Agile Conferences & Meet-Ups: UK & Europe 2023
In 2020, the savvy tech-giant, Bill Gates, predicted a 50% drop in work-related travel post-pandemic, since “physically sit[ting] in front of someone else to discuss something in person won’t be the ‘gold standard’ anymore,” and he runs the world so who are we to argue!? Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic saw day-to-day work, professional events, and conferences all move online. While this came as a welcome comfort to some during periods of social distancing and lockdown, for others there was a big gaping gap left where the in-person social bustle and networking over a beverage in a buzzing events hall once were.
With the rescinding of lockdown restrictions many in-person events have re-emerged, moving out of the Zoom rooms and back into the physical ones. Though face-to-face events are significantly fewer post-COVID, many Agile conferences and meet-ups have re-appeared to once again unite and educate the community. And that’s no surprise – the Agile mindset is easy to buy into, but can be challenging to master. With 71% of private sector companies having either implemented or commenced the process of implementing Agile, the need for knowledge-share and a sturdy, experienced Agile network is real.
This list includes UK & Europe-based conferences dedicated to Agile and its related frameworks, scheduled to be held in-person in 2023. All of the listed events are held in English. For those of you who would like the benefits of experience-sharing, networking with like-minded folk, or simply wish to keep up with the latest developments in Agile ways of working, we have also included a list of smaller (in number of attendees, but not in fun) in-person Meet-ups (UK based).
Do you know of any great in-person conferences & meet-ups hosted in the UK/Europe that aren’t on our list? Let us know by commenting on <<this Linkedin post>>.
TESTING, AGILE, DEVOPS AND LOW CODE SHOWCASE: METHODS AND TOOLS –
Manchester, UK. 9th February
On the more technical side, Testing, Agile, DevOps and Low code showcase: Methods and Tools, brings together the tools and processes associated with each of these domains. The focus is on highlighting that they must reside in a shared environment and providing insight into facilitating working together to satisfy the ever-growing demand for innovation, resilience, and excellence. With over forty topics to be covered across the four domains, Round Table sessions, and networking on the schedule, this hybrid event is certainly one to consider joining in person if you are in the Manchester vicinity at the start of February 2023.
Atlassian Presents: Unleash – Berlin, DE. 9th February
This free of charge, one-day hybrid event is brought to us by Atlassian (the makers of Jira and Confluence) and will have its launch on the 9th February, 2023 in Berlin. Describing itself as ‘a new agile & DevOps event’, Unleash promises heaps of experience-based advice on teams collaboration, covering the entire Product pipeline – from discovery, all the way to delivery of working software. Among the eight agenda topics are a case study on reducing ‘tech debt’, Atlassian’s own journey on Microservices and Platform engineering, and automating key result reporting (you can find the full Agenda here). Toward the end of the day, there will be time and space for some fun and networking – the organisers have decided on a closing experience that showcases the three finalists from the Devs Unleashed hackathon, as well as a networking reception featuring free drinks and snacks for all attendees.
#PRODUCTCON – London, UK. 21st February
For those of you who are passionate about the trialled and tested, as well as the innovative in product management, the product lifecycle, design experiences and all things product, #ProductCon will once again bring to London the largest product management conference in the world. #ProductCon is known to include speakers currently holding high-rank jobs at some of the world’s largest tech companies (Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, Google and more). In addition to the inspiring and educational presentations, visitors are booked in for an afterparty, inclusive of an opportunity to network with the keynote speakers and other participants under the sounds of a DJ set.
Agile Manchester, UK. 10th – 12th May
The Software Acumen team has a long portfolio of specialist software events and they must be doing something right, as “insightful”, “eye-opening”, and “energising” are just a few of the superlative adjectives used by previous participants to describe this Manchester-based gathering. The focus seems to be on ‘quality’ rather than ‘quantity’, and from what we can tell they are consistently hitting their ‘Great event rather than Big event’ goal. If you have ever felt uplifted after a presentation, but found yourself scratching your head about the real-world application/translation of its message, then look no further, this event is for you. The three days promise numerous talks, focussed on applicable advice you can take right off the Agile-Manchester shelf and straight into your organisation. We particularly like that the organisers offer ‘Opportunity tickets’ with significant discounts to allow for those who are financially or otherwise disadvantaged to attend, learn, network and be inspired.
