The 20 Best Marketing Conferences In 2013

Michael Brenner on Jan 10, 2013 in Marketing Strategy

Best Marketing Conferences 2013One of my first orders of business in any new year is to figure out which conferences I will attend as part of my personal development plan. With that in mind, I asked my social media connections “what are the best marketing conferences?”

The list of the best marketing conferences I compiled is based on the feedback I received from dozens of people so if I missed any, please let me know and add it to the comments below.

One of the things that stuck out for me right away is the diversity. There are events covering just about every topic in marketing today: social media, online marketing, search engine marketing, inbound marketing, branding, marketing leadership, content marketing, direct marketing, business marketing and more.

In full disclosure, I am speaking at a few of these and have identified those where I have been confirmed. So if you are attending these particular events, please look me up and come say hello. I can’t wait to meet you #IRL.

20 Best Marketing Conferences 2013

Social Media Strategies Conference February 5-7 in Las Vegas, NV, Chicago in April and New York in June (I’m speaking in NYC)

Online Marketing Summit February 11-13 in San Diego, CA and Fall, 2013 in New York, NY

Marketing Sherpa E-Mail Summit February 19-22 in Las Vegas, NV

SXSW Interactive March 8-12 in Austin, TX (the film and music festivals continue through the 17th)

Search Engine Strategies (SES) March 25-28 in New York, NY and September 10-14 in San Francisco, CA

Inbound Marketing Summit April 3-4 in New York, NY

Ad:Tech Digital Marketing Conference April 9-10 in San Francisco

Forrester Forum for Marketing Leadership  April 18-19 in Los Angeles, CA

DemandCon April in San Francisco, CA and October in Boston, MA

B2B Content2Conversion April 22-23 in New York, NY  (Speaking)

iStrategy Global Digital & Social Media Conference April 23 -24 in Miami, FL

Sirius Decisions 2013 May 8-10 in San Diego, CA

Business Marketing Association May 29-31 in Chicago, IL

Confab Content Strategy conference June 3-5 in Minneapolis, MN (Speaking)

Content Marketing World 2013 Sept 9-12 in Cleveland, OH (Speaking confirmation is pending)

Brand ManageCamp Sept 16-17 in Las Vegas, NV

ANA: Master of Marketing Conference October 3-6 in Phoenix, AZ (many recommended this, but it says registration is closed.)

MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum October 10-11 in Boston, MA

Direct Marketing Association October 12-17 in Chicago, IL

Pivot Conference October 15-16 in New York, NY

Let me know if you’d like to add another “Best Marketing Conference” in the comments below. And follow the conversation on Twitter,  LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+.

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Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.
Showing 47 comments
  • Tim Washer

    Mr. Brenner – thanks for the well-researched list. You uncovered a few that I’ll add to my calendar. I’d also include Social Media Explorer. While it’s more focused on social media, it offers some brilliant marketing insight as well from the likes of Jason Falls, Scott Stratten and Jay Baer.

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Tim, It is a great addition. But I have to ask, are you cheating on me?

  • Stephanie

    Are you trying to keep this list with an online marketing focus? Otherwise, I might add these : Event Marketing Summit – | Exhibitor2013 | The Special Event 2013 |

    • Michael Brenner

      Hi Stephanie, this is great. I asked my followers and Linkedin Groups “what are the best marketing conferences?” so I am happy you added these. Arguably my groups and followers skew to the online and social tactics so the omission was not intentional but makes sense based on my audience. Thanks again!

  • Martha Giffen

    Thanks for the list! I usually attend at least 2 events a year. I always like Ken McArthurs’s JVAlert and this year I’m adding Suzanne Evan’s Be The Change.

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Martha, I had not heard of those. Appreciate the input and the RT!

  • Grahaem Wells

    Great list Michael, but you forgot about those of us outside North America:

    I’m an expat Brit living in Sydney and attended the first FUNNEL Australia event last year which was brilliant. One of the keynotes was the SAP APAC marketing head who was easily my favourite session of the day!

    Love the blog – keep it coming!

