31+ Top 2019 Marketing Conferences to Gain That Competitive Edge
As marketers, we’ve shifted a significant portion of our attention and spend from offline channels to online. With that said, conferences are still a place where companies can expand their awareness with targeted audiences, generate new leads, consummate deals, or do on-the-ground buyer research. For individual marketers or marketing technologists, conferences are a great place to make new contacts, to become educated on cutting edge (or foundational) topics, to learn about new marketing technologies or tools, and to build up their personal brand (by speaking, for example).
Planning the right conference strategy takes time — whether you’re attending, planning to present, sponsoring, or creating a presence at various events. In addition, the earlier you make your decisions, the cheaper it is (most have significantly reduced early bird rates), the better hotel you’ll be able to book, and the better spot on the expo floor you can select.
So, with that in mind, below are 31 marketing, marketing technology, digital marketing and social media conferences and events to consider for 2019. Some have multiple dates/locations, so check in with the conference websites for all of the details for those that look interesting. If dates and other details aren’t available for a conference yet, you may be able to receive updates by signing up on the event’s website.
SMX – Search Marketing Expo
SMX West: Jan. 30-31, 2019, San Jose, CA
SMX Advanced: Jun. 3-5, 2019, Seattle, WA
SMX East: Oct. 24-25, 2018, New York, NY (2019 TBA)
Other events: SMX Munich, April 2019; SMX London, May 2019; SMX Paris, June 2019
There are multiple Search Marketing Expo events across the globe, including a yearly SMX Advanced session, which is usually held in Seattle. These events have been held for SEO and SEM professionals since 2007. They’re produced by the folks at Search Engine Land and Marketing Land and are a great place to learn about search engine optimization, PPC marketing and other digital marketing strategies, tactics and tools.
Affiliate Summit West
January 6-8, 2019
Paris Hotel, Las Vegas, NV
Established in 2003, Affiliate Summit West is the major performance marketing / affiliate event to attend. There are also East, APAC and Euro events as well (check the site for dates for those). Affiliate Summit West 2019 (#ASW19) will be held at Paris Las Vegas January 6-8, 2019. Attended by bloggers, media companies/publishers, advertisers, global brands, tech firms, digital agencies and more. The event includes the seminars, a marketplace/exhibit hall and plenty of networking opportunities.
February 20-22, 2019
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Banff, Alberta
The Gathering is (per their event page) “an annual, informal coming together of the enlightened, influential illuminati behind the famous names that are getting customer engagement right. It is an intimate series of talks, workshops, parties and meals for them and their acolytes.” It’s a conference in beautiful Banff, Alberta, organized by the Cult Marketing Engagement Agency that features brands who have had success with customer engagement. In addition to presentations by industry leaders, it includes plenty of networking and a variety of bands and musicians for entertainment as well. In 2017, it had about 2,500 attendees.
B2B Marketing Exchange
February 25-27, 2019
Hyatt Regency Scottsdale, Scottsdale, AZ
The B2B Marketing Exchange has over 100 speakers and will be attended by 1000+ B2B marketers. In 2019, the featured speaker is David Meerman Scott. The marketing exchange includes workshops and case studies, opportunities to meet the experts, networking and the ability to meet providers of marketing tools and technologies.
Traffic & Conversion Summit
February 25-27, 2019
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, San Diego, CA
Billed as the largest marketing event in North America, the Traffic & Conversion Summit is attended by thousands of digital marketers who look for “strictly actionable strategies and content.” They even have a strict “no theory” policy! Past speakers have included Dr. Robert Cialdini, Mari Smith, Gary Vaynerchuk, Pat Flynn, William Shatner and Ryan Deiss.
March 4-5, 2019
Kona Kai Spa and Resort, San Diego, CA
SearchLove in San Diego offers keynote-style presentations on search, analytics, content creation and other topics in digital marketing. It’s a good fit for SEO professionals, marketing managers and business owners. The conference’s extensive networking events provide plenty of chances to make connections at the idyllic Kona Kai resort. London and Boston also host SearchLove conferences.
March 5-7, 2019
Fort Lauderdale Convention Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL
In partnership with the South Florida Interactive Marketing Association, Pubcon Florida showcases useful strategies for search, social media, mobile marketing, content development and other areas of digital marketing. The conference kicks off with a series of Masters Workshops, followed by hourly multi-track sessions. Exhibitions, networking and evening events round out an intense three days.
Social Media Marketing World
March 20-22, 2019
San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA
Social Media Marketing World is the conference run by Michael Stelzner and the Social Media Examiner team. It takes place in San Diego and features ample keynotes, workshops and focused sessions. Go to this event and pick up some great strategies and spend some time by or on the water in San Diego!
