The best mobile and IoT conferences of 2018

Linda Rosencrance, Freelance Writer, Independent

The most life-changing products to come out over the next few years will almost certainly center around mobile, the Internet of Things (IoT), and voice-control technology. Will your product be one of them? That depends on whether you receive that spark of inspiration first—and then execute. Attending conferences can help you find that inspiration, and the knowledge you'll need to build the future's most exciting and useful inventions.

Here is our shortlist of the most popular mobile and IoT conferences in 2018. We've listed them all, although not all dates, locations, and pricing were available at publication time—especially for those events taking place later in 2018. In those cases, we have provided historical information on the event to give you an idea of what to expect and what you'll get out of attending. Keep checking back: We'll update this guide as more information becomes available.


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IoT Evolution Expo

Twitter: @IoTEvolution / #IoTEvolution
Date: January 22-25
Location: Orlando, Florida, USA
Cost: Prices range from free for an Expo Plus Pass when purchased in advance ($100 at the expo) to $3,595 ($3,695 at the show) for the Diamond Group Plan, which grants admission to all proceedings for three of your company's employees

IoT Evolution Expo focuses on how IoT can drive business transformation in all industries through improved operational efficiencies, revenue opportunities, and problem solutions. It features track sessions, an exhibit floor, case studies, special events, networking opportunities, and other events.

Who should attend: Developers, IT executives, business executives, device manufacturers, transportation companies, supply chain and logistics professionals, sensor and embedded system experts, and systems integrators


Twitter: @CES
Date: January 9-12
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Cost: Prices range from $300 to $1,700. Early-bird discounts available

This legendary massive consumer electronics conference and expo covers a wide range of topics, including mobile- and IoT-related sessions on security, digital entertainment, e-commerce, gaming, robotics, storage, education technology, mobile apps, and networking professionals.

Who should attend: Anyone interested in the latest and greatest consumer electronics



Twitter: @DeveloperWeek / #DevWeek18
Date: February 3-7
Location: Oakland, California, USA
Cost: Prices range from $35 for an Expo Pass to $1,999 for a DevExec World Pass

According to the conference organizers, DeveloperWeek 2018 is the world’s largest developer expo and conference series, with over 8,000 participants across the DeveloperWeek 2018 Conference & Expo, the DeveloperWeek Hackathon, the Official Hiring Mixer, and citywide partner events.

Who should attend: Software engineers, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists

Mobile World Congress

Twitter: @GSMA / #MWC18
Date: February 26-March 1
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Cost: Prices range from an Exhibition Pass, at €799, to a Platinum Pass, at €4,999

Described as a gathering for the entire mobile industry, the MWC is owned by GSMA, an industry group made up of 800 mobile operators and 300 mobile ecosystem companies. It's a big conference: In 2017, the MWC in Barcelona drew more than 108,000 attendees from 208 countries, and more than 2,300 exhibitors. Many smartphone and mobile device launches happen here.

Who should attend: App developers, operators, equipment vendors, and financial, marketing, and entertainment industry professionals

Embedded World Exhibition and Conference

Twitter: @embedded_world / #ew18
Date: February 27-March 1
Location: Nuremberg, Germany
Cost: Conference blocks range from €345 to €850 (VAT included); classes are €410 for a half-day and €610 for a full day

The Embedded World Conference is designed for developers and designers of embedded systems. Organizers say it is Europe's biggest conference devoted to embedded systems development, and it addresses all major topics in this sector, featuring papers and classes, with a focus on concrete solutions.

Who should attend: Developers and designers of embedded systems

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Industry of Things World USA 2018

Twitter: @IoTClan / #IoTClan
Date: March 7-9
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Cost: Pricing options are Industry Delegate Premium, $2,695; Industry Delegate, $2,295; and Solution Provider, $3,495. Group discounts are available

Organizers call this conference "the leading Industrial IoT event in the USA." This event focuses on the impact of the industrial IoT on current business models and production processes across all major industries. It includes topics such as automation, machine-to-machine communication, interoperability, analytics, and new business models. Part of the Industry of Things World global event series, this conference has become the meeting point for senior executives who want to learn more about the industrial Internet.

Who should attend: IoT specialists and strategists, IoT novices, cloud computing adopters, big data analytics experts, and anyone else involved in a business's digital transformation

SXSW (South by Southwest)

Twitter: @sxsw / #SXSW
Date: March 9-18
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Cost: Prices range from $445 to $1,450

While music and film are key elements of SXSW, the event also has a strong technology component. Topics include startups, blockchain, health IT, artificial intelligence, IoT, virtual reality, augmented reality, smart cities, digital media, software design and development, open source, mobile design, and user experience.

Who should attend: Developers, founders, and embedded developers

OpenIoT Summit

Twitter: @EventsLF / #openiot
Date: March 12-14
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Cost: Prices range from $200 to $850, depending on when you register

Created by technologists for technologists, OpenIoT Summit delivers the technical knowledge attendees need to deliver smart, connected products that take advantage of rapidly evolving IoT technologies. It is the only IoT event focused on the development of open IoT products, according to organizers. Experts from the world’s leading companies and biggest open-source projects will present on what you need to know to bring smart, connected products and solutions to market.

