Editor’s Note: The 2022 version is here so check out the Best Marketing Conferences for 2022.
In 2021, many top marketing agencies and tech companies are still hosting digital marketing conferences.
Some are virtual, while others are still planning (and we are all hoping for in-person B2B digital marketing events later in 2021.
With virtual events, you may think that we lose something that accompanies traveling, meeting marketing experts and peers face to face, and sitting in huge auditoriums with dynamically engaged marketing speakers.
But there are some positives of going virtual. There may be more than you think.
- You get to watch keynotes and engage with participants in real time from the comfort of your home or office.
- You don’t need to worry about catching and spreading a nasty virus.
- You can watch recordings when convenient, attend virtual workshops, and network online with real humans.
- You don’t have to worry about scheduling flights and other logistics.
Regardless of the formats, we still get to hear from top dogs in marketing, advertising, and creative fields. After a year like 2020, we could all use some new perspectives and extra inspiration.
Having virtual options allows us to attend more of the world’s top marketing conferences than we could ever fit into our schedules in the past. Many conferences this year are even streaming for free online.
To plan your 2021 marketing conference calendar, choose the events that best address your business’s unique needs. Showing up with answers in mind to these questions will help you capitalize on every event you attend.
- Where do you struggle in your day-to-day roles and tasks?
- What pain points does your marketing department face regularly?
- What types of tools and strategies would help you take your digital marketing to the next level?
- What are your main priorities and goals for 2021?
- Many of this year’s conferences are going virtual.
- Several take place in April.
- You can live stream various events this year for free.
- Some conferences are already scheduling in-person events for later in the year.
- Keynote speakers will focus on customer experience, innovative technologies, and critical strategies to help businesses conquer challenges due to COVID-19.
Top 2021 Marketing Conferences You Won’t Want to Miss
Here’s our annual list of must-attend digital marketing conferences for B2B and B2C businesses. We encourage you to register for as many as you can this year.
You’ll leave feeling recharged, re-inspired, reconnected, and empowered to take the world by storm in 2021 and beyond.
1. B2B Marketing Exchange
Online on February 22-24 | In-Person at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, AZ, June 7-9
“Refresh. Renew. Remix.”
Due to COVID-19 restrictions on gathering sizes and travel, B2B Marketing Exchange has rescheduled its in-person event for later in the year. They’re still planning on an immersive virtual event at the beginning of the year.
The B2BMX digital experience will provide you with:
- Access to top-notch solutions providers
- Opportunities for 1:1 mentoring and networking
- Hands-on educational sessions
- World-class and cutting-edge content covering tech, trends, and tactics for the creative era
- Keynote speakers: industry leaders, marketing experts, analysts, and practitioners
- Innovative ideas and inspiration from top providers, mentors, leaders, and experts in various fields
2. MarTech: Free, Expert-Led Training For Senior Marketers
Online March 16-17, 2021
Two days of actionable tactics and proven strategies, empowering, forward-thinking keynotes, and engaging events designed to grow your professional network.
Expert-led sessions will focus on evolving martech challenges, customer behavior and the implications for marketers and marketing operations. After attending, you’ll be able to:
- Use CDPs to enable a data-driven culture and decisions
- Employ attribution and predictive analytics technology to understand what’s attracting customers to your company or brand
- Achieve efficiencies with asset management, project management and workflow technologies
- Maximize the expanding capabilities and uses of marketing automation
Continue your learning initiatives, engage with solution providers, and connect with the marketing technology community — all for free, and all from the comfort of your own computer.
Plus, there are five live, interactive workshops — led by recognized industry experts — explore specific aspects of modern marketing and deliver practical insights you can implement immediately.
(Focused on search? Check out the 6 Search Marketing Expo events happening online in 2021!)
3. MarketingProfs B2B Forum
100% Virtual | April 7-8
“That I-want-more experience.”
Compared to some of the other conferences in our lineup, B2B Forum is a small-but-mighty event. It’s truly one of my favorites!
If you’re looking to scale your marketing efforts with new tactics and become a better brand storyteller, this one’s for you.
Each year at B2B Forum, leading B2B marketers take the stage for three full days. They cover everything you need to know to succeed in current and future landscapes as a digital marketer.
