A list of conferences for indies: freelancers, app developers, writers, bloggers, digital nomads, creatives, makers & more.
Indies are generally self-employed, run their own small / microbusiness,
are bootstrapped, and distribute their creations independently. These
are the conferences for anyone who doesn't have a boss, is non-conformist
and unconventional, and lives outside the mainstream.
If that sounds like you, these are the conferences for you.
Business Of Software Europe
(5 - 6 June 2017, London, UK)
Conference for anyone growing or starting a software business. Speakers in past years included Rand Fishkin from Moz, Steli Efti from Close.io and Bridget Harris from YouCanBookMe.
WWDC: Apple Worldwide Developers Conference
(5 - 9 June 2017, San Jose CA, USA)
The official Apple conference for Mac & iOS Developers. In 2017, Apple is moving the conference from San Francisco to San Jose. Tickets to WWDC are now only available via random drawing.
(5 - 8 June 2017, San Jose CA, USA)
The alternative WWDC. A free community-run conference for Mac & iOS developers during WWDC week.
(7 June 2017, Birmingham, UK)
For remote workers, freelancers and distributed teams. Talk topics include confessions of homeworkers, cross cultural communication and how to get started in freelancing. Speakers include Claire Davis, Andy Milligan, Chris Ward and Claire Dowdall.
World Domination Summit
(11 - 17 June 2017, Portland OR, USA)
A conference for freelancers, bloggers, coaches, digital nomads, minimalists and anyone who wants to live an unconventional life.
Double Your Freelancing Conference Europe
(16 - 19 June 2017, Stockholm, Sweden)
From Brennan Dunn, a conference about freelancing with a focus on web designers and developers. Held in a Japanese resort and day spa in Sweden. Speakers in previous years included Kai Davis, Nathan Barry and Mojca Marš.
Craft & Commerce
(23 - 25 June 2017, Boise ID, USA)
Organized by Nathan Barry and ConvertKit, a conference for online entrepreneurs, especially bloggers, podcasters, and vloggers. Topics include goal setting, content marketing, money and metrics and (of course) selling via email, with presentations from Seth Godin and James Clear.
AnDevCon: Android Developer Conference
(17 - 19 July 2017, Washington DC, USA)
The largest Android conference on the US east coast. Three conference tracks include Android Fundamentals, Cross-Platform Development and Machine Learning / AI.
(25 - 26 July 2017, New York, NY, USA)
Conference dedicated to the Laravel PHP framework. Featuring Taylor Otwell, Jeffrey Way (of Laracasts) and Justin Jackson as speakers.
Creative At Heart: Denver
(6 - 9 August 2017, Raleigh, NC, USA)
A conference for creative women who are small business owners: especially photographers, designers, hand-letterers, planners, but all creatives types are welcome.
(13 - 18 August 2017, Spokane, Washington, USA)
Six days of Django and Python talks and tutorials hosted at Red Lion Spokane.
DIY Musician Conference
(25 - 27 August 2017, Nashville, Tennessee, USA)
Conference for indie musicians & songwriters run by CD Baby. Past speakers include Jack Conte (CEO of Patreon) and Bob Boilen (host of NPR's All Songs Considered).
(3 - 6 August 2017, Helsinki, Finland)
Summer edition of the longest running Demoscene event in the world. Alongside its now popular eSports events & LAN party, Assembly focuses on the intersection of art & technology, primarily through 'Demos' (short electronic artworks).
(4 - 5 September 2017, Malmö, Sweden)
"Exploring Digital Complexity". 2017 speakers include Chris Grantham from Ideo, while past speakers have included Derek Sivers, Aral Balkan and Anita Sarkeesian. Set in Malmö, one of the most beautiful startup cities in the world.
(13 - 16 August 2017, Denver CO, USA)
Regarded by many as the best Mac, iOS, tvOS and watchOS developer conference for indies. Speakers include Dave Wiskus, Jean MacDonald & Janie Clayton.
(28 - 30 August 2017, Amsterdam, Netherlands)
European edition of the conference dedicated to the Laravel PHP framework. Speakers include Taylor Otwell, Freek van der Herten and Joe Ferguson.