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Grahaem, I promise you it was not an intentional slight. I simply curated the list from my connections and LinkedIn groups. Thanks for adding your inputs here.

    • Joe Pulizzi

      Hi Grahaem…don’t forget about Content Marketing World Sydney in March, 2013 (if you remember, I was on video screen for FUNNEL).

  • Dan Tyre is a good one 5,000 digital age marketing mavens in Boston this year

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Dan, sounds like it will be a great event!

  • Frederic Gonzalo

    Excellent list, Michael.

    I know of a few other events that are more skewed toward “tourism & hospitality” so it’s great to have your list, which is more upstream, generalist marketing and online marketing. I will bookmark this post!

    Cheers from Quebec City,

    • Michael Brenner

      Cheers Frederic, yes I received some feedback for industry specific events. NRF (National Retail Federation) was one but yes, these are specifically more strategic and cross-industry marketing events.

  • Joe Pulizzi

    Great list Michael…thanks for including Content Marketing World.

    Oh, any by the way, you are confirmed as a speaker (shhh…don’t tell anyone) 😉

  • Ari Herzog

    Hi Michael, this is a useful list. I see that some of the conference websites proximate to me in New England have speaker proposal forms. But not all of them have forms.

    Is there a secret handshake to get offered/accepted to speak? Or is it the luck of the draw when someone like me is not working at a Fortune 100 firm nor is the author of a book?

    • Michael Brenner

      Hi Ari, thanks and glad you found it helpful. If you cannot find the speaker submission forms, I guess the best thing is to find some way to contact the organizers and just ask. Maybe a contact form on the website or look for the event twitter handle.

      • Bob's Social Media

        Very comprehensive list. Any tips on which will be attended by big global companies?

        • Michael Brenner

          Can’t say for sure but I think big companies will be represented at most of these.

  • Mary Charleson

    I’d like to add the BCAMA Vision conference. Link for 2012: Now in its 23rd year, this is put on by the British Columbia chapter of the AMA. The BC Chapter was the largest AMA chapter for AMA (and they’re in Canada – go figure!). This is a huge conference each year. They bring in leading edge speakers globally.

  • Douglas Burdett

    I second what Dan said above, HubSpot’s Inbound Conference in August is awesome. The week after Inbound 2012 was over, I signed up for the following year.

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Doug! That’s quite an endorsement!

  • Bob's Social Media

    @Scott, It’s all binary.

    1. Marketing Starts with Identifying Your Target:
    a. where they go (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Quora, Blog Comment, Reddit, Google)
    b. when they are there
    We all know how hard it is to get what we want when our “target market” just isn’t “in the mood”

    If you catch a blogger as SOON AS they’ve posted their blog, your likelihood of being cited and linked to in an edit skyrockets.

    If you’ve nailed the above two criteria…
    2. You’ve Got to Persuade, Convert, Win-Over, Score.
    And there are only two prerequisites to do so (but they are both difficult)
    a. establish credibility
    prove that you’re reliable, trustworthy, qualified, and credible. plenty of flashy ads make you like the advertiser but you’re still not going to trust them with your cash.
    b. establish rapport
    make them want to give you money because they like you so much. plenty of brilliant assholes make software that works well (Think Evil Corporations) but you’d rather pay someone else.

    Finally, if you can’t take her home after a Margarita, then lower the bar to collecting her email or Twitter follow until you’ve got the game to go for the Gold. Pick the conversion metric that you can secure

  • Chris Schermer

    A conference that’s really come into it’s own in the past couple of years is the Business Marketing Association’s International Conference, held in Chicago at the end of May each year. Over 700 B2B marketers attended the three day event last year. It’s great.

  • Doug Kessler

    Great list — I wish I lived in the US again.

    For the UK, I’ll add my endorsement of FUNNEL, the excellent Econsultancy event (disclaimer: Velocity helped get it on its feet). A terrific program and a real community feel.

    And their Digital Cream event is another winner (disclaimer: I had nothing to do with it, but attended twice and left buzzing).