To create more engagement, MPB2B hosts a “watch party” with a live Q&A so you can communicate directly with speakers and other participants in real time.
And Ann Handley is simply the BEST! (Hi Ann. Miss you!)
4. Adobe Marketing Summit
100% Virtual | April 13-15
“The future of customer experience is waiting for you.”
Adobe Summit 2021 will be an engaging virtual event with inspiring speakers, expert content, and various networking opportunities. It’s entirely free. Attendees will learn how to make every customer interaction valuable by making them feel connected, relevant, and personal.
If you’re a CX guru in charge of creating, optimizing, or monetizing customer experiences, this event should top your list. As an “Experience Maker,” you’ll learn from the best in the industry and connect with other like-minded professionals.
The Summit will include more than 200 sessions and workshops, covering various skill areas and topics.
- Analytics, insights, and activation
- Campaign management
- B2B marketing
- Developer ecosystem
- Digital commerce
- Adobe Experience Platform
- Digital document productivity
- Content creation
- Current trends and inspiration
To be notified when registration opens in January, join the Summit mailing list.
Location TBD | April 14-16
“Prepare for tomorrow’s changes today.”
This “undeniable, must-attend lead generation event” is a future-focused conference for anyone hoping to implement strategic growth strategies in 2021. Experts from the world’s leading brands will speak on today’s shifting landscape. They’ll detail how to navigate lead gen and performance marketing moving forward.
At LeadsCon 2021, you’ll learn new strategies and glean powerful insights on how to nurture and convert more quality leads for your business. The three-day event will give attendees a chance to network and absorb invaluable content – like growth secrets and hot marketing trends – from the world’s brightest business minds.
100% Virtual | April to November
“The world’s largest digital marketing, media, and advertising conference and exhibition series!”
DigiMarCon is an international digital marketing conference spanning 13 countries across the globe. The event usually takes place in person but will be 100% virtual in 2021. In-person exhibitions will resume in 2022.
Events on the docket for 2021 include:
- Global: April 28-29
- North America: July 21-22
- Latin America: July 21-22
- Asia Pacific: September 15-16
- EMEA: October 20-21
- Global: November 17-18
Join other marketing professionals to hear and converse with audacious and thought-provoking leaders in digital marketing, advertising, and media. Speakers will share emerging trends and strategies, innovative technologies, and marketing best practices.
You’ll obtain unparalleled insights for:
- Growing traffic
- Building brand awareness
- Enhancing customer experiences
- Increasing sales
- Driving more engagement
- Building customer loyalty
- Increasing leads and sales
- Learning new digital tools for higher quality and efficiency
Build your network and community by collaborating with thought leaders and peers. You’ll be challenged, inspired, and transformed by what you learn at DigiMarCon from some of the world’s greatest innovators and thought leaders.
7. Brand ManageCamp
100% Virtual | May 18-20
“Fresh thinking starts here.”
Don’t miss Brand ManageCamp’s 19th annual conference. It will be 100% virtual for the second year in a row.
Named by Forbes as one of “the conferences to attend in marketing,” the event spans three days and only runs for three hours per day. This allows participants the opportunity to learn without being overwhelmed. You can absorb new information and have enough energy left over to take care of responsibilities at work or home.
Every year, the Brand ManageCamp agenda encompasses a 360-degree view of brand marketing delivered by top-level speakers. Each speaker session will be pre-recorded. Sessions last only 30 minutes. This allows for maximum production quality and minimal technical issues.
Speakers consist of world-renowned brand experts, innovative mavericks, and best-selling business authors. Core topics will include:
- Customer behavior
Since the sessions are pre-recorded, speakers can attend the event and participate in real time via online chat. Following each 30-minute session, speakers will join a live stream Q&A to continue the discussions and dive deeper on topics through organic conversation.
10-minute breaks between each speaker give attendees time to rest, grab food, check emails, tend to family, or take care of other pressing tasks. Breaks will feature music from up-and-coming artists – a demographic hit hard by the pandemic.
After the event, all sessions will be available on-demand for attendees to access and review. Brand ManageCamp will also provide PREMIUM and PLUS pass-holders access to exclusive content: blog posts, interviews, live Q&A sessions, whitepapers, and additional keynotes.