Videos of past years' sessions are available online.

Who should attend: Firmware developers, software developers, application developers, and system architects

DroidCon Boston 2018

Twitter: @droidconbos / #DroidconBos
Date: March 26-27
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Cost: Prices: $99-$249

DroidCon is a global conference series focused on the Android developer ecosystem. The Boston conference is a two-day, full-immersion tech event driven by local communities and influencers. You can find dozens of other DroidCon events around the world, so be sure to check and see if there's a conference coming up near to your home.

Who should attend: Android developers and engineers

IoT6 Exchange

Twitter: @nGage_IoT / #IoT6
Date: March 27-29
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA
Cost: An invitation-only event, Contact organizers for information

IoT6 Exchange features an in-depth agenda with keynote sessions, end-user panels, breakout sessions, and case studies. Topics include the industrial IoT, the IoT, machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics and smart engineering, and asset and fleet monitoring and tracking. Complimentary airfare, accommodations, meals, and registration costs are provided to qualified attendees in appreciation for time spent out of office. Attendees must inquire to be eligible to receive a hosted invitation.

Who should attend: Operations, logistics, and manufacturing executives and decision makers


RWDevCon 2018

Twitter: @RWDevCon / #rwdevcon
Date: April 5-7
Location: Alexandria, Virginia, USA
Cost: Prices range from $999 to $1,999

RWDevCon is an Apple iOS conference focused on high-quality programming tutorials. Located just outside Washington, DC, RWDevCon is put on by teams at and 360iDev. Content focuses on hands-on tutorials, where attendees can code along with the presenter. 

Videos of past years' tutorials can be purchased for $199.

Who should attend: iOS and MacOS developers

Internet of Things Applications Europe

Twitter: Not available
Date: April 11-12
Location: Berlin, Germany
Cost: Ranges from €99 for an exhibition pass to packages as high as €2,995.

Internet of Things Europe is collocated with the Wearable Europe and Sensors Europe events, and a ticket to any conference grants attendees access to the others. This event addresses real business opportunities for the IoT, not hype. Business models, case studies, opportunities, and profitability are all covered. It features specific market verticals, in addition to emerging technologies.

Who should attend: IoT developers, IT pros, and CxOs


Twitter: @appbuilders_ch / #appbuilders18
Date: April 16-17
Location: Lugano, Switzerland
Cost: Prices range from $299 to $399, depending on when purchased

AppBuilders is a mobile technology conference featuring sessions for both iOS and Android developers. Conference speakers have featured lead iOS and Android developers from high-profile companies, including Viacom and The New York Times.

Who should attend: iOS and Android developers


Microsoft Build

Twitter: @msdev / #msbuild
Date: May (unconfirmed)
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA (unconfirmed)
Cost: $2,195 in 2017

Build is a massive conference for developers who build apps for Windows, Office 365, Edge/IE, SQL Server, Azure, Xbox, and HoloLens, using tools such as Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, ASP.NET vNext, and product-specific SDKs and APIs. Build also features content for Android, iOS, and mobile web developers. Major updates to the Windows OS and .NET ecosystem are typically announced at this conference.

Videos of past years' sessions are available online.

Who should attend: Windows developers, .NET developers, SQL Server users, Azure PaaS users, and mobile developers (iOS, Windows Mobile, Android, and web)

Internet of Things World

Twitter: @IoTWorldSeries / #IoTWorld
Date: May 14-17
Location: Santa Clara, California, USA
Cost: Depending on when you purchase tickets, prices range from $795 to $3,195, Free tickets are available to attend the expo, which includes more than 300 exhibitors

Internet of Things World features content to meet the advanced technical needs, as well as tracks focused on utilities, energy, smart buildings, and construction. The event also includes a hackathon and Project Kairos Startup City, which will run over two days and feature over 100 cutting-edge startups.

Who should attend: Developers, IT executives, business executives, device manufacturers, transportation companies, supply chain and logistics professionals, sensor and embedded system experts, telecom professionals, and systems integrators

Google I/O

Twitter: @googledevs
Date: May 16-18 (unconfirmed)
Location: Mountain View, California, USA
Cost: 2017 costs: $1,150 regular, $375 for full-time students (source)

First held in 2008, Google I/O, has become one of the most important developer conferences in the world. Like Apple’s WWDC, Google I/O isn’t strictly about mobile, but the event is heavily focused on Android and its ecosystem. The conference also covers developer tools and APIs for other Google products, services, and platforms, including its enterprise cloud platform, consumer online services such as Google Play, products for publishers and advertisers such as AdSense and Analytics, consumer devices such as the Cardboard virtual reality headset, and even some of the company’s “moonshot” projects.

Videos of past years' sessions are available online.

Who should attend: Developers working with Android or with the growing variety of Google web services, mobile apps, and hardware


Internet of Things Developers Conference

Twitter: @iotdevcon / #iotdevcon
Date: June 5-6
Location: Santa Clara, California, USA
Cost: N/A; $95-$495 in the past, depending on when purchased

Focused on solving the technical and business challenges of the IoT, the Internet of Things Developers Conference features an exhibit floor, in-depth technical sessions, tutorials, business strategy, and hands-on demos.

