With the year off to a fresh start and hopefully budgets locked in with a line item for conferences and events, it’s time to start planning which conventions you want to attend in 2018.
Conferences are incredibly valuable for skill expansion and networking, and even though they require time off of work, they are well worth the investment. Most marketers only have the budget for one or two conferences every year, so it’s vital that the conference(s) you choose to attend offers the most value for the investment.
Below are my picks for the top six conferences happening in 2018 (in order of date).
1. GrowthHackers Conference – February 6 in San Diego, California
This conference is the premier destination for anyone even remotely interested in the nascent field of growth hacking. You will learn from renowned growth experts like Sean Ellis (GrowthHackers), Joanna Lord (ClassPass), Scott Brinker (Hubspot) and Adelyn Zhou (Top Bots) on how to scale growth strategies. This conference is a one-day event packed with insights from beginning to end.
2. Engage (Formerly SEMPDX) – March 9 in Portland, Oregon.
Engage brings together experts from all across digital marketing and is an intimate regional conference perfect for networking with attendees and speakers. Expect to have your mind expanded by the online marketing wisdom from thought leaders like Marty Weintraub, Brent Csutoras, Dave Roher and Rebecca Kelly.
3. SMX Advanced – June 11-13 in Seattle, Washington
This the advanced conference of the SMX series (other conferences are in San Jose, New York, and Munich), and true to its title, it has the most advanced topics in SEO, PPC, social media and analytics. The agenda has not been announced for this conference, but typically you can expect to hear from the field’s most established experts as well as receive updates directly from Google.
4. Content Marketing World – September 4-7 in Cleveland, Ohio
This conference comprises over 120 sessions and workshops presented by leading brand marketers from around the world covering content strategy, integration, measurement and many new ideas. While it is too early to know the agenda for this year, last year’s conference featured industry leaders from major brands like Capital One, GE and Coca-Cola.
5. Inbound – September 4-7 in Boston, Massachusetts
Inbound is produced by Hubspot, the marketing automation software company, but it is so much more than a software conference. Last year’s conference featured keynotes from Michele Obama, Adam Grant, Dr. Ed Catmull and many others. Each year this conference attracts thousands of marketers seeking to advance their skills and network. Inbound can be pricier than other conferences, but if you buy your tickets before March, you can save almost 50 percent.
6. Pubcon – October 16-19 Las Vegas, Nevada
There are three Pubcons held throughout the year, but the marquee event is the annual conference held in Las Vegas. What Pubcon lacks in the Broadway-show-level polish common among many marketing conferences and celebrity keynotes is vastly overshadowed by the raw knowledge imparted by speakers during this multitrack, three-day digital download of a conference. Pubcon’s sessions span topics from affiliate marketing to SEO to domaining, with everything in between. There is something to be learned by both newbie marketers and pros, and if you had to only go to one conference a year, Pubcon should be the one you attend.
Every year there are many conferences, small and large, happening all over the country. If you don’t have the budget to travel to one, you can likely find an event near where you live. Check out local events on Meetup, Eventbrite and even local community listings. You can also subscribe to area marketing associations to learn about events they may be organizing.