Why attend a digital marketing or social media conference?
Do you have a budget for attending a 2020 Digital Marketing Conference? There are more offerings than ever before and they’re becoming increasingly specialized, so whether you are an industry professional or a newbie just finding your footing, there’s (probably) a conference out there that can help you reach your unique goals.
Networking, networking, & more networking!
There is no substitute for building in-personal connections, and there’s no better place to meet like-minded people than at a conference packed with those who share your industry – and your passion. Meet new friends or reconnect with old ones, find potential new clients, and meet influencers and content creators to partner with. You’ll leave having promoted and raised awareness for your brand/product and positioned yourself as a knowledgeable source. In an industry that is often remote and isolating, taking the time to make human connections is increasingly important.
Ideas for new content
Conferences are the perfect place to get photos, videos, podcasts, and other content for your blog or business. You’ll leave feeling refreshed and inspired, with plenty of ideas for your business you can implement right away.
If you’re feeling like you need to sharpen your skills in a particular area, conferences offer classes, workshops, and talks led by industry experts. Learn how to use new tools and explore the latest trends. You’ll have notes and resources that help you long after the conference ends.
Explore (and Fine-Tune) Your Niche
Travel conferences? Check! Food Blogging? Check! Technology? Books? Pinterest? Whatever your specialty, you can find a conference that’s specific to what you do. You can also find new avenues to explore within your niche helping you hone your skills and land new clients.
Travel to New Places
Conferences provide a great opportunity to broaden your horizons, and not just professionally. If your surroundings are beginning to feel too familiar consider finding a conference in another city (or country) to attend. You’ll definitely meet new people, but you also get the chance to experience local foods and cultures. And be on the forefront of new trends and business practices. You’ll be presenting your business (and yourself) to an entirely new audience. Just think of all the potential growth opportunities, both personal and professional.
Here are some of the biggest and most intriguing conferences planned in the coming year. Click on the topics below to jump down to the themes you’re most interested in.
Content Marketing Conferences
What is it: “SearchLove brings together some of the world’s leading thinkers in online marketing. Get up to speed on the latest in search, analytics, content creation, optimizing your website, paid promotions and more.”
Why Consider it: Search Love is a one-stop shop for digital marketing with a wide range of topics including; finding brand voice, digital and brand marketing strategy, PR, social metrics and analytics, data visualization, and email marketing.
Dates & Locations:
Pricing: Tickets start at $999 (San Diego)
What is it: Billed as the “definitive digital marketing gathering…”
Why consider it: Digital Summit boasts over 45 speakers and sessions and 1,300 minutes of content packed into two days. Your ticket also gives you digital access to presenter slides and recordings so you can refer back to conference materials year-round. Digital Summit has conferences across the country so it’s easy to find a convenient location.
Dates & Locations:
Phoenix, Arizona – March 2020
Los Angeles, California – April 2020
Seattle, Washington – April 2020
New York, New York – April 2020
Kansas City, Missouri – May 2020
Atlanta, Georgia – May 2020
Tampa, Florida – May 2020
Portland, Oregon – June 2020
Austin, Texas – June 2020
Minneapolis, Minnesota – August 2020
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – August 2020
Chicago, Illinois – September 2020
Washington D.C. – September 2020
Detroit, Michigan – September 2020
Salt Lake City, Utah – October 2020
Pricing: $245 – $995 (Discounts available for groups).
What is it: Confab is an event for people who care about making content better for their users and organizations.
Why Consider it: Confab is great for anyone who specializes in content strategy. Topics include: Analytics & Performance, User experience design, and Content Design for AI & Bots.
Dates & Locations: Minneapolis, Minnesota; May 17- 20, 2020
Pricing: Starts at $1,095 (Get $895 special early bird prices through December 13, 2019).
*Social Media Week
What is it: Social Media Week “brings together digital marketing professionals from over 50 countries to share ideas, insights and strategies for how to advance their businesses and brands in an age of unprecedented human-connectivity.”
Why Consider it: SMW’s theme for 2020 is a human- first, experience-driven approach to Marketing. Topics include: emerging trends and future tech, paid media models, society and culture, and storytelling and creativity.
Dates & Locations:
New York – May 5-7, 2020
Los Angeles – June 17 – 18, 2020
*Additional U.S. and International locations will be added throughout the year.*
Pricing: $979 for a standard ticket.
