Editor’s Note: The 2021 version is here so check out the Top B2B Digital Marketing Events for 2021.
I get asked these questions every year: what are the best marketing conferences? Which marketing events are “must-attend?” And, “if I can only go to one marketing conference, which one should I chose?”
But first, I think we need to understand why we go to marketing events in the first place? For some of us, it’s to learn or be inspired with new ideas. For others, it might be to meet new people and network. And for some of us, we just need to get the heck out of the office!
Selecting the best marketing conference is a bit like deciding what is the best digital platform to use to reach customers: you have to identify your goals, budget, and time frame.
Conferences often mean time away from the office, travel, and a significant financial commitment. The last experience you want to have is to spend up to $2,000 on conference tickets (not including hotel and travel costs) and to walk away without getting what you want.
Nina Ojeda breaks down what to consider in her Inc. article, “How to Know Whether a Conference is Worth Attending.” She recommends identifying what you want out of your conference experience and narrowing their search based on their experience. For example, large conferences offer a variety of topics and speakers while smaller conferences offer more opportunities to connect with keynote speakers and network.
The Top Digital Marketing Conferences of 2019
Like we do every year with our Best Marketing Conferences articles, we took Ojeda’s advice to heart this year when curating the list of top marketing conferences to consider in 2019. Our chronological list offers something for all content marketing professionals, no matter your budget, location, schedule availability, or goal.
I should note I will be speaking at a handful of these conferences, marked by an asterisk. If you attend, I would love to meet you. Please say hello. And if you are looking for some of the best speakers for your next event, I’m honored to be listed among some of the top business speakers.
AMA Cincinnati’s Trailblazer Series – January 18, 2019*
Located in Cincinnati, Ohio, this American Marketing Association chapter is bringing me back to speak about how marketers can revolutionize the customer journey through content. If you live in the area, come check it out.
SMX West – January 30-31, 2019
San Jose, California
Redesigned for 2019 to give attendees quality content and actionable takeaways with less time out of the office. Hosted by Search Engine Land, Search Marketing Expo West is specifically designed for SEOs, SEMs and marketing analytics professionals. The agenda includes advanced SEO and SEM classes, SEO bootcamp and Adwords training. SMX promises 100% unbiased content at each one of it’s events: SMX Advanced, SMX East, SMX Munich and SMX London.
Content Marketing Super Day – January 31, 2019*
This conference is the only one devoted solely to strategic content marketing in Finland. Content Marketing Super Day’s day long event features seven speakers to talk about growth, organization, international business, thought leadership, measurement, and the future of content marketing. I’ve never been to Finland so I’m really looking forward to this!
B2B Marketing Exchange – February 25-27, 2019*
Demand Gen Report’s B2B Marketing Exchange empowers marketers with the latest strategies to implement for the coming year. Held in Scottsdale, Arizona, you can get a reprieve from the winter while selecting one of six tracks to explore: content2conversion, demand gen, digital strategy, ABM, sales impact and channel marketing. This is my 3rd time speaking at this event! Use code “B2BMXBRENNER” to get a 25% discount!
Social Media Marketing World – March 20-22, 2019
San Diego, California
Hosted by Social Media Examiner, attendees are empowered to take positive steps to expand their business’ reach and growth through digital marketing strategies and tactics. In today’s ever changing landscape, this conference is seen as a must attend by anyone responsible for an organization’s social media presence.
Marketing Festival 2019 – March 20-22
One of the biggest marketing events in Europe, this event brings together marketing pros from companies you recognize and those you will soon.
Adobe Marketing Summit March 26-28
Las Vegas, NV
This event is quickly becoming on of the must-attend marketing events of the year. Now with the addition of the Marketo suit of products, I don’t see how any marketer wouldn’t put this on the top of their list of events to attend in 2019.
B2B Marketing EXPO – March 27-28
B2B Marketing Expo is one of the best marketing events in the UK and a must-attend for any B2B Marketer. I was honored to speak at this event 2 years ago and was shocked at just how many smart marketers I watched on the stage and met during the show.
ContentTECH Summit – Apr. 8-10, 2019
San Diego, California
Formerly the Intelligent Content Conference (ICC), the ContentTECH Summit is one of the premier events in the MarTech industry. Hosted by my good friends at the Content Marketing Institute, so you know it will have a great speakers and friendly marketers to meet.