(28 - 30 August 2017, Melbourne, Australia)
Run by RMIT, a conference for Apple developers on Mac & iOS devices.
iOS Dev UK
(4 - 7 September 2017, Aberystwyth, Wales, UK)
UK based iOS development conference.
The Freelance Conference
(7 - 9 September 2017, Austin, TX, USA)
US conference for freelancers. Topics include refining your gig pitch, selling for introverts, mastering Upwork and growing while staying a solo freelancer. Speakers include Michelle Schulp, Shawn Hesketh, Amy Segreti and Starley Murray.
DNX Global: Digital Nomad Conference
(9 - 10 September 2017, Lisbon, Portugal)
The conference for digital nomads & online entrepreneurs. Speakers in previous years included Pieter Levels (Nomad List), Derek Sivers (CD Baby founder), Jana Schuberth (Alivers), Conni Biesalski (Planet Backpack), Natalie Sisson (The Suitcase Entrepreneur), and Dave Cornthwaite (SayYesMore).
Business Of Software USA
(18 - 20 September 2017, Boston, MA, USA)
US version of the conference for anyone running a software business. Past speakers included David Heinemeier Hansson, Patrick McKenzie, Laura Roeder of LKR, Dharmesh Shah of Hubspot, and Gail Goodman of Constant Contact.
(19 September 2017, London, UK)
The UK version of Twilio's conference about integrating SMS, VoIP and two-factor authentication into your software. Past speakers in London include Ryan Leslie of Disruptive Multimedia, Henk Kolk of ING Bank and Ryan Nichols of Zendesk.
TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) Europe
(3 - 5 October 2017, Killarney, Ireland)
European version of the world's largest conference for travel bloggers, writers and travel industry people working with social media.
(16 - 18 October 2017, Chicago, IL, USA)
About the business (not the tech) of running a business developing iOS & Mac software.
(2017 to be confirmed, usually mid October, Philadelphia PA, USA)
For the people (and about the people) in the iOS/Mac community.
(6 - 8 October 2017, Los Angeles, CA, USA)
Conference & festival of independent video games from around the world.
(2017 to be confirmed, usually late October, Edinburgh, Scotland)
Scotland's first conference for Cocoa developers. Tickets are free - instead, the conference is looking for sponsors to cover the costs of each keynote presentation.
(2017 to be confirmed, usually late October, Perth, Australia)
A conference primarily for web developers & designers, an alternative conference for developers living on Australia's west coast.
(2017 to be confirmed, usually early November, Killarney, Ireland)
A conference "for people who build and love great products". Speakers are predominantly from the Apple community.
Creative At Heart: Memphis
(2017 to be confirmed, usually mid November 2017, Memphis, TN, USA)
A conference for creative small business owners: especially photographers, designers, hand-letterers, planners, but all creatives types are welcome.
Chaos Computer Congress
(2017 to be confirmed, usually late December, Hamburg, Germany)
One of the world's leading events on tech security, DIY hardware, how computing affects society, and electronic art. Great for embracing the DIY indie ethic. Hosted by the Chaos Computer Club for over 30 years.
Ludicious: Zürich Game Festival
(2018 to be confirmed, usually late January, Zürich, Switzerland)
Switzerland's biggest game event, with a focus on indie games. Their games business track in previous years featured presentations from Eric Zimmerman of Gamelab (makers of Diner Dash) and Koh Kim from Google Play Games Development.
(2018 to be confirmed, usually mid February, Wellington City, New Zealand)
World class speakers on design, accessibility, usability, & web standards and online culture. Past speakers have included Amanda Palmer, Cory Doctorow, Cindy Gallop, Harper Reed, Amy Hoy, Peter Sunde and Matthew Inman (aka The Oatmeal).
(2018 to be confirmed, usually late February, Melbourne, Australia)
Conference for Swift and Apple developers. Past speakers included Matt Comi of Big Bucket Software, the indie company behind iOS games The Incident, Space Age & Stagehand.
GDC: Game Developers Conference
(2018 to be confirmed, usually early March, San Francisco CA, USA)
Mostly for bigger game developers, but often attended by indie developers too. The 2017 edition also included a Virtual Reality Developers Conference.
