Top 33+ mobile and IoT conferences in 2016

Whether your customers are retail shoppers, electric utility clients, bank account holders, university students, or streaming media subscribers, they all expect to conduct business via smartphones, tablets, wearables, and other mobile and IoT devices. Are you up to date on the latest techniques to support them and keep them from turning to your competition?

You should consider one or more of the many conferences available this year that center on mobile development and connected devices. Not only can you find a wide variety of training and certifications, but you'll also find no better way of meeting industry experts and peers in this rapidly evolving product space.

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Below we list mobile and IoT conferences that promise to help executives, developers, designers, entrepreneurs, researchers, CxOs, product managers, and anyone else involved with mobile computing and IoT better understand the latest technologies, trends, challenges, and opportunities.

We have ranked them in four categories:

  1. Ones we consider a “must”
  2. Others that are worth attending
  3. A third tier of events that, within their broader scope, have strong mobile and/or IoT tracks and content
  4. A final group of large, quasi-legendary conferences whose size and breadth makes them interesting to people involved with IoT and mobile

Mobile and IoT conferences offer great opportunities   

Mobile and IoT conferences offer great opportunities for practitioners to get and stay ahead. You'll find better ways to update your consumer mobile apps and services and learn techniques for improving the interface and user experience and tightening the apps' security. In the IoT space, you'll find courses and tracks covering the latest trends, as well as practical guidance on the growing use of analytics and big data techniques.

Must attend

This year's list of "must attend" conferences in mobile and IoT is based primarily on the high interest we have observed among attendees, growing year-on-year.

Mobile World Congress

Twitter: @GSMA / #MWC16
Date: February 22-25
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Cost: There's a range of options, including Exhibition Visitor Pass: €749 / Silver Pass: €2,199 / Gold Pass: €2,699 / Platinum Pass: €4,999

Described as a gathering for the entire mobile industry by its organizer, the GSMA, an industry group made up of 800 mobile operators and 250 mobile ecosystem companies, MWC drew a staggering 94,000 attendees from 200 countries, plus 2,200 exhibitors, to Barcelona in 2015.

“MWC, which has traditionally been a mobile communications show, has evolved tremendously. Today it showcases some of the world’s major technology breakthroughs. From wearable devices to connected cars and homes, mobile technology is at the heart of worldwide innovation,” wrote 2015 attendee Martine Naughton, who works in European marketing for Aria Systems. “From Ford and Sony, to Symantec and Verizon, every industry vertical was represented.”

Forrester analyst Dan Bieler blogged after the 2015 conference that MWC “remains a great platform for CIOs to gain insights” for things like making mobile a key part of their digital transformation efforts and for readying the required enterprise network infrastructure. Keynote speakers at the 2016 conference will include Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobile & Business Solutions; Gavin Patterson, CEO, BT Group; Chuck Robbins CEO, Cisco; Vittorio Colao, CEO, Vodafone; and Dan Schulman, president and CEO, PayPal.

Session topics will include mobile advertising, IoT, 5G, enterprise mobility, virtual reality, autonomous cars, digital wallets, cognitive computing, and mobile commerce.

Who should attend? Anyone involved with the mobile industry: app developers, operators, equipment vendors, and professionals from the Internet, financial, marketing, and entertainment industries

Apple WWDC

Twitter: #WWDC16
Date: Not available
Location: Not available
Cost: Not available

The Worldwide Developers Conference is Apple’s biggest developer event, and as such it attracts intense attention from the press, industry analysts, Apple customers, and MacOS and iOS developers.

Although it’s not an exclusively mobile-focused conference, mobile dominates the proceedings, unsurprisingly since iPhones generate most of Apple’s revenue and mobile is where most of Apple’s innovation and growth efforts are centered, in products such as Apple Pay, HealthKit, Apple Watch, and the iPad Pro.

The 2015 edition, held in June in San Francisco, featured more than 100 technical sessions, and had over 1,000 Apple engineers on site, hands-on labs, and the Apple Design Awards.