Social Media Strategies Summit Anaheim
March 19-20, 2019
Anaheim Marriott, Anaheim, CA
A good mix of training, keynotes, panels, networking and presentations, the Social Media Strategies Summits are smaller events around the 150-300 attendee range. They are great for learning about strategies, tactics and tools for a successful social media program. It’s also a great way to network with peers, thought leaders and agencies. Other events include the New York event in October 2018 and a virtual event in August.
MarTech® – The Marketing Technology Conference
West: April 3-5, 2019, San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, CA
East: October 1-3, 2018, Boston, MA (2019 TBA)
Per the website, the MarTech® Conference is designed for hybrid marketing professionals charged with breaking down organizational silos designed for a pre-digital world.” The event is ideal for marketers, marketing technologists, marketing operations and IT folks. Learn about technologies, best practices and see case studies from senior marketers, vendors, and industry analysts. There’s a MarTech East and MarTech West.
Scott Brinker (@chiefmartec), delivering the keynote at Martech East, October 2018
April 8-10, 2019
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, San Diego, CA
ContentTech Summit explores how technology and innovation can lead to more effective content and better customer experiences. Formerly the Intelligent Content Conference, this event attracts an audience of senior executives, enterprise marketers and “anyone else working at the convergence point of content, technology and strategy,” according to the website.
Content Marketing Conference
April 16-19, 2019
Boston Westin Waterfront, Boston, MA
The annual Content Marketing Conference brings together executives, marketing managers, tech professionals and others. The 2019 conference workshops and other events include video, writing techniques, content strategy, conversion rate optimization and more as topics. Laughter is also on the agenda, with a series of comedy marketing keynotes and a comedy marketing club.
Midwest Digital Marketing Conference
April 16-18, 2019
St. Louis Union Station, St. Louis, MO
The Midwest Digital Marketing Conference (MDMC), launched in 2013, is “the largest digital marketing conference in the Midwest.” It’s an excellent place to learn about data, social media, eCommerce and many other topics. MDMC 2018 welcomed almost 2,000 attendees and featured more than 130 speakers from companies such as BuzzFeed, Facebook, Google, HubSpot, Refinery29 and Under Armour.
SiriusDecisions 2019 Summit
May 6-8, 2019
Austin, TX (location TBA)
The SiriusDecisions Summit is specifically aimed at B2B marketers and sales professionals. The conference’s talks and presentations address topics such as demand creation, customer engagement, portfolio marketing and channel marketing. It’s organized by SiriusDecisions, so many of the sessions may focus on teaching the company’s specific approach.
May 9-10, 2019
New York Marriott Marquis, New York, NY
DigiMarCon East 2019 delivers the latest insights in digital marketing to an audience of executives, sales professionals, entrepreneurs and others. Speakers and master classes cover data analytics, fintech marketing, growth marketing, sales funnel automation, social media and more. DigiMarCons also take place in other cities across the U.S. and around the world.
Experiential Marketing Summit
Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV
If you’re interested in reaching audiences with events and face-to-face engagement, the Experiential Marketing Summit could be for you. The conference offers more than 80 sessions on trends, best practices and case studies along with excursions, networking and awards. And Caesars Palace in Las Vegas is an experience in itself!
Gartner Digital Marketing Conference
May 15-17, 2018 (2019 TBA)
San Diego, CA
The Gartner Digital Marketing Conference appeals to CMOs and other marketing leaders with a mixture of speakers, roundtables, Q&As and networking opportunities. Gartner’s own analysts share insights from their research on best practices, technology and innovation. Gartner also holds other events on marketing, sales, IT and human resources throughout the year.
Marketing Evolution Experience
June 16-20, 2019
Las Vegas, NV
Data-driven marketing is the name of the game at Marketing Evolution Experience. The workshops and speakers address a mixed audience of marketers, marketing technologists, digital analysts and growth hackers. Expect to dive deep into topics like data-driven culture, digital analytics, attribution and AI for marketing.
July 15-17, 2019
Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, WA
Brought to you by the SEO experts at Moz, Mozcon helps SEO professionals, marketing managers and executives understand what’s new in search marketing. Come for three full days of speakers, networking and social events. Big data, local search, machine learning for SEO and search-driven content strategy are among the topics for 2019.
Conex: The Content Experience
August 20-22, 2018 (2019 TBA)
Digital marketing, demand generation and content marketing get all the attention at Conex: The Content Experience in downtown Toronto. This three-day event is packed with keynotes, presentations and networking opportunities. There are also special events such as the annual EXPY Awards and 2018’s Content Feud hosted by author Jay Baer.
