Best comms and PR conferences 2024 [Full list]

Have you ever felt out of sync with the new PR scene as a PR professional? Public relations is a real-time business that keeps evolving, and PR conferences can be a way to engage with and retain the newest strategies and trends. In this article, we will list the top PR conferences to attend in 2024, including digital events. This way, you can get an early insight into the direction PR is predicted to take in the upcoming year.

Matias Rodsevich  |   
2024-03-03
Summary
1. Best comms and PR conferences 20242. Conclusion
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COVID-19 halted all in-person interaction, but as we step into 2024, public relations is getting back into the swing of things, reviving in-person events and conferences. The plus side is that virtual events still hold out. Digital events have improved in quality, bringing convenience and expanding knowledge, free from space and time constraints.

As a PR professional, you already have the means to practically apply your knowledge through your work, but what about continuous learning? Transitioning from a school setting to a work environment can make maintaining a mindset focused on ongoing education challenging. Attending comms and PR conferences, whether in-person or online, you place yourself in a learning environment.

These events provide a community setting to absorb new strategies, improve your PR process, get brand exposure, and network with PR and media professionals.

This list includes PR, marketing, and industry-specific conferences. Attending these general and specific events as a PR professional is beneficial as they often feature PR and comms keynotes, providing opportunities for networking with new leads and engaging with journalists.

We’ll get into the best PR conferences, but if you want access to even more resources, look into other forms of PR content, such as podcasts, newsletters, and blogs.

Best comms and PR conferences 2024

1. Ragan - Employee Communications 101

  • When & Where: Jan 25, 2024, virtual conference
  • Other Events: Public Affairs & Speechwriting virtual conference on February 21, 2024

Ragan’s PR Daily holds some of the most useful and in-depth learning conferences about PR and communications there are. They provide a range of conferences and in-person and virtual events, from HR and internal communications to social media, PR, and writing. As a PR expert, especially in the human relations field, you’ll need to continuously improve your work process within an organization.

Their Employee Communications 101 virtual conference looks into cultivating a company culture that resonates with employees. The guest speakers will provide toolkits with resources and have panel discussions on how to integrate technology for productivity, and how to measure the efficacy of your employee communications. The conference will end with a convenient ‘takeaways’ section that overviews all the discussions. As an attendant, you’ll also receive presentation slides and handouts on their website to look back at what you learned and implement it into your work.

2. Social West

Deemed Canada’s largest marketing conference, Social West is all about digital marketing, SEO, social media, and data analytics. It was started in 2016 as a solution for better professional development opportunities for Canadians engaged in digital marketing. The conference includes expert-led sessions and panel discussions about the newest strategies and techniques.

The two-day conference will have more than 40 speakers, including experts such as advertising strategists, content creators, CEOs, and Founders. As a PR professional, it's beneficial to understand the role of other communication experts whom you’ll need to work alongside. The conference encourages professionals working as social media managers, PR practitioners, and communications and marketing professionals to merge and share expertise, ideas, and build a network of adoptable skills.

3. International Journalism Festival

  • When & Where: April 17 - 21, 2024, in Perugia, Italy
  • Other Events: This conference is held annually

The International Journalism Festival is held every year in the historical city of Perugia in Italy. It attracts media professionals from all around the world, from journalists and scholars to PR professionals, marketers, and aspiring communicators. All sessions are free entry for all attendees, without tickets and registration, and the discussions and panels will be live-streamed on their website.

The event promises a lineup of diverse and influential speakers, providing valuable insights and perspectives. Over the five-day conference, attendees can look forward to hearing from guest speakers such as Maria Ressa, co-founder and CEO of Rappler; Julia Turner, Deputy Managing Editor at The Los Angeles Times; Emily Bell, Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism; and several other notable names.

The English-language part of the festival program will happen for three days, including the 18th, 19th, and 20th of April, while the conferences for the rest of the days will be in Italian. Topics covered include social media platforms, AI, podcasting, and disinformation.