SAFe Summit 2023 – Prague, CZ – 15-17th May
Combining Lean, Agile, and DevOps practices, the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is the most popular adaptation of Agile at scale. Its founders, Scaled Agile, Inc. are hosting this three-day Summit amidst the Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance backdrops of picturesque Prague. In addition to the presentations in the main conference, the schedule also includes SAFe workshops, an event for SAFE Partners and Consultants, customer stories, technical talks, and a Welcome reception. The organisers pride themselves in offering “a program that puts as much emphasis on personal connection as it does on business and technology” through a promise for “engaging speakers, compelling content, and a community that is as passionate about Agile as you are”.
Lean Konferenz: CIO & EAM Platform – Munich, DE- 14th June
This dual-language (lectures are held in either English or German) conference prides itself for being an IT manager platform that facilitates the exchange of ideas between CIOs, IT managers, enterprise and solution architects and basically everyone who holds a leadership position in a tech-lead environment. The Lean Konferenz promises to cover a broad range of themes, inclusive, but not limited to Empowering creativity and innovation, The future of architecting business change, and Building business Agility. A networking dinner is also on the cards, starting immediately after the event.
XP2023 – Amsterdam, NL- 13-16th June
Brought to us by the world’s largest Agile community, the Agile Alliance, XP is a veteran and a giant in the Agile conferences space. Though it started off with a sole focus on XP, it has now evolved into full coverage of all modern Agile approaches and as such, brings together knowledge, experience, and innovative ideas from all corners of the world. This year, XP will be hosted at ‘Pakhuis De Zwijger’ by the waterfront of one of Amsterdam’s infamous canals. Research workshops and papers, as well as experience reports are all part of the agenda and will be aimed at facilitating shared learning. Just when you thought that Amsterdam’s canals and Agile talks are enough of an excitement, XP throw an Engineering Interactive Track in the mix! That’s right, attendees get to build software together, throughout the conference in a continuous, ensemble programming session – this will be a fully immersive experience that ensures we can practice what we preach – we know we’re in!
Scrum Day London, UK – 28 & 29th June
Endorsed by Scrum org (founded by Ken Schwaber himself), Scrum day London is a 2-day conference, and the only one in London that is solely dedicated to Scrum. The conference is famous for its diversity of speakers (and we know how important this is in software), as well as their approachability – interaction and collaboration are very much enabled by the setup. The endless supply of coffee throughout (plus plenty of beer and wine to close off) make the visitor-speaker mingle feel very au naturale. This year’s key themes include Product Development & Managing Complex Projects, Engineering (DevOps), Scaling scrum, and Leadership & Organisational Transformation.
Agile on the Beach – Cornwall, UK – 6th & 7th July
Known for its Cornish pasties and surfer-heaven seaside resorts, in the last twelve years Cornwall has also become a popular destination for established Agile connoisseurs and enthusiastic novices alike. We hear that although most of the talks are hosted indoors at the impressive Academy of Music and Theatrical Arts (on the Falmouth University campus), participants can be spotted relaxing and networking on Gyllyngvase beach during breaks and parties. In addition to the stunning natural scenery, Agile on the Beach brings together a wealth of experience through an excellent selection of thought leaders and visionaries who are sure to widen your Agile horizons over the two days of presentations, interactive workshops, and social events. This non-profit focuses on key themes like Software Delivery, Agility In Business, Team Working, Product Design & Management.