However, New York Times tech columnists Farhad Manjoo and Brian X. Chen felt that the conference lacked oomph. “We didn’t see anything surprising at WWDC, and not much innovative, either. Pretty much every feature Apple showed off for its computers and phones can be found on competing devices,” they wrote.

Others begged to differ, such as developer and designer Jared Sinclair, who called the 2015 WWDC one his favorites ever, precisely because its announcements weren’t as dramatic as the ones made in 2014. “What I love about this year’s is how it wasn’t another massive dump of new APIs. Last year felt overwhelming. This year makes me feel empowered to do more,” he wrote in his blog.

Austria-based developer Oliver Drobnik, who has attended WWDC several times, found the most value during the 2015 conference in the Labs, where he was able to get many questions answered about a new application that his company Cocoanetics was planning to launch. “The process might have taken me several weeks in real life,” he wrote in his company’s blog.

If you’re unable to score a ticket and you’ll be in San Francisco anyway, several independent events occur simultaneously. One of the better known ones is AltConf, which is free of charge.

Who should attend? iOS and MacOS developers

Google I/O

Twitter: @googledevs / #GoogleIO / #IO16
Web: (Conference website isn't up yet)
Date: May 18-20
Location: Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, California
Cost: Not available

Google I/O, first held in 2008, 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 the Android OS and its ecosystem.

The conference also covers developer tools and APIs for other Google products, services, and platforms, including the 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.

Russell Ivanovic, a longtime iOS developer, recently started working with Android and enjoyed attending his first I/O in 2014, calling it “a fascinating experience” in his blog. He found Google developer reps to be more techie than the ones he has dealt with at Apple, whose WWDC conference he has attended many times. “I personally prefer this approach of having technically minded engineers who understand code, helping you with every aspect of what you need as a developer to be successful,” Ivanovic wrote.

Some observed that the 2015 conference seemed subtly designed to appeal to young (under 35) developers packing the latest smartphones and devices. Regardless, Google is trying to increase the attendance of women via discounts and through the availability of free tickets and gift cards for expenses via a Code Jam specifically for women.

Attendees can experience self-paced training on Google tools and services in areas such as mobile, wearables, and cloud.

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

360 iDev      

Twitter: @360iDev / #360iDev
Date:  August 21-24
Location: Grand Hyatt Hotel, Denver, Colorado
Cost:  $599 to $799

360 iDev positions itself as the smaller, more intimate, and independent alternative to Apple’s WWDC. About 400 attendees and 55 speakers participated in the 2015 conference, which featured 61 sessions.

Kevin Quach, writing in the Avocarrot blog in 2014, called 360 iDev “one of the most important events for indy developers on their way up” and said that the the conference has built “a first-class reputation for seriousness and quality of lectures. … There is more than just work at this convention, as the broad scope of extracurricular activities allows for some personal interaction as well,” he added.

Independent iOS developer Ray Wenderlich, founder of Razeware, blogged in early 2015 that 360 iDev is one of his favorite iOS conferences. “It has a little bit of everything – technical talks, design talks, business talks, and great parties — and has a wonderful community of attendees that come back year after year,” he wrote.

Who should attend? iOS developers


Twitter: @AnDevCon / #AnDevCon
Date: August 2-4
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Cost:  Depending on when tickets are bought, prices range from free exhibit-only passes to all-access passes for $1,495.

AnDevCon touts its practical, technical nature. Organizers also claim a complete focus on developers and software engineers building Android apps via more than 75 training sessions, tutorials, and classes.

After attending and speaking at the 2014 conference in San Francisco, Jim White, a consultant from Intertech, blogged that the conference had been “very well run — from registration to concluding talks.” In size, it was large enough to attract well-known members of the Android community, but not so massive to feel overwhelming.

“It was a developer information exchange over any marketing hype” that offered “plenty of great conference sessions” about Android “old and new,” he wrote.