4. Pharma PR & Communications Summit West

  • When & Where: May 14 - 15, 2024, in California, US
  • Other Events: The summit is held annually

Pharma PR & Communications Summit focuses on the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical industry to hear from various organizations on their strategies for outreach. This annual conference created by FiercePharma includes networking opportunities and advice from experts on topics such as technology, science, and how PR strategies can be used to promote these industries.

Esteemed brands and organizations will discuss their success stories and provide resources on industry-specific knowledge. While the schedule has not been finalized for the 2024 summit, visit their website for more information on the speakers, themes, and other updates. Past speakers include experts from companies like Goodfuse, Abbvie, Kinnate Biopharma, and more.

5. Possible 2024

  • When & Where: April 15 - 17, 2024, in Miami, US
  • Other Events: This event is held annually

Possible ‘24 is a marketing and media communication conference. Backed by MMA Global, the conference has invited over 190 speakers and four rising talent academy sessions for aspiring communicators. The conference was launched in 2023 for digital media, culture, brands, and technology, with guest speakers like Elon Musk, Linda Yaccarino, Zainab Johnson, and Jon Bon Jovi.

The three-day conference is split into 14 different content tracks and three industry pillars so you can personalize your experience. The three industries covered will be consumer marketing and communications, business and society, and technology and innovation. Each track will dive into topics concerning its area of expertise, including Adtech and Martech, sustainability, creator economy, and more.

6. Web Summit

  • When & Where: November 11 - 14, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Other Events: same event on February 2024 in Qatar & April 2024 in Rio

Web Summit is a technology conference that happens globally across Lisbon, Rio, Doha, Toronto, and Hong Kong. Major tech companies such as Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon are represented, including emerging European startups. The networking opportunities at this conference are limitless, as apparent from their 2023 attendees: the event brought together over 70,000 people from the tech industry from 153 countries. It is highly anticipated each year and has taken place since 2009.

They hold conferences and panels on topics ranging from AI and crypto to health, modern design, and startups. In addition to entertainment and live music, the conference will present sessions with tech experts, cultural icons, and global policymakers who will hold interactive Q&As, masterclasses, and roundtables.

7. PR Week - PR360

  • When & Where: May 8 - 9, 2024 in Brighton, UK
  • Other Events: The conference is held annually

PRWeek is a leading UK PR trade magazine focusing on news and developments in the PR field. Their PR360 conference assembles top speakers for dynamic discussions. The conference is aimed towards senior PR and communications professionals to come together and be immersed in talks from esteemed speakers. The event also has networking opportunities with attendees and sponsors.

The event promises to bring together a diverse and influential group of industry professionals. While 2024 speakers have not been revealed yet, past guests include: Amarilis Whitty, Senior Director of Public Relations at Mattel; Clara Biu, Head of PR, Events, and Social Impact at Just Eat; and Aleksandra Kubicka, PR at Prowly. The conference will span two days and already has an advisory board of some of the most prominent names in the PR industry. This is a must-go if you want to expand your reach and learn from leading experts in the field.

8. Inbound 24

  • When & Where: September 18 - 20, 2024, in Massachusetts, US
  • Other Events: The conference is held annually

Looking at current and emerging culture and innovation, Inbound is a marketing and sales conference spearheaded by Hubspot. It gives the spotlight to various businesses and organizations to network, gain exposure, and share their stories with like-minded media professionals. In Hubspot's words, Inbound is “centered around the idea that human connection drives transformative growth, meaningful conversations, and actionable insights."

As a PR professional, you can learn from the different media sectors you’ll have to collaborate. It's also a great opportunity to hear from media personalities in the spotlight. Inbound’s 2023 lineup included inspiring speakers spanning different industries, interests, and fields, including Reese Witherspoon, Derek Jeter, and Guy Raz.

9. PRLab Events

PRLab is a leading public relations agency operating on an international scale. They focus on providing specialized PR services for tech startups and corporations. In addition to the agency, the organization also provides learning and networking opportunities for aspiring PR professionals through their conferences, where they recognize the challenges that are shaping modern PR.

