Within the emerging field of Smart Cities, there are many events organized worldwide which offer you the opportunity to connect with government leaders, civic tech startups and other urban innovators. We, at CitizenLab, made a list of the upcoming Smart City conferences across the globe one shouldn’t miss out on!

Update 05-2018: the first half of 2018 has been flying by so quickly, it’s already time to decide which smart city conferences you will attend in S2! We hand-picked a few other interesting ones for you. Enjoy!

Our Smart City conferences selection 2018

1. GovTech.Pioneers

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.

2. Smart Cities Realised

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!

3. WeMakeThe.City

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!

4. Smart City Event 2018

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.


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.

6. World Cities Summit

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”.

7. DemCon 2018 : the International Democracy Convention

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.

8. Smart City Day 2018

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.

9. Smart Cities Week 2018

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.

10. Smart City Expo World Congress 2018

Where and when? Barcelona – Spain, November 13-15 2018

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 a favourite of us and we have been going for the past few years. if you’d have to pick just one, I would say you should go for this one. This is the place to explore all the latest Smart City projects and technologies that are making a difference to people’s lives. This is also the place to form valuable links with key decision makers at the international meeting point between cities, institutions and businesses. 

Past events from CitizenLab Smart City events selection

11. Smart City Forum [past event]

What? The Smart City Forum is the first initiative in Poland for smart cities on such a scale. During the event, you can meet national decision-makers, representatives of government administration and well-known experts in a wide range of industries such as development, healthcare, transport, power generation, education and public services.

Where and when? Warsaw, March 8-9 2017

Why you should attend? This event is among the first to focus on the smart cities of Central and Eastern Europe. For instance, you’ll be able to have a fire chats with Polish urban leaders such as the mayors of Wrocław, Lublin, Rzeszów and Legnica.

12. Data Innovation Day [past event]

What? Since 2013, the Center for Data Innovation, the leading global think tank studying the intersection of data, technology, and public policy, has organized this day to raise awareness about the benefits and opportunities of the data revolution. This year’s theme is “Building Smart Cities for Tomorrow’s Data Economy.”

Where and when? Brussels, March 28 2017

Why you should attend? This is your chance to learn your lessons from top-level policymakers and industry experts from the world’s smartest cities. Also, the event is designed has a conversation to discuss the positive steps that government can take to support the development, adoption, and use of emerging data-driven technologies.

13. Beyond Data Event | On the edge [past event]

What? The Beyond Data Event is all about project implementations, collaborations and outcomes. It truly focuses on the next steps to take for cities. For the early adopters like us, tons of experts, cities’ leaders, research institutions and also innovative start ups will share their insights.

Where and when? Eindhoven, March 30 2017

Why you should attend? Many very interesting topics will be addressed during the conference. Yet, we are particularly excited about the must attend Global Tech trends block about citizen involvement and agile management!  We can’t wait to learn more, along with mayors and city councils from all over the world, on how to best use data to address the needs of the civil society.

14. Smart Cities Week [past event]

What? The Smart Cities Week program will show you how to better engage your city’s citizens, improve transportation in your city and present you concrete examples from the most resilient cities. You’ll learn amongst others what to do with all the data your city collects.

Where and when? Santa Clara, CA, May 8-10 2017

Why you should attend? This event is built on the success of the Smart Cities Council’s annual conference held in Washington, D.C., which assures the attendance of an impressive number of CTOs, CIOs and other senior city representatives from American cities and municipalities. Also, it honors the region’s focus on innovation – with a program focused on the needs of cities in Western North America and the companies helping them prepare for what’s coming next. As a consequence, this three-day conference is an excellent opportunity to meet many influencers in the innovative Northern US Smart City market.

15. Smart City Event [past event]

What? The Smart City Event will be organized for the 7th time in 2017. This large scale event brings together about a 1000 professionals from over 30 different countries. Concrete cases and projects from all over the world are being shared!

Where and when? The Hague, June 7-8 2017

Why you should attend?  On top of welcoming 72 international urban leaders, one of the partners of this event is the Hague Security Delta, the largest safety and security cluster in Europe. Also, the event wants to be as interactive as possible, hosting 20 round tables with Project Talks and 3 Smart City tours where inspirational stories will be told.

16. Smart Cities Connect Conference & Expo [past event]

What? The big US event for city leaders.

Where and when?Austin (TX), 25-28 June 2017

Why you should attend?  More than 200 global city leaders will be attending to discover and exchange about innovative technology for their territories. Many talks will tackle the “Citizen Life & Governance” subject. Which one must you attend according to us? Definitely “Connected City, Smart City: Using Technologies to Inform & Engage Citizens”, “Partnership Pioneers: Creating a Platform for Innovation” and “Reimagining the User Experience of Government”.

17. Hello Tomorrow: The Future Of Smart Cities [past event]

What? The mission of Hello Tomorrow is to accelerate the transformation of disruptive technologies into impactful solutions to real world problems. It is a global non-profit headquartered created in 2011 in Paris that aims to accelerate science & tech innovation by empowering startups with cash prizes and connections with investors and industrials.

