The Best Marketing Conferences Of 2016

 In Marketing Strategy

As we wrap up 2015, it’s that time of the year again to start thinking about the marketing events to attend next year. Conferences are a great opportunity to catch up with your peers, network and learn from some of the industry’s best and brightest marketing leaders and influencers around the world.

With over hundreds of events being planned for 2016, how do you know which ones you should attend if you could only go to one or two next year?

So in 2013, I decided to start compiling a list of top marketing events and share with everyone every year. Two years ago my network and I had some fun with the list and crowdsourced what they thought were the best marketing events in 2014. And then I updated that with my top marketing conferences for 2015.

Now let’s take a look at my list for the best marketing events in 2016! Please share any other conferences you think should be on this list in the comments section below!

The Best Marketing Conferences of 2016

Digital Summit is February 8-9 in Phoenix. Hear from digital thought leaders from HubSpot, Time Inc., Visa, Salesforce, Microsoft, and many more on topics such as digital storytelling, journey mapping, multi-channel demand generation, hard and soft metrics and millennial marketing.

B2B Content2Conversion Conference is February 15-17 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The event will bring together over 600 B2B marketers to discuss content marketing, demand generation and sales enablement, providing attendees with actionable takeaways and ideas to improve their 2016 marketing plans. Last year I presented here on The Personalization of Content.

MarketingSherpa Summit is in Las Vegas from February 22-24. This conference will power your marketing success with proven, practical strategies and ideas in content, mobile, digital and email.

South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW) is March 11-15 in Austin, Texas. Confirmed speakers include Pete Cashmore, Jonah Berger, and Larry King (you read that right). If you’re lucky enough to stick around for the entire event, the film and music festivals continue through March 20.

Adobe Summit is in Las Vegas from March 20-24. This year’s event will feature over 150 sessions, workshops and labs covering a wide range of topics, including marketing innovations, analytics, email and cross-channel marketing, digital, mobile, advertising, and personalization and optimization.

Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit is May 9-12 in Las Vegas. I have never attended or spoken here (hint-hint guys.) But last year’s event kicked off with a keynote featuring Arianna Huffington. More than 6,000 marketers attended last year’s event, and over 100 sessions were offered on content marketing, lead gen and lead nurturing, analytics, customer engagement, and many more.

Social Media Marketing World is in San Diego from April 17-19. Over 100 of the world’s top social media experts and 3,000 marketers are expected to attend. You’ll learn the best social media and marketing strategies, ideas and tips from dozens of top brands. Content marketing powerhouses like Ann Handley, Joe Pulizzi and Jay Baer will be presenting at this year’s event.

ClickZ Live (formerly SES Conference & Expo) is in New York (April 11-13) and London (Spring 2016). Conference tracks include email marketing, mobile and local optimization, next-gen search, data-driven marketing and, of course, content marketing.

Social Media Strategies Summit will be in Las Vegas (February 9-11), Chicago (April), New York (June 1-3), Dallas (August), San Francisco (September), Mexico (Fall), and Boston (November 2-3). This year’s agenda is packed with hands-on workshops on content creation, storytelling, strategy management, measurement and other hot topics.

Ad:Tech is in New Delhi (March 3-4) and Los Angeles (May 11-12) this year, and promises to leave attendees with lots of innovative strategies and techniques from the very best in marketing, technology and media.

Brand Mover’s Clever Content 16 conference is in Copenhagen, Denmark on April 5th and 6th where I am really looking forward to presenting on Content Marketing ROI.

Emma’s Marketing United in Nashville (April 18-20). I’m really looking forward to speaking to over 700 marketers who are expected to attend this year, and will share some of the industry’s smartest and most creative “why didn’t I think of that” ideas and tips to supercharge your marketing plans next year. If you are going, please come by and say hello!

BMA: Master of B2B Marketing is June 1-3 in Chicago and promises to bring the best minds together for everything B2B Marketing.

Gartner Digital Marketing Conference is May 17-19 in San Diego. The event is designed for senior executives who are looking to learn the latest digital marketing trends, insights and strategies to take back to their office.

