The 10 Most Expensive And Exclusive Business Conferences

Do you ever wonder where the world’s most influential businessmen and world famous leaders gather each year to rub elbows, make connections and share valuable secrets? In a sophisticated and exclusive environment away from the prying eyes of the public, the world’s most renowned billionaires and tech entrepreneurs exchange ideas.

They meet to share their knowledge, witness the newest innovations while encountering promising companies and individuals. All of these conferences together represent the world’s cutting edge geniuses, business elites, and tech wizards. Guest speakers at these events include US presidents, high profile business moguls, as well as tech and entrepreneurial gurus.

There are many amazing benefits available to someone attending conferences in any sector. Attendees learn from professionals and get a chance to share their own thoughts and experiences with others. Throughout these conferences, people socialize and make new contacts, whether they are employees, potential buyers, or simply new clients. Well, the most important element by far is networking with peers, though it can come at a steep price.

Attendees who are just starting out should do a cost-benefit analysis before going to see if the gains they realize justify the hefty price tag that comes with many of these conferences. The cost alone for a ticket can be quite expensive and does not include the expenses of flights, hotels, and food. Besides, well-known conferences are often held in the world’s most expensive cities which tends to further lighten one’s wallet.

Part of the appeal for young entrepreneurs is the opportunity to meet and be inspired by leaders who present at these conferences; however, some exclusive conferences are invitation-only and attendees need to be leaders of their industry or making a name for themselves. Being wealthy and well known are key when it comes to getting into some of these elite conferences.

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10 PopTech

For more than 18 years in Maine, this conference has inspired and enthralled guests. The $2,000 price allows guests to be treated as active participants who are free to discuss, brainstorm, and engage with presenters and business leaders. Founded by the co-inventor of Ethernet technology and the former CEO of Google, PopTech invites speakers and performers from around the world to attend this conference with previous high profile guests such as John Legend and Victoria Hale.

With the goal of creating social change through innovation, this conference welcomes a wide range of leaders and experts to present, inspire, and network with more than 600 guests on a small, comfortable scale that is more informal than most conferences and allows for freer discussions concerning technological innovation.

9 Summit Series

The conference started in 2008 with merely 19 young entrepreneurs and since has expanded to 900 invitation-only guests.  The founders of Summit Series recently purchased Powder Mountain in Utah for $40 million dollars in order to host their yearly conferences. The cost of just staying in one tent is approximately $2,500, which does not include the cost of charitable donations and additional costs like travel.

Besides the well-known parties and activities such as paintball and skiing, there are discussions on business approaches, technological innovation, and global awareness. Special guests have included Bill Clinton.

8 Milken Institute Global Conference

Attracting 3,000 leaders from well-known firms and organizations, this global conference in Los Angeles requires you to be a member and donate a minimum of $6,000. Attendees include Nobel Prize winners, influential leaders, and heads of state.

The discussions include topics such as the global economy, banking, finance as well as issues that affect business decision makers. There are over 165 panels, each headed by leaders from around the world.

7 TED Conference

Costing $7,500 for an annual membership in 2014, this is one of the most expensive five day conferences. The main conference is hosted in Long Beach, California and focuses on technology, entertainment and design. It attracts over a 1,000 people from different disciplines to watch 70 presentations as well as discussions in what has been described as one of the world’s best immersive creative experiences. There is even an added benefit of membership that allows an entry to a private social media of exclusive members.

6 Demo

Requiring registration to attend subject to selection and costing $18,500, this exclusive conference allows for a direct connection between the world’s most innovative products and potential investors for the creators of those products. There are over 70 product pitches where no PowerPoint or other presentation aid is allowed and speakers are permitted only 6 minutes to sell their innovative products to potential investors.

It gives investors a first look at some of the most game-changing new products from all over the world. Over 15,000 people have attended this conference over the last 24 years and it remains one of the biggest investment business conferences in existence.

5 Berkshire-Hathaway Shareholders Conference

Occasionally referred to as the “Woodstock” of business conferences, Warren Buffet’s annual shareholder conference has grown to include more than 40,000 guests. Any owner of Berkshire-Hathaway stock, valued currently at over $170,000, is eligible for four meeting passes.

Events include a live Q and A session with Warren Buffett himself as well as seminars, discussions and parties to attend. Omaha, Nebraska is temporarily transformed into something of a financial Mecca for businessmen and others wishing to hear the advice of the legendary Oracle of Omaha, whose company has an incredible $282 billion dollar estimated market value.     

4 The World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum is one of the most expensive conferences to attend in Davos, Switzerland. A company must have annual revenue of at least one billion dollars to receive an invitation to rub elbows with the top business leaders in the world. Each member company must pay $12,500 for annual membership fee as well as $6,250 for annual meeting fee, which is small when compared to the $78,000 it costs each year to be an Annual Meeting Partner.

Global super trends and challenges are discussed and examined such as global warming and the emergence of developing markets like China and India. Originally focused exclusively on Europe’s businesses when it was founded in 1971, it has since expanded to include the world’s biggest companies and most successful business leaders.

3 Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference

Top business leaders in the media and technology sectors have come to Sun Valley, Idaho for a week to discuss business deals, possible new mergers and acquisitions of media companies. Previous high profile speakers include Bill Gates, Tony Blair, and Eric Schmidt. This invite-only conference is all about networking and getting to know new trends.

2 The Wall Street Journal ECO:nomics Conference

Taking place in Santa Barbara, C.A., this conference allows global leaders as well as editors of The Wall Street Journal to discuss environmental issues pertaining to business and economics. Companies are challenged to become more environmentally friendly while addressing the global concerns relating to the environment.

Leaders include Donnie Smith, Fred Krupp, and Edward Fenster. This conference allows people to request an invitation; however, you must be a leader whose company has been affected by environmental change.

1  1.  Founders 50

Founders 50 is by far the most exclusive technological conference in the world with the guest list kept secret. The guests are leaders of their industry which include revolutionary scientists and pioneering technologists. The goal is to connect young entrepreneurs with potential investors while creating a forum to discuss the future of technology.

Headed by the co-founders of PayPal and several other technological entrepreneurs like the founder of iGoogle, 50 motivated and inspirational people were selected to attend a fully paid trip to Hawaii.

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