to date.

An Event Apart

Design Indaba 2013

Feb 27 – Mar 1 2013, Cape Town, South Africa


This event is not aimed specifically at web designers, but at the wider creative community in general. Speakers include graphic designers, artists, product designers, even a scent expert, and interdisciplinary creatives.

Who should attend

Designers, front-end developers, creatives of all descriptions.


R6475.50 (approx. $782) early bird, R7195 (approx. $869) full price. Various discounts available.

Indaba 2013


Mar 8 – 17 2013, Austin, TX


SXSW Interactive is one third of the SXSW Festivals and runs for the first 5 days of the festival group. Events include panel presentations, more informal discussion sessions, workshops and book readings. It is possible to register for the Interactive strand only or for the Film and Music festivals as well.

Who should attend

Web developers, designers, content producers, programmers, game developers tech and new media entrepreneurs.


Prices range from $695 to $1595 depending on when you register and for how many of the events.


Adobe Max

4 – 8 May 2013, Los Angeles, CA


Up until 2012, Adobe’s annual product showcase conference had been held in the fall. However, since Adobe has now committed to a regular product release in spring, MAX has been moved to coincide with this schedule. This means that there will be no event in 2012.

While there are no details yet available for the conference program, Adobe has stated that it will cover design, HTML5, JavaScript, CSS, digital publishing, video, gaming and mobile applications. It is probably safe to say that one of the most anticipated subjects will concern the future — if there is one — of Flash.

Who should attend

Designers, developers, Adobe CS fans.



Adobe Max


May 10 2013, Newport, UK (Wales)


Following the success of their inaugural event in 2012, Port80 will convene again in May 2013. At the time of writing there are no details available on the schedule, but you can follow their blog http://​blog​.port80events​.co​.uk/ to keep up with developments.

Who should attend

Designer and developers.


£49 (approx. $80), taxes not included.



May 22 – 24 2013, Portland, OR


At the time of writing, details for the 2013 WebVision conferences are yet to be announced, however the 2012 conferences focused on the future of web and mobile design technology, user experience and business strategy; it’s a fair bet that the 2013 conferences will be equally engaging.

Who should attend

Medium to heavyweight designers who appreciate the value of understanding the technologies they’re designing for.




NMC Summer Conference

Jun 4 – 7 2013, Hilton Head, SC


The NMC is about the integration of new and emerging technologies into education and their annual summer conference is an opportunity for professionals from all these fields to come together and share ideas.

Who should attend

E‑learning enthusiasts, app developers.





Jul 22 – 26 2013, Portland, OR


At the time of writing, there are no details yet for the 2013 edition of OSCON, however it’s safe to assume that, like the 2012 event, it will cover all things open source.

Who should attend

Front-end developers, back-end developers, code junkies.





Throughout the year, various locations


With events happening from Stockholm to Osaka and more planned from Kathmandu to Jerusalem, WordCamps are informal events organised by the WordPress user community. The topics covered vary with each event.

Who should attend

WordPress users and developers.


$20 – £40


What’s the most inspirational conference you’ve attended? Have we missed any of your favourites? Let us know in the comments below.

Paddi MacDonnell

Paddi MacDonnell is a designer and entrepreneur from Northern Ireland, follow her on Twitter.

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