Their past events include in-depth discussions with leading professionals and experienced speakers. The conferences focus on learning guides such as mapping your SEO future and creating a roadmap for PR success, to the recurring ‘Breakfast Talks’ series. PRLab hosts organizations such as Meltwater and SweCham to chime in on the discussion around creating PR strategies for tech companies and start-ups. Visit their website for upcoming conferences and events.

10. Techspo Events

  • When & Where: April 11 - 12, 2024 in Los Angeles, US (check website for updates or discrepancies)
  • Other Events: Techspo New York, April, 2024

Techspo is a global technology series with a collision between tech and business. The event brings together developers, brands, marketers, technology providers, and PR professionals to showcase the next generation of technology. The conferences are held across the world, including 12 countries and 30 cities. These include Amsterdam, London, Dubai, Cape Town, Singapore, and more.

The event was created to help attendees increase traffic, raise brand awareness, enhance customer service, and optimize internal use of digital tools to drive more productive business outcomes. You can visit their website to see the upcoming calendar for 2024. Although the events take place globally, it is US-centered with the majority of the conferences happening in the states. Each conference takes place throughout the year, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to attend one, especially if you’re US-based.

11. B2B Marketing Exchange

Public relations and marketing diverge in terms of their processes. Intending to leave behind the old methods of expanding customer revenue and generating pipelines, B2B Marketing Exchange aims to embrace new methods of diversification through its conference. They’ll focus on data-driven storytelling, social engagement, and brand positioning.

The three-day event has an agenda filled with workshops, case study presentations, keynote sessions, break-out sessions, and networking opportunities. This year's keynote speaker includes Steve Armenti, Global Demand Gen Lead for Chrome Enterprise at Google, including nine other prominent business leaders and strategists. Until the event, weekly updates are released every Tuesday afternoon on their website.

12. CASE - Editors Forum 2024

  • When & Where: April 2 - 4, 2024, in Washington DC, US
  • Other Events: Marketing and Communications Institute, February 27 - 29, 2024

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) is a nonprofit organization that focuses on advancing education, marketing, and communication. They bring together leading industry professionals to address issues faced in today’s educational institutions. If you want to perfect your pitching and storytelling skills, look into CASE’s Editors Forum conference.

Attendees will receive practical advice to enhance their work and explore creative ideas tailored towards media. While this conference is recommended for editors, writers, and creative directors, a PR professional can benefit from understanding how to compel readers with distinct writing styles. You can exchange insights, share anecdotes, and gather fresh ideas.

13. Ad Week Events - Social Media Week

  • When & Where: April 9 - 11, 2024, in New York, US
  • Other Events: This event is held annually

The relevance of social media is always growing, especially in the PR field, with good and disastrous examples of what works and what doesn’t. Social Media Week will address matters such as influencer entrepreneurship, brand safety, data privacy, and more. Previous conferences discussed conversations such as using platforms to initiate conversations that matter and the best practices and pitfalls of social media.

This year's speakers include leading media personals such as Social Strategist Bashel Lewis, Social Media Strategist and Beauty Influencer Sarita Nauth, and TikTok's Global Social Insights Lead Lauren Powell. This is also a great way to get exposure and network, as there will be more than 500 creators, social media and marketing professionals, platforms, and brand leaders at the conference.

14. PRSA Conferences

  • When & Where: April 9 - 11, 2024, in California, US
  • Other Events: PRSA 2024 Travel & Tourism Conference, June 2024

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is a nonprofit founded for the professional development of PR professionals. The organization holds frequent conferences and awards to help PR professionals develop skills, learn from industry leaders, and share ideas. You can connect with peers while discussing emerging trends in PR and addressing concurrent challenges.

Next year's PRSA Counselors Academy 2024 Conference is presented by the PRSA Counselors Academy Section who are industry leaders with 50 years of experience. The conference will focus on bringing a fresh perspective and reorganization of PR agencies. It is aimed at PR Agency owners and executives to address the evolving changes in public relations.

