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6 best IoT conferences and events to attend in 2021

IoT events remain virtual or hybrid in 2021, as the pandemic continues its global assault.

Many devices today connect to the internet and talk to each other -- including light bulbs, medical diagnostic tools and traffic lights. This network of devices is known as the internet of things.

IoT is a domain of technology that encompasses consumer, industrial and embedded devices. Any individual "thing" that has some form of network connectivity, an IP address and can connect to the public internet is an IoT technology.

IoT deployments continue to grow year-over-year as organizations engage in digital transformation initiatives. IoT devices generate lots of data that organizations use to get a better view of operations and inform business decisions.

Following IoT blogs is one approach for staying up to date on news and trends in the global IoT industry. A second approach is enrolling in online courses to keep your skills up to date. A third approach is attending IoT industry conferences and other events.

Here are some industry conferences and events to keep on your radar in 2021.

Black Hat USA 2021

When: July 31 - Aug. 5

Where: Las Vegas and virtual

Cost: in-person -- $2,695; virtual -- $1,295 

Where to register:

Black Hat is a cybersecurity event that also discusses many IoT topics. These include the latest tools to identify risks and sessions on the newest exploits of IoT.

Speakers include:

  • Tamir Ariel, malware analyst and reverse engineer for Azure Defender for IoT at Microsoft
  • Sherri Davidoff, CEO at LMG Security
  • Matt Tait, chief operating officer at Corellium

IoT Week 2021

When: Aug. 30 - Sept. 3

Where: virtual

Cost: free

Where to register:

IoT Week explores many topics, including:

  • understanding how 5G will help enable and push IoT forward;
  • IoT's effect on healthcare;
  • smart cities; and
  • IoT's effect on agriculture.

Speakers include:

  • Latif Ladid, founder and president of IPv6 Forum
  • Tanya Suarez, CEO of BluSpecs Innovation and founder of IoT Tribe
  • Sébastien Ziegler, president of IoT Forum and director of Mandat International

CIoT 2021 International Conference on the Internet of Things

When: Sept. 25 and 26

Where: Toronto and virtual

Cost: N/A

Where to register: 

CIoT is an academic conference where researchers share knowledge and results about theory, methodology and applications of IoT. Core topics to be discussed at the event are security and privacy for IoT, and IoT-enabled innovation and entrepreneurship.

Speakers include:

  • Areej Alhothali, assistant professor at King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia
  • Cem Ata Baykara, research intern at Ozyegin University in Turkey
  • Philipp Bolte, master’s student in business and information systems engineering at South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences in Germany

Open Source Summit and Embedded Linux Conference

When: Sept. 27-30

Where: Seattle and virtual

Cost: early bird -- $850; standard -- $1,000; virtual -- $50

Where to register:

The Embedded Linux Conference -- put on by the Linux Foundation -- is a key event for IoT. In past years, the event has had a track known as the OpenIoT Summit, where there is discussion on topics related to the open source IoT ecosystem.

Speakers have not yet been announced.

IoT Tech Expo North America 2021

When: Sept. 29-30

Where: virtual

Cost: free

Where to register:

Among sessions at this conference is an opening day keynote on smart farms, which combines IoT with AI. The topic of smart cities is another key theme that will be addressed at the conference, with a session on how sensors are being used to make San Francisco a smart city.

Speakers include:

  • Olga Patel, principal architect of emerging technologies and digital at the Walt Disney Co.
  • Vidya Venugopal, director of the IoT platform for merchant and facilities technology at Walmart Global Tech
  • Peter Wilson, director of the U.S. IoT Partner Program at Telefónica

IoT World 2021

When: Nov. 2-4

Where: Santa Clara, Calif.

Cost: registration is not yet open

Where to register:

IoT World 2021 takes place alongside the AI Summit Silicon Valley event, which highlights the intersection of AI and IoT. A key theme of this is discussion about the next wave of secure connected IoT environments.

Speakers have not yet been announced.

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