Badge of Honor: The SXSW Interactive, Film, and Music badges will include expanded access to more of the SXSW Conference & Festivals experience in 2017. Attendees will still be able to attend all of the conference sessions associated with their badge ­type, but will also have “secondary access to most other SXSW events”. So much of the programming at SXSW can easily fall into multiple categories and this is an effort by the conference organizers to deal with the blurred lines and “increasingly cross-industry nature of SXSW speakers and registrants.”

Let’s Talk Politics: Due to the recent upheaval within global politics and economies, the Web Summit has decided to use its global gathering as a place to start a conversation between political leaders and the tech community. For the first time in 2017, the Web Summit will bring together the President of the UN General Assembly, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Prime Ministers, Ministers and Mayors from around the world, and “many of the European Union’s leading regulators and decision makers” to discuss the technology trends that have the potential to make the world a better place. This forum will be invitation-only and only open to 250 attendees who are selected to participate.  Attendees may apply to participate here.

Speaking Opportunity: Game Developers Conference has opened its Call for Submissions for the 2017 event, taking place 14 – 18 March in San Francisco. If you are interested in suggesting a topic, it is important to read the submission guidelines found here.  GDC requires applicants to go through a multi-phase process in order to obtain a coveted spot on the agenda. This allows the GDC conference committee to ensure that the quality of the lectures are top-notch. Speaker submissions are due by 18 August, but there will be a second call for submissions for the GDC Summits program, which includes the Virtual Reality Developers Conference and Game Career Seminar.

Lunchtime Learning: There is a lot of buzz around the Internet of Things, but also much confusion. In order to provide a bit of clarity to marketers and advertisers whose companies and clients are taking advantage of this trend, MediaPost created the IoT Marketing Forum. The event, which concluded last week delved into “all the marketing and advertising issues, with strategies and tactics for the insanely connected world that’s coming.” Watch speakers from Under Armour, Philips Lighting, Samsung Electronics America and more, share innovations and insights on IOT.

Coming Up Next: eTail East will bring more than 1,000 retailers to Boston from 15 – 18 August to learn more about trends in eCommerce. The CIO 100 Symposium is one of IDG Enterprise’s “most powerful gathering of CIOs and senior IT and business executives.” This year’s event, will take place from 14 – 16 August in Rancho Palos Verdes. Meanwhile, Gartner’s Catalyst Conference will offer IT practitioners practical solutions, actionable advice & principled objectivity from 15 – 18 August in San Diego. The International Pediatric Association (IPA) welcomes its members to the 28th International Pediatric Congress to be held in Vancouver, British Columbia from 17 – 22 August 2016. This year’s conference theme is “Community, Diversity, Vitality.”