Mark Your Calendar for These 6 Hudson Valley Conferences and Summits

Explore your passions and network like a pro at these special interest events in the region.


Spring in the Hudson Valley marks the return of craft fairs, food festivals, and outdoor to-dos galore. As of late, it also signals the arrival of special interest events and summits. Scheduled throughout the season and into fall, the events are geared toward individuals who want to learn more about shared passions or professionals who dream of expanding their network and connecting with like-minded go-getters. While topics run the gamut, there’s an option for everyone over the course of the next few months. Just be sure to register in advance if any of these catch your eye; space if often limited and may sell out.


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Hudson Valley Food & Beverage Innovation Summit

The Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park
May 14, 12-5:45 p.m.

Held at the Hudson Valley’s culinary headquarters, the Food & Beverage Innovation Summit delves into the ever-changing landscape of one of the hottest industries in the region. After a networking lunch, attendees can break off to explore special interest tracks that touch upon everything from kosher cuisine and sake to artisanal cuisine and local craft beer. To end the food-filled programming, a tasting and networking reception invites participants to meet and mingle with other industry professionals.

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Free Spirit Expo

Fable: From Farm to Table, Ossining
June 2

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This June, the first Free Spirit Holistic Expo sets up shop at Fable: From Farm to Table in Ossining for a full day of health and wellness programming. The event is hosted by Michele Bell, author of A Journey of Unconditional Love, and features a range of speakers, exhibitors, healers, wellness practitioners, and more. Funds from the expo go toward Bell’s proposed creation of a “Zen-tuary,” or a space for critically ill children. If you’re interested in learning more about natural and alternative healing practices or if you’d like to stop by for a yoga session or mind power workshop, you won’t want to miss this inspiring and educational event.



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5th Annual Women’s Leadership Summit

Manhattanville College, Purchase
June 6, 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Inside Manhattanville College’s Reid Castle on June 6, leading ladies from across the Hudson Valley can come together for a full day of development and networking. Keynote speakers from Westchester Medical Center and PepsiCo spark the excitement for the day, while professional development sessions dip into topics like cultivating a presence, rethinking leadership development, and working with male colleagues.



Own It! Entrepreneurial Women’s Conference

SUNY Ulster, Stone Ridge
June 6

For all the girl power go-getters in the Hudson Valley, Own It! is a can’t-miss event this June. Over the course of the day on June 6, ambitious entrepreneurs and professionals in the region hunker down as SUNY Ulster for talks, breakout sessions, and a whole lot of networking. Natalie Zfat, a social media consultant and expert behind, is the keynote speaker. Following her morning address, two breakout sessions invite attendees to learn more about everything from writing a business plan and leveraging social media strategies to rocking presentations and improving communication. After lunch and networking, two more breakout rounds delve into topics like New York laws, female entrepreneurship, social media planning, and work-life balance. It all wraps up at 5 p.m., so plan to take the day off from work if you want to attend this one.



Hudson Valley Music Summit

August 9

Are you the type of person who can’t leave the house without your headphones? You won’t want to miss out on the inaugural Hudson Valley Music Summit, a full-day conference geared toward music industry professionals in the Northeast and beyond. Expect to meet and mingle with more than 200 musicians, agents, and managers, then listen in on insightful panels and break out the business cards for four networking sessions. The speaker list for the summit is extensive, and includes name like Cherie Hu, the music and tech columnist for Billboard, and Sharon Tapper, the CEO of Pivot Music Group. Local pros will be there as well, of course. If you go, you just may run into Trevor Dunworth, the manager of BSP Kingston, or Peter Shapiro, the owner of The Capitol Theatre. The whole thing is organized by Dave Hoffman, an experienced author, conference producer, and independent musician based in Mount Kisco.


Hudson Valley Tech Festival

October 11-12

Rounding out the lineup is the Hudson Valley Tech Festival in October. The Newburgh fest will take place over the course of two days and feature speakers and presenters with backgrounds in tech development and education, civic tech, open data, and business advancement. On October 12, a hackathon pits programmers, designers, and entrepreneurs against one another to build prototypes in timed competitions for a chance to win special prizes. Visit the website if you’d like to speak during the event or register in advance to score early-bird benefits.

Related: The Ice House Is the Hidden Hudson Valley Art Center You Need to Visit

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