As a business owner, you probably get dozens--maybe hundreds--of emails, mailings, phone calls, and pamphlets about various conferences that are taking place within and outside of your industry. The troubling part is that while some of these conferences are a huge waste of time and money, others are worth every penny you spend. This is especially true when it comes to marketing conferences.

6 Annual Marketing Conferences Worth Attending

Knowing which marketing conferences to attend each year can help you better allocate your budget and keep your team informed. Check out the list below to point you in the right direction:

SMX Conference

Arguably the premier search marketing conference in the world, the Search Marketing Expo conference is designed to "educate internet marketers about search, and connect the dots to other digital marketing specialties." And what's best about it is that, "The content presented is actionable, results oriented and provided by the most knowledgeable professionals in the business."

The SMX conference hits eight cities around the world this year, including U.S. stops in New York City, Seattle, and Silicon Valley. Among the many brands that attend, you'll see companies like Dell, eBay, Facebook, Coca-Cola, General Motors, and more.

Startup Grind

One of the most interesting conferences is the Startup Grind Global Conference (which returns in February 2016). While it's not exclusively a marketing conference, it definitely touches on many of the relevant issues related to internet marketing and progressive advertising.

If you're looking for one reason to attend the conference, just consider some of the names that will be speaking. Already confirmed speakers include Steve Blank, Michelle Zatlyn, Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, and Selina Tobaccowala.


Want your team to attend a conference before the end of the year? The SocialPro conference is one of the last good conferences of 2015. It's designed to help novice and experienced professionals, "Learn fresh new strategies and tactics from some of the savviest brands and digital marketing agencies managing earned, owned and paid social media marketing campaigns across multiple platforms."

Some of the workshops at SocialPro include Millennial Marketing Using Vine, Instagram & Snapchat, Advanced AdWords Training, and Social PPC & Psychographic Display Intensive. Just like every other year, this year's conference is expected to be extremely relevant and timely.


While you'll have to wait until March 2016 for the annual MarTech conference to return to the United States, the wait will be well worth it. This upcoming conference will be held in San Francisco and is specifically designed for senior-level marketing professionals, creative technologists, data scientists, digital strategists, and growth hackers.

"MarTech is an inspiring, cross-pollinating experience that transcends the traditional boundaries between marketing and IT, and encourages creative collaboration across the organization," the website reads. This is definitely not a conference for lower level marketing professionals, but you and your top employees may benefit from it.

Social Media Marketing World

If you want to rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in the industry and learn about innovative new strategies, Social Media Marketing World is the place to be. The 2016 conference takes place in San Diego and is focused on three primary things: networking, discovery, and fun.

From the moment you arrive, you'll see how each of these three goals are seamlessly combined for a successful week. The opening night networking party is the perfect opportunity to forge new business partnerships, while the social media marketing sessions allow you to peer inside the future of the industry. There are also plenty of sessions and workshops, as the conference believes in the power of hands-on learning.

Summit Digital Marketing Conference

Boasting more than 135 sessions and nine distinct tracks, the annual Summit digital marketing conference is a huge hit. The next conference will be held March 20-24, 2016 in Las Vegas. It's put on by Adobe, so you know it's backed by a reputable name.

Some of the areas of emphasis throughout the three-day event include digital experience management, marketing analytics, mobile engagement, personalization and optimization, cross-channel marketing, and programmatic advertising.

Reasons to Attend Conferences

As a business owner, the thought of attending another conference can make you roll your eyes and sigh. Don't write these six conferences off, though. There are a number of reasons to attend:

Keeps you current.
Allows you to network.
Inspires you.

Mark Your Calendar

While the majority of 2015's marketing conferences have already taken place, the good news is that 2016 is wide open. Go ahead and mark your calendar for next year and carve out some time to bounce around from conference to conference. As a business owner and marketing professional, these six are too valuable to ignore or overlook.

P.S. Do you feel like a quality conference is missing from the list? Let me know in the comment section!

Published on: Sep 21, 2015