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The best mobile and IoT conferences of 2019

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John P. Mello Jr., Freelance writer, Independent

The most life-changing products to come out over the next few years will almost certainly center on 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 gain 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 2019. 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 2019.

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.

World Quality Report 2018: The State of QA and Testing

January

CES

Twitter: @CES
Web: ces.tech
Date: January 8-11
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Cost: $100 to $300 (time-sensitive discounts available)

This legendary, massive consumer electronics conference and expo has some 4,500 exhibitors and 1,100 speakers. It 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

IoT Evolution Expo

Twitter: @IoTEvolution / #IoTEvolution
Web: iotevolutionexpo.com
Date: January 29-February 1
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
Cost: Conference, $1,795 to $3,695; workshops, $775 to $875 (time-sensitive discounts available)

IoT Evolution Expo focuses on how IoT can drive business transformation in all industries through improved operational efficiencies, revenue opportunities, and problem resolutions. 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

February

DeveloperWeek

Twitter: @DeveloperWeek / #DEVWEEK2019
Web: developerweek.com
Date: February 20-24
Location: Oakland, California, USA
Cost: $50 to $1,495 (time-sensitive discounts available)

According to the conference organizers, DeveloperWeek 2019 is the world’s largest developer expo and conference series, with over 8,000 participants and more than 90 exhibitors. The conference encompasses a number of events, including DevExecWorld for managers of developers, a hackathon with $100,000 in cash and prizes, a hiring mixer with more than 40 hiring companies, an artificial intelligence forum, a JavaScript conference, a microservices and container conference, and events on virtual reality. blockchain, and next-generation languages.

Sister conferences are typically held later in the year in New York City and Austin, Texas.

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

Mobile World Congress

Twitter: @GSMA / #MWC19
Web: mobileworldcongress.com
Date: February 25-28
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, with more than 107,000 attendees from 208 countries and more than 2,400 exhibitors. Many smartphone and mobile device launches occur at the event.

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

Embedded World Exhibition and Conference

Twitter: @embedded_world / #ew19
Web: embedded-world.eu/home.html
Date: February 26-28
Location: Nuremberg, Germany
Cost: €325 to €910 (time-sensitive discounts available)

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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March

Industry of Things World USA 

Twitter: @IoTClan / #IoTClan
Web: industryofthingsworldusa.com
Date: March 7-8
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Cost: $1,995 to $3,495

Organizers call this conference "the leading Industrial IoT event in the USA." The event focuses on the impact of 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. Sister conferences are scheduled for Singapore and Berlin, Germany.

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
Web: sxsw.com
Date: March 8-17
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Cost: $1,125 to $1,450

While music and film are key elements of SXSW, the event also has a strong technology component. Tech 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

April

RWDevCon 2018

Twitter: @RWDevCon / #rwdevcon
Web: rwdevcon.com
Date (2018): April 5-7
Location (2018): Alexandria, Virginia, USA
Cost (2018): $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 raywenderlich.com and 360iDev. Content focuses on hands-on tutorials, where attendees can code along with the presenter.

Who should attend: iOS and macOS developers

DroidCon Boston 2019

Twitter: @droidconbos / #DroidconBos / @droidcon / #droidcon
Web: droidcon-boston.com
Date: April 7-8
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Cost: $99 to $249 (student discounts available)

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 your home.

Who should attend: Android developers and engineers

Internet of Things Applications 

Twitter: @IDTechEx
Web: idtechex.com/internet-of-things-europe/show/en/
Date: April 10-11
Location: Berlin, Germany
Cost: Conference and expo, €99 to €712; master classes, €389; packages, €1,228 to €1,946

Internet of Things Applications 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 IoT. Business models, case studies, opportunities, and profitability are all covered. Topics at conference sessions include autonomous and connected cars, smart packaging, biosensors, biometric identification, wearables in healthcare, and worker monitoring.

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

AppBuilders

Twitter: @appbuilders_ch 
Web: appbuilders.ch
Date: April 29-30
Location: Lugano, Switzerland
Cost: CHF359 to CHF449 (time-sensitive discounts available)

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 Spotify.

