Conferences are at the heart of any successful networking environment, especially for online marketers. Our day-to-day changes with every update, as well as our opportunities. The biggest news in our industry is usually announced first at conferences and then spread like wildfire across the cyberworld. Whether you’re planning out the rest of your event calendar or prepping for 2016, this conference list is your go-to for the top online marketing events to attend.
SearchLove is a two-day event held in three different cities featuring some of the most inspiring content you’ll hear all year. Each panel is featured in single-room settings, ensuring you won’t miss your favorite speaker while having to attend the panel your boss recommended. They also offer a SEO clinic that gives 1-1 time for personal website critic and advice. With three cities and dates to choose from, SearchLove is worth the trip.
City: Boston, April 30-May 1
San Diego, September 10-11
London, October 19-20
Speakers to Watch: Will Critchlow, Amanda McGowan, Joanna Lord, and Wil Reynolds
Insider Tip: If you choose to go to any international conference this year, go to SearchLove London! Explore London and the latest in search at the same time.
Designers, this conference is for you! Creative minds alike come together to rekindle their passions and discover the latest tools and inspirations at HOW Design Live. Divided into five programs, each with a specific design focus, there are several different workshops and networking events for creatives to take part in. Packaging design, leadership roles, in-house management tips, and more are covered in this fun and inspiring week long event.
Date: May 4-9
Speakers to Watch: Michael Bierut, Jessica Helfand, Ashleigh Axios
Insider Tips: Be strategic about which sessions you choose. If your an in-house designer, focus on expanding your knowledge with those types of sessions and networking events.
At the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle, SMX Advanced offers the most advanced tactics for SEOs and SEMs. This is no beginners conference. The best of the best attend this search engine marketing conference and walk away with the most valuable information and newest tools to enhance their online marketing efforts and optimization. Expect to hear the words, “Google” and “Mobilegeddon” repeated frequently at this year’s SMX Advanced.
Date: June 2-3
Speakers to Watch: Cyrus Shepard, Marcus Tober, Jerry Dischler, Stacy Williams
Insider Tips: It’s always important to attend the after-party. SMX Advanced has after-parties you CAN’T miss, no matter how jet-lagged you are. The Opening Night Meet & Greet and the SMX After Dark are huge networking opportunities to connect with some of the big names and ask the rest of the questions you couldn’t during Q&A. Also take advantage of the Birds of a Feather tables during lunch to talk one-on-one with speakers.
You are wonderful.
Date: July 13-15
Speakers to Watch: Cindy Krum, Adam Singer, David Mihm, Rand Fishkin
Insider Tips: Take as many photos with Roger as you can and attend the #MozCrawl. The #MozCrawl kicks off Monday night and is a pub crawl worth attending. Get to see your SEO idols have one too many and then post photos for evidence on Twitter. #Gotcha
Finally, something dedicated to us content junkies. Content Marketing World is the Harry Potter World for writers. Over 2,600 marketers from more than 50 countries attend this content conference for a reason. It’s worth it! With over 80 sessions and some of the top brand and content marketers in the industry attending, have your pencil and notepad out and be prepared to take notes.
Date: September 8-11
Speakers to Watch: JOHN CLEESE (YES!), Kristina Halvorson, Jay Baer, Joe Pulizzi
Insider Tips: Participate in CMW’s Twitter chats before attending the event. You’ll get a feel of who will be attending and who the regulars are during their #CMWorld Twitter chats. Follow @CMIContent’s feed each Tuesday from 12-1pm ET.
Pubcon, the premier social media and optimization conference, is our favorite conference. We attend each of their three conferences throughout the year in three of America’s best cities. Since 2000, Pubcon has been bringing the very best in online marketing and SEO to thousands of attendees from over 130 different countries.
Las Vegas, October 5-9
New Orleans, March
Speakers to Watch: Lisa Buyer, Jabez LeBret, Brett Tabke, Joe Laratro
Insider Tips: Pay close attention to @Pubcon’ s Twitter feed for clues and events happening each day, like the infamous AuthorityLabs scavenger hunt. You won’t want to miss out on that. You’ll also want to participate in the Mastergroup Workshops where you can get 1-1 attention and attend the exciting U.S. Search Awards.
Most likely the most affordable SEO conference you’ll attend all year, the State of Search is the perfect conference to satisfy everyones appetite, from the newly Googled to the Matt Cutts. No matter where you are in your online marketing journey, this conference offers a Texas-sized dose of insight and inspiration from leading marketing professionals. Expect extensive programming on SEO, local SEO, PPC, and social media marketing.
Date: November 16-17
Speakers to Watch: Rand Fishkin, Duane Forrester, (more to be announced)
Insider Tips: Each year is getting bigger and bigger, so be prepared to see some really big names announced for this year’s lineup.
Conference Attendance Tips:
- There usually isn’t a dress code for conferences, but that isn’t an excuse to not shower. Do yourself, and the company you’re representing, a favor and look presentable.
- BUSINESS CARDS! The worst thing you can do is forget your business cards at the hotel or run out. Trust me. I now carry an oversized stack at all times – in my laptop bag in two different places, a small stack tucked in my back pocket, multiple stacks in all of my purse pockets, and another stack in my wallet (both sides). #neverrunningoutagain
- Live tweeting with the conference hashtag is a great way to break the ice and start conversations with attendees you wouldn’t have before. You can also hear about the latest events and get invites to fancy dinners and after-parties by following the conference hashtag.
- Don’t be afraid to attend the conference in the first place. Conferences are a blast! Aside from being 100% mentally and physically exhausting, they’re a darn good time and open up many doors. Don’t hesitate to walk through those doors and meet new people who share the same passion.
Did we miss your favorite conference? Comment below with your must attend conferences.