Brand Marketers Insider Summit
August 19-22, 2018 (2019 TBA)
Lake Tahoe, CA
MediaPost’s Brand Insider Marketers Summit aims to help marketers break through to consumers with more effective branding strategies. The 2018 conference included speakers from AEG Worldwide, eBay, General Mills, Nordstrom and Uber, among other well-known companies. MediaPost also organizes other events through the year, such as conferences on health and automotive marketing.
Sept. 3-6, 2019
Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Boston, MA
INBOUND provides professional education, ideas and inspiration for the inbound marketing community. Hosted by HubSpot, this event draws more than 20,000 attendees with its mix of keynote speeches, breakout sessions, networking and entertainment. Michelle Obama, John Cena, Beth Comstock and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie have spoken at past conferences.
Content Marketing World
September 4-7, 2018 (2019 TBA)
For content marketers and strategists, Content Marketing World offers four full days of thought-provoking workshops, breakout sessions and presentations. Thousands of attendees come each year to network and learn about strategy, storytelling, demand generation, the role of AI and other hot topics. Tina Fey, Kathleen Diamantakis and Jane Weedon were the featured speakers in 2018.
Digital & Content Marketing Summit
September 19-20, 2019
Bespoke Events, San Francisco, CA
The Digital & Content Marketing Summit is “where cutting-edge martech meets creative,” according to its website. Marketing executives and directors might want to consider this one (which has fewer than 200 attendees). With speakers from leading brands, it’s a good place to gain one’s bearings in a technology-driven marketing landscape.
AMA Marketing Week Live
October 3-5, 2018 (2019 TBA)
Las Vegas, NV
The American Marketing Association’s Marketing Week Live is, according to its web page, “a problem-busting event” that helps marketers deal with their practical, day-to-day challenges. Its blend of presentations and breakout sessions cover everything from branding to technology. Extensive networking and speed mentoring also feature on the agenda.
State of Search
October 10-11, 2018 (2019 TBA)
State of Search, held by the Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association, offers real-world insights about SEO, PPC and local search, among other search-related topics. In-house marketers, agency professionals and business owners are encouraged to attend, while soaking up the Texas atmosphere.
Marketing Nation Summit
October 21-24, 2019
Las Vegas, NV
The Marketing Nation Summit features expert talks about digital marketing and customer engagement. The event also offers advanced training and certification for users of Marketo’s marketing automation software. The keynote speakers for 2019 will include Jamie Foxx, Olympic medalist Lindsey Vonn and Bill McDermott of SAP. More than 6,000 people attended last year’s event. With Marketo’s acquisition by Adobe, expect to see more Adobe products represented next year!
Brand Marketing Summit
Oct. 24-25, 2018 (2019 TBA), New York, NY
May 30-31, 2019, San Francisco, CA
Incite Group’ Brand Marketing Summits in New York and San Francisco aim to help brands take their strategies for customer engagement to new heights. The events attract CMOs, other executives, and marketing managers, with speakers from many leading companies. Personalization, customer experience, social media marketing and brand reinvention are some of its major themes.
B2B Marketing Forum
November 13-16, 2018 (2019 TBA)
San Francisco Marriott Marquis, San Francisco, CA
MarketingProfs’ B2B Marketing Forum, aimed at business-to-business marketers, features keynote speakers such as Ann Handley and Gopi Kallayil, Google’s chief brand marketing evangelist. The Forum’s talks and workshops cover everything from analytics, content strategy and email marketing to marketing strategy and marketing-sales alignment. It’s also a fun place to connect with your B2B peers through networking events and “off-the-clock antics.”
Open Mobile Summit
November 27-29, 2018 (2019 TBA)
San Francisco, CA
With more than 70 speakers from top brands, Incite Group’s Open Mobile Summit is an option for marketing executives who want to develop more compelling multiplatform experiences. More than 500 senior-level attendees come here to build their mobile expertise with practical discussions of customer marketing and engagement, product engineering and UX/design.
Growth Marketing Conference
December 11-12, 2018 (2019 TBA)
Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, CA
The Growth Marketing Conference immerses attendees in the art and science of customer acquisition, conversion and retention. The conference offers ample opportunities for networking, training and more. Business-to-business marketers and executives may want to check out B2B Growth Day, a one-day event just after the main conference.
Which marketing conferences will you attend in 2019?
Did you learn about any new marketing conferences or events? Which ones did you find the most interesting for 2019? Are there any that I missed that deserve to be on the list? Just @mention me at Twitter.com/rtmixmktg to let me know or recommend an event and I’ll consider adding it to my list.