Going to digital marketing events is a tried-and-true method of networking. At these events, people get educated about the latest developments in the field. They also find inspiration from peers, industry leaders, and SEM trail-blazers. There are quite a few of these industry programs every year. Because of this, it can be hard to decide which ones to register for. All of them provide experienced speakers and valuable resources.
But here’s my own holiday wish-list of digital marketing events for 2017. Each of these events offers a chance to get up close and personal with speakers. As a bonus, folks learn about niche topics of interest. And perhaps most important, attendees absorb the kind of energy that, no matter how enthusiastic the home office team is, really can’t be beaten through sheer numbers of folks who are just as passionate about SEM.
There can’t be a better way to kick off the year than SocialMedia.org’s Brands Only Summit: The Conference for Social Media Leaders at the World’s Greatest Brands. Mark your calendar for January 23-25, 2017, in Orlando, Florida. Because attendees sign agreements that require them not to share what’s talked about at this event, it’s safe to say that folks can speak freely in sharing their digital marketing challenges, strategies, and successes. Vendors are not invited to this event, so that means this conference is all-business. The people who register for this program drive the agenda, and for this reason, the agenda covers what the people present really want and need. The program offers several breakout sessions and dozens of relevant case studies.
To date, American Airlines, Capital One, ExxonMobile, Subaru, and UnitedHealth Group are among the brands that have committed to being there. Furthermore, roughly 85 total brands are signed up already.
Marketing professionals at the top of their field are heading to California in February. The Enterprise Chief Marketing Officer Exchange is being held February 26-28. High-profile speakers include Steven Bushong, SVP Marketing for Disney ABC Entertainment; and Rashmy Chaterjee, CMO at IBM. What sets this event apart are the 1-on-1 meetings, held by invitation only. This structured program offers networking, roundtable sessions, and conference sessions. Attendees are typically B2B and B2C, senior-level, and c-suite marketing pros too. As a result, folks who are looking for something beyond the intro or intermediate level SEM programs should consider this one.
It seems like everyone’s heard of SXSW, and everyone who’s anyone attends it. But did you know there’s a Brands & Marketing track at SXSW, March 11-16? The agenda is highly topical for marketers who have their fingers on the pulse of what’s new and what’s next. Here’s a sample: “Arabs Be Like: the Modern Middle East”, “Badass Buying Power: the Rise of Millennial Women”, “Cannabis is Mainstream”, “Evolution of Podcast Advertising”, and “The Future of Luxury”. Mentor sessions feature big names like Andrew Ruegger, Christie Dames, and Michael Ramirez view publisher site.
Infusionsoft’s annual user conference, ICON, will be held April 25-27 in Phoenix. This is the event that small business owners won’t want to miss. The expo, keynote, and breakout sessions are geared toward beginner, intermediate, and advanced entrepreneurs and marketers. The big draw is that the folks doing the presenting own and operate small businesses. As a result, they are keenly aware of the challenges and opportunities faced by the people in the audience.
Get intense with Behave Annual, May 7-9 in New York City. Conversion boot camps are led by industry pros. Stand-out features at Behave are peer collaboration and problem-solving sessions, plus 1-on-1 conversion critiques. This event goes beyond the typical lecture-style presentations found at many conferences.
Online marketers will be in their element with the folks at SearchLove Boston. This event is scheduled for June 5-6, 2017. It covers all aspects of online marketing only, from searching to analytics, content, optimization, paid promotions, and more. Previous corporate attendees include big names like eBay, Zillow, and Booking.com. The are genuine, noteworthy pros when it comes to excelling in these areas of online marketing.
Digital marketing goes high-class with Nashville’s Digital Transformation: Leading Marketing’s Revolution, from July 17-19. This conference is intended for B2B professionals working in all aspects of digital marketing, from technology to software and more. Roundtable topics are digital analytics, segmentation, and content, personalized marketing strategies, and customer engagement in a mobile world. Participants can also participate in luxury networking opportunities like whitewater rafting and winery tours.
Niche topics are the big draw at LeadsCon. In 2017, the conference will be held Aug 21-23 in New York City. The event has a strong online angle, from leads generation to direct response marketing. Notable keynoters include Marty Bryant, Sr. Account Executive, Google. Scheduled topics are content optimization, mobile lead gen and conversions, post-sec EDU marketing, and email tips and strategies. The stand-out session here is “Lead Gen Legal Responsibility and Accountability: A Sit Down Conversation with Federal and State Regulators”.
Digital marketers whose roles involve design work should mark the Digital Design and Web Innovation Summit on their calendars. This event, with a UI and UX emphasis, will be held Sept 6-7 in San Francisco. People who register for this program will find a creative approach to digital marketing, with tips and strategies for implementation. There were some really big names attending in 2016, including NBC Universal, the Walt Disney Group, Ticketmaster, American Express, ESPN and OpenTable. This event is noted for its 80/20 industry/vendor ratio. Also noteworthy? Post-conference content is avail online.
Digital marketing pros seeking a more intimate setting may consider the State of Search, Oct 9-10 in Dallas. Presented by Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association from Oct 9-10 in Dallas, this event actively seeks the inclusion and participation of women and minorities. Novices and pros alike are welcome. Topics on the agenda include SEO, local SEO, PPC, and social media marketing.
Another great regional event is Orbit Media’s Content Jam in Chicago, scheduled for Nov 1-2, 2017. Mid- and senior-level marketers will be focusing on content strategy, and how it relates to conversion and analytics.
Advocamp, scheduled for December 6-8 in San Francisco, covers digital marketing with an emphasis on the customer experience. There are four tracks here, and it’s clear that the forward-thinking, dynamic and energetic vibe jumps off the program info pages. There’s a mix of attendees who come to Advocamp, from managers and directors to c-suite occupants. They represent a mix of industries from marketing to advertising, IT, human resources, and telecom. They also reflect a mix of industry functions, from marketing to sales, and customer advocacy.
I’m sure there are a lot more events in 2017. If you would like to add any specific event to this list comment below with the details.