It is conference season my friends. As you think about spending your limited money and time, it is important to plan ahead, book early and leverage every minute you are not in the office.

At my company, we weigh each event by asking: will it increase users, deepen partnerships or lead to funding? We also discuss if it will advance our mission of increasing diversity in entrepreneurship. Before you register for anything build a grid that allows you to weigh every invite or opportunity. Then if you decide to attend, ensure you have objectives to achieve while on site. Who do you need to meet? What is your messaging? Are you pushing collateral, and finally how are you leveraging their social media?

As we look at 2019, here are conferences we have our eye on.

Circular Summit For Entrepreneurs in Sonoma

Circular Summit is a retreat style event for female entrepreneurs in Sonoma wine country with action-oriented workshops, visionary talks, mentorship and network building to accelerate growth. Led by HelloAlice.com, Amazon, Jackson Family Wines and Dell, women founders come from all over the world to be connected to venture capitalists, bankers, enterprise companies, media and policy makers looking to invest and engage with women, while participating in mentor-led activities, including horseback riding, cheese making, rafting,  gourmet food tastings and wine making.  Registration is limited and open now for the May 9 to 10 event in California.

Inc. 5000 Conference 

The Inc. 5000 Conference features three days of thought-provoking sessions that engage and inspire, leaving you with powerful business insights that will help you increase your momentum and growth. This includes the famous Inc. 5000 gala as an evening of celebration, complete with cocktails, dancing and a gourmet three-course meal. Stay tuned for registration and announcements for what is usually an October event. It should be noted that I am on the Inc. Board of Advisors as well as a regular Inc.com columnist.

SXSW Bumble Activation

Bumble is buzzing this SXSW. The dating, networking, and friend-finding app is popping up in the heart of downtown Austin, taking over local favorite Jo's Coffee -- which means free coffee round the clock for everyone.  They are transforming it into one of their famous, Instagram-friendly Bumble Hives. Stop by each morning for free breakfast tacos, stay and get tips on putting your best face forward from our profile experts.  We are especially excited about Sunday March 10 in Austin where there will be top enterprise executives coaching all of us to be our own boss.

Lesbians Who Tech + Allies San Francisco Summit

This diverse conference covers topics ranging from how technology will shape the future to top technical trends. Past Summit headliners are BIG names, including Hillary Clinton, Sheryl Sandberg, Bozoma Saint John, and Stacey Abrams, and 80 percent of the speakers just happen to be queer women.  On February 28 to March 2, Lesbians Who Tech + Allies will bring the largest professional LGBTQ event in the world and the largest event for women in tech to San Francisco.

Roadmap to Billions Conference

This conference brings together over 1,000 investors, founders and many others who are just beginning to get their foot in the door or who have been playing the game for years where the goal is to showcase the brilliant black women involved in tech and to pave the way to success for other black female founders. On February 27 to March 1, Black Women Talk Tech presents their 3rd annual tech conference, in New York City.

The Harvest Summit

A celebration of cross industry collaboration of business owners in art, science, social impact and food. Described as an interesting cross section dirt under your feet, fresh air, and fresh perspective.  Say goodbye to the stuffy ballroom, monologues, PowerPoint presentations, passive learning and rubber chicken lunches. Say hello to a unique and exclusive location, engaging dialogues, interactive collaborations and immediate business impact enhanced by a world class culinary and entertainment experience.  Slated for October 18th in Sonoma County, California and applications are open now. 

Published on: Feb 6, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.