Who should attend: IoT developers


Twitter: @fluentconf / @OReillyMedia / #FluentConf
Date: June 11-12, training; June 12-14, tutorials and conferences
Location: San Jose, California, USA
Cost: N/A

Fluent was held in 2012 as a new event for developers working with JavaScript, HTML5, and other web technologies. Since its launch, Fluent has expanded to include front end, back end, design, web performance, security, and more. Fluent offers a variety of forums, including immersive tutorials, expert sessions, and hallway tracks between sessions where attendees informally connect and share questions, knowledge, and perspectives with their peers.

Who should attend: Web designers and developers, including mobile and web infrastructure teams, JavaScript developers, architects, UI/UX designers, and system developers

Apple WWDC

Twitter: #WWDC18
Date: June 4-8
Location: San Jose, California, USA
Cost: $1,599

The event is Apple’s biggest developer conference, so it attracts major attention from the press, industry analysts, Apple customers, and macOS/iOS developers. Although it’s not an exclusively mobile-focused conference, mobile dominates the proceedings. New versions of Xcode and App Store services are typically announced. 

If you’re unable to score a ticket, several independent events occur simultaneously in the area. One of the better-known examples is AltConf, which is free.

Who should attend: iOS and MacOS developers


Twitter: @AltConference
Date: June (second or third week)
Location: San Jose, California, USA (unconfirmed)
Cost: Free

Billed as the alternative Apple developer conference, AltConf is a community-driven event, assembled to serve developers and a product-driven community alongside Apple's WWDC. Although most of the presentations are focused on Apple’s ecosystem, other topics include design, business, marketing, and team management.

Who should attend: iOS and MacOS developers

Sensors Expo & Conference

Twitter: @SensorsExpo / #Sensors18
Date: June 26-28
Location: San Jose, California, USA
Cost: Early-bird rates (through April 20) range from free expo hall passes to VIP conference passes for $1,199 ($1,399 April 21 through June 22, $1,599 on-site)

For more than 30 years, the Sensors Expo & Conference has focused exclusively on current and upcoming sensors and sensor-integrated systems. More recently, the conference added a new dimension with the emergence of the IoT, and it remains the top conference for learning about sensors from the industry's top experts.

Who should attend: Software engineers, scientists, researchers, academics, investors, and corporate buyers



Twitter: @AnDevCon / #AnDevCon
Date: Mid-July (unconfirmed)
Location: Previous venues were in San Francisco, California, and Washington, DC.
Cost: Depending on when purchased, ticket prices typically range from free exhibit-only passes to all-access passes for $795

AnDevCon aims at developers building Android apps by providing training sessions, tutorials, and classes. All sessions deliver practical knowledge, with less high-level fluff and fewer inspiration-focused talks than other conferences.

Who should attend: Android developers


360 iDev

Twitter: @360iDev / #360iDev
Date: August 26-29
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
Cost: Prices range from $799 to $1,049 (military and student discounts available)

360 iDev positions itself as the smaller, more intimate, independent alternative to Apple’s WWDC. Typically, around 400 people attend the event, which includes roughly 50 sessions and 40 speakers. It's the largest, longest-running independent iOS/Mac conference in the world, so it attracts some of the best and brightest in the industry as both speakers and attendees.

Who should attend: iOS and MacOS developers



Twitter: @droidconNYC / #DCNYC17
Date: September (unconfirmed).
Location: New York City, New York, USA
Cost: $195-$1,995 (unconfirmed)

The DroidCon global conference series serves the Android developer ecosystem. DroidCon NYC, a two-day conference, features three speaker tracks and code labs. There are also dozens of other DroidCon events around the world, so check for conferences nearest you.

Who should attend: Android developers and engineers


Release Notes 2018

Twitter: @release_notes / #releasenotes
Web: (link not yet active)
Date: October (unconfirmed)
Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA (unconfirmed)
Cost: In 2017, prices for the event were $799 and $999, depending on when they were purchased and a companion ticket was $199

Release Notes is focused on the Apple ecosystem, especially the business of making apps. The conference features practical talks on a range of business and technical topics. It's an opportunity to network with developers, designers, marketers, and salespeople from all over the world, as well as to attend social activities. Release Notes speakers are challenged to bring something new and unique to their presentations based on their talents and backgrounds.

Who should attend: iOS and MacOS developers, marketers, salespeople, designers, and business managers



Twitter: @droidconsf / #droidconsf
Date: November (unconfirmed)
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Cost: Unconfirmed

DrodConSF is part of a global conference series focused the Android developer ecosystem. The San Francisco event is a two-day conference that includes five tracks and a hackathon. You can find dozens of other DroidCon events around the world, so be sure to check and see which conferences are nearest to you.

Who should attend: Android developers and engineers

There you have it: the best mobile and IoT conferences of 2018, month by month. Review the options and make your choices soon: Prices may vary based on how early you register. And remember that hotel and travel costs are generally separate from the conference pricing

Which are your favorite conferences and why? Post your comments below, and let us know if there are any other relevant events or conferences we missed.


Image: Courtesy of Google