(2018 to be confirmed, usually mid-March, Amsterdam, Netherlands)
The mobile developers conference, for developers, by developers.
(2018 to be confirmed, usually mid March, Yosemite National Park CA, USA)
The Apple Conference With A View. Held at Yosemite National Park. Past presenters included Andy Ihnatko, Jim Dalrymple, Brent Simmons, Jean MacDonald, Serenity Caldwell, Neven Mrgan & Michael Lopp.
(2018 to be confirmed, usually mid March, Hannover, Germany)
The world's largest Computer Expo, from the home of MP3 & "Vorsprung durch Technik".
(2018 to be confirmed, usually late March, London, UK)
Hackathon & talks for iOS developers
(2018 to be confirmed, usually early April, Florence, Italy)
Five days of Django and Python coding talks in one of Europe's most vibrant and beautiful cities. 2017's conference included workshops and an event hosted by Django Girls Florence.
(2018 to be confirmed, usually early-mid April, Las Vegas NV, USA)
For self-funded startups and single founder software companies. Previous speakers included Patrick McKenzie, Tracy Osborn (Wedding Lovely) and Rob Walling (Drip, Startups For The Rest Of Us)
(2018 to be confirmed, usually mid April, Saarbrücken, Germany)
The world's biggest pure Demoscene party.
(2018 to be confirmed, usually mid April, Brighton, UK)
The "Life. Time. Value" conference, for people who are already selling their own products but know they can do better - whether software, writing, videos or other digital products. Speakers include Rachel Andrew of Perch, Patrick McKenzie of Starfighter, and Alex Hillman of 30x500.
International Games Week Berlin
(2018 to be confirmed, usually late April, Berlin, Germany)
Conference for gamers, indie developers, industry professionals and lets players.
(2018 to be confirmed, usually late April, Seattle, Washington, USA)
A friendly, inclusive conference for web and software developers, with emphasis on community.
(2018 to be confirmed, usually late-April, Toronto, Canada)
Conference for indie developers of iOS and Mac applications.
XDC: Xojo Developer Conference
(25 - 27 April 2018, Denver CO, USA)
The conference for Xojo developers, a cross-platform RAD development language inspired by Visual Basic (and evolved from REALbasic).
(2018 to be confirmed, usually early May, Perth, Australia)
Bringing international software experts & showcasing the best local software talent. YOW West is a technically focused conference, with some talks designed to appeal to CTOs.
MBS Xojo Developer Conference: Germany
(2018 to be confirmed, usually early May, Berlin, Germany)
Conference for Xojo programmers (a cross-platform Visual-Basic-like language used by many solo developers). Held in 2017 at the Ellington Hotel, a jazz themed hotel where Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington once played. In addition to presentations, the conference also offers training sessions in English & German.
TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) America
(2018 to be confirmed, usually early May, Huntsville, Alabama, USA)
North American edition of the conference for travel bloggers and freelance travel writers. Hosted in 2017 at the Von Braun Center.
(2018 to be confirmed, usually early May, Berlin, Germany)
(2018 to be confirmed, usually mid May, Berlin, Germany)
A conference for serious indie iOS developers. UIKonf has a strong social / networking focus, with lots of fun events planned including kayaking, and a visit to the Computer Games Museum.
Casual Connect Asia
(2018 to be confirmed, usually mid May, Singapore, Singapore)
All about casual mobile games for phones & tablets & social platforms. Includes an Indie Prize & Dev Showcase.
(2018 to be confirmed, usually late May, San Francisco, USA)
Hosted by Twilio. Learn how to integrate SMS, VoIP and two-factor authentication into your apps with their stack. Speakers in 2016 included Patrick McKenzie (@patio11), Leah Culver from Dropbox, Michael Kadin from Uber and Joseph Wilk from Soundcloud.
(2018 to be confirmed, usually late May, Philadelphia PA, USA)
Conference for folks running bootstrapped product businesses. Strictly limited to 65 attendees. Previous presenters have included Nathan Barry, Brennan Dunn and Patrick McKenzie.
TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) Africa
(25 - 27 July 2018, Harare, Zimbabwe)
African version of the world's largest conference for travel bloggers, writers and travel industry people working with social media.
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