15. PRMoment Conferences

PRMoment is a leading public relations-focused resource with relevant articles, guides, podcasts, and PR research. While PRMoment has not released its 2024 events calendar, it holds various virtual events, webinars, and conferences every year that cater specifically to PR. They have 5 paid conferences each year, including PR Analytics, PR is Changing, Social in B2B, and Brands as Storytellers. You can see the dates for upcoming events in 2024 on the website.

Their annual PR Analytics conference, for example, expands on the latest tools and case studies about the use of data in modern communications. Most of these conferences also happen virtually and include in-depth panel discussions with PR experts and guest speakers. They also offer free webinars and virtual events that offer insights on specific topics such as earned media and integrated marketing, LinkedIn as a marketing channel, and ESG communication.

16. LeadsCons

  • When & Where: April 8 - 10, 2024, in Las Vegas, US
  • Other Events: This event is held annually

This conference is ideal if you want to learn more about vertical media, industries within PR, and the advancements these industries have made within the past years. The LeadsCon conference was started in 2007 and is attended by a broad range of experts in mortgage and lending, insurance, fintech, legal, home services, and healthcare. It presents an ideal opportunity to meet experts and peers in these industries and see what kinds of expertise they have to offer.

The three-day conference will include roundtable discussions, networking breaks, and workshops so you can meet and learn from the best in the industry. In the past, LeadsCon has offered innovative strategies and distinctive insights to initiate the process of converting higher-quality leads.

17. CIPR - Writing Better Press Releases

  • When & Where: February 13, 2024, virtual event
  • Other Events: Same event on June 6, 2024, in London

You’ll gain practical knowledge in this conference/course combo. In it, you’ll learn the ins and outs of crafting press releases, including what to include, what to avoid, and how to tailor them for journalists and the media. A specific eye-catching objective of the lesson is learning to “create stories when there's nothing new to say.”

Offered by the Chartered Institute Of Public Relations (CIPR), a professional PR community with a focus on networking and learning, this event is ideal for professionals who have had previous experience in PR and writing. The event is held online and offline, depending on the dates, and is a highly participative environment with discussions, practical advice, and journalistic-level writing.

18. Cannes Lions 2024

  • When & Where: June 17 - 21, 2024, in Cannes, France
  • Other Events: This festival is held annually

Cannes Lions is a prestigious international festival of creativity where the best advertising and communications work is celebrated. Although it’s not closely related to PR, it can be inspiring to explore and decipher the work that others have done in the industry. Going beyond the professional and educational elements of a PR conference, the week-long Cannes Lions festival will prove to be interactive and collaborative. The festival offers various passes depending on which conferences you want to attend.

Established in 1954, the festival has been happening for 70 years. Cannes invites industry experts and senior marketers to speak on its panels, showcasing the best work from around the world. The global appeal for Cannes Lions is evident in the substantial 25,000 entries received this year from 87 countries in 2022. Anticipation for 2024 suggests a similar level of enthusiasm.

19. Ragan - Public Affairs & Speechwriting

This conference will help you influence stakeholders, be a better storyteller, and engage audiences. Ragan's Public Affairs and Speechwriting conference emerged from current technological and AI concerns with deep fakes, cybersecurity, and rampant disinformation. This conference will address topics such as how to restore trust, protect reputation, influence policy and opinions, and engage stakeholders to control crises and counter misinformation.

The conference is four and a half hours long, with panels, SWOT analysis, and speeches. It will focus on theoretical learning and putting that into practice with current event examples. For example, why didn’t organizations speak out on the Israel and Hamas war? Are brands using ethical persuasion for misinformation? Guest speakers will also discuss cybersecurity management, how to reach and retain audiences in fear, and models for inclusive speeches and policies. These discussions will take place in the context of current social media turbulence like TikTok bans and the Twitter/X debacle.

20. FICC 2024

  • When & Where: April 4 - 5, 2024, in Berlin, Germany
  • Other Events: The conference is held annually

The Future of Information and Communication Conference (FICC) focuses on presenting academic research on the future vision of the communication industry. The conference is attended by global attendees from more than 55 countries and will bring together researchers from various communications fields for collaboration. It will include paper presentations, tutorials, project demos, and keynote speeches by renowned technology experts.

