Every year, there are hundreds of interesting Smart City events across the globe, allowing you to network and connect with government leaders, civic tech startups and other urban innovators. Grab your calendar and a big red marker, because we’ve made our yearly selection! These are the upcoming events you shouldn’t miss out on.

This list is frequently updated with the list of upcoming events. 

1. GovTech.Pioneers

Where and when? Vienna – Austria. April 2, 2019.

What? ‘The Next Era: Future Governments’ is the third edition of Europe’s very first GovTech event for leading politicians, public CIOs, startups, corporations and VC’s.

Why you should attend: This is the GovTech version of the entrepreneurs meeting point Pioneers, which takes place in Vienna every year. If you dig networking, GovTech startup pitches, keynotes about worldwide innovations in the public sector and panel discussions, this is your thing! Meet the innovators behind a $400bn market and learn more about the latest trends in Citizen Collaboration, Blockchain and Security.

2. WeMakeThe.City

Where and when? Amsterdam – the Netherlands. June 17-23, 2019.

What? The largest city festival in Europe! This event celebrates urban living and addresses important urban issues to inspire, interact and innovate about how we can make our cities better for everyone.

Why you should attend: It is a real festival! And the whole city is in on the fun because the event takes place in various locations in the Dutch capital. This year’s edition focuses on inclusivity and diversity, which seems fitting, because every year the festival attracts lots of different people, from municipal workers to citizens. Inclusivity, connection, safety, circularity, sustainability… they’re only a few of the topics on the table during this 5-day event.

3. INNOVATIVE CITY

Where and when? Nice – France. July 10-11, 2019.

What? Conferences and an exhibition about “innovation for better life & smart business” in the South of France.

Why you should attend: There are quite a few sessions on smart governance and the modernisation of the administration to improve communication with the citizens – some of them in English! This year, a few speakers decide to zoom in on specific international cases, like Ukraine, Québec or Israel. Data-geeks will also definitely go home satisfied, because the very current themes of AI and data will be central to most of the talks that will be held during these two days. This event has a less international feel, but is still very relevant to get a grasp of what a Smart City à la française is.

4. Smart City Day 2019

Where and when? Monthey – Switzerland. September 19, 2019.

What? The annual Swiss Smart City exhibition and conferences.

Why you should attend: If you’re around Switzerland and interested in the concept of Smart City, this is a very insightful event to attend. This year the topic is “Valuing the present to shape the future”. The programme for the 2019 edition is not entirely set yet, but expect conferences and roundtables in the morning, and workshops in the afternoon.

5. Smart Cities Week 2019

Where and when? 

What? One of the most anticipated Smart City events in North America and Australia. Its goal? To showcase the world’s most dynamic smart city markets.

Why you should attend: the main topic of the 2019 Washington edition is “Smart Infrastructure: Equitable Communities.” This sounds very promising for all us community democracy fans out there. The Washington and Sydney programmes haven’t disclosed their programmes yet, but according to the ones from last year and of course their global reputation, these events rarely disappoint.

6. SmartCity Expo World Congress 2019

Where and when? Barcelona – Spain. November 19-21, 2019.

What? Smart City Expo World Congress is the world-leading summit of discussion about the link between urban reality and technological revolution. Since its first edition in 2011, it has succeeded to become a referential global event to support the development of our cities.

Why you should attend: This is one of our favourites, and it has been for the past few years. This is the place to explore all the latest Smart City projects and the technologies that are innovating people’s lives. Besides, it’s also the best way to form valuable bonds with key decision makers at the international meeting point between cities, institutions and businesses. Oh, and it’s in Barcelona. Vamos!

7. Digital Cities Challenge

Where and when? Brussels, June 2019

What? This one is aimed at city officers and policy makers around Europe. Its aim is to “showcase the effects of technological transformation in European cities and will seek to agree on policy priorities and pave the way for the future strategy for Intelligent Cities in the 21st century.”. It focuses on innovation and sustainable growth.

Why you should attend: this event is key for cities and civil servants around Europe who want to shape the future of urban areas. It’s also a great opportunity to meet policy-makers from around the EU. 

