Abu Dhabi Hosts IAA Gathering: The International Advertising Association (IAA) has announced that it will hold its 44th World Congress in Abu Dhabi from 13 – 15 November. The bi-annual event brings together leaders from marketing, advertising and communications to discuss industry trends that will affect their profession over the next two years.  Expected to attract more than 1000 attendees, the IAA World Congress will take place within the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers.

Virtual Reality: When Financial Times Innovate conference returns to the US in December (exact dates TBD), it will have a very specific technology focus.  The organizers plan to develop the agenda around Virtual Reality (VR) technologies and how they will affect business and life over the next several years. Beginning at CES in January, VR has continued to be a hot topic on the conference scene this year.  While the Financial Times has not yet updated the website for the US Innovate event, you can get an idea of the conference format and type of speaker typically included by reviewing the 2015 event agenda.

Speaking OpportunitySelf-described as “the defining event for the big data community” Strata+Hadoop World will return to New York 27 – 29 September. The conference organizers are looking for speakers who can address topics such as data innovations, security, Hadoop internals & development, visualization & user experience, and data science & advanced analytics.  The call for speakers closes 11 April and can be found here.

Lunchtime Learning: Created in 2008 by Soren Gordhamer, author of “Wisdom 2.0 – Ancient Secrets for the Creative and Constantly Connected”; and strategic advisors Michelle Gale and Rich Fernandez, the Wisdom 2.0 Conference discusses how we can all “live and work optimally and mindfully in this digital age.” Watch an eclectic mix of speakers such as entertainment entrepreneur Russell Simmons;  Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and author Joan Halifax Roshi; Slack Co-founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield; and Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan from this year’s conference.

Coming Up Next: Next week leading CIOs gather in Half Moon Bay for Forbes CIO Summit (6 – 7 March). Enterprise Connect, which discusses the latest systems, software, services and applications for enterprise communications and collaboration, will be in Orlando from 7 – 10 March. And The Economist will again host its Innovation Forum (10 March) in Chicago, where Fortune 500 CEO’s and policy makers will discuss “how today’s companies can achieve the transformation they need if they are to flourish.”