contractor and freelancer events in 2017/18

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The Top 2017/18 Events Contractors Can’t Miss – By Industry

Last updated on Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Written by Alex Cadman

As an independent professional, contractors and freelancers have to be at the top of their respective fields in terms of knowledge and expertise. This means you should take advantage of any opportunities that come your way to enhance your knowledge as a professional.

We have put together a list of the top events in 2017 and 2018 – by industry – that you should not miss. These are exhibitions and conferences where you can learn about industry developments and network with other professionals.

The potential rewards of attending events such as these are great, so it’s vital that you make time for your own professional development as well as working hard for your clients.

Top events in 2017/18 that you can’t miss – by industry


  • AccountingLive – for Accountants, Auditors, Financial Analysts, Tax Accountants and Specialists, Bookkeepers, Finance Managers and more. Dates: 1-2November 2017 at SEC Glasgow.
  • Future of Finance – for FinTech experts, Innovators, and Finance Leaders. Dates: 19-21 February 2018 in London.
  • Finovate Europe – for FinTech experts, Bankers and more. Dates: 6-9 March 2018 at ExCeL London.
  • AccountEx Summit North – for Accountants and Finance professionals. Date: 6 March 2018 at Manchester Central.
  • AccountEx 2018 – for Accountants, Bookkeepers, Senior Partners, Practice Managers, Finance Directors, CFOs and Managers. Dates: 23-24 May 2018 at ExCeL London.


  • UK Construction Week – for Construction Workers, Civil Engineers, Architects, Manufacturers, Developers and more. Dates: 10-12 October 2017 at NEC Birmingham.
  • Engineering Design Show – for all engineers, specifically in the design and electrical fields. Dates: 18-19 October 2017 at Richoh Arena, Coventry.
  • London Build 2017 – for Construction Workers, Developers, Architects, Civil Engineers and more. Dates: 25-26 October 2017 at Olympia London.
  • The Graduate Engineer Show – for recent university graduates looking to network and meet potential clients. Date: 25 October 2017 at Roundhouse, Derby.
  • MACH 2018 – for Engineers and Manufacturers. Dates: 9-13 April 2018 at NEC Birmingham.


  • IP Expo Europe – for specialists in Cloud, Cyber Security, Networks and Infrastructure, Analytics, DevOps, Open Source and more. Dates: 4-5 October 2017 at Olympia London.
  • IT & Digital Leaders Dialogue UK – for IT Strategists and Leaders alike. Dates: 9-10 October 2017 at Old Trafford, Manchester.
  • TechUG – for anyone with an interest in Big Data, Data Centre, IT Leadership, Networking, Open Source, Storage and Virtualisation. Dates: various dates from 12 October - 30 November 2017 in several cities across the UK.
  • Big Data London – for any IT professional whose work deals with fast data, big data, analytics, Artificial Intelligence and more. Dates: 15-16 November 2017 at Olympia London.
  • Cloud Expo Europe – for any IT and Technology Specialist who works in Cloud Technology, DevOps, IOT, Data and more. This exhibition is happening alongside Cloud Security Expo, Big Data World, Smart IOT World and Data Centre World. Dates: 21-22 March 2018 at ExCeL London.


  • Festival of Marketing – for all Marketers and business decision makers. Dates: 4-5 October 2017 at Tobacco Dock, London.
  • Digital Marketing Innovation Summit – for Digital Marketing Innovators, Digital Media and Content Strategists, Product Marketers and other professionals who work in Digital Marketing. Dates: 19-20 October 2017 at Bishopsgate, London.
  • Digital & Social Marketing Conference – for Digital Marketers, Social Media Marketers, Content Marketers, Media Buyers, Brand Strategists and more. Dates: 16-17 April 2018 at Bishopsgate, London.
  • Marketing Week Live – for Marketers from all areas of Marketing, especially those concerned with branding, content and digital. Dates: 7-8 March 2018 at Olympia West, London.
  • B2B Marketing Expo – for all Marketers who work primarily in the Business to Business marketing sector. Dates: 21-22 March 2018 at ExCeL London.

Public Sector:

  • Security Cleared Expo – for all professionals who are Security Cleared to DV, SC, CTC or NATO level, as well as those who are not but believe they meet the criteria. Date: 24 October 2017 at QEII Centre, London.
  • Public Sector Show – for public sector workers and contractors who wish to stay up-to-date on policy, identify solutions and receive training. Dates: 21November 2017 at Manchester Central, and 26 June 2018 at ExCeL London.

Social work:

  • Care Show – for social work providers who specialise in the care sector looking for training, care solutions and networking opportunities. Dates: 10-11 October 2017 at NEC Birmingham.
  • Community Care Live – for anyone working within the social care sector alongside council Development Managers, Policy Officers and other social care program decision makers. Dates: 24-25 April 2018 in Manchester.

Regardless of the industry you work in, there is always an event happening in the UK which is relevant to your profession, and many of these are free. Take the opportunity to further your development and network with other professionals. It is exhibition etiquette not to try and sell your services if you are just visiting, but networking is allowed and you never know – you might end up meeting a future client.

If you operate via your own limited company, you could potentially claim the cost of travel and entry to an exhibition or conference as long as you are attending the exhibition “wholly and exclusively” for the purpose of your business.

If you can show that you attended an event relating to your profession to further your professional development and improve your business – and can prove it in the form of a receipt or other document – you could claim the expense of attending and receive Corporation Tax relief.

What exhibitions and conferences have you been to recently that you think should be added to this list? We would be happy to hear from you – send us an email at, or leave a comment below.

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