Where and when? Lyon, July 2017

Why you should attend? Every year, the global community of deep technologies is gathered for the Hello Tomorrow global Summit in Paris. Due to its success, this year, another tech event is organized in partnership with La French Tech in Lyon and will focus exclusively of the future of smart cities. As this is the first edition of this event, the program is not yet well defined but we can’t wait to learn more about it soon!

18. Smart City Day 2017 : Human Smart City [past event]

What? A one-day event with conferences, workshops and booths to meet and network with Smart City professionals.

Where and when?Geneva, September 14 2017

Why you should attend? If you want to learn more about Smart City, there are some very interesting conferences and workshops. Our favourites ? “Future City: between innovation and citizen engagement”, “Co-creating the city of today and tomorrow”, “How a citizen app can help to manage the city”.

19. Nordic Edge [past event]

What? A two-day conference with top-class speakers from the Nordics, the rest of Europe, USA and Asia with an exhibition covering a broad range of subjects and themes related to smart, technological solutions such as Citizen involvement, City Governance, eHealth and Smart Mobility.

Where and when? Stavanger (Norway), September 26-28 2017

Why you should attend? A not-to-miss conference for “Smart” people and a good place to showcase your work as a startup. And let’s face it: who doesn’t want to go a conference if you can combine it easily with a visit to the Norwegian fjords?

20. Smart City Solutions at INTERGEO2017 [past event]

What? The Smart City Solutions brings cities, organisations and companies together to inform each other about the hottest news about smart cities. The main focus of this fair is the geospatial community, but never mind, digitalisation in cities is one of the biggest challenges and opportunities to deal with in the 21th century.

Where and when? Berlin, September 26-28 2017

Why should you attend? We know that you can’t be anywhere, so you’ll have to pick between this event and the one below! Smart City Solutions gives a spotlight on digitalisiation in cities. You get inspirated by a lof of different products which all have one goal: make the city more liveable and sustainable. Don’t miss our presentation there. You will find our stand at C7.011. See you there!

21. Kommunale [past event]

What? The Kommunale pairs mayors and IT-decicison makers at governments up with the industry. The framework program and more than 300 organisations will give deeper insights in eGovernment, urban planning, IT, city administrations and much more.

Where and when? Nuremberg, October 18-19 2017

Why should you attend? This event gives you the possablity to have a talk with the municipal decision makers to learn more about their specific need and also to learn more about available products on the market. Don’t miss our presentation on the 19th of October at 3.30pm in hall 8 about: Digital Citizen Participation: how Germany can learn from Europe. You will find our stand at 9-613. Looking forward to meeting you!

22. Nordic Smart Cities [past event]

What? The Nordics leading smart cities event, where over 50 of the most innovative and influential smart cities thinkers will gather together to share knowledge, present visions and highlight opportunities on how we will create efficient, economically viable and sustainable cities. 

Where and when? Stockholm, October 24-25 2017

Why you should attend? The growing trend towards green, mobile and connected technologies is offering city leaders the opportunity to build a healthier, smarter and more sustainable future for their citizens. Excited to find out about Nordic industry leaders’ vision on this.

23. Smart Cities and Communities: Connecting Citizens [past event]

What? The goal of this one-day conference is to explore the most innovative and efficient ways to use technology and data to tackle some of the biggest problems.

Where and when? London, November 9 2017

Why you should attend? Major city leaders and business figures from across the UK and internationally will be attending and will share their views on how to develop smart and more connected cities, thanks to the use of technology, data and digital innovation. If you’re a fan of civic tech, don’t miss the event, as there will be a special focus on how to allow leaders to make better decisions and for citizens to be better informed.

24. Smart Cities Expo World Congress [past event]

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.

Where and when? Barcelona, November 14-16 2017

Why you should attend? If you have to pick one event in the Smart City space, make sure you attend this conference! From city leaders, over big corporates and small startups, to researchers, they are all present at this three-day opportunity to learn and network.

Smart City Expo World Congress 2016

credit: Smart City Expo World Congress 2016

25. ICON-SONIC 2017 [past event]

What? It’s the International Conference on Smart City, Automation and Intelligent Computing Systems, organized by the Universitas Multimedia Nusantara dan. The conference focuses both on how automation and Intelligent Computing Systems can be used to create the Smart Cities of tomorrow.

Where and when?Yogyakarta (Indonesia), November 8-10 2017

Why you should attend? Were you looking to plan a trip to Indonesia? This is your excuse! Yogyakarta has many points of interest for sightseeing. On a more serious note, the forum will be a great opportunity to meet both academics and professionals to discover the latest findings in the field of smart city, automation, big data, crowdsourcing, social networks, intelligent infrastructures, and more.

26. 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.

27. 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.

28. 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.

29. 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.

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.

  • 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)

  • 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.