Who should attend? Android developers

Internet of Things World 

Twitter: @Iotworldnews / #IoTWorld
Date:  May 10-12  
Location:  Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, California
Cost: Depending on when Delegate tickets are bought, they range from $850 to $2,995. Free tickets are available to attend the expo only and for a limited number of CIOs.

Over 10,000 attendees are expected at the 2016 conference, along with more than 150 exhibitors. The event focuses on monetizing IoT by addressing what organizers call "key horizontal challenges" affecting all vertical markets and by featuring industry-specific tracks. PrismTech’s senior vice president of corporate development, Steve Jennis, spoke at the 2015 event and told that the show proved to him that some of the biggest IT vendors are focused on the IoT market, a sign that IoT is going from niche to mainstream. "The giants of the industry are coming in quite aggressively to a space that has been traditionally inhabited by startups and smaller companies,” Jennis told “That tells us something about the expectation for the size and importance of the market.”     

Who should attend? Anyone with an interest in IoT who works in the technology/telecoms industry or any related field  

IoT Evolution Expo

Twitter: @IoTEvolution / #IoTEvolution
Date:  July 11-14
Location: Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada
Cost: Tickets vary in price, from an Expo Plus Pass that's free if bought in advance ($100 on site) to a Diamond Group Plan with a standard $2,995 price that grants admission to all proceedings for three of a company's employees.

This conference focuses on how IoT can drive business transformation in all industries via operational efficiencies, revenue opportunities, and problem solutions. IoT Evolution Expo features track sessions, an exhibit floor, case studies, special events, networking opportunities, and other events. "It was great to see so many companies, including manufacturers, mobile operators, M2M platform companies, developers, service providers, gathered to discuss innovation, management, and security in the M2M and IoT ecosystem," the team from Yate — a software-defined mobile networking vendor that attended the 2015 conference — wrote in a collective blog post. "Through 4 days of keynote presentations, panel discussions, exhibitor booths, live demos, and case studies, we also had a lot on our plates."    

Who should attend? Anyone looking to understand how to evaluate, select, and implement IoT systems, such as IT executives, business executives, device manufacturers, transportation companies, supply chain and logistics pros, sensors and embedded systems companies, systems integrators, and developers  

Industry of Things World USA 2016

Twitter: @IoTClan / #IoTClan
Date: February 25-26  
Location: Hard Rock Hotel San Diego, San Diego, California
Cost: Options include Industry Delegate ($2,295 standard price with group discounts available) and Solution Provider ($3,495).

Organizers call this conference "the leading industrial IoT event for senior executives." Industry of Things World USA 2016 draws attendees from around the world interested in better understanding business and technical issues related to industrial IoT.     

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

Sensors Expo

Twitter: @SensorsExpo / #Sensors16

Date: June 21-23 

Location: McEnery Convention Center, San Jose, California 
Cost: Early-bird rates (through April 15) range from free expo hall passes to Gold conference passes, which cost $999.

Sensors Expo & Conference has been around for more than 30 years, always focusing exclusively on current and upcoming sensors and sensor-integrated systems. There will be two keynotes, over 55 technical sessions covering nine tracks, and more than 250 vendors exhibiting their latest sensors at the conference. Technology areas featured at the conference will include energy harvesting and low power, flexibles and printed sensors, IoT, MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems), wireless, and wearables.    

Who should attend? Engineers, scientists, researchers, academics, investors, corporate buyers


Worth attending

Some of our readers might describe many of the conferences in our second category as “must attend,” especially those that appear to be growing in size each year. Generally, these are conferences that are smaller in attendance or targeted at specific industries.


Embedded World Conference

Twitter: @embedded_world / #emb2016
Date: February 23-25
Location: Nuremberg, Germany
Cost: €25

Founded in 2003, the Embedded World Conference is aimed at developers and designers of embedded systems. Organizers say it is Europe's biggest conference devoted to embedded systems development, addressing all major topics in this sector via papers and classes but with a focus on concrete solutions. The 2016 conference will address "the whole gamut" of hardware, software, and tools for embedded systems development, with an engineering focus on IoT and security.

