It's not always easy to escape the office, but taking the time to attend industry conferences can be hugely beneficial to your business. Not only is it an opportunity to learn more about emerging trends and technology, but it's also a stellar chance to grow your professional network outside your usual circles.
In the arena of digital marketing, there are hundreds upon hundreds of conferences to choose from with specialties including SEO, branded content, non-profit marketing, and more. Pick a month that is typically a bit slower for your company, set your out of office, and schedule one of these conferences to help grow your business and your network.
August 2016: Social Fresh
Business cards are a must at every conference, but especially Social Fresh. This longest-running social marketing conference takes place in Orlando from August 18th through 21st, and has a heavy focus on networking in the social media industry.
September 2016: Content Marketing World
They break out the big guns at Content Marketing World--the largest content marketing summit in the world. Taking place from September 6th through 8th in Cleveland, this summit features guest speakers from companies including Google, General Electric, Kellogg's, IBM, Intel, LinkedIn, Microsoft, and many more.
October 2016: Dreamforce
One of the largest nonprofit technology conferences in the world, Dreamforce brings out the who's who of the non-profit world. This year's speakers include Melinda Gates, (RED)'s CEO Deborah Dugan, Billie Jean King, Patricia Arquette and Tony Robbins. Dreamforce will take place from October 4th through 7th in San Francisco.
November 2016: Inbound
Both marketing and sales professionals should take a look at Inbound, which focuses on increasing business visibility through--you guessed it--inbound marketing. This year's conference will be held November 8th through 11th in Boston. While 2016's speakers have yet to be announced, 2015's speakers included Chelsea Clinton, bestselling author Seth Godin, and Buzzfeed's CEO Jonah Peretti.
December 2016: Eventful Forum
Between wrapping up the year and the holidays, December can be a busy month for a lot of us. If you can squeeze in a conference, New York's Eventful Forum is a one-day conference held on December 9th that focuses on how to leverage digital trends and technology in brand marketing.
January 2017: CES
It was once all about the techiest of techies, but CES has now become a must-attend event for digital marketers. Taking place from January 5th through 7th in Las Vegas, the annual conference draws keynotes from some of the most innovative marketers in the tech space, and previews some of the platforms and gadgets where your content will live in the future.
February 2017: Social Media Week
The ninth annual Social Media Week New York City--or #SMWNYC as the requisite hashtag goes--will take place from February 27th through March 3rd at The TimesCenter. The hugely popular conference explores how the latest trends in social media and technology shape business and culture.
March 2017: SXSW
Rest up for SXSW Interactive on March 10th through 14th, which features emerging creative technology workshops by day and so many parties at night. New business owners should check out the Startup Village, which has dedicated meetups, sessions, and workshops for those just getting their brands off the ground.
April 2017: Social Tools Summit
Social Tools Summit is the first conference to focus on social media best practices and technology. This conference showcases the tools that help brands drive their social media ROI. Dates have yet to be announced for the Boston conference, but this event is typically held in mid-April.
May 2017: Social Media Camp
Coming up on its eighth year, Social Media Camp in Vancouver is Canada's largest social media conference. Social Media Camp will be held May 3rd through 4th, and not only tackles social media in marketing, but also in the education, non-profit, and government sectors.
June 2017: VidCon
Online video is the focus at VidCon, where over 20,000 creators, industry leaders, and fans congregate in Anaheim, CA. If you are looking for resources on how to improve your brand's video content, snag an Industry Track badge to attend panels, workshops, and networking events.
July 2017: Social Tech Live
Pack your sunscreen for Social Tech Live, which takes place in Miami in July (dates have yet to be announced). Each year looks at social technology through a different lens; 2016's conference focused on the fusion of fashion and technology.