*Influencer Marketing Conference & Expo
What is it: Influencer Marketing Conference & Expo is a series of networking/educational events attended by senior level decision makers from brands, influencer marketing agencies, influencer marketing platforms, social media influencers and other stakeholders involved in the emerging influencer marketing landscape.
Why Consider it: If you are a marketing professional looking to connect with an influencer or an influencer looking to partner with a business, consider IMCX, which aims to foster those connections.
Dates & Locations: Los Angeles, California; February 25 – 26, 2020
Pricing: Tickets start at $399
SEO & Technology Conferences
What is it: “The longest running search engine marketing conference in internet history.”
Why Consider it: Dive deep into all things SEO (search engine optimization)! Topics include; link building, local search advertising, technical SEO, keyword research, analytics, social media & content marketing, and more. Past keynote speakers have included SEO experts from Google, Microsoft, and Bing.
Dates & Locations:
Pubcon – Austin, Texas – February 6, 2020
Pubcon Pro – Miami, Florida – March 24-27, 2020
Pubcon 20th Anniversary – London, England – 2020 (Exact Dates TBA)
Pubcon Pro – Las Vegas, Nevada; October 12-15, 2020
Pricing: Austin: $349 (Prices increase after November 30); Miami $849 (Prices increase after December 31)
What is it: “MozCon is a three-day, one-track journey into the deepest realms of search marketing. Connect with an incredible community of experts and uncover tactical advice from industry-leading practitioners in the vast world of SEO, mobile, conversion optimization, local search, and more.”
Why Consider it: Moz offers software and data to help companies learn and improve their SEO, this conference brings all of those resources together for an in-depth learning experience. Bonus, they have a video bundle for those of you who can’t make it in person.
Dates & Locations: Seattle, Washington; July 6-8, 2020
Pricing: Video Bundle: $349; General Tickets: $1,299
What is it: “Experience 10 days of unparalleled discovery, learning, and networking with creatives across interactive, film, and music industries at the SXSW Conference & Festivals!”
Why Consider it: SXSW has drawn A-List talent (and made headlines) in politics, entertainment, and technology. Tech companies bring their latest apps, virtual reality innovations, and gadget to the festival so you get a sneak peak at all the latest tech happenings. SXSW is massive, both in terms of crowd size and event options, you’ll have no shortage of things to explore and people to meet.
Dates & Locations: Austin, Texas; March 13-22, 2020
Pricing: All Access – $1,350; Interactive – $1,020
What is it: MarTech – The Marketing and Technology Conference aims to deliver actionable solutions to marketing’s biggest challenges.
Why Consider it: MarTech’s prime audience is senior-level marketers and it promises to deliver a graduate-level program addressing universal marketing concerns. If you’re looking for a more intense, comprehensive conference, this is for you.
Dates & Locations:
What is it: “Gain insights, develop skills, and reimagine the customer experience you’re creating.”
Why Consider it: In addition to networking, Adobe Summit offers 400 hands-on training and lab sessions covering things like digital trends and innovation, cross-channel advertising, & Creative Cloud for Enterprise.
Dates & Locations: Las Vegas, Nevada; March 31 – April 2, 2020
Pricing: $1,695 (Prices increase after December 15, 2019).
Podcasting is one of the fastest growing avenues for business marketing and with that comes a wide variety of conferences aimed at helping you create, market, monetize, and grow your podcast.
What is it: A conference for podcasters “that puts the focus on the ever changing landscape and latest trends of the industry, and deep dives those from every angle. 200+ educational sessions and a trade show featuring 100+ exhibitors.”
Why consider it: Podcast Movement offers three distinct tracks (Industry Professional, Pro Podcaster, Hobbyist Podcaster) and tailor’s content so that you’re gaining focused skills right for you.
Pricing: Tickets start at $199 and are on sale now.
What is it: A multimedia expo focused on podcasting and new media.
Why consider it: In addition to helping you grow and market your podcast, Podfest offers help with technology, innovation, and video podcasting.
Dates & Locations: Orlando, Florida; March 6-8, 2020.
Pricing: Tickets start at $279 and are on sale now.
*Independent Podcast Conference
What is it: A conference for indie podcasters offering classes, workshops, a podcast competition, and free headshots.