Who should attend? Developers and designers of embedded systems

Internet of Things Applications Europe

Twitter: Not available
Date: April 27-28
Location: Berlin, Germany
Cost: Ranges from a €49 exhibition pass to a €2,595 option. A 20 percent discount applies until February 26.

Internet of Things Europe is collocated with seven other events with which it shares an expo floor and with which it's topically related, including Wearable Europe and Sensors Europe. A ticket to any conference grants attendees access to the others as well.

Who should attend? IoT developers, IT pros, CxOs

Internet of Things Conference / RFID Journal Live

Twitter: @RFIDJournal / #RFIDJournal
Date: May 4-5
Location: Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida
Cost:  Various options ranging from $699 to $1,999

The Internet of Things Conference will focus on the way a variety of IoT technologies, including ZigBee radios, Wi-Fi, and machine-to-machine software, are being used to connect "things" to the Internet, and how they are yielding business benefits such as improved customer engagement, environmental data collection, and enhanced products.

Who should attend? Businesses interested in learning how to implement and take advantage of IoT to improve their products, customer service, and business models

Re-work: The Connected Home Summit

Twitter: @teamrework / #reworkconnect
Date: May 12-13
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Cost: Ranges from $450 to $1,295.

Re-work focuses on the application of IoT and machine learning in the creation of smarter homes and buildings, touching on topics such as virtual assistants, connected devices, speech recognition, security systems, energy meters, wireless connectivity, and smart lighting.

Who should attend? CxOs, entrepreneurs, data scientists, product managers, designers, investors

Internet of Things Developers Conference

Twitter: @iotdevcon / #iotdevcon
Date: May 25-26
Location: Hyatt Regency, Santa Clara, California
Cost: Tickets range from free to $495.

Focused on solving the technical and business challenges of IoT, the Internet of Things Developers Conference will feature an exhibit floor, in-depth technical sessions, tutorials, business strategy, and hands-on demos. Topics will include ultra-low-power microcontrollers, multicore-enabled aggregation hubs, the software and security infrastructure required for monitoring and managing collected data, the future of IoT, the impact of IoT on product development, making money with IoT, and protocols and standards.

Who should attend? IoT developers


Twitter: @gluecon / #gluecon
Date: May 25-26
Location: Omni Interlocken, Broomfield, Colorado
Cost: $795 for early-bird registration (before March 25)

The conference focuses on what the organizers consider the most important trends in technology, including cloud computing, DevOps, mobile, APIs, and big data, all from the perspective of developers, which organizers view as being at the core of all these areas.

Who should attend? Developers


Twitter: @GoModev / #ModevCon
Date / Location / Cost: Not available

MoDevCon features workshops, keynotes, panels, talks, and networking opportunities about mobile development topics.

Who should attend? Mobile application developers


Twitter: @Recode / #CodeMobile
Date / Location / Cost: Not available 

Who should attend? Mobile entrepreneurs, CxOs, mobile app developers, venture capitalists


Cross-discipline conferences

Conferences in this category are targeted at specific industries or technologies — for example, security, cloud computing, and open source. Although you won’t necessarily see “mobile” or “IoT” in the conference titles here, we believe these gatherings will hold interest for many developers.


Microsoft Build

Twitter:  @bldwin / #Build2016
Date:  March 30 - April 1
Location: Moscone Center, San Francisco, California
Cost: Not available

Build is a massive conference for developers building apps for Windows, Office 365, Edge/IE, SQL Server, Azure, Xbox, and HoloLens, using tools such as Visual Studio 2015, Visual Studio Code, ASP.NET vNext, and product-specific SDKs and APIs. Build is now also relevant for Android, iOS, and open-source developers, thanks to CEO Satya Nadella’s push for Microsoft to be more platform-agnostic and distance itself from its old Windows-only strategy.

