Top Product Management Conferences of 2013

You may not have realized that there are numerous product management conferences being held each year. It’s a fairly specialized field to work in so most attendees are product management specialists. While I’ve never had the funds or free time to actually attend more than a few of these in my professional life, it’s no secret that conferences are very useful as a way to network, learn about trends and hear live updates (that may not yet be covered in detail, in product management blogs and web resources).

So, what are some of the most important product management conferences being held this year?

Since the year’s almost three quarters of the way over, you get the conferences that end the year with a bang. Some of these product management conferences are abroad, so you may not find them accessible. But if you can attend even one of the three, I suggest doing so. You’ll walk away with a lot of useful insight – and new contacts in the field – that can enrich your career and business for a long time to come.

#1 – Mind the Product (London, September 27)

It’s a long way to fly for a one day conference, if you’re not from Europe, but this is a big one, and it’s worth it. The ‘Mind the Product’ conference brings together product leaders, product designers, marketing gurus and financial experts. The goal is “to explore the intersection of design, technology and business in order to inspire you to build products your customers love.” Aside from lectures, the conference holds open forum discussions, seminars, and social gatherings where attendees can exchange tips, stories, and ideas that can enhance product management strategies.

This year, they’re also bringing in experts in sociology and psychology that will discuss topics from a marketing perspective. They will cover some new ideas in product positioning and life cycle metrics as well as how to take advantage of user input and R&D.

#2 – PDMA (October 26 – 30, Phoenix AZ)

If you’re in the US, then the 2013 Product Innovation Management Conference: PIM 13, is probably going to be a more viable choice for you (and it’s also a much bigger conference). PDMA, is a five day conference about “the inter-disciplinary crossroads of product development.” It is divided into a range of very specific topics and coordinated activities.

The first 2 days is the annual research forum. The last three days have keynote speakers, discovery labs, best practices discussions, and a set of seminars on looking into the future. On a side note, Phoenix is in a nice location, with warm sunny weather.

#3 The Product Management Festival (September 16-19, Zurich Switzerland)

The Product Management Festival in Zurich is actually held on the 18th of September but it has 2 full days of tutorials beforehand, the actual conference on the third day, and a fourth ‘Unconference Day’ of informal discussions and workshops.

The Conference is centered around “defining the future of product management,” and includes speakers from all over the world. Product specialists, from Silicon Valley to BBC news, will be exploring topics such as how to hire the right product managers or how to avoid the mistakes and pitfalls involved with the product creation process.

Most of the big product management conferences have come and gone, but luckily these 3 product management conferences prove that the best is saved for last. Have you attended any before? Check them out and let me know what you think.

Mark is the Lead Author & Editor of Spectechular Blog. Mark established the Spectechular blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Product Management.