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Doug, and appreciate you adding some feedback for all the non-US folks. Wish I could join you for some.

  • Jennifer Juckett

    Michael, great list – the B2B world thanks you. I suggest eMetrics Summit (Big Data for Marketing) w events in Toronto, San Francisco, Chicago and Boston. The San Francisco summit this April 14-18 is part of SF’s Data Driven Business Week which also includes DemandCon (which made your list). Hooray for data, hooray for handy lists!

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Jennifer, great feedback and I appreciate the submission.

  • Mary

    Awesome list Michael!

    I suggest BlueGlassX 2013 in LA. The event is on May 21st and 22nd in Marina Del Rey, California. We have industry experts and world-class speakers coming to the event this year. With only 175 attendee spots, this is an intimate event that you don’t want to miss.

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Mary, I appreciate the submission.

  • Derrick Daye

    Hi Michael,

    For those marketers that are interested in a unique, deeply meaningful experience, we suggest:

    The Un-Conference: 360° of Brand Strategy for a Changing World
    Featuring John Sculley on May 16th and 17th 2013 in San Diego, California. This unique, competitive-learning workshop is limited to 100 participants, each working and learning in teams with the experts. There are no attendees — only participants. As in the marketplace — some will win, some will lose, All will learn

  • Rick Alden

    For the money, the SiriusDecisions conference provides the most bang for the buck…and they also do one in London now in the Fall I believe.

  • Diane Galante Haggerty

    Hi Michael,
    I would also like to add the Transportation Marketing and Sales Association (TMSA) Annual Conference – June 9-11 at the Sawgrass Marriott in Ponte Vedra, Florida. The theme for this year’s event is Marketing and Sales: Tools, Techniques and Tactics for Revenue Generation. The sessions are designed to give marketing, communications and sales professionals the hands-on experience that can be implemented into their day-to-day and drive profitable growth. Full agenda and registration details will be posted on in early March.

  • Demand Gen Report

    Thank you for including the B2B Content2Conversion Conference. We look forward to having you!

  • Emma

    Online Marketing Forums are sure the best way to get honest information.

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Emma, I’m really glad you found this helpful!

  • Anand Thaker

    Hi Mchael,

    Great list and we recommend the post to our clients when they ask.

    I’ll throw in an unconference, for which I am a founding trio. We were trying to fill a gap in the area and have a lot of fun doing it. Knowing how much you enjoyed the Stream unconference in Athens; participants, attendees, speakers enjoy the same spirit, energy and collection of knowledge as much as we do.

    Hope to catch you at our next one!


    • Michael Brenner

      Hi Anand,

      Thanks for the input and the submission. Looks exciting!

  • Debralina Rumble-Dani

    I’d like to attend one of these interesting seminars if you are in London, England.

  • Melissa Gillespie

    What a great list! Here is another to consider/add. Brand2Global takes place Sept. 16-18 in London. One of your colleagues is presenting at it, as well.

  • Jindrich Faborsky

    I would like to attach Marketing Festival to this list as one of the biggest online marketing conferences in all Europe with 22 world-class speakers from all around the world including UK. There will be people from MozCon, Distilled, Kissmetrics, Google,, …
    And Workshops. And Afterparties. And Concerts., 22.-23. 11. 2013, Brno, Czech Republic


    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks so much Jindrich, normally I frown upon any kind of promotion in these comments but in this case, I welcome the comment. You are also helping to fill the gap in the initial responses which were a bit too US-centric. So thanks on all those fronts.

  • Debi

    I’d like to add another great Boston conference to the list: FutureM (October 16-18; FutureM is all about the Future of Marketing — how innovation and tech are transforming the industry and companies’ relationships with their customers. The event features innovation leaders and speakers from top global brands.

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Debi, I’ve heard good things about it! Thanks for the addition.

  • Kiara

    Hi Michael
    This is Kiara from China.
    After reading your bio and your blog, I am not sure whether you are interested in being the Speaker for our 9th B2B Marketing Chief Congress in Shanghai China?

    Awaiting for your reply!

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Kiara, will reach out for more details.