Toni Pohl, co-founder of Microsoft partner At Work Information Technology in Vienna, Austria, has been to several Build conferences, but after attending the 2015 edition, he noted that the company no longer feels like “your father’s Microsoft.” “Microsoft is seriously going open source and going into other platforms, like supporting developers in Android and iOS and Linux,” he wrote. He added that  Microsoft’s shift from on-premises software to cloud services and its new openness to non-Windows platforms is “impressive, clever — and necessary."

Another antendee wrote, “Microsoft is building bridges: bridges to bring all developers on board to offer apps for Windows 10, for using Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Office.” Lori Lalonde, a Microsoft MVP and independent consultant, felt she got more than her money’s worth after going to the 2015 Build edition. “Yes, the cost of the registration and travel expenses combined are not for the faint of heart,” she wrote. “But for me, this was well worth the expense.”

Who should attend? Windows developers, primarily Windows and Windows Mobile, and those using SQL Server, Azure PaaS, and tools such as Visual Studio and ASP.NET. More than ever, Build is also relevant for iOS, Android, and open-source developers.


Twitter: @fluentconf / @OReillyMedia / #FluentConf

Date: March 7-10 (March 7-8, training; March 8-10, conference)
Location: Marriott Marquis, 780 Mission Street, San Francisco, California
Cost: variety of price tiers and discounts are available.

First held in 2012, Fluent aims to cover the “full scope of the Web platform,” according to its organizers. It focuses on practical training in JavaScript, HTML5, CSS, and associated technologies and frameworks, including WebGL, CSS3, mobile APIs, Node.js, AngularJS, and ECMAScript 6.

“Fluent 2015 was packed with presentations on JavaScript, microservices, native script, git, design, and much more. It was fascinating diving into languages and topics presented by people who are leaders on them,” wrote Pasha S. Craydon, a senior front-end engineer at Safari Books Online, in a blog post about his attendance at the 2015 edition of the conference titled “React.js, performance and web security at Fluent 2015.”

Rachel Andrew, founder of Edge of My Seat, an independent software company, who participated as a speaker at the 2015 conference and will do so again this year, likes that Fluent attracts people from across the web stack. This, she said in an interview, makes it “a great opportunity to get up to date with new techniques and ideas all in one place. The hallway track is also not to be missed. Last year I had so many interesting conversations.”

IBM developer advocate Raymond Camden, another speaker at the 2015 conference, wrote in his blog: “Content has always been a strong point of Fluent and this year was no different. This is one of the few conferences where if I wasn’t elected to speak, I’d beg my employer to send me as an attendee.”

“Between the 80+ speakers and dozens of lectures, the conference covers a lot of ground,” blogged Tim Miller, a product engineer at 50onRed, an advertising technology company.

In his own recap of the 2015 conference, Fluent co-chair Simon St. Laurent said that the React JavaScript library for building user interfaces was “the big technical story of the conference,” just as the still important Angular had been the previous year.

At the 2016 edition, organizers promise to offer more professional training and “deep content” for advanced engineers. There will be one-day tutorials and two-day training sessions about topics such as Node.js, Redux and React, ES6, and Async.

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


Twitter: @DeveloperWeek / #DevWeek16
Date: February 12-18 (Hackathon February 13-14 / Workshops February 15 / Conference and Expo February 16-17)
Location: San Francisco, California
Cost: Ranges from $200 to $1,390.

Organizers call DeveloperWeek 2016 "San Francisco’s largest one-week tech event series," adding that there will be over 60 week-long events, including the DeveloperWeek 2016 Conference & Expo, the DeveloperWeek Hackathon, Official Hiring Mixer and "dozens" of partner events throughout the city.

The DeveloperWeek focus is on new development technologies. Last year, hosts and supporters included Google, Facebook, Yelp, Rackspace, IBM, Cloudera, Red Hat, Microsoft, Eventbrite, Klout, GNIP, and Tagged.