Epic Content Marketing is in Oslo, Norway, May 19-20. I am really looking forward to join Joe Pulizzi, Ann Handley and Jeff Bullas at this year’s event.

Forrester’s Marketing 2016 and B2B Marketing 2016 Conferences are in New York (April 26-27) and Miami (October 18-19) respectively. Marketing Europe 2016 is May 23-24 in London.

MozCon is September 12-14 in Seattle. You’ll learn everything from SEO to content marketing, community building, social media, brand, mobile, analytics, and so much more.

Brand ManageCamp is September 15-16 in Las Vegas. You can expect to leave with the tools, ideas and inspiration you need to take your brand and content to the next level. I am really excited to come back to this event to unveil my predictions for the future of content marketing.

ANA Masters of Marketing Conference is October 19-22 in Orlando this year. There are also other events from ANA worth taking a look at, such as the Masters of B2B Marketing (June 1-3) and Digital & Social Media Conference (July 20-22). Note that registration for these conferences is not yet open.

Dmexco is September 16-17 in Cologne, Germany. The two-day event brings together the latest trends, innovations and thinkers from around the world, with over 200 sessions on topics including marketing, content, social, and mobile. Past speakers included marketing execs from Samsung, Proctor & Gamble, Facebook, Twitter, Google and Unilever.

Content Marketing World Conference is September 6-9 in Cleveland. If your schedule or budget only allows you to go to one conference this year, you should definitely add this to your short list. Over 150 sessions are planned, covering everything from content marketing and strategy 101 to demand gen, sales enablement, writing, measurement and other content marketing topics. I can’t wait to get back in front of this audience. Last year I presented “Tips, Tools and Templates to Build Your Content Marketing Plan.

AMA Annual Conference: Inspired Marketing is in Orlando from October 5-7. More than 450 marketers are expected to attend and come together to learn about current and future trends, insights and innovations B2B and B2C marketing.

MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum is October 18-21 in Boston. Last year’s event was amazing and this is the best event for B2B marketers in my opinion. You’ll meet some of the smartest and most helpful folks in the industry, and will walk away with lots of practical tips and how-to advice that you can take back and use right away. Last year I presented here on How To Build Your Content Marketing Strategy.

INBOUND is November 8-11 in Boston. Last year’s speakers included Seth Godin and HubSpot’s very own Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah as well as speakers from Social Media Examiner, Google and BuzzFeed, just to name a few. I have never been to this one either (hint-hint) but I know a ton of smart folks who go this event and block their calendar for this one.

Web Summit is in Lisbon from November 7-10 and touts itself as the world’s greatest tech fest. The Marketing Summit is a standalone conference within the Web Summit and has six tracks focused on social, B2B sales, advertising, agency, technology and analytics, with speakers from Facebook, Google, Ogilvy & Mather, Pinterest, and Amazon, just to name a few.

If I missed your event, or if you’re attending one I didn’t mention here, please add it to the comments below. This is one post where I invite conference organizers to include links to their events and let us know who should attend and why!

Are you interested in engaging and converting new customer for your business? Contact me here and let’s talk about how we can help.

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Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner is the CEO of Marketing Insider Group, former Head of Strategy at NewsCred, and the former VP of Global Content Marketing at SAP. Michael is also the co-author of The Content Formula, a contributor to leading publications like The Economist, Inc Magazine, The Guardian, and Forbes and a frequent speaker at industry events covering topics such as marketing strategy, social business, content marketing, digital marketing, social media and personal branding.  Follow Michael on Twitter (@BrennerMichael)LinkedInFacebook and Google+ and Subscribe to the Marketing Insider.
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Showing 28 comments
  • Stine Holmgaard

    Thank you so much for the mention Michael – we look forward to hosting you here in Copenhagen in April!

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Stine, can’t wait to meet you and speak to your audience.

  • Shanelle Mullin

    I’m a little bias, but if you’re interested in conversion rate optimization, ConversionXL Live 2016 is a must-attend conference.

    You’ve read the blog. Now come see the highest quality growth & optimization topics discussed live.