Super Content Marketing – April 11, 2019*
Whisper GDPR three times slowly to a content marketer and you might see a flash of PTSD in their eyes. This 5th annual conference will cover what GDPR means for marketers going forward. Its goal is to help marketing and communication executives learn best practices for developing content for various digital channels, building a business case for content marketing and get the budget.
Experience Inbound – June 3-4, 2019*
Milwaukee and Green Bay, WI
Held over two days, this marketing and sales conference helps companies strengthen their inbound marketing efforts. Attendees will learn from some of the top minds in lead generation and sales strategy. Classes include conversion optimization to paid targeting and closing strategies. The hosts’ goal is for “every attendee to walk away prepared to grow their business.”
Call to Action Conference – June 25-26, 2019
Vancouver, British Columbia
While Call to Action was moved up on the schedule by two months from 2018, it promises attendees intriguing keynote speakers and workshops about all things content marketing. For example, Lisa Pierson’s 2018 speech was titled, “I Joined Match.Com And Didn’t Get The Love I Expected: Where Was The Onboarding Help When I Needed It?”
MozCon – July 15-17, 2019
Hosted in perhaps one of the most beautiful U.S. cities to visit during the summer time, the 2019 MozCon sends attendees home with swag, bigger networks and knowledge about SEO, mobile, growth, analytics, content, and beyond.
Marketing Artificial Intelligence Conference – July 16-18
This is the first annual and only conference ever devoted to the hot topic of artificial intelligence for marketing use cases. You will hear from the leaders in the Marketing AI space like my great friends Paul Roetzer, Peter Loibl, Mitch Joel and Chris Penn.
Content Marketing World – September 3-6, 2019*
Content Marketing World provides an excellent opportunity for attendees to network and learn from the top content marketers across the world. Over 120 workshops and sessions will focus on strategy, ROI, storytelling, demand generation, and AI. I have been to every #CMWorld except for the very first year. This is the premier event for content marketers each year.
Learn Inbound – August 15-16, 2019
Event organizers list the reasons this conference is different from others: attendees are able to identify the topic they’re interested in, the conference offers handpicked speakers, a welcoming community, and great venue.
Hubspot’s Inbound – September 3-6, 2019
For those who desire to be star struck while they enhance their marketing knowledge, Inbound may just be the place for them. Previous keynote speakers include Michelle Obama, Deepak Chopra, Trevor Noah, and Issa Rae. I’ve never been but have heard great things, especially for small businesses.
MarTech Sept. 16-18
For anyone interested in the evolving marketing technology landscape, this event is the place to be and be seen. Scott Brinker and his team have done an amazing job in defining this space and in helping us all to better understand the context around the growing plethora of marketing technology choices.
Brand ManageCamp – Sept. 17-18, 2019
This will be the 17th annual iteration of this 360° view of brand marketing that appeals to a wide range of attendees (B2B, B2C, Product Marketers, Service Marketers, Profit, Not-for-Profit, etc…). I have attended this event 6 times and have spoken 3 times. It is a single-track with great speakers and amazing brand marketers.
B2B Marketing Forum 2019 – October 16-18, 2019*
Well known marketing resource MarketingProfs hosts this conference in Washington D.C. each year. Promising belly laughs and shenanigans, the conference welcomes leaders, innovators, and people who make things happen to learn about the latest B2B marketing strategies and tactics.
But What Is The Best Marketing Conference in 2019?
I get asked this question every year and it really does depend. I also haven’t been invited to speak at all of these conferences (cough, hint, hint!) 😉
But if you could only pick one or a few to attend, I will tell you some of my favorites. It’s not to say the other’s aren’t great. It’s just that these are the ones that I believe rise above the rest since they are not run by a single vendor, offer amazing speakers and have just great people attend:
- B2B Marketing Exchange – February 25-27, 2019 in Scottsdale, Arizona
- Content Marketing World – September 3-6, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio
- B2B Marketing Forum 2019 – October 16-18, 2019 in Washington, DC
Remember, you can come see me speak at all of these events!
- AMA Cincinnati “Trailblazer Series” Jan 18 in Cincy
- Differo’s Content Marketing Super Day in Helsinki Jan 31
- Demand Gen Report’s B2B Marketing Exchange in Scottsdale on Feb 25-27
- 5th Annual Super Content in Stockholm Sweden April 10-12
- Experience Inbound June 3-4 Milwaukee and Green Bay, WI
- Content Marketing World Sept 3-6 in Cleveland, OH
- MarketingProfs B2B Forum October 16-18 in Washington, DC
OR, Book me to speak at your next event today!