Top Outsourcing Events, Summits, and Conferences in 2018

It’s a new year, and that means a new set of outsourcing conferences, summits, expos, and other events. Industry professionals and their clientele should be especially excited, as there are some stellar events planned this year.

No matter where you’re located in the world, from the US to Europe to the Middle East and Asia, there is an outsourcing summit located convenient to you. Tech outsourcing is a tactic that businesses of all sizes can and should consider. It’s been successfully used by the smallest startups, all the way up global giants like Intel and Apple.

Outsourcing World Summit (OWS18)

Outsourcing Conferences 2018 - IAOP

Dates – February 18-21, 2018

Location – Orlando, Florida, USA


OWS18 is the flagship event of the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals, one of the leading organizations advocating for outsourcing standards.

The Orlando summit features over 40 breakout sessions to explore topics from automation and cloud computing to legal considerations and negotiating techniques.

Among the keynote speakers is Jared Weiner, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of The Future Hunters, a globally recognized futurist consulting firm. He will discuss technological, economic, political, and social trends that the tech sector will need to navigate in days to come.

22nd North American Shared Services & Outsourcing Week

Outsourcing Conferences 2018 - SSON
Dates – March 19-22, 2018

Location – Orlando, Florida, USA


As the largest and longest-running event for outsourcing networking and discussion, the North American iteration of the Shared Services & Outsourcing Week features an astounding array of keynote speakers. Terry Jones (founder, Travelocity and Kayak), Debbie Ballard (VP of Global Shared Services, McDonald’s), and Nick Webb (CEO, Futurist) are just a few of the business luminaries offering their experience and knowledge.

The rest of the show is packed with classes and panels ranging from the general (“Is Your Talent Ready for Digital?”) to the specific (“Identifying and Maximizing the Benefits of Smaller Scale SSC”).

If you only have the budget for one outsourcing conference in 2018, this is a great choice.

6th Middle Eastern Shared Services & Outsourcing Week

Outsourcing Conferences 2018 - SSON Middle Eastern
Dates – April 11-12, 2018

Location – Dubai Mall, Dubai, UAE


The Dubai edition of the popular event includes addresses from Tony Breen (Head of Shared Services, Middle East & North Africa, PepsiCo), Sanjay Bakshi (Chief Digital Officer, Shell), and ten more major figures across a broad range of industries.

Sticking around for the rest of the event will pay off with discussion groups like “Transforming Your IT Department for Future Accelerations” and “The Future of Finance”, led by Umar Saleem, CFO of the Al Jaber Group.

Like the other internationally-based SSOW events, the Dubai summit is smaller than its US counterpart, but the speakers and classes are no less valuable.

18th Annual European Shared Services & Outsourcing Week

Outsourcing Conferences 2018 - SSOW European
Dates – May 14-17, 2018

Location – Lisbon, Portugal


Europe’s SSOW event has been a fixture of the industry for almost as long as its US counterpart. This year, keynote speakers include James Bruce (EVP for Global Business Services, Unilever) and Rakesh Sangani (Managing Partner, Finance Transformation, Shared Services and Outsourcing, Proservartner).

This year’s event is more focused on shared services than in the past, but organizations interested in outsourcing will still find plenty to do and learn. Workshops include masterclasses on business optimization and process streamlining.

Outsourcing Summit and Expo (OSX)

Outsourcing Conferences 2018 - Outsourcing Summit Expo
Dates – October 17-18, 2018

Location – London, England


OSX18 is the premiere conference for IT outsourcing professionals in Europe. Thousands of attendees converge on London each year to hear talks by the likes of Kit Burden (Author, Globe Publications’ “Outsourcing”), Chrissie Lightfoot (CEO, EntrepreneurLawyer Ltd), and Danilo Poccia (Technical Evangelist, Amazon Web Services).

Panels and workshops are tightly focused on the role of tech and outsourcing in modern business, with tracks ranging from cryptocurrency to sourcing location. The expo, meanwhile, will feature agencies and outsourced development houses from across the globe.

23rd HR Shared Services & Outsourcing Summit

Outsourcing Conferences 2018 - HR Shared Services Outsourcing
Dates – May 21-23, 2018

Location – Chicago, Illinois, USA


Approaching outsourcing from an HR standpoint, this summit features speakers like Janna Tanner (HR Director, Microsoft), Jami Stewart (HR Services, Cisco), and multiple partners from management consultancy ScottMadden, Inc.

The conference is designed to allow hiring and outsourcing managers to stay on top of the latest trends and strategies in building and maintaining an effective talent pool. The HR Technology Track is likely the most interesting to readers, featuring masterclasses like data management and staying agile in a changing world.

Egypt Outsourcing Summit 2018

Egypt Outsourcing Summit 2018
Dates – May 8, 2018

Location – Cairo, Egypt


This smaller event is squarely focused on the burgeoning outsourcing industry in Egypt. The Egyptian IT Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), hopes to attract international clients to see what their nation has to offer.

As a new event, EOS likely won’t feature world-famous business and tech professionals sharing their expertise. ITIDA promises to showcase successful examples of international companies operating in Egypt, and offers face-to-face meetings with local service providers.

Although EOS isn’t likely to overshadow its much larger counterparts this year, it has the full backing of the Egyptian government. It could grow fast, just like the Egyptian IT industry itself.

European Outsourcing Summit (EOS18)

Dates – June 12-13, 2018

Location – Brussels, Belgium


The “other” summit hosted by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals, the EOS offers many of the same perks as the OWS. This year’s EOS18 carries a theme of “Navigating the Uncharted Territory of Disruption: A Whole New World of Opportunity”.

The IAOP has yet to finalize keynote speakers or workshops, with their Call for Presentations still open at the time of this writing. Still, if past years are any indication, it should be an excellent event. EOS16 featured the managing editor of Professional Outsourcing Magazine and the managing director of outsourcing strategic consultancy Trellis.

Opportunities Abound

Wherever you choose to spend your conference and tradeshow budget this year, an outsourcing summit should be on the agenda. Outsourcing, along with its cousin nearshoring, is a proven means for businesses of any size to increase their output and efficiency, leveraging highly developed skillsets for a fraction of the financial outlay.