    – Everyone stays together for 3 days in a remote location
    – All speakers are hardcore practitioners
    – Huge focus on the quality of learning from peers

    ConversionXL Live has a certain style. Everyone stays in the same place for 3 days. All attendees and speakers stay in the same place, nobody leaves. You can have quality conversations and form bonds for life with all your peers. No city noise to distract us. The outcome is high quality networking, discussions, learning. And great parties.

    No other event does content, experience and networking like this one. You’ve been to a conference you like? That’s your baseline. Now come see how good an event can really be.

    Some of this year’s speakers…

    Peep Laja
    Nir Eyal
    Joanna Wiebe
    Annie Cushing
    Rand Fishkin
    Morgan Brown
    Angie Schottmuller

    Hope to see some of you there!

  • Gianpaolo

    Hi Michael,
    terrific list. Thank you 😉
    May I suggest to add
    It is the largest conference about PPC & contextual advertising in Southern Europe (and the 2nd largest in Europe).
    It is held in Bologna – Italy (or via online live streaming) on April 14-15, 2016.
    This year we have among the speakers Frederick Vallaeys (ex Google evangelist & founder of Optmyrz), Brad Geddes, Matt Umbro (Hanapin / PPCHero), Martin Roettgerding, Helena clark (Periscopix) and other well known top ppc specialists.

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Gianpaolo! Appreciate the comment and suggestion!

  • Todd Hansen

    No love for Affiliate Summit? I suppose maybe it’s not taken seriously because of the “affiliate” part of the name…

    • Michael Brenner

      Hi Todd, simply never been there or ever heard anyone talk about it. Thanks for adding it to the comments. Do you think it deserves a spot on next year’s list?

  • Nick Bhavsar

    Great list Michael. A few that I saw missing:

    Sirius Decisions Summit in Nashville – May 24-27
    Spiceworld Austin – November 1-3

  • Elizabeth Hudson

    Very extensive list Michael, it’s a great resource looking forward in 2016.

    I think you’d be very interested in Advocamp: the biggest customer experience, engagement and advocacy conference of the year March 7-9, 2016 in San Francisco.

    Advocampers participate in hands-on workshops, inspiring keynotes, peer-to-peer discussions around campfires, and 50+ action-packed AMP Talks across four tracks.

    It’s a a three-day conference where you can learn from and network with 1000+ world-class customer engagement experts and practitioners including:

    Daniel Pink, Jay Baer, Joseph Jaffe, Dan Ariely, Laura Ramos, Bill Macaitis, Kare Anderson and Keith Ferrazzi, plus dozens of other marketing and customer experience practitioners from Marketo, Intuit, HP Enterprise, Gainsight and many more!

    See the full list of speakers here:

    You can also see what last year’s Advocampers said about the event here:

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Elizabeth. Let me know if you are still looking for speakers. My speaking page provides lots of examples…

  • Chris

    Great list Michael! I’ve got one to add. We’re hosting an enterprise conversion event April 24 – 26, in Austin TX. Here are the details:

    BEHAVE 2016 –

    BEHAVE is the first ever digital marketing conference that brings together leading behavioral economists and conversion rate optimization experts. By seamlessly blending the diverse disciplines of marketing, optimization, testing and behavioral psychology BEHAVE delivers a truly unique 3-day event. With a variety of actionable bootcamps, lively panel discussions and best-in-class speakers the event seeks to get to the root of every conversion – human behavior.

    Headliners include: Steven Levitt (Freakonomics), Robert Cialdini (Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion), Dan Goldstein (Microsoft Research), Susan Bidel (Forrester), Marc Roberge (Hubspot) and Jonah Berger (Contagious: Why Things Catch On)

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Chris, appreciate you letting us know. Best of luck with the event. Sounds awesome!

      • Chris

        Thanks Michael! Early bird pricing ends soon, so anyone that’s thinking about attending should jump on it asap!

  • Adam Harper

    This is a great list that shows just how much choice B2B Marketers have in the US for 2016!
    However in the UK we also like to keep busy- we personally think that the B2B Marketing Summit on 22nd June will stand up to any event across the pond!
    Michael was our keynote last year and was very well received (obviously), so we’re riding his popularity to make it the biggest event yet with around 900 B2B marketers there on the day.
    Check out the agenda- hot off the press- at

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Adam, it was a great event I would highly recommend it!