Who should attend: iOS and Android developers

May

Microsoft Build

Twitter: #MSBuild
Web: microsoft.com/en-us/build
Date (2018): May 
Location (2018): Seattle, Washington, USA
Cost (2018): $2,495

Build is a massive conference for developers building apps for Windows, Office 365, Edge/IE, SQL Server, Azure, Xbox, and HoloLens. Build is now also relevant for Android, iOS, and open-source developers, too, thanks to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's push for the company to be more platform-agnostic and distance itself from its old Windows-only strategy. Microsoft uses the conference to make important announcements for its ecosystem.

Who should attend: Windows developers, SQL Server DBAs, Azure admins, and general developers, IT administrators, and managers

Google I/O

Twitter: @googledevs
Web: events.google.com/io
Date (2018): May
Location (2018): Mountain View, California, USA
Cost (2018): $1,150; academic, $375

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.

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

June

Apple WWDC

Twitter: #WWDC19
Web: developer.apple.com/wwdc
Date: June
Location: San Jose, California, USA
Cost (2018): $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, App Store services, and iOS are typically announced.

Who should attend: iOS and macOS developers

AltConf

Twitter: @AltConference
Web: altconf.com
Date: June 
Location (2018): 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

Internet of Things Developers Conference

Twitter: @iotdevcon / #iotdevcon
Web: iot-devcon.com
Date: June 5-6
Location: Santa Clara, California, USA
Cost (2018): $195 

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

Sensors Expo & Conference

Twitter: @SensorsExpo / #Sensors19
Web: sensorsexpo.com
Date: June 25-27
Location: San Jose, California, USA
Cost: $949 to $1.649 (time-sensitive discounts available)

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. This year's event has 10 new updated tracks, as well as new pre-conference symposia. A sister conference is scheduled for October in Rosemont, Illinois.

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

August

Embedded Linux Conference and IoT Summit

Twitter: @linuxfoundation
Web: events.linuxfoundation.org/events/elc-north-america-2019/
Date: August 21-23
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Cost (2018): $550 to $850 (time-sensitive, academic, and hobbyist discounts available)

This conference is sponsored by the Linux Foundation and is held at the same time as the Open Source Summit North America. Organizers describe this event as a vendor-neutral technical conference where more than 800 developers working on embedded Linux and industrial IoT products and deployments gather for education and collaboration.

In the last few years, the conference has expanded its scope to include both the user-space developers building applications on embedded Linux and the architects and developers working to deliver smart connected products and industrial IoT solutions. A sister conference is scheduled for Lyon, France in the fall.

Who should attend: Kernel developers, system developers, user-space developers, product vendors, system architects, firmware developers, software developers, and application developers

360 iDev

Twitter: @360iDev / #360iDev
Web: 360idev.com
Date: August 25-28
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
Cost: $500 to $749 (time-sensitive 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

DroidConNYC

Twitter: @droidconNYC / #DCNYC19
Web: droidcon.nyc
Date: August 26-27
Location: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Cost: $195 to $1,995

The DroidCon global conference series serves the Android developer ecosystem. DroidCon NYC, a two-day conference that draws about 800 attendees, features five speaker tracks, more than 70 technical Android talks, and code labs.

Who should attend: Android developers and engineers

October

IoT6 Exchange/Smart Cities

Twitter: @nGage_IoT / #IoT6
Web: iot6exchange.com
Date (2018): October
Location (2018): Austin, Texas, USA
Cost: An invitation-only event, contact organizers for information

IoT6 Exchange brings together thought leaders, technology decision makers, and vendors to explore, learn, and exchange best-in-class ideas, technology, and solutions, and solve real issues around smart cities and smart campuses. Core tech topics at the event include security and surveillance systems, access control, IoT security, sensor systems and networks, intelligent building management and control, open data, data analytics, data storage, anomaly detection, event-driven software, and predictive maintenance and analytics.

Who should attend: City or municipal planners; urban planners; sustainability managers; state and city CIOs/CTOs/IT directors; smart city and innovation leaders; department heads who manage tech and infrastructure in cities; college and university tech executives, directors, and CIOs/CTOs; and others in the city/muni space who are decision makers and influencers in smart city projects

November

DroidConSF

Twitter: @droidconsf / #droidconsf
Web: sf.droidcon.com
Date (2018): November 18-19
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Cost: $195 to $1,995

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, more than 70 tech talks, workshops, and code labs. Content for the conference is organized by Ty Smith, mobile tech lead manager at Uber, and Joaquim Verges, Android tech lead at Twitch.

Who should attend: Android developers and engineers

There you have it: The best mobile and IoT conferences of 2019, 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.