Being held since 2018, the conference covers a broad range of relevant topics each year. If you want to learn more about the future of communications and computing, 2024 FICC topics include data science, communication, ambient intelligence, and e-learning. The conference presents high-quality, peer-reviewed papers that address the need to improve the effectiveness of existing techniques and are supported by data and literature.

21. PR Week - Crisis Comms Conference

  • When & Where: April 18, 2024, in Washington DC, US
  • Other Events: PR Week Awards, March 14, 2024

PR Week’s Crisis Comms Conference will help you tackle the evolving nature of today’s crisis communication such as AI, social media, and technology. This conference is designed to provide PR professionals direct access to a platform for sharing ideas and practical examples tailored to specific situations.

The conference recognizes that PR professionals face challenges from inside and outside their organizations. It highlights the importance of stopping crises before they occur and how to lessen the impact. It is ideal for attendees working in corporate affairs, HR, IT, agency, nonprofit, tech, and academia. The conference offers lots of useful knowledge and inspiration to handle the complexities of crisis communication in the current comms landscape.

22. State of Social Conference

  • When & Where: August 27 - 28, 2024 in Perth, Australia
  • Other Events: This event is held annually

State of Social is a digital marketing conference that looks at the past and future trends of social media and digital marketing. Going into seventh year, the conference brings keynotes and networking sessions hosted by marketing icons and local experts. They share their ideas and trends through case studies and experience.

The conference is driven by founder Meg Coffey's vision to elevate Australia's digital marketing landscape. State of Social evolved from a small conference in Western Australia to the country’s most sought-after event in digital and social media marketing. While the speakers and agenda for 2024 have not been set yet, the conference promises to bring the previous year's anticipation with two days filled with educational and networking opportunities.

23. Ragan - Social Media Conference

Under the siege of economic changes and technological advancements, social media has seen a shift in user behavior and the way content is consumed. Ragan’s Social Media Conference taking place in 2024, will go into depth on this subject. Communities of social media managers, communication experts, and PR professionals will gather to discuss how social media content can be best utilized for better reach and ROI in this new scene.

The conference spans three days and welcomes more than 40 speakers. Because of the vast number of speakers and topics covered, attendees can choose between two tracks to follow, the social media track or the marketing and PR track. It also includes a pre-conference session inviting attendees to listen to a social media panel about AI, short-form TikTok, and SEO ranking strategies.

24. Ragan - Communication Week

  • When & Where: November 12 - 15, 2024, in Austin, US, with virtual events
  • Other Events: Review the website for the release of Communication Week schedules in other US cities

Communications Week by Ragan is a global annual series celebrating communicators and their vital role in organizations. The conference features in-person and virtual events, offering education, mentorship, tech showcases, and networking opportunities. With last year's theme, "Leading the Way," the conference aimed to empower communicators and dissect how they play a key role in organizational decisions.

The 2024 theme is “Future of Communications” and will address employee communications, social purpose, and leadership communications. You’ll gain valuable strategies and tools to establish yourself as a PR expert and a business leader. Subscribe to their newsletter for updates as they come.

25. CIPR - Measuring & Evaluating PR

  • When & Where: February 22, 2024, virtual event
  • Other Events: same event on June 12, 2024, in London

Another notable CIPR event, this course focuses on messaging and evaluating the effectiveness of your PR process. It’s ideal for aspiring PR professionals, students, PR planners, or if you want a deeper understanding of the context of new strategies to plan and measure PR in today’s landscape. The two-day event will get you in the loop of the most recent developments and advice on media measurement.

They will provide a guideline with objectives and case studies to emphasize the connection between PR campaigns, business goals, and understanding outdated methods like AVE. You’ll also learn through research how it lays the groundwork for planning effective PR campaigns.

26. Ragan - Women’s Retreat For Top Communicators

If you're a woman working in PR with experience in the industry, consider attending the Women’s Retreat For Top Communicators. This will allow you to share your experiences in the PR field, learn from other experts, network, and discuss your industry. Going beyond typical conferences, this event will provide a deeper level of connection.