Agile Lean Europe (ALE) – Vilnius, LT. 23rd-25th, August
ALE prides itself for being different, so much so that they call themselves an ‘Unconference’. The Unconference has a pre-set theme (this year that’s Co-creation), and utilises Open Space technology, to allow all its visitors to bring their own agenda and make the most of being surrounded by industry peers for the 3 days of the event. We love that there’s options for the extra-keen to go early for a day of Workshops on the 22nd and/or spend some time on leisurely reflection at the Post-ALE Retreat on the 26th and 27th. Agile and Lean thinking in Vilnius (which by the way celebrates its 700th anniversary this year) – don’t mind if we do!
Lean Agile Scotland – Edinburgh, UK. 13th – 15th, September
One of the experienced events on the scene, Lean Agile Scotland, is returning for the 10th time to unite, excite, and educate the Agile community. With a combination of Case studies, Talks, Workshops, and Discussions this conference caters for most learning styles and personalities. Bring your Agile-related thoughts, ideas, questions, and problems because you are likely to have the opportunity to delve into fruitful conversations with the experienced Agilists speakers and participants.
Agile Prague Conference – Prague, CZ. 18th & 19th, September
Agile Prague is not only located in the picturesque heart of Europe, but is also famous for being one of the best at creating a unique, collaborative space. Two days, two tracks with short talks, and inspirational keynotes, aimed at managers, scrum masters, and product owners. There’s typically practical workshops too, aimed at testers and developers, allowing them to share and discuss know-how in an open space. The theme and speakers for this year are expected to be revealed in March, so keep an eye on their website for upcoming updates.
eXperience Agile week – Lisbon, PT. 22nd-26th, September
What better way to send off the summer months than an Agile week in Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city – Lisbon. This year, eXperience will focus on ‘Reimagining’ – starting with Reimagining Management on day 1, moving through Reimagining Human Factors at the apex, and closing off with Reimagining Agile on the last day. We very much appreciate that the organisers have planned the event at either side of a weekend, giving its 700+ attendees time to explore (and perhaps even network) over the 2 non-working, non-conferencing days.
LeSS Conference Berlin, DE – 27th & 28th September
As of the date of this publication, the details around 2023’s LeSS Conference are still a bit of a mystery, but that just gets us more excited and builds the anticipation about what this accomplished crew will bring us this time. A conference with a track record going all the way back to 2016, never failing to surprise its international visitors with stunning locations and insightful talks. If large-scale Scrum is your thing, be sure to check them out here.
Lean Agile Brighton, UK – 19th October
Lean Agile Brighton‘s code of conduct (“Don’t be a jerk, be excellent to each other”) resonated strongly with us, so we will sure be taking an in-person look at their single-track programme. This non-profit is returning for the 2nd time after its COVID-caused two year break, gathering Agile thought-leaders and field experts with the aim of providing engaging and cutting edge content. The ‘Super early bird’ tickets seem like a good bargain to us, but hurry if you want to get a slice of that pie, they’re only on sale until the 28th February (Early Bird & Standard tickets will still be available after this date).
mind the PRODUCT – London, UK. 20th October
Calling all Product enthusiasts – mind the PRODUCT has been on the scene for over 10 years and is often referred to as ‘the home’ of Product people. Whilst this conference is not entirely ‘Agile’-dedicated, we decided to include it because it covers excellent Product management practices (we also give it extra points for championing speaker inclusion and diversity). One of the few conferences that doesn’t end on the last day of the event – you can join and stay part of the mtpcon community by attending their ProductTank meetups, subscribing to their active Slack community, or tuning-in to their Product Experience podcast.
Product Tank – London – 14.4k followers
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Women in Product – London – 4k followers
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Women in Agile – London – 1.4k followers
Marketing Agility Community – London – 1.3k followers
Deliver Sessions – Manchester -1.3k followers
Rhythmic Agile – London – 1.2k followers
Agile Southcoast in Southampton – 1k followers
Agile Roundabout – Returning to London in 2023
By Magdalena Valkova