Nothing can give you quite as much insight, knowledge, and confidence in growing your business as a well-structured conference. No matter how successful I feel, I know there's always room to grow and learn, and the opportunity to connect with industry leaders and influencers is something everyone should jump on.
Meeting fellow attendees and speakers at an industry show or marketing conference can yield a great deal of insight into where things are heading, trends you might have missed, and tips that can help you transform your business.
Here are some of the marketing conferences coming up in 2016 that you should look into attending to reap those benefits.
1. Traction Conference--Vancouver (June 22nd & 23rd)
While not specifically a marketing conference, there are a lot of insights to be gained from the speakers and workshops at this event. Traction brings founders and growth experts from some of the fastest-growing tech companies around to share insights about optimizing products and driving growth and revenue. It will certainly include an understanding of how marketing strategies and distribution channels can help scale up after launch.
Event speakers include Justin Kan, Co-founder of Twitch.tv, Heather Zynczak, CMO for Domo, and Mark Roberge, CRO for HubSpot.
2. Growth Hackers Conference--San Francisco (February 18th)
While the growth hackers conference has already taken place, it was an amazing event that covered topics such as creating a growth-centric culture, how to meet challenges and opportunities when approaching business growth, and how to assess growth progress.
One of the most notable presentations was from Aatif Awan, who shared lessons learned from growing LinkedIn to over 400 million members, as well as a fireside chat with Erin Turner of Google/YouTube on growth through delivering real value.
3. Gartner Digital Marketing Conference--San Diego (May 17-19)
Gartner had a successful show in 2015, and this year the company is focusing on data-driven marketing, tech integration as part of a marketing strategy, and how to master the customer experience. It should be a great event for senior digital marketing leaders that need to back up decisions with data.
Keynote speakers include Bert Jacobs, CEO of Life is Good, and Jake Sorofman, Research VP of Gartner.
4. Content Marketing Conference--Las Vegas (May 17-19)
CMC is a new conference focused on--you guessed it--content marketing. If you want to start digging into the world of content marketing but you're not ready to swim in the Content Marketing World ocean, then this may be just the conference for you.
Writer's Access CEO Byron White will be in attendance, and will speak on actionable tactics that apply to content marketing.
You'll also hear from keynote speakers such as Arnie Kuenn of Vertical Measures, and Larry Kim of WordStream.
5. ITMSA Marketing Leadership Forum--Napa Valley (May 24-25)
This year, the forum will focus on how sales teams can improve activity and better collaborate through thought leadership, while also improving marketing using customer insights, content marketing promotion, and more customization/personalization.
This conference always brings in a great mix of marketing, sales, and technology professionals. It's an excellent opportunity to meet and learn about topics and trends facing the marketing industry in a smaller, more intimate setting.
Keynote speakers for this event include John Hall, CEO of Influence & CO, and Mona Charif, Services Marketing and Communications VP at Dell.
6. PRSA 2016 Strategic Collaboration Conference--Chicago (May 24-25)
PR and marketing go hand in hand--and when they're not leveraged together, you can miss out on some opportunities to reach a broader audience. It's well worth it for marketing professionals to get at least one PR conference on their yearly calendar.
I'm highlighting this conference because it focuses on the skills that PR and marketing professionals need if they want to integrate digital with more traditional communication channels for more collaborative efforts.
It looks like there will be some great how-to sessions and workshops at this event to teach attendees how to leverage traditional and digital communication together.
Keynote speakers include Bonnie Harris, CEO of Wax Marketing, Lee Odden, CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, and Paul Roetzer, CEO of PR 20/20.
7. Content Marketing World--Cleveland (September 6-9)
For anyone involved in marketing, Content Marketing World is the event to be at. It caters to everyone from individual content creators all the way up to CMOs and executives in the C-Suite.
This is where marketing professionals go to learn about content trends and the direction of the industry, as well as the companies who are setting the pace for the rest of us.
It's a huge conference, with over 200 speakers and thousands of attendees who will garner big takeaways from the various breakout sessions and workshops. Both individual content creators and corporate teams will learn how to develop, execute, and track content while growing their businesses.
Keynote speakers include Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer with MarketingProfs, Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute, and John von Brachel, Content Marketing Executive for Bank of America.
8. Brand ManageCamp--Las Vegas (September 15-16)
This conference is beneficial to both small and large businesses that want to learn more about how to leverage marketing to build strong, profitable brands. Speakers will focus on forward-thinking insights, marketing strategies, measurement metrics, and more from industry leaders.
Speakers at Brand ManageCamp include Chris Brogan,Brian Solis, and Mark Sanborn.
9. Share16--San Francisco (October 24-26)
BrightEdge puts on the Share16 conference every year, bringing together over 800 digital marketing and eCommerce professionals to share case studies, actionable strategies, and best practices to survive in an ever-changing digital space. It's a must-attend event for content marketers, search professionals, and digital marketers.
Keep an eye out to find out who will be speaking at Share16 this year.
10. Inbound--Boston (November 8-11)
Each year, Inbound holds its event in Boston and attracts thousands of marketing professionals from around the globe to take in and share content ideas, strategies, and more. Like Content Marketing World, Inbound is a huge event featuring over 250 speakers, as well as breakout sessions.
Attendees will be privy to powerful talks from a diverse and exciting group of professionals featuring presentations that power through an impressive amount of knowledge in less than 12 minutes.
Inbound doesn't just limit speakers to marketing professionals. In previous years, the event featured keynote speakers like Aziz Ansari. The unique mix of information and entertainment adds a noteworthy element to what Inbound has to offer marketing professionals.
Keynote speakers for Inbound 2016 include award-winning actor Alec Baldwin, entrepreneur/best-selling author Gary Vaynerchuk, and author of Radical Candor, Kim Scott.
If you've never attended a conference, it's something I highly recommend. As trends continue to drive toward more digital marketing, social, and content marketing, conferences like these will become a must in order for professionals to stay on top in their industries.
Are you attending one of these events or do you know of a marketing conference that didn't make the list? Share in the comments below: