The Best Strategy Conferences

There are dozens of academic strategy conferences these days.  Mike’s post about the HBS Strategy conference made me think about other excellent strategy conferences.  Here are some thoughts on a few of my favorites:

  • BYU-Utah Winter Strategy conference.   I’m biased – but this conference is really fantastic.  It is in its 13th year, I think.  The conference is usually limited to around 30 scholars – nice and small.  Presenters get plenty of time to present (not your usual 10-15 min slots) and the discussants do a brilliant job (Joel Baum has delivered some classic discussant comments at this conference over the years).  The panels are usually on the latest and greatest in strategy, involving top scholars (I believe all my co-bloggers have been to this conference at some point or another).  I like the informality of the conference – lots of down-time and opportunities to informally interact with others (on the ski slopes etc).  Next year’s conference will be at Snowbird.
  • Academy of Management.  Academy is a bit of a zoo – lots of people, cramped, short presentation slots, etc.  But – it still is a fantastic venue for interesting panels, professional development workshops, debates etc – and a chance to meet up with friends and co-authors.
  • Organization Science Winter Conference.  I haven’t been to OSWC for a while – but it is a great conference.  The location (usually Steamboat Springs) can be a bit tough to get to – but the resort and environment is fantastic for productive interactions.
  • Strategic Management Society.  Going on this week in Miami.  The conference alternates between a location in the US and an international location (usually Europe).  The conference is a bit pricey.    But, good stuff nonetheless.
  • Atlanta Competitive Advantage Conference (ACAC).  Haven’t been yet but have heard great things.

7 Comments on “The Best Strategy Conferences”

  1. @mdryall says:

    I enjoy the smaller conferences, BYU-Utah and ACAC have always been good when I’ve attended. In Europe, I always enjoy DRUID and the LBS Goshal conferences. I went to one SMS conference my rookie year (the infamous one where academics were explicitly excluded from the keynote address) and I’ve never gone back without a specific invitation to speak. The zoo/interesting-panels ratio at the AoM is woefully low (though, it’s always nice to see old friends).

  2. teppo says:

    I agree, smaller is better. Though, as you suggest – the conferences probably serve different purposes: small ones seem to allow for meaningful feedback, the development of ideas etc while larger ones are for seeing old friends, meeting co-authors and perhaps bragging about what you have (and of course, how many) coming out in the pink journal.

  3. Peter Klein says:

    Hard to compare these, as BYU-Utah is invitation only, while the rest all have open calls. I highly recommend ACAC BTW.

  4. srp says:

    I do like the small focused ones. ACAC has been very good. The late lamented Stanford Business School conference was always a treat. Utah-BYU was not only good, but I still carry the complimentary Ogio bag from 2005.

    I just returned from SMS in Miami, and will probably have a post later. Some of the small “common ground” sessions there were especially interesting. They’re like blitz chess–it’s surprising how much substance can actually be covered with a 4 minute presentation and 8 minutes of discussion immediately afterward.

  5. Rich Makadok says:

    Thanks to all for the ACAC plugs… How much do I owe you?
    — Rich

  6. teppo says:

    Rich: I hear ACAC is fantastic (you guys started it the summer after I left Emory – I missed it) —- hope to come in the future.

  7. […] and it’s probably a good time to plan for the year ahead. A while back, Teppo posted about which are the best strategy conferences. This generated some nice discussion but this might be a good time to return to the question. […]


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