2018 was a good year to be a PM.
Last January, LinkedIn named product management one of 10 most promising careers of 2018, with 30 percent more job openings year over year and a career advancement score of 8 out of 10. Glassdoor named it the ninth best job in America, with more job openings than data scientists, marketing managers, and electrical engineers.
And according to Hired.com, product management was the highest paying role in tech for 2018, with salaries growing from an average of $127,000 in 2015 to $145,000.
As more people enter or advance in the field, event organizers around the world recognized the need for education, networking, and inspiration—last year we spotlighted eight conferences (or conference series) geared specifically to product leaders.
This year’s list reflects even more growth in the conference circuit, with events planned nearly every month of the year and in at least 16 cities around the globe. If you’d like to immerse yourself in product management learnings alongside fellow product leaders this year, here’s your annual rundown of can’t-miss PM events:
When & Where: February 28 in London; May 29 in SF; June in Seattle; September in NYC; November in LA
Product School kicked off its ProductCon conference series in 2018 in San Francisco, and this year will host events in four U.S. cities and London. The conference promises best practices from the folks behind the world’s most successful products, as well as a focus on new trends in AI, VR, IOT, and Blockchain. Celebrating its fifth year in 2019, Product School offers part-time product management courses through a network of 16 campuses in the US, UK and Canada, and online. Its network of adjunct instructors work at a who’s who of top technology companies. It makes sense that ProductCon boasts plenty of job search opportunities too.
Leading the Product
When & Where: March 21 in Stockholm; October in Melbourne and Sydney
Leading the Product bills itself as Australia’s leading product management conference, the place where Aussie PMs come to network, develop their skills and learn new tactics to take back to their product teams. Organizer Tolpagorni Product Management, a product management training and consulting firm, will host its first Leading the Product outside Australia in March in Stockholm, with speakers from Oracle, Tesla, CAKE and other firms.
Mind the Product
When & Where: March 25-26 in Singapore; July 15-16 in SF; October 17-18 in London
The global event series takes on Asia for the first time in 2019, with an event planned for the iconic Victoria Theatre in the heart of Singapore. Keynote speakers hail from Rabbit, Atlassian and Seek Asia. MTP moves on to San Francisco in July, with a leadership forum and workshops the day before the conference. You won’t see a fireside chat or panel at Mind the Product—the conference features keynote-style talks on a single main stage in a large auditorium.
INDUSTRY: The Product Conference
When & Where: April 15-17 in Dublin; September 24-25 in Cleveland
The smaller of Product Collective’s two marquee events each year takes over Dublin Castle in the spring, with hundreds of attendees gathered for talks by product leaders from Intercom, Booking.com, Tinder and Mozilla. Later in the year, Basecamp’s Jason Fried will headline the global conference in Cleveland, alongside JBTD creator Bob Moesta, Nikita Miller of Trello at Atlassian and Jessica Tiwari, Upwork’s VP of product management.
A special perk from INDUSTRY are notes and key takeaways from every session in your inbox immediately after the event.
ProductCraft: The Conference
When & Where: May 9 in SF
ProductCraft’s own conference promises to be unique in its own right, with a grand and storied SF venue in the Palace of Fine Arts, experiential learning opportunities and keynote speakers like Guy Raz of “How I Built This” and Jeetu Patel, chief product officer of Box. After a series of successful Debate Club Live events in five U.S. cities in 2018, ProductCraft will bring its fresh PM content to a larger stage in 2019.
Front UX & Product Management Case Study Conference
When & Where: June 6-7 in Salt Lake City
In its 5th year, this conference on the slopes of Utah typically attracts 1000 designers and PMs for two days of tactical talks and interactive Q&A panels. The draw to Front is its in-depth content—what it calls “in-the-trenches case studies by innovative UX designers and product managers.” While many conferences address design or product management but target the other function, Front brings design and product together for debate and discussion. Speakers haven’t been announced for the 2019 iteration.
La Product Conference
When & Where: June 6 in Paris
The annual Paris event is back in 2019, promising 750 attendees a full day of talks from product managers and designers. Speakers haven’t yet been announced, but 2018 featured Satish Kanway, VP Product at Shopify, and leaders from French companies like Blablacar, Qwant, Clustree, and Everoad. La Product also hints at a second event in Madrid this year, but without revealing a date or location.
Product Management Festival
When & Where: June 17-18 in Singapore; November 14-15 in Zurich
PMF hosted two events for the first time in 2018 and will do so again in 2019. Over 1000 attendees from 42 countries attended the signature Zurich festival. A smaller event was held at the Insead Asia campus in Singapore, with workshops by Atlassian and Google. Dates are set for both Zurich and Singapore, but no details live yet for 2019.
Women in Product Conference
When & Where: September in SF
WIP has made quite a stir since its humble beginnings as a dinner series for female Facebook product managers. The organization hosted 68 events around the world last year, with nearly 8,000 attendees. More than 1,800 women product leaders attended its annual conference in September, with speakers like Ami Vora, VP Product at Facebook, Christa Quarles, CEO of OpenTable, Emily Weiss, founder and CEO of Glossier, and Archie Puri, Head of PM at Braintree. Stay tuned for 2019 event details.
Product Leader Summit
When & Where: TBD
This invitation-only event series led by product management gurus like author Dan Olsen and former Netflix CPO Gibson Biddle boasts a day of workshops, networking, and learning discussions for an intimate, curated group of 120 product leaders and startup founders. The organizers hosted an inaugural event in the Bay Area in 2017 and followed it with two summits in 2018. They haven’t yet announced plans for 2019.
I’d be remiss to leave out the growing number of user conferences from popular PM vendors.
PMs hoping to improve their teams may consider attending the Atlassian Summit April 9-11 in Las Vegas. With product demos, certification opportunities and a full day of inspirational and tactical talks, the summit promises new ways to think about your team and the tools you use to manage it. Pendo will host its annual Pendomonium conference this fall in Raleigh (details TBD). And look out for details on round two of Split’s DECISIONS conference for product managers, engineers and data scientists, held for the first time in October 2018.
About the Author
Laura Baverman is the director of communications at Pendo. She spent a decade in business journalism, writing for publications like USA Today, the Cincinnati Enquirer, News & Observer and American City Business Journals. Prior to Pendo, she served as editor of ExitEvent, an online publication covering startups across North Carolina. A Cincinnati native and Raleigh resident, Laura is learning to love the South.