8. Channeling Change: Major cities in Europe

Where and when? Venice, June 2019

What? This is another conference for European city officials, aimed at “IT Managers, Smart City leaders, Heads of Departments and Policy Makers of Local Governments”. The conference brings together more than 300 delegates from european countries to discuss the successes and challenges of digital transformation in their cities. 

Why you should attend: this event prides itself on the honesty and openness of participants. It’s a great place to hear inspiring stories, but also to share your challenges and openly discuss digital transformation in government. 

9. Smart cities solutions

Where and when? September 17-19, Stuttgart

What? This conference brings together city officials, designers, companies and developers who are working on the technologies that will fuel tomorrow’s cities. It pays close attention to geodata, and is organised in partnership with Intergeo, the geo-data fair.

Why you should attend: this is a good one to attend if you’re presenting a product or looking for technologies to implement in your city. 

10. Nordic Edge Expo

Where and when? September 24-26, Stavanger, Norway

What? A conference for Nordic smart cities and policy makers.

Why you should attend: a good conference to attend and meet peers from the North of Europe. The conference is mixed between city officials discussing their experience in government, and a fair with exhibitors from all over the world presenting the latest innovations for cities. 

11. Social Innovation Summit

Where and when? November 12-13, Malmö, Sweden

What? Entrepreneurs, changemakers, innovators, policy makers, investors and funders from the Nordic region interested in social policy.

Why you should attend: The event brings together actors from the public and private sector to think about how to address tomorrow’s social challenges. It’s a great opportunity to attend cross-disciplinary talks and workshops about social innovation. 

 


Where can we meet you?

Let us know in the comment section below at which conference we can meet you. Looking forward to hearing your tips about any other smart city events.


 

Past events from CitizenLab Smart City events selection

GovTech.Pioneers [past event]

Where and when? Vienna, 23 May 2018

What? Europe’s very first GovTech event for leading politicians, public CIOs, startups, corporations and VC’s.

Why you should attend: This is the GovTech version of the entrepreneurs meeting point Pioneers which takes place every year in Vienna. If you’re into networking, GovTech startup pitches, keynotes about worldwide innovations in the public sector and panel discussions, this is for you! Meet the innovators behind a $400bn market and learn more about the latest trends in Citizen Collaboration, Blockchain and Security.

Smart Cities Realised  [past event]

Where and when? Liverpool – UK, June 13-14 2018

What? A 2-days global smart city summit which takes place during the International Business Festival of Liverpool. The event aims at sharing real innovative solutions implemented by smart cities all over the world.

Why you should attend: the quality of both the attendance and the topics of the talks. You can expect very practical talks from CTOs, CDOs, CIOs of major smart cities worldwide and in the UK. The topics that speak to us the most? The city as a platform of course, but also the role of tech in making cities more transparent, as well as meeting the needs of smart citizens, got us really excited. Bonus: the 5 Mayor’s Challenges, a competition where selected companies will be involved in 5 challenges challenges that Smart Cities face. We don’t know about you but we’ll be there for sure!

WeMakeThe.City [past event]

Where and when? Amsterdam – the Netherlands, June 20-24 2018

What? The largest city festival in Europe that celebrates urban living and addresses important urban issues to inspire, interact and innovate about how we can make our cities better.

Why you should attend: it is a real festival! Spread into various locations within the Dutch capital, the event will gather various types of people, from municipal workers, to citizens, in order to celebrate and reflect on urban living. The sessions are divided into four topics: the City as a Subject (June 20), the City as a Challenge (June 21), the City in Progress (June 22) and City the City as a Laboratory (June 23-24). Throughout these days, various faces of the smart city will be discussed like sustainability, health, social, etc. Here at CitizenLab, our personal favourite session (and most likely yours too, since you’re reading this blog) will obviously be “Co-Creating the City” on June 21st. Aline will discuss platforms for participatory democracy in one of the afternoon workshops, don’t miss her there if you will be attending!

