List of MBA Conferences for 2021 - Sponsoring Organizations & Eligibility

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Those considering graduate education in business may benefit from attending an MBA conference or fair. These admissions and networking events are held in dozens of cities across the United States and around the world where aspiring MBAs can meet representatives from many business schools in a single location.

MBA fairs are all about personal connections. School gatekeepers travel to these events to meet well-qualified applicants. Moreover, the savviest candidates understand that connecting in a personal way with a school’s admissions team can award those applicants with their most critical advantage in the entire admissions process: a great lasting impression.

In some cases, impressions gained through these personal connections can practically guarantee admission to a top school. Consider this anecdote from Emma Bond, a former senior admissions manager at the London Business School and currently a director with the admissions consulting firm Fortuna Admissions:

 
 

I was at an MBA fair in Seoul. I met a Japanese-Brazilian working in South Korea with a background in automotive manufacturing. He was professional, engaging, and friendly, and had an interesting international profile that was a good LBS fit, but he didn’t have great stats. So when he later applied I actually remembered him and the impression he’d made and was able to say, ‘Yes, this guy is great, he’d contribute,’ and he was eventually offered a place.

Encounters like these embody the ultimate aspiration of any prospective MBA applicant. Leaving this kind of lasting, face-to-face impression with an admissions officer can prove invaluable.

“The dialogue that occurs is often much richer if you are present with somebody in person,” says Kelly Wilson, the executive admissions director at the Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business. “I can get a better sense for who a candidate is in person, I believe than I can over the phone or via email.”

About the BSchools Featured MBA Fairs and Events

Below are the major MBA fairs and conferences scheduled in 2021, mainly in the spring. Only a handful of organizations stage the vast majority of the events, which the sponsors typically organize into multi-city tours with dates following in rapid succession across continents.

The BSchools.org schedule emphasizes those fairs taking place in nations with large English-speaking populations; similar fairs in many other global venues also appear on the tour sponsors’ websites.

Featured MBA Fairs & Events in 2021

The QS World MBA Tour

  • Audience: All MBA aspirants
  • Cost: Free

Nunzio Quacquarelli founded tour sponsor Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) in 1990 while still an MBA student at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. Called “the most prestigious M.B.A. fair in the world” by U.S. News and World Report, the QS World MBA Tour claims to be the world’s most extensive series of recruitment and information fairs for business school applicants.

Fifty-two universities participated in the North American leg of the tour in the spring of 2018, although not every business school exhibited in every city. Nonetheless, London-based QS appears to provide opportunities not found at similar events. For example, QS offers a $7 million scholarship fund exclusively for fair attendees, and certain schools also waive their application fee for attendees as well. QS also provides program rankings and in-depth research support at their fairs and on their websites.

Locations & Dates (2021):

  • India
    • Mumbai – December 6, 2020
    • New Delhi – December 8, 2020
    • Hyderabad – December 10, 2020
    • Bangalore – December 12, 2020
    • Chennai – December 14, 2020
  • USA and Canada
    • USA East – January 30, 2021
    • Canada East – January 31, 2021
    • USA West – February 3, 2021
    • Canada West – February 4, 2021
    • USA Midwest South – February 5, 2021
  • Latin America
    • Mexico – February 21, 2021
    • Ecuador – February 25, 2021
    • Columbia – February 28, 2021
    • Brazil – March 5, 2021

QS Connect 1-2-1 MBA Events

  • Audience: All MBA aspirants
  • Cost: Free

QS Connect 1-2-1 MBA events offer registrants the opportunity to sign up during the week before the event for 30-minute personal meetings with school admissions directors, one-on-one. The QS website suggests that the schools currently signed to offer these meetings include Cambridge University, Johns Hopkins University, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, the University of Chicago, INSEAD, the London Business School, and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Although these meetings are free, places are limited and require advance registration. Note that QS doesn’t necessarily offer these events on the same dates or in the same locations as their MBA fairs.

