You Ask, I Answer: Marketing Conferences to Attend in 2020?

Sarah asks, “What are some good marketing conferences to go to next year?”

The perennial question – and the perennial answer: it depends on what your goals are, and whether a conference is right for your goals. If you want to learn a topic deeply, a course is a better bet. Conferences are great for networking and getting a broad view of the landscape.

Events I’ve been to that I’ve enjoyed:
– MarketingProfs B2B Forum
– Content Marketing World and ContentTech $
– Social Media Marketing World $
– MarTech East and West $
– Marketing AI Conferences (MAICON)
– Hubspot INBOUND
– Dreamforce
– IBM THINK
– Social Fresh
– InfoShare

Mandatory FTC disclosure: I am being paid to speak at events above listed with a dollar sign after them.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode, Sarah asks, what are some good marketing conferences to go to next year? Well, this is the perennial question that people have typically at the end of the year when budgets being set and you’re trying to do figure out what to ask for particular parts of your budget like training, professional and development, etc.

The answer is still the sock answer every year which is it depends on your goals.

If you are for example, working inside the IBM marketing ecosystem, you should probably be at IBM think for example, if you are a HubSpot shop, you should probably go to inbound.

And the question really is what are your professional development goals if you are trying to learn one thing in depth conference is not the place to go.

You should be looking at a course if you are looking For a broad landscape perspective of a slice of your industry, or you want to network and meet tons of people, then yes at conferences the best choice for social media, obviously Social Media Marketing World, it would be the headline event to attend.

And so would Jason Keith social fresh, those are two good events there.

If you are a content marketer, you should be at content marketing world and the content Tech Summit.

If you are a b2b marketer, you should be at the marketingprofs b2b forum.

Those old ton of these events where there’s a very clear focus Same for marketing technology if you are in the vendor ecosystem or you want to do choose vendors and you want to understand technologies apply some marketing got to go to martech marchek east and martech West.

And again, if you’re into AI and marketing the May con conference for vendor shows HubSpot inbound is always entertaining lots of content that are specific to Hubspot dreamforce.

If you’re The Salesforce ecosystem is kind of a no brainer.

IBM think for IBM events for IBM shops.

info share.

It was an event I was privileged to speak at last year in Poland.

There are a ton of regional conferences.

So there’ll be conferences within your region.

One of the more valuable things to do, in addition to the bigger conferences, is also to look for local user groups and local meetups because there’s a very good chance that you’ll meet great folks at a conference and you’ll you’ll be able to stay in touch with them.

But if there’s a local group where you can kind of get together for coffee once a month, you will find that to be extremely valuable.

Here in Boston.

For example, we have Steve Garfield’s Boston media makers, which is a terrific monthly meetup.

But whatever path you choose, just make sure that you’re very clear on your goals.

This is what I want to get.

For a lot of events.

One of the things I strongly recommend is hit up youtube.

Make your make yourself a short list of events you think you might want to attend and then hit up YouTube.

And most good events are posting at least a couple of sessions here there that so you can get a sampling of what it’s like to be at that event, or certainly, certain speakers, I want to post their talks from those events.

So if there’s a speaker you’re looking to meet up with, go check out their YouTube profile, see if they got a playlist for speeches and talks and browse to the events they’ve been at, and use that as a way to say like, okay, I want to see this talk, I want to see this talking and get a sense for at least some of the content at these events.

You can also depending on your social media marketing tool of choice, look back at events, previous published content, to get a sense of what was happening at that event.

And that will give you a sense of the level of content at the event.

For speakers I would recommend if you’re going to look up an event on YouTube Look for three watch through three different sessions.

So that you get a sense of sort of what is the level of difficulty.

For example, at the martek event, I delivered of reasonably complex talk at the May con conference, which is marketing AI conference, I delivered a fairly advanced socket content marketing will do in a workshop I gave, I threw everyone in the deep end, because that was where the audiences wanted to be.

If you are at the beginning of your journey in a particular area of focus or topic, try to find a conference that matches is just slightly ahead of you.

So that 80% of the content is useful immediately.

But 20% is aspirational like okay, I don’t know this area, but I would like to know this area and this is a way to expose your mind to more advanced topics so that you have a destination for your own professional journey.

In terms of budgeting and stuff, some of these conferences, yeah, they’re expensive.

They’re four figures to attend them.

So again, do your due diligence, watch previous videos, get a sense for that.

Ask in, in your communities like slack groups, Facebook groups and things like that what people’s experiences have been asked if it’s a safe place to do so ask for what events not to go to.

There are some people who have had really bad experiences with some events and get a sense of why like was the content not helpful? Were there other factors at play, there have been some events, I won’t name names, but have had extremely inappropriate content, keynote speakers that were just offensive.

And people felt that a conference was actively discriminatory against against them and their perspective on Well, so be aware of that do there, there it as just as an important question to ask, what should you not go to? Where should you not go.

And remember, the other thing that is really important, and I would encourage you to do is between speakers and events, people are publishing content like crazy, just for just to get eyeballs, right? build yourself, I call it a conference in a box, right? Go through YouTube, collect sessions, from individual conferences and build your own event that you can take half a day, at work or whatever, once it’s quiet.

And watch the content, watch different speakers that you like, and try and glean from them.

This is something that I have always wanted to learn.

And here’s the content on YouTube probably for free.

So give that some thought as well.

If you can’t make it to an event because of budget, build your own with the content that’s already out there.

And freely available from a lot of these events? So Good question.

Very, very common question.

Know your goals.

use YouTube to get a sense of what’s available.

If a conferences content is not available on YouTube, you might want to give it a mess if they’re if they’re not willing to share in some fashion, because a lot of the knowledge that we share as speakers, these events, it ages out fast, right? There’s not a whole lot of harm having last year’s talk out there because certainly for the work that I do in data science and AI, last month’s content is out of date, right? So let’s put that out there for an example of what people can see.

But man, that’s that’s a little rusty.

So give that some thought as well.

When you’re judging a conference, look at what they publish, and look how generous they are to their community.

After the event.

A lot of conferences the really good ones will say like, yeah, we’re going to keep the content exclusive for the first 90 days or six months after the event and then After that will open stuff up.

So that’s the one person’s answer.

As always, if you have questions, please leave them in the box below.

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