Headed by Ragan, this conference/retreat combo is reserved for PR experts who have more than 15 years of experience in the industry. Attendees will have a chance to learn from one another's careers in a two-day retreat that blends open conversations, collaborative problem-solving, idea workshops, sharing successes and failures, along with entertainment.

27. Gartner Tech Growth & Innovation Conference

  • When & Where: March 20 - 21, 2024, in Texas, US
  • Other Events: Marketing Symposium Xpo, May 2024

At the Gartner Tech Growth and Innovation Conference, you'll tackle the challenges of today's digital environment of generative AI, economic uncertainties, and B2B customer demands. This conference will provide strategies and tactics to speed up your market efforts and increase revenues. Led by Gartner experts, the sessions provide practical insights into key capabilities and emerging technologies significant for success in technology marketing, product management, and executive functions.

As an attendee, you also get a chance to have a 30-minute one-on-one meeting with Gartner experts, roundtable discussions, workshops, and an ‘Ask the Expert’ session for a more personal dive into particular topics or challenges. This conference is suited for senior PR professionals and communications experts in the industry of technology and generative AI.

28. Social Next Virtual Summit

For those based in Canada, Social Next is a marketing conference established exclusively for Canadian marketers and communication professionals. The conference reveals and discusses data-driven strategies and how to sustain modern marketing with the impact of social media and AI. Social Next features a lineup of six speakers, with the initial unveiling introducing the first four: Nicole Lively Area Director for Meltwater, Susan Charles strategy lead for Google, Joe Toe CEO of HeyOrca, and Candace Bergman, Marketing Manager for Cybersecurity, North America, and EMEA.

While the conference focuses on marketing, the event is open to PR practitioners, content managers, communications, and marketing students. You can stream the conference and get involved with online networking with attendees from all over the world. Consider joining their email list for more information as they reveal their complete speaker announcements list.

29. ICCMPR 2024

The World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology (WASET) is an open science research organization dedicated to promoting the advancement of science, engineering, and technology. Their branch, ICCMPR (International Conference on Communications Management and Public Relations) conference brings together prominent academic scientists, researchers, and scholars within the PR industry to facilitate an exchange of experiences and research findings.

This conference is ideal if you’re curious about new research and advancements happening in the PR industry. Rather than focusing on the latest trends and strategies, this conference will help you understand the future trajectory of PR, its frameworks, and emerging theories. You’ll get to hear from PR scholars, authors, and contributors who will present their findings and high-quality peer-reviewed papers through empirical research.

30. Medcom 2024

  • When & Where: May 9 - 10, 2024, in Colombo, Sri Lanka (Hybrid)
  • Other Events: This conference is held annually

Medcom is a media and mass communications conference to engage with researchers and experts on the challenges and trends in the field. The theme for 2024’s conference is “Reshaping and Challenging the Neoliberal Model: Evolving Practices in Crisis, Conflict, and Creative Communication.” Medcom aims to unite global media and communication experts, scholars, and practitioners to discuss the transformative role of media in shaping our society's future. The conference will also focus on attendees' career development, increasing future opportunities, and an exchange between industry and academia

The primary focus is on enhancing interconnectedness and cultural cohesion through shared communication across diverse generations, communities, and identities. The conference has nine tracks that attendees can follow, including Social Media, Media Education, Media and Corporate, and Journalism. This conference can be beneficial for PR practitioners to understand how communication has changed in the past and what’s coming in the near future.

Conclusion

The nature of PR requires a commitment to ongoing learning and adaptability. As we move into the post-pandemic era, the revival of in-person PR conferences, along with the continued accessibility of virtual events, provides PR professionals with diverse opportunities to better their skills and stay updated on the latest trends. Whether you're just starting your PR journey or leading in a senior role, embracing learning through conferences and events ensures that you are well-prepared to navigate the PR landscape and network with global PR and media peers.

Matias Rodsevich
CEO of PRHive
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