  • LeadPages

    Hi, Michael! Thanks for such an awesome list of 2016 events. It’s nice to have the events in one place like this. Great work! We’d like to also suggest adding our 2nd annual conference, CONVERTED 2016, to your list. It’s coming to Minneapolis on October 18th & 19th. Each day will be made up of engaging keynote presentations from some of the brightest minds in conversion and digital marketing. The conference is designed to take you on a step-by-step journey through every conversion point in marketing— from generating traffic, to converting that traffic into leads and sales, to converting those sales into customers for life. You can learn more at Thanks again for the great list!

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks so much Sarah! Let me know if you are still interested in speakers?

  • Rebecca White

    Thanks for the great list of marketing conferences, Michael! I would also suggest adding our annual digital marketing conference Spark, taking place on May 12, 2016.

    This year TrackMaven is bringing 400 digital and content marketing executives together at the Newseum, Washington, D.C.’s interactive museum of news and journalism. Spark is a one-of-a-kind event combines inspiration, behind-the-scenes looks at cutting-edge campaigns, and straight talk to translate the latest marketing hype. Participants will hear from amazing keynote speakers including Brandon Stanton, the creator of the groundbreaking digital storytelling phenomenon Humans of New York, and Shane Show, the chief creative officer at Contently and award-winning journalist.

    You can learn more about sessions, speakers, and participants on our website:

  • Carolyn Capern

    This is a wonderful list, Michael! I would suggest adding Social Fresh Conference, which will take place in Orlando, FL this year from August 18-21.

    Social Fresh 2016 is a 4-day conference packed with actionable presentations and case studies. As the longest running social marketing conference, we understand that attendees need LESS theory and MORE strategy and execution. We’re dedicated to helping you deliver results through rich session topics and dynamic networking with industry leaders, innovative brands, agencies, and software companies. This year’s speakers represent The Weather Channel, the Red Cross, Remax, Spotify, HubSpot, and more!

    Registration is open at

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Carolyn, I’m happy to share this event with the readers here.

  • Alice

    Hey Michael!

    Thanks for keeping me up to date with awesome business conferences to attend this year! I think ONTRAPORT’s fifth annual ONTRApalooza, a two-day premier business-building and networking conference, will be a great addition to the list!

    ONTRApalooza will be held on October 13-14, 2016 in Santa Barbara, CA for entrepreneurs, small business owners, thought leaders and influencers. All attendees will have full access to 16 hands-on workshops, networking opportunities, entry to four world class keynotes and more!

    For more information about ONTRApalooza including our speakers, prices and workshops, please visit our website:



    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Alice, happy to share this event with my audience here in the comments. If you ever need a speaker, please let me know. Your event sounds awesome.

  • Nick Johnson

    Hi Michael,

    Hope you’re well? I wonder if you’d consider adding the Incite Marketing Summit (27-28 Oct, NYC) to your list next time around? We’re a little different from most marketing conferences in that we focus exclusively on catering to in-house marketers working for large brands.

    For that reason, we’ve brought together over 60+ senior marketers to share insight – from companies like Toyota, United, Mondelez, Clorox, HSBC, Twitter, Virgin America, TripAdvisor, Hershey and many more.

    We’re running three tracks this time around – focused on personalization, marketing attribution and then content & storytelling.

    There’s more info at

    Do you think that’s going to be useful for your readers?



    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks so much Nick, I really appreciate the comment and I absolutely think this can be valuable for my readers. Best of luck at the event.

  • Ashwin

    Surely Marketing Week Live London should be included on this list as the UKs leading Marketing event

  • Jordan

    Hi Michael,

    Great list! Might I add one to the list as well:

    OnBrand ’16 will be in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on October 13th. OnBrand is the leading branding conference for the international marketing communications industry. Join 500+ marketing professionals to get cutting edge marketing insight from key industry leaders, brand managers and designers.

    OnBrand 2016 prepares marketers for a new era of branding with insightful keynotes and panel discussions from leaders in branding and marketing. Our expert lineup will share their own insights and best practices, and provide you with actionable insights to succeed in the digital age.

    Thanks again for the awesome list!

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