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The 7 best consulting conferences of 2020

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Consulting conferences are a useful resource, no matter your industry or book of business. From keynote speakers to networking events, consulting conferences had a lot to offer in 2019—and 2020 looks even stronger.

As you’ll see, talent optimization is the name of the game for consulting conferences in 2020. And that makes sense seeing as talent strategy is executives’ No. 1 priority for the year ahead. 

With so many conferences to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. From San Francisco to Boston, here are seven of the best consulting conferences you can attend in 2020, presented chronologically.

People Analytics & Future of Work

January 29-31, 2020 in San Francisco, CA

The PAFOW international conference focuses on the “risks, opportunities, and responsibilities” related to people data. The goal of the conference is to promote ethical use of analytics for positive global impact.

This month, the conference makes its way to San Francisco for a three-day exploration of the following theme: Dealing with Disruption & Perpetual Change. Speakers include heads of talent strategy and people analytics from major companies—such as Microsoft, Wayfair, Apple, Uber, and Deloitte. If you can’t attend the January event, attend a PAFOW conference in Sydney this March or in London this April.

Executive Coaching Conference

March 4-5, 2020 in New York, NY

The Executive Coaching Conference caters to executive coaches and other leadership consultants. This year’s conference centers around the theme Coaching for Agility and Transformation and explores how to help leaders succeed in agile industries.

The event will host more than 25 speakers, including executives, VPs, and talent leaders from various industries. Companies represented will include JPMorgan Chase, Intel, IBM, Netflix, and Johnson & Johnson. The conference will also include a pre-conference event on March 3, titled Team Effectiveness in Times of Disruptive Change.

For full details on both events, see here.

AESC Global Conference

April 15, 2020 in New York, NY

The AESC Global Conference, held annually in New York City, is dedicated to consulting firms that specialize in leadership and executive coaching. The conference focuses on the role people play in driving successful, sustainable businesses. It also tackles how technology has evolved talent recruitment—and how it will continue to do so.

Sessions include how to foster an inclusive culture, how people and purpose drive progress, and how organizations embrace social responsibility to make a better world. AESC is also holding a networking forum on April 14 catered to boutique consulting firms and other small business owners.

Read more about both days here.

HCI Employee Engagement Conference

July 27-29, 2020 in Chicago, IL

Hosted by the Human Capital Institute, the Employee Engagement Conference focuses on what keeps employees motivated in the workplace—and how best to measure engagement. The conference offers both speakers and workshops designed to help build and maintain strong employee experiences.

Scheduled sessions include how to align business strategy with people strategy, as well as how business owners can keep a pulse on engagement within their organizations. HCI also hosts talent conferences in Florida, California, and Massachusetts.

Click here for more details.

HR Technology Conference

October 13-16, 2020 in Las Vegas, NV

The HR Technology Conference offers a cutting-edge glimpse into the future of HR and IT resources. With its 20+ years of industry experience, more than 10,000 annual attendees, and 450+ vendors, HR Tech is one of the largest and most renowned showcases in its field.

Registration for the event opens January 29. While specific details have yet to be announced, the event promises plenty of content—including speakers, sessions, live product demos, and even a start-up showcase.

See more here.

Talent Connect

October 14-16, 2020 in Boston, MA

Last year, more than 4,000 attendees convened in Dallas for LinkedIn’s Talent Connect conference—expanding their network and gaining important talent strategy insight. Speakers included Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn, Cynthia Marshall of the Dallas Mavericks, and First Lady Michelle Obama.

In late 2020, LinkedIn will be hosting Talent Connect once again—this time in Boston. While details are scarce and event speakers still unannounced, it’s sure to be an exciting look into the talent of today.

Read up on Talent Connect 2019 here.

OPTIMA 2020 consulting conference


Spring 2021 in Boston, MA

OPTIMA, the first-ever talent optimization conference, kicked off last October to rave reviews. Featuring distinct tracks for consultants, HR professionals, and executives, OPTIMA 2019 showcased the power of people data—and how to leverage it to drive business results. 

The event was bookended by powerful keynotes led by Oakland A’s SVP Billy Beane and “The 5 Second Rule” author Mel Robbins. Other standout sessions included how to help clients scale their business, as well as common CEO pain points when working with consultants.

OPTIMA was originally slated for October 2020. However, due to the impact of COVID-19, the event organizers have made the difficult decision to reschedule OPTIMA for spring 2021. The event returns to Boston, welcoming consultants, industry professionals, and business owners for three days of groundbreaking sessions and networking. Early bird pricing is available for a limited time, so be sure to get your tickets soon.

Learn about talent optimization at a 2020 consulting conference.

By adding talent optimization to your consultant toolbox, you’ll be ready to help your clients tackle their biggest business challenges. Through analytics and people data, consultants can advise clients on how to craft a winning talent strategy. This includes everything from hiring and executive alignment to understanding team dynamics and employee engagement.

Join 10,000 companies solving the most complex people problems with PI.

Hire the right people, inspire their best work, design dream teams, and sustain engagement for the long haul.


David is a content writer and editor at PI. He loves Broadway and the Boston Celtics.

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