Why consider it: Can’t make it to New Jersey? The Independent Podcast Conference offers a virtual ticket that gives you access to presentation slides and video recordings of every session.
Dates & Location: Atlantic City, New Jersey; September 24-26, 2020
Pricing: $149 (Virtual Ticket); $199 (in-person event pass)
*Brooklyn Podcast Festival
What is it: A festival “celebrates podcast creativity and the artists behind them.”
Why consider it: The Brooklyn Podcast Festival provides a relaxed atmosphere and live recordings of popular podcasts.
Dates & Location: Brooklyn, New York; January 22-26, 2020
Pricing: Tickets & Pricing TBA
Remember when we said conferences provide you with the perfect opportunity to travel? Grab your passport! These conferences are big, hosted in beautiful locations, and will introduce you to new people, cultures, and trends.
What is it: Africa Podfest will be the region’s first podcasting conference.
Why consider it: Not much is known about this event yet, but getting to be among the first who get to experience it is a great incentive.
Dates & Locations: March 2020, Location TBD
What is it: “Cozy & Fun Working Retreats for Midlife Women Bloggers.”
Why consider it: Classes and teachers offer a more one-on-one hands-on approach and help with things like SEO and finding the right niche for your blog. #Blogwell is a smaller retreat making it easier to build intimate friendships with your fellow bloggers.
Dates & Locations: Campeche, Mexico; February 6-8.
*TBEX Europe 2020
What is it: “TBEX is the largest conference and networking event for travel bloggers, online travel journalists, new media content creators, travel brands and industry professionals.”
Why consider it: Build connections International connections, knowledge, and sponsorship opportunities as TBEX boasts attendance from the travel industry’s largest brands.
Dates & Locations: Catania, Sicily, Italy; March 10-13.
TBEX North American – Lafayette, Louisiana; October 7-9
Pricing: Content Creators – $297; Travel Industry Professional – $497 (Registration ends November 15, 2019.)
What is it: SMX is “Germany’s largest search marketing conference.”
Why consider it: Laser-focus on all things search marketing and SEO. Notable speakers include Cassie Kozyrkov, Chief Decision Strategist at Google Cloud; John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google Cloud; Helen Schrader, Senior SEO Manager at OBI; and Maria Corcoran, Senior Global Search Operations Manager at Adobe.
Dates & Locations: Munich, Germany; March 18-19.
Pricing: Standard Conference Tickets €1,370 (Euros). Registration is open now. Special early bird pricing 1,070 ends January 17, 2020.
*Affiliate Summit Europe 2020
What is it: “Whether your priority is lead generation, brand awareness or positioning, Affiliate Summit Europe is designed to connect you with other advertisers, affiliates, networks and agencies.”
Why consider it: They focus heavily on networking and connecting you with advertisers, a great international growth platform.
Dates & Locations: Amsterdam, Netherlands; June 2-4
Affiliate Summit West – Las Vegas, Nevada; January 27-29
Affiliate Summit East – New York, New York; July 26 – 28
Affiliate Summit Asia Pacific – Singapore; TBA
Pricing: VIP: $729, Networking: $479, Networking Plus: $609
*Mobile World Conference
What is it: “The largest mobile event in the world, bringing together the latest innovations and leading-edge technology alongside today’s most influential visionaries.”
Why consider it: Mobile World Conference is great for anyone specializing in (or looking to learn more) about mobile marketing. Notable speakers include: Rajeev Suri, President and CEO of Nokia; Robert Bakish, President and CEO of Viacom; Marc Fontaine, Digital Transformation Officer at Airbus.
Dates & Locations: Barcelona, Spain; February 24-27.
Food & Travel
*Everything Food Conference
What is it: “Everything Food Conference is THE largest, most anticipated, must-attend food blogger conference. With 800+ top food influencers, bloggers, and content creators… it’s much more than a conference. It’s a community.”
Why consider it: 1) You’re a foodie 2) This conference will provide you with lots of content inspiration, serious sponsors, and advanced presentations.
Dates & Locations: Layton, Utah; April 30 – May 2.
Pricing: $500 for influencers and content creators; $900 for brands, marketers, & agencies.
What is it: “Tastemaker Conference is the place to meet and make connections. We offer unique experiential marketing opportunities for food, tech, and houseware companies, who are looking to network and partner with influential food bloggers and content creators.”