Locations & Dates (2021):

  • India
    • Mumbai – December 6, 2020
    • New Delhi – December 8, 2020
    • Bangalore – December 12, 2020
  • USA and Canada
    • USA East – January 30, 2021
    • Canada East – January 31, 2021
    • USA West – February 3, 2021
    • Canada West – February 4, 2021
    • USA Midwest South – February 5, 2021
  • Latin America
    • Mexico – February 20, 2021
    • Peru – February 26, 2021
    • Columbia – February 27, 2021
    • Brazil – March 4, 2021

Poets & Quants Online MBA Admissions Event

  • Audience: All MBA aspirants
  • Cost: Free

This event for those who are considering an online MBA program and want to learn about different other programs, get advice to stand out in the application process and understand the learning experience. Students will learn about the best available online MBA programs and will directly meet admission representatives who will help them with the application decision-making process. The schools participating in this event include Kelly School of Business, Foster School of Business, Mendoza College of Business, and Warrington College of Business, among others.

Locations & Dates (2021):

  • Online – January 21, 2021

The MBA Tour

  • Audience: All MBA aspirants
  • Cost: Free

Founded in 1993, The MBA Tour hosts more than 60 MBA events per year in over 30 countries. This sponsor traditionally vets school representatives to ensure they’re full-time staff members, which enables prospective students to interact with actual admissions decision-makers. However, the fair component only accounts for about a third of the conference; the primary component centers around panel discussions on topics like how admissions officers evaluate applications. Schools host information session receptions; smaller or lesser-known institutions offer group discussions. Select schools can contact registrants they believe would fit their programs for “MeetUps,” individual or small group meetings with admission officers.

Locations & Dates (2021):

  • North America
    • North America – West/Mountain: February 9, 2021
    • North America – Central: February 11, 2021
    • North America – Eastern: February 18, 2021
  • North Asia
    • February 25, 2021
  • Southeast Asia
    • March 3, 2021
  • Africa & Middle East
    • Western Africa: March 10, 2021
    • Eastern Africa & Middle East: March 18, 2021
  • Europe
    • March 23, 2021
  • Latin America
    • March 31, 2021
  • India
    • February 3, 2021

Access MBA

  • Audience: All MBA aspirants
  • Cost: Free upon online registration

Access MBA is a project of Advent Group, an independent media agency established in 2004 and specialized in Higher Education. The company is comprised of over 100 experts providing personalized services for prospective students and international business schools. It aims to connect 50,000 qualified candidates with over 200 top business schools through the organization of over 125 international events per year. It provides opportunities for prospective students to meet in person with admissions directors from international business schools.

The sponsor offers meetings with admissions officers in both small groups and 20-minute one-on-one formats. Events also present panel discussions featuring alumni as well as school representatives. Moreover, attendees can obtain guidance from Access MBA’s consulting team, along with information about scholarships and GMAT testing.

Locations & Dates (2021):

  • Europe
    • The United Kingdom, Ireland – January 28, 2021
    • France – January 30, 2021
    • Belgium and Luxemburg – February 2, 2021
    • Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Norway – February 4, 2021
    • Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan – February 6, 2021
    • Switzerland – February 9, 2021
    • Germany, Austria, and Slovenia – February 11, 2021
    • The Netherlands – February 13, 2021
    • Portugal and Spain – February 15, 2021
    • Italy – February 16, 2021
    • Turkey, Serbia, Albania, and North Macedonia – May 12, 2021
    • Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, and Greece – May 15, 2021
    • Paris – June 12, 2021
  • Africa
    • Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, and Algiers – March 31, 2021
    • Nigeria and Ghana – April 7, 2021
    • Côte D’ivoire and Senegal – April 10, 2021
    • South Africa and Kenya – April 14, 2021
  • South America
    • Mexico – February 13, 2021
    • Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, and Venezuela – February 15, 2021
    • Argentina – February 18, 2021
    • Peru and Ecuador – February 20, 2021
    • Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay – February 23, 2021
    • Brazil – February 27, 2021
  • Asia
    • New Delhi Region – February 27, 2021
    • Bangalore Region – March 2, 2021
    • Mumbai Region – March 7, 2021
    • Singapore and Kuala Lumpur – March 16, 2021
    • Indonesia – March 18, 2021
    • Phillippines – March 20, 2021
    • Thailand and Vietnam – March 23, 2021
    • Taiwan and South Korea – March 25, 2021
  • North America
    • East Coast USA – March 8, 2021
    • Central USA – March 9, 2021
    • West Coast USA – March 11, 2021
    • Toronto and Western Canada – March 13, 2021
    • Montreal, Ottawa, and Eastern Canada – March 15, 2021
  • Middle East
    • UAE – March 26, 2021
    • Kuwait, Doha, Bahrein, and Saudi Arabia – March 28, 2021
    • Lebanon and Jordan – March 30, 2021

