The internet and digital marketing have levelled the playing field for SMEs, making it possible for them to compete against multinationals with big budgets in certain competitive niches and market their offerings on social platforms like LinkedIn.

And, in certain sectors, tech advances also make it possible to run remote teams in different local or international territories.

However, if you want to benefit from the latest business and leadership knowledge and meet potential investors and collaborators, the expense of attending events in person can pay off.

With that in mind, here are five must-go global business conferences for 2020.

1. Turing Fest, Edinburgh, Scotland

If you fancy mingling with the best brains in European tech between 4-5 August next year, you should attend Turing Fest 2020 in Edinburgh. The Scottish capital is Britain’s most beautiful city and past keynote speakers include Magnus Nilsson from Izettle, Hana Abaza from Shopify and Lego’s Melissa Pickering.

2. Academy of International Business Conference, Glasgow, Scotland

This is another Scottish-based conference worth jetting north of the border for between 2-4 April 2020. Held at the University of Glasgow’s renowned Adam Smith Business School, this year’s theme is ‘revisiting SME and MNE internalization in an era of paradox’ – register at

3. Summer CME at Universal Studios, Orlando, US

If Primary Care Medicine aligns with your enterprising vision, attending this event between July 20-23, 2020 at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is wise. Plus, hotel guests enjoy free theme park perks – business brainstorming and adrenalin rushes rolled into one! Find out more at

4. Cannes Lions, Cannes, France

Any SME trying to break into marketing, advertising or branding can learn truckloads of tips by heading to the 67th Cannes Lions Festival between 22-26 June 2020 on the Cote d’Azur. Sip a Kir Royale by the beach as you soak up knowledge from inspirational speakers representing the world’s most successful brands.

5. West Indies Economics Conference, Kingston, Jamaica

West Indies economies like Jamaica are performing strongly on many metrics these days and the wider Caribbean region offers investment opportunities in everything from tourism and minerals to medical marijuana. Attending the West Indies Economics Conference between March 12-13 could connect you with potential collaborators. Find out more details at

How to get there

Splashing out on an international business conference as an SME is always a calculated risk, but it can deliver an excellent ROI and there are ways to make it as affordable as possible.

For instance, you’ll find the best deals on flights from various UK hubs to all of our conference destinations on reliable comparison sites like and

And don’t forget to check out Looking4 for cheap parking at Heathrow and a host of other international airports.

That’s our list, but please share your own 2020 business conference picks in the comments section – we can’t wait to hear your thoughts!