Top 10 Safety Conferences to Attend in 2021

March 25, 2021

For all of you interested in safety: from safety professionals and first responders to others just curious to hear about the latest in the safety world, here's your guide to the top conferences in 2021. Fair warning: the dust on the 2021 conference schedule hasn’t settled just yet. Many are still evaluating in-person, virtual or hybrid interactions. We’ll continue to stay up to date but right now here are the top safety conferences that the FireHUD team is looking forward to.

  1. NSC Congress & Expo (2020 reschedule)
  2. March 1-5 | Virtual

    There aren’t many better than this in the Industrial Safety space. The National Safety Council made the call in late 2020 to go ahead and postpone their flagship conference. NSC Congress and Expo has been held yearly since 1912 and 2020 was only the second time that a conference wasn’t held in person. With that said you can be assured they’re going to come back strong. Even with the virtual format you can expect to see the latest and greatest in technology, tools and teachings. 

    The line up for classes looks to be pretty good and just what you would expect. Topics range from ‘Measuring Safety Performance’ to ‘Incident Investigation: Root Cause Analysis’. The technology ones we have our eyes on are: 

    You can view the current session schedule here.

  3. AIHce EXP 2021
  4. May 24-26 | Virtual

    This is a new one to the FireHUD rotation and we are pumped about it. After some thought, they’ll only be offering the conference virtually this year. This is the big annual conference for the American Industrial Hygiene Association and its purpose is to bring the focus on the ‘trends, needs, research, technologies, training, and connections that make OEHS professionals.’ 

    AIHce EXP positions itselves as an experience —  not just another conference — and brings together some of the greatest topics and people in occupational health and safety, industrial hygiene, EHS, safety, and risk management. 

    This year, AIHce EXP brings a strong agenda of lectures, interactive learning, product demos, poster sessions, and Professional Development Courses (PDCs) to provide multiple ways to get the latest and greatest info. They have an agenda up here but it will most surely be updating as the conference gets closer. 

    Hype video here: AIHce EXP We're Going Hybrid!

  5. WasteExpo
  6. June 28 - 30 | Las Vegas, NV

    Billed as the waste & recycling industry's most valuable event, WasteExpo has been serving up the state of the art in solid waste and recycling for over 50 years. This conference makes an emphasis on technology and innovation to tackle problems and find solutions including deep dives into recycling/landfill, fleet management/collection, organics, safety and food recovery.

    WasteExpo has a typical attendee and vendor schedule. They also have different leadership seminars.  For 2021 they’ll have 'Spotlight Sessions' and the big one they’re showing off is CEO Interview: One-on-one Chat with Worthing Jackman, President & CEO, Waste Connections.

  7. IAED NAVIGATOR 2021
  8. July 13-15 | Las Vegas, NV

    International Academies of Emergency Dispatch or IAED is the big one for the dispatching community. They specifically highlight themselves as ‘the premier conference for medical, fire and police dispatching and secondary nurse triage’. They made the decision to skip 2020 and so they’re proclaiming Navigator 2021 is going to be the best one yet. They’ll have a strong mix of great courses to take for certification, networking and learning.

    Some of the top talks they’re marketing are ‘Women in 911’ and an ‘EMD mentor course’. They’re also showing an ECNS and COVID-19 discussion with Northwell Health (New York's largest healthcare provider) which handled a 400% increase in call volume. Also, for their keynote speaker they’ve brought in former Atlanta Falcon JJ Birden. 

    For a pretty good heads up on what to expect you can look at their brochure here or their event line up here.

  9. Fire-Rescue International
  10. July 28 - 30 | Charlotte, NC


    FRI is a goldie-oldie for the FireHUD team. We’ve been going here for a number of years and greatly enjoy it. It’s backed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) which is a worldwide network of leadership of firefighters and emergency responders. FRI will typically bring together around 9,000 attendees and over 400 exhibitors network, generate new ideas and share solutions with fire service leaders of all ranks from around the world.

    Make sure to subscribe for the conference updates.

  11. APCO 2021
  12. August 15-18 | San Antonio, TX

    Marketed as the premier event for public safety communications officials, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials conference has the typical schedule of education, network and exhibitions. For 2021, APCO is advertising for attendees to earn up to 21 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) in nine different development tracks.

    The conference generally has a few thousand attendees. In 2021, they’re expecting 5,000+ attendees to represent a wide range of organizations. The organizations usually represent emergency communications centers, law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services, and government agencies. Commercial vendors and interested service providers are also in attendance. 

  13. FDIC
  14. August 19-24 | Indianapolis, IN

    Fire Department Instructors Conference is the biggest annual conference for the firefighting community. Held in Indianapolis each year, FDIC brings 35,000+ Fire & Rescue professionals from 67+ countries around the world, with over 800 exhibiting companies. 

    These 6 days have it all. The onsite training (Hands-on Training (H.O.T.) Evolutions) start the first couple of days and then the conference moves into the more traditional style of exhibitors and learnings. Although the list of workshops isn’t out yet, one of the newest additions to 2021 that we’re looking forward to is the Innovation Hub. This area plans to show off some of the top technology coming to the fire service.

  15. IACP 2021
  16. September 11-14 | New Orleans, LA

    This one is back from being virtual in 2020 as well. IACP is the International Association of Chiefs of Police and it’s the world’s largest professional association for police leaders. They’re also the publisher of Police Chief Magazine

    Much like IAFC, IACP is an international organization with over 30,000 members. Their conference this year will bring all the essentials of a great conference from training courses to groundbreaking technology. 

    At IACP 2021, there will be education workshops looking to address many of the key topics that are super relevant to the many ranks and positions at police departments. IACP does a great job of bringing in top law enforcement experts and police veterans to make sure the information provided is top notch. We’ll wait for more information in the spring but learning top tactics and meeting top vendors is always great. 

    Registration details aren’t up yet but should be coming online in Spring of 2021.

  17. IWCE 2021
  18. September 27-30 | Las Vegas, NV

    Communication is key! IWCE is the International Wireless Communications Expo and has been leading the critical communications effort in North America for the last 40 years

    They’ve broken IWCE 2021 into a few categories: Learning, Discover, Networking and Special Events. And the topics of interest are the ones you’d expect: from 5G, Smart Cities and ‘In-Building wireless to Public Safety Broadband’, to the latest on FirstNet and Disaster Communications. On the current website they have a list of education classes, but with over 150 days until the conference you could probably expect some change. 

    You can sign-up for their newsletter here.

  19. NSC 2021 Safety Congress & Expo
  20. October 11-13 | Orlando, FL

So this is the actual date for NSC 2021. Feels pretty weird to put it on the list twice this year but that’s how it is. No doubt will be the same style format with the same great material. We’re looking forward to both of them this year!

Thanks for reading our article! For questions or feedback please feel free to email blog@firehud.co.


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