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Communication conferences are a great excuse to go touch grass - ideally on your employer's dime.

You get to hang out with other communication professionals and colleagues, talk shop, learn new tricks of the trade, and pretend you have the best ChatGPT prompt for generating a press release.

So, here's my list of the best communication conferences for touching grass happening in 2024.

A Shortlist of the Best Communications Conferences in 2024

Think of this as the ultimate IRL marketing resource shortlist of communication conferences:

  1. Corporate Communications: Getting the Next Job Done - New York, NY (February - March 2024)
  2. Social Media Conference - Orlando, FL (March 2024)
  3. Women's Retreat for Communicators - Savannah, GA (April 2024)
  4. PRWeek Crisis Comms Conference - Washington DC (April 2024)
  5. PRWeek PR360 - Brighton, UK (May 2024)
  6. PR Daily Media Relations Conference - Washington, DC (June 2024)
  7. 2024 CPRS National Conference - Quebec, Canada (June 2024)
  8. IoIC Festival 2024 - North London, UK (June 2024)
  9. IABC World Conference - Chicago, IL (June 2024)
  10. PRWeek Crisis Communications - London, UK (June 2024)
  11. PR Decoded Purpose+ - Chicago, IL (October 2024)
  12. Comms Connect Melbourne 2024 - Melbourne, Australia (October 2024)
  13. Communications Week - Austin, TX (November 2024)

Find more details about each conference below.

1. Corporate Communications: Getting the Next Job Done - New York, NY (February - March 2024)

Industry leaders engaging the audience at Corporate Communications conference
Corporate Communications: Getting the Next Job Done Conference

Overview:

This conference focuses on strategic corporate communication, offering insights into internal and external communication strategies. Topics include crisis management, brand management and how it impacts your approach to communication, and digital media strategies.

Takeaways from 2024's Corporate Communications Conference:

2024's Corporate Communications: Getting the Next Job Done had an impressive lineup of speakers show up to share their insights on communications in the age of generative AI. Speakers included leaders from PWC, Hasbro, Merck and others.

If you missed this, here are some takeaways from the conference shared by Christina Corso Furmato:

  • The chief communications officer (CCO) is now an advisor to the CEO.
  • Making the right generative AI choices today will give you an advantage tomorrow.
  • People expect more from brands.

You can read more about Christina's communication conference takeaways here.

2. Social Media Conference - Orlando, FL (March 2024)

Attendees at Social Media Conference event
Social Media Conference

Overview:

This social media event focuses on the latest in social media, content marketing trends, and brand storytelling. Think if it as a combined social media and content marketing conference for communication pros. Attendees learn from leading brand experts about building stronger social media management strategies.

Takeaways from Ragan's 2024 Social Media Conference:

Ragan's 2024 Social Media Conference for communication pros lived up to its hype. Here's Ragan's Editor, Sean Devlin, on takeaways from the event:

  • “It’s not AI, but IA — intelligence automation,” said author and opening keynoter Andrew Davis  “If we think of AI as a collaborator and not a tool, we can get a lot of more out of it.”
  • “A lot of people are scared of the term ‘AI,’ but it’s already in the tools we use every day,” said Allison Waken, Sr. Manager, Influencer Marketing, University of Phoenix.
  • Listen to the sentiment and the conversations to understand what the true representation of your audience and your brand is within your organization. Then you can advise stakeholders accordingly.

You can read all of Sean's conference takeaways here.

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3. Women's Retreat for Communicators - Savannah, GA (April 2024)

A room full of engaged communicators at the Women's Retreat
Women's Retreat