Smart City Event 2018 [past event]

Where and when? The Hague – the Netherlands, June 27-28 2018

What? The 8th edition of this international event which aims at presenting unique Smart City projects through keynotes, round tables and field excursions in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Why you should attend: just like last year, some inspiring speakers will be sharing their experience, including CTO of the city of Amsterdam and the strategic advisor of Rio de Janeiro. The sessions cover a wide range of Smart City general topics, but also some more unusual ones like blockchain.

INNOVATIVE CITY [past event]

Where and when? Nice – France, June 27-28 2018

What? Conferences and an exhibition about “innovation for better life & smart business” in the South of France.

Why you should attend: there are quite a few sessions on smart governance and modernizing the administration for better communicating with the citizens – some of them in English! – like for instance “Innovation for smart territories and citizens for smart territories and citizens”, “Repenser les infrastructures de réseaux, les bâtiments et les territoires pour rapprocher services et citoyens”. The very current themes of AI and data will be central to most of the talks that will be held during these two days. Less international event but still very relevant to get a grasp of what a Smart City à la française is.

World Cities Summit [past event]

Where and when? Singapore, June 27-28 2018

What? Conferences and an exhibition about “innovation for better life & smart business” in the South of France.

Why you should attend: many decision-makers will be attending this truly international event, including ministers and mayors from the UK, Belgium, France, Poland, Peru, Thailand, Cambodia, etc. From the attendees list we can guess many learnings are going to be from Asian cities, which is scarce enough to be noticed. The event is organized along with the International Water Week, the CleanEnviro Summit and the International Transport Congress which gives a lot of room to think about these topics in a cross-disciplinary way. Our favourites sessions? “Does Public-Private-People (3P) collaboration Yield the best social innovations?” and “Shaping Cities through innovation and collaboration in culture”.

DemCon 2018 : the International Democracy Convention [past event]

Where and when? Balbriggan – Ireland, July 18-20 2018

What? The first edition of the Democracy Convention, an event gathering academics, NGOs, activists, journalists and technologists who understand that we are on the cusp of major changes in how democracy is exercised around the world.

Why you should attend: this one is a little less Smart City, a little more digital democracy and citizen participation. However the future of democracy is hardly conceivable without the tools and solutions that enable the Smart City too. Relevant topics include: which technologies fuel democratic innovation, technology-aided citizen participation and digital democracy and economics. If you are into Civic Tech mike we are we think the event has a lot of potential.

Smart City Day 2018 [past event]

Where and when? Fribourg – Switzerland, September 13 2018.

What? The annual Swiss Smart City exhibition and conferences.

Why you should attend: like every year, if you are around Switzerland and interested in Smart City, this is an insightful day to attend. This year the topic is “Smart City : to what extent?“. The programme for the 2018 edition is not settled however you can expect workshops, round tables and conferences.

Smart Cities Week 2018 [past event]

Where and when? 

  • Santa Clara, CA – US (May 7-9 2018) [past event]
  • Washington, DC – US (October 2-4 2018)
  • Sydney – Australia (October 20-21 2018)

What? One of the most expected Smart City event in North America, as well as in Australia. This fall, the two upcoming editions are happening in Washington DC and Sydney. Its goal? Showcase the world’s most dynamic smart cities markets.

Why you should attend: the 2018 Washington edition’s main topic, “Collaboration: the Cornerstone of the Smart City”  sounds very promising for all online citizen participation fans like us out there. Neither the Washington nor the Sydney programme have not been disclosed yet but according to the ones from last year, they rarely disappoint.

Smart Cities UK 2018 [past event]

Where and when? London – UK, February 1st 2018

What? Smart City UK 2018 gathers leading technology and solution providers with city leaders of the UK.

Why you should attend: the conference aims at leading the way for Smart City innovations in the UK, by addressing the best practice examples on smart transformation from across Cities within the United Kingdom whilst disseminating guidance and information transformation within Data, energy,security, transport, Infrastructure and other key sectors.

SXSW Cities Summit [past event]

Where and when? Austin – USA, March 12-13 2018

What? The Cities Summit at SXSW is an opportunity for civic leaders and creative urbanists of all disciplines to join together to learn, strategize and form coalitions to transform the cities of tomorrow. Join us for two days of dynamic programming, performance, pop-up exhibits, and events exploring the future of our cities.

