3 Non-Travel Conferences Travel Leaders Must Attend This Year

ibm cloudTravel and transportation conferences are great—but they don’t have all the answers.

In today’s connected world, travelers expect airlines, railways and hotels to provide the same quality of customer experience as their banks, stores, and restaurants.

To keep up, travel and transportation leaders need to look beyond their familiar haunts on the conference circuit and discover the ideas and technologies driving innovation across sectors. These three upcoming conferences are can’t-miss for travel and transportation leaders looking to expand their horizons.


March 19-22

Las Vegas, Nevada

The problems of tomorrow meet the minds of today at Think, IBM’s new event for clients and Business Partners to share their commitment to innovation and explore world-changing technologies like AI, cloud, and IoT. If you’re a sales, marketing or technical professional executing client engagement, design and development and services strategies this is likely to be an especially beneficial experience. American Airlines Executive VP and CIO Maya Leibman is among the industry experts and IBM leaders scheduled to speak.


  • Expand your skills, find inspiration, grow your network and connect with strategic Business Partners at a Think Campus.
  • Experience a year’s worth of education with four days of training, certifications, labs, and expert talks at Think Academy.
  • Musical performances by Barenaked Ladies, Train and The Chainsmokers.


Augmented World Expo USA

May 30-June 1

Santa Clara, California

Augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality technologies are set to transform just about every industry, which is why travel and transportation leaders would be wise to check out this three-day event. Be the first to try world-premier XR (that’s short for AR, VR and MR) experiences, connect with 6,000 other industry professionals, and learn about the latest innovations from speakers including Boeing’s Jeremiah Scott and IBM’s Michael Ludden. Expect discussions on hot topics like XR and the future of vehicles, AI+XR, and the AR Cloud.


  • Other featured speakers include Samsung’s Sung-Hoon Hong, Adobe’s Silka Miesnieks, and Huawei’s Tish Shute.
  • See products and services from more than 300 exhibitors.


Smart Cities Connect

March 26-29, 2018

Kansas City, Missouri

The success of the travel and transportation industry is closely connected with the success of cities. For more on the big ideas and big technologies transforming the cities of the future, check out this four-day event, which is expected to bring together more than 400 global city leaders and 2,500 attendees. For travel and transportation experts, panels on innovative mobility services and connected and automated vehicle technologies should be of special interest.


  • Key speakers include Kansas City Mayor Sly James, Orlando CIO Rosa Akhtarkhavari, and Seattle Smart City Coordinator Kate Garman.
  • The Smart Cities Connect Exposition is the largest gathering of smart IoT technologies and services companies.
  • Host city is the first city to win an Edison Award for innovation.
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