Why consider it: They focus on helping you build community and have lots of sponsors, big names and small, locally owned producers.
Dates & Locations: Brooklyn, New York; September 24-25.
Pricing: $349-$399. General Admission tickets go on sale January 3, 2020.
*International Food Bloggers Conference
What is it: The International Food Blogger Conference was the first food blogger conference in the world (founded in 2009).
Why consider it: IFBC is a smaller, more intimate conference with 200-250 attendees, they also offer food tours and local excursions so you can explore El Paso’s booming culinary scene up close.
Dates & Location: El Paso, Texas; November 12-15.
Pricing: $545 (Price increases after December 2019)
*Women in Travel Summit
What is it: “The Women in Travel Summit (WITS) is the premier event for travel’s top marketing talent. Creative entrepreneurs, influencers, DMOs, and industry come together to discuss future innovations, build dynamic collaborations, and change travel worldwide, all while supporting and empowering a diverse community of women.”
Why consider it: If you work in the travel industry this conference boasts talks hosted by top female entrepreneurs and industry leaders and partnerships with some of the biggest brands.
Dates & Locations: Kansas City, Missouri; May 1-3.
Pricing: $399 – $699 (Get $100 off if you register before 01/15/20).
*Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop
What is it: “You’ll learn how you can turn your travel dreams into a reality. You’ll discover the secrets to traveling the world for free… and getting paid to do it as a travel writer.”
Why consider it: Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop is aimed at helping you turn your love of travel and travel writing into a long-term and money-making business. And you’ll walk away with a complete, polished, and ready-to-publish article.
Dates & Locations: New Orleans, Louisiana; October (Exact dates TBA)
Other Digital Marketing Conferences We Think You Will Enjoy
These are some of the more unique conference offerings 2020 has in-store to help you celebrate what you love and find others who love it too!
*In/Visible Talks 2020
What is it: In/Visible Talks is a conference dedicated to all things design and the changing landscape of creative practice.
Why consider it: They are truly covering all aspects of what it means to be a designer. Topics include: Design No Harm: Why Humility is Essential in the Journey Toward Equity (Antionette D. Carroll, President & CEO of Creative Reaction Lab); Design, Empathy & Neurodiversity (Jenara Nerenberg author of The Divergent Mind); and Building Your Perfect Team (Jennifer Brook, Staff Researcher at Dropbox).
Dates & Locations: San Francisco, California; January 16, 2020
*Pinners Conference & Expo
What is it: This conference is a must for Pinterest marketers and DIY enthusiasts offering 100-plus classes and over 200 vendors.
Why consider it: Shopping. Lots of shopping. And dozens of classes, topics include; DIY, crafts, cooking, wellness, photography & more. It’s also reasonably priced if budget is a concern.
Pricing: $10 (General Admission); $129 (VIP)
*Ultimate Photographer’s Workshop
What is it: A workshop dedicated to helping you turn your love of photography (and travel) into a profitable career.
Why consider it: The Ultimate Photographer’s Workshop offers photography lessons and explore the best money-making opportunities for photographers.
Dates & Locations: Alexandria, Virginia; April 2020
*Women Sound Off Festival
What is it: “Women Sound Off is an Oakland-based intersectional platform, founded & run by womxn.”
Why consider it: A festival with discussions, panels, and workshops that aims to create a powerful and safe space for women to cultivate creativity and form alliances.
Dates & Locations: Oakland, California; April 3-5
Pricing: Tickets go on sale in January.
What is it: “The #1 book and author event in America.”
Why consider it: Book Expo is a must for anyone who works in book publishing, marketing, or anyone who just loves to read. Hear authors give talks, get sneak peaks of the year’s biggest books, and attend workshops.
Dates & Location: New York, New York; May 27 – 29
It’s ironic that we end this list with Book Expo, since this is the annual event I attended each year when I worked in publishing. When I first started my career, I was traveling nearly once a month to attend trade shows and book related conferences. From the American Library Association to the Frankfurt Book Fair, I’ve met some amazing people I am still connected with to this day.
No matter what your reason for attending a conference, there is at least one on our google spreadsheet that is calling your name. Since there are way too many digital marketing and social media conferences to include in detail we put together a spreadsheet which includes links, dates, and locations for 2020 industry events you won’t want to miss.