Why you should attend: very promissing sesions! Our favourites? “Amplifying Youth Voices to Redesign Opportunity”, “Building Inclusive Cities in Emerging Markets” and “Women Led Cities: Co-Creating a Feminist City”. SXSW always guarantees very insightful talks.

Smart Cities Connect Conference & Expo [past event]

Where and when? Kansas City (MO) – USA, March 26-29 2018

What? This conference gathers leading technology and solution providers with city leaders.

Why you should attend: this is the place to meet industry leading innovators, entrepreneurs and enterprise leaders representing 150 world class companies, universities and startups in North America. In 2017, the talks programme included was quite rich regarding citizen life & governance and we really hope that’ll also be the case during the next edition. The event in a few figures: 400+ global city leaders, 300+ exhibitors & innovators, 2500 thought leaders in attendance.

Smart to Future Cities [past event]

Where and when? London – UK, April 25-26 2018

What? This event is focussing on practical, scalable applications of smart city initiatives to improve citizen quality of life and local government efficiency.

Why you should attend: expected speakers come from many cities across the UK, but also from other vanguard European cities like Oslo (NO), Amsterdam, Groningen (NL), Copenhagen (DK), Barcelona (ES), they are going to discuss topics like citizen health and wellbeing, energy and environment, open and shared data platforms and how citizen-centered Smart City initiatives can help improving quality of life in these fields.

  • Jenna

    Hi! I would like to make a correction to the dates of Mindtrek Smart Cities in Tampere, Finland. The correct dates are October 17-19. Thanks for the mention! 🙂

    • CitizenLab

      Hi Jenna, thanks for your comment. I corrected the dates!

  • justin Norman

    IoT World is producing Smart Cities Summit in Boston Dec. 6-7 which is a spin-off of our Smart Cities conference track.

  • Humberto Olivo

    Hi. First of all congrats on getting the word out for all the conferences on SC
    We are launching Smart Cities Exchange 2018 with Mexico City as the host City. February 28 and March 1st, 2018
    Our website is http://www.smartcitiesx.com and twitter @SmartCitiesEX
    We are organizing this event with the Nordic Chamber of Commerce in Mexico, Fundacion IDEA (Latam ThinkTank) and UREit – Urban Real Estate innovation + technology (USA).
    Thank you for including us in the 2018 lineup (Also we have partnered with Nordic EDGE as “sister” conferences in Europe + America)
    Humberto

  • Laura Winslet

    4th Annual World Intelligent Cities Summit and Exhibition will once again gather together city leaders, government officials, academics, urban service providers and city development experts to share experiences, smart thinking and best practice for implementing the smart cities of tomorrow. WICS is an international platform for the transfer of knowledge, allowing leaders of municipalities to learn from the pioneers of smart city concepts and technologies. The event is unparalleled in the region for its peer-to-peer learning experience and excellent networking opportunities, aiding leaders and key stakeholders of municipalities to develop a secure and robust infrastructure that is fit for purpose for all citizens and achieves a more sustainable future.

    With technological innovations transforming governance, and how citizens, businesses and public institutions interact with each other, it is crucial for you to understand the tools, processes and models required to cultivate “smart” communities and cities. Speakers and attendees in disciplines ranging from science and technology to planning and economic development will present cutting edge strategies to strengthen institutional efficiency, and assess broader commitments to competitiveness and sustainability.

  • Thibault Van der Auwermeulen

    Hi Julie, we attend Gitex (Dubai) The WebSummit (Lisabon) Smart City Expo (Barcelona) last year (2017).
    We have 22 year experience organising conferences for the public sector in Belgium http://www.4Instance.be
    Since 9 years we are developing software for virtual Fairs. Most of them are jobfairs.
    Last year (april) we decided to use our software for the http://www.SmartCityVirtualExpo.com or http://www.SCVExpo.com
    We customised our software for the Smart City Fair and combine the EXPO and COMMUNITY
    The 28th of February the interface will be in 11 languages (we are finalising the integration of Arabic – read from right to left)
    We decide to start this fair because only a few public servants are visiting events abroad.
    The community offers networking between visitors and exhibitors but also between visitors.