Michelle Zaffino, a digital librarian and founder of In the, participated in last year's GirlDevWeek event at DeveloperWeek, and called it "an amazing experience" in a column. "I met so many incredible and inspiring women devs, and a lot of men who understand, and want to partner with us. Let's keep going," she wrote.

Who should attend? Developers, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists

IT/Dev Connections

Twitter: @devconnections / #ITDevCon
Date: October 10-13
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Cost: $1,199 and $1,999

This conference, aimed at developers and IT professionals of all stripes, focuses on topics like big data and BI, virtualization, DevOps, enterprise management and mobility, cloud and data center, development platforms and tools, and enterprise collaboration, with an emphasis on Microsoft products like Azure, Exchange, SQL Server, and SharePoint, although other vendors are also discussed.

Who should attend? Developers, IT pros

BlackHat USA

Twitter: @BlackHatEvents / @ubm / #BlackHat / #BHUSA
Date: July 30 - August 4 (trainings: July 30 - August 2; briefings and business hall: August 3-4)
Location: Mandalay Bay Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada (Black Hat will also be held in London and Singapore in 2016.)
Cost:  Starts at $495 for a Business Pass, which includes access to the business hall, sponsored workshops, sponsored sessions, and the Arsenal, and goes up to $2,595 for a Briefing ticket bought after July 22. Training sessions are priced separately and individually, as outlined in this list

First held in 1997, Black Hat has become one of the world’s biggest tech conferences, and one that security professionals either must attend or must follow closely from afar. It’s the preferred venue for researchers, security experts, vendors, and ethical hackers to disclose their latest vulnerability findings, the most dramatic of which become general-interest news globally.

For example, the 2014 event featured a researcher who said he had discovered a vulnerability in airplanes that could allow a malicious hacker to disrupt an aircraft’s navigation system. In 2015, the conference exposed security gaps in cars that could let cyber criminals remotely disable key functions in moving vehicles, such as brakes.

Black Hat features training sessions, a big expo floor, and A-list presenters and keynote speakers, as at many major tech conferences. But unlike most others, Black Hat requires that attendees keep certain precautions, given that they’ll be surrounded by thousands of the world’s finest hackers, some of whom will be looking to play pranks, test their latest vulnerability discoveries in a real-world setting or, at worst, attempt criminal acts, such as stealing personal, governmental, or corporate data.

Sheryl Hermoso was keenly aware of this before heading to her first Black Hat in Las Vegas in 2015. “Leading up to the conference, I read many articles pointing out some ‘safety rules,’” she wrote on her company’s blog. “These rules are in place for good reason.”

Attendees should be prepared for a large conference (more than 11,000 people attended in 2015), where exciting revelations about security vulnerabilities will be detailed.

Who should attend? Security analysts, risk managers, security architects/engineers, penetration testers, security software developers, cryptographers, etc.

Cloud Computing Expo

Twitter: @CloudExpo@SYSCONmedia / #CloudExpo
Date / Location:
June 7-9, Javits Center, New York, New York
November 1-3, Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, California
Cost: Depending on when it’s bought, a Gold Pass, which gives attendees full access to the proceedings, costs anywhere between $1,600 and $2,500

This conference explores “the entire world” of enterprise cloud computing — private, public, and hybrid scenarios — and the latest on topics including IoT, big data, containers, microservices, DevOps, and WebRTC via keynotes, general sessions, breakout sessions, panels, and an expo floor.

Writing about the 2015 New York event in Forbes, tech industry analyst and consultant Jason Bloomberg noted that the vendor presence and emphasis on Cloud Expo is significant compared with other similar conferences, but that this may be a good thing for attendees who go with a plan to evaluate products for a purchase they’ve already decided to make.

“Sys-Con events are known for two things: being blatant vendor-fests and a desperate lack of drinking water. This event lived up to its reputation on both counts,” he wrote.

“Vendor-heavy events are a great place to shop for enterprise tech, after all, as innovative contenders with solid value propositions naturally rise to the top, while the weaker product stories languish at the bottom,” he added.

Who should attend? CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, directors of infrastructure, technology enthusiasts, etc.