100% Virtual | July 12-14
“Not your typical marketing conference.”
MozCon brings together SEOs, content marketers, digital agencies, executives, and marketers of all kinds for a unique online experience. Their carefully curated speaker lineup includes some of the most brilliant minds in digital marketing. They can’t wait to share their most profound tips and tricks with us.
You’ll learn tactical advice covering SEO, mobile search, local search, conversion optimization, and more. Spend time connecting with other like-minded individuals to swap stories and share strategies. Moz has a Facebook Group for MozCon attendees and “Birds of a Feather” networking groups to make it easy to connect and build relationships with peers during the virtual event.
They will release their full schedule, speaker lineup, and topics in spring 2021. Last year’s program covered topics like B2B2C marketing, SEO, link building, trends, client management, and diversity.
Virtual Event | September 13-14, 2021
MAICON 2021 will include 20+ main stage and breakout sessions by industry leaders, all with the singular goal of helping marketers understand, pilot and successfully scale AI. Sessions are targeted toward next-gen marketers—those ready to transform their digital marketing and build their competitive advantage using AI.
Cade Metz, author of Genius Makers and award-winning New York Times journalist and technology correspondent, is this year’s closing keynote speaker. His keynote and fireside chat is titled “Genius Makers: The Mavericks Who Brought AI to Google, Facebook and the World.”
“Genius Makers is phenomenal,” said Paul Roetzer, Marketing AI Institute founder and CEO. “There were so many incredible inside stories about the deep learning movement that I’d never heard, and I’m thrilled that Cade will share his knowledge with our MAICON community. As soon as I read his book, I knew we had to have him speak to our audience.”
Other featured speakers include MIT Technology Review’s Karen Hao, Salesforce’s Mathew Sweezey, Solita Oy’s Anna Metsäranta, Drift’s Leo Teneblat and many more.
Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland, OH | September 28-October 1
“Sharing experiences, connecting community, creating partnerships.”
Content Marketing World 2021 is the largest four-day content event in the world. Learn from the most successful content marketers in the industry. Network with other content creators, strategists, and marketers.
The experience will include workshops (including from yours truly,) industry forums, and over 100 engaging sessions. Learn from the brightest minds in the industry. You can customize your experience by choosing activities that appeal most to you.
Given the current climate, the event will comprise both virtual and face-to-face options for registrants. The robust hybrid event will include:
- An in-person event: Spend time with other attendees and listen to top-notch speakers and tech partners. Hosts will take essential health and safety measures to ensure a safe environment.
- A virtual event: Remain part of the action with live-streamed keynotes, virtual tracks, access to breakout sessions (live or on-demand), and online networking.
We’re thrilled for the opportunity to gather in person and learn and grow as a community together. This is one 2021 event we aren’t willing to miss. We hope to see you there!
11. Digital Summit
Various Digital and In-Person Events | Throughout 2021
“Great opportunities for inspiration, learning, and networking.”
Digital Summit will host several events throughout 2021, including virtual, hybrid, and in-person summits. Conferences cover a wide range of topics: social media, email marketing, creativity, analytics, and website strategy. Expand your skill set, and network with an incredible digital marketing community.
Learn from the comfort of home this winter and spring or at one of the local summits next summer. The virtual three-day events are interactive and target various marketing groups. Here’s what’s on the docket for the Digital Summit At Home Series:
- Content, Social, and Creativity: February 24-26
- SMB and Solopreneurs: March 29-31
- Associations and Building Communities: April 27-29
- B2B Marketing: May 25-27
- Digital Summit Portland: June 22-23 (hybrid event)
In-person events are scheduled to resume in the summer and will occur in various cities across the U.S.
- DS Minneapolis: August 5-6
- DS Atlanta: August 11-12
- DS Atlanta: August 11-12
- DS Kansas City: August 17-18
- DS Philadelphia: August 25-26
- DS Washington DC: September 9-10
- DS Detroit: September 15-16
- DS Portland: September 21-22
- DS Nashville: October 5-6
- DS Tampa: October 13-14
- DS Chicago: October 27-28
- DS Miami: November 2-3
- DS Raleigh: November 17-18
- DS Dallas: December 8-9
- DS Charlotte: December 14-15
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