Romba Conference

  • Audience: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender MBA aspirants
  • Costs: Registration not yet open

The Reaching Out MBA Foundation focuses on educating, inspiring, and connecting the student and alumni lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender MBA and graduate communities in an ongoing effort to create the next generation of business leaders. The organization claims this to be the largest LGBT MBA and graduate student gathering in the world.

This conference has been launched to provide business students from the LGBTQ+ community with a platform to make meaningful connections and build their network. The first conference saw a footfall of 100 students. The organization now has a dozen events throughout the year, ending with ROMBA, which brought together 1800 students in 2019.

In 2021, the organizers anticipate the attendance of over 100 companies that are specifically seeking LGBTQ+ talent. It also offers content for MBA professionals and alumni from the LGBTQ+ community.

Locations & Dates (2021):

  • Austin – October 7-9, 2021

MBA World Summit 2021

  • Audience: Current MBA students and MBA alumni
  • Costs: Early bird application: 42,00 EUR; lucky bird application: 48,00 EUR; and late bird application: 60,00 EUR

Started in Hong Kong in 2014, The MBA World Summit is the flagship event of the Global Leadership Community which serves as best-practice recruitment and sharing platform for the world’s most inspiring current MBA students. Since 2014, the MBA World Summit has developed each year to become one of the world’s most distinctive platforms for the global MBA community. Each year, 100 of the most rigorously and exceptional selected MBA talents from the top business schools worldwide and MBA Alumni stemming from the same top business programs are invited to attend this exclusive conference. In 2021, it will involve three-days of high-impact exchange and best practice sharing among top MBA students in an inspiring atmosphere.

Locations & Dates (2021):

  • Frankfurt, Germany – May 12-14, 2021

AMBA & BGA Global Conference

  • Audience: Expert speakers from around the world, including leading corporate organizations and business schools
  • Costs: Accredited organization: early bird (£495) and post-early bird (£650); ADN organization: early bird (£545) and post-early bird (£700); BGA organization: early bird (£545) and post-early bird (£700); candidate organization: early bird (£545) and post-early bird (£700); non-accredited organization: early bird (£595) and post-early bird (£750). Please note that the early bird rate ends February 28, 2021.

This conference has been designed for addressing the issues faced by business schools daily. The conference will include live-streamed sessions, for inspiring collaboration, facilitating debate, and sharing professional and personal experiences from the worlds of business and business education.

This event will bring together expert speakers which include some of the world’s most prolific corporate CEOs and business school leaders, who will be presenting on the issues most prevalent to business school strategy. After attending the conference, the delegates will be fully prepared to face the challenges presented by both their local environments as well as the global community.

Locations & Dates (2021):

  • Online – May 10-12, 2021

Closing Thoughts on MBA Fairs and Events

Irrespective of which MBA fairs aspirants attend, all these events offer opportunities for personal connections and lasting impressions with admissions officers. It’s never wise to underestimate the value of those connections because in some cases, like the London Business School example above, lasting impressions can pave the way to admission at a top school.

Douglas Mark
Douglas Mark
Writer

While a partner in a San Francisco marketing and design firm, for over 20 years Douglas Mark wrote online and print content for the world’s biggest brands, including United Airlines, Union Bank, Ziff Davis, Sebastiani, and AT&T. Since his first magazine article appeared in MacUser in 1995, he’s also written on finance and graduate business education in addition to mobile online devices, apps, and technology. Doug graduated in the top 1 percent of his class with a business administration degree from the University of Illinois and studied computer science at Stanford University.

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