Twitter: @rsaconference #RSAC
February 28 - March 4
Moscone Center, San Francisco, California
Ticket prices 
vary widely, starting at $75 for an early-bird expo pass to $2,600 for a full-conference pass bought on site.

One of the world’s largest security conferences, RSA celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2016. This year’s conference arrives at a moment of uncertainty for EMC’s RSA division; EMC is in the process of being acquired by Dell, triggering questions about the future of RSA and consequently of the conference.

Joahnna Marie Hipolito of Trend Micro called the 2014 experience “definitely enlightening, especially in terms of the current state of our industry. … The question of whether there is a threat or not has been answered long ago, and the name of the game now is threat intelligence — gaining knowledge of threats and using that knowledge to act accordingly,” she wrote.

Andreas Baumhof from ThreatMetrix reported a very positive mood at the 2015 event: “The exhibition halls were buzzing with people, VC companies are pouring record amounts of money into new security startups, and IT budgets seem to be increasing for security related spending. These are truly interesting times to be involved in Internet security,” he wrote.

This is a very large event in terms of attendees, exhibitors, and sessions, which may signal robust growth in the IT security industry. The other side of that coin, of course, is that RSA’s “popularity is a function of just how dangerous the threat landscape has become. This reality should sober up the industry after its annual RSA party and subsequent hangover,” wrote Enterprise Strategy Group senior analyst Jon Oltsik.

Attendees should do their pre-conference homework and sketch out a game plan, since this is a very large conference, with 33,000-plus attendees and more than 400 speakers. For 2016, organizers plan increased expo hours, session times, labs, and crowdsourced sessions.

Who should attend? Security professionals



Twitter: @CanSecWest / #CanSecWest
Date: March 16-18
Location: Sheraton Wall Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia
Cost:  Access to the conference ranges from CAD $2,100 to $2,450, depending on when the ticket is bought. Dojo registration ranges from $2,000 to $7,500, depending on how many days are bought and when the tickets are bought.      

Writing about their experience at last year’s CanSecWest and its Pwn2Own hacking competition, Kaspersky Lab researchers Fabio Assolini and Juan Andres Guerrero concluded that everything is hackable. “Yes, once again all major browsers were hacked, but they were not alone! BIOS and UEFI, 4G modems, fingerprints, credentials, virtual machines, and operating systems were among the victim systems successfully hacked,” they wrote in Kaspersky Lab’s SecureList publication.

They noted that the event draws a very technical audience interested in recent attacks. Demos from presenters reinforced the conclusion “that digital voodoo can turn obscure and seemingly innocuous vulnerabilities into mind-numbingly cunning attacks,” they wrote.

Organizers describe CanSecWest as “the world's most advanced conference focusing on applied digital security,” and they take pride in attracting “industry luminaries” as speakers and in fostering a relaxed environment for collaboration and networking. Now in its 17th year, the three-day, single-track conference features one-hour presentations delivered by experts in a lecture theater setting, focused on sharing best practices and real-world experiences and detailing new vulnerabilities, attacks, and defenses.

In addition to the presentations, CanSecWest will feature hands-on Dojo training courses from security instructors.

Who should attend? CISOs, CSOs, enterprise IT security pros and executives



Twitter: @appsecusa / #appsecusa)
Web: (look for the 2016 website soon)
Date: October 11-14
Location: Washington, D.C.
Cost:  Not available (for the 2015 conference, regular admission is $995, with a variety of discounts available, including $75 tickets for full-time university students)

Focused on application security, this conference goes deep into topics such as DevOps, privacy, mobile security, secure development, app assessments, and cloud security. Highly technical, it is organized by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), a nonprofit organization with 200 chapters in 100 countries devoted to improving app security from a vendor-neutral perspective.

Joe Rozner, a software engineer at Prevoty, spoke at the 2015 conference and blogged about the relevance of focusing on application security, as the security focus has shifted away from the perimeter. “As attacks on applications proliferate, it’s become abundantly clear that there is a real problem in the software we build. We as modern companies have a lot of applications: legacy applications, applications we don’t even have the source to anymore, and applications we’re unable to modify due to a lack of resources,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, Matt Johansen, director of Security Services & Research for WhiteHat Security, wrote in 2014 that the conference brings together “some of the world’s best-known application security practitioners, experts and hackers.”

Edcel Suyo from eLearnSecurity attended the 2015 conference and particularly liked the “fireside chats,” during which experts from companies including Facebook, Twitter, Uber, Salesforce, Chef, and Intuit “shared first-hand perspective and insights on application security experiences.”

The 2015 conference featured high-profile security experts from Facebook, the Department of Homeland Security, Microsoft, Cisco,  Adobe, LinkedIn, FireEye, Wells Fargo, and Salesforce.

Who should attend? Developers, auditors, risk managers, technologists, and entrepreneurs


Other conferences

Our final category consists of conferences that are just too cool not to mention. If you’re planning your conference travel and budget around mobile and IoT shows, you might want to save a little room on your plate for one or more of the following important events.


CES (Consumer Electronics Show)

Twitter: @CES / #CES2017
Date: January 5-8, 2017
Location: Las Vegas
Cost: Not available

The legendary and massive consumer electronics conference and expo covers a wide range of topics, some of which might be of direct or tangential interest to involved with mobile and IoT, such as security, digital entertainment, e-commerce, gaming, robotics, storage, education technology, mobile apps and networking.


SXSW (South By Southwest)

Twitter: @sxsw, #SXSW2016

Date: March 11-20
Location: Austin, Texas
Cost: There are a variety of ticket prices, ranging from $445 to $1,645.

While music and film are key elements of SXSW, the event also has a strong technology component, with topics this year including startups, wearables, healthcare IT, virtual reality, IoT, smart cities, digital media, online marketing, software design and development, open source, mobile design, and user experience.


TechCrunch Disrupt

Twitter: @TechCrunch / #tcdisrupt
Date/Location: May 9-11 in New York, New York / September 12-14 in San Francisco, California

Disrupt is the conference for anyone involved with or interested in startups, entrepreneurs, venture capital, and emerging technologies. It features hackathons, provocative panel discussions, and A-list speakers. Many leading companies have used Disrupt as a springboard.
Extra-early-bird ticket for full, three-day access is $1,795. Other packages for exhibitors and individuals are available.


Gartner’s Symposium/ITxpo

Twitter: @Gartner_Events / #ITxpo / #GartnerSYM
Date: October 16-20
Location: Orlando, Florida
Cost: Standard conference price is $5,600. Public-sector price is $4,000. Group discounts are available.

This is the mother of all Gartner conferences, aimed specifically at CIOs and technology executives in general, addressing from an enterprise IT perspective topics such as mobility, cybersecurity, cloud computing, application architecture, application development, IoT, and digital business.


E3 Expo

Twitter: @E3 /  #E32016
Date: June 14-16
Location: Los Angeles, California
Cost: Not available

A massive gaming show that covers mobile, video, and computer games and related products, it covers topics of interest to software developers, buyers and retailers, distributors, entertainment industry executives, venture capitalists, manufacturers, and resellers.


Interop Las Vegas

Twitter: @interop / #Interop
Date: May 2-6
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Cost: Ranges from under $300 to $3,299.

A venerable tech conference, Interop delves into topics like applications, cloud computing, collaboration, networking, IT leadership, security, software-defined networking, storage, virtualization and data center architecture, and mobility.

Did we miss any conferences or events?

We've done our best to compile this comprehensive list of the top mobile and IoT conferences to attend in 2016, but nobody's perfect. This is a "list in progress."

Please let us know in the comments below if there are any other events or conferences you think we should add to our mobile & IoT list.

We've also put together several other lists of conferences:

Download 65-Page GuideBest of 2016: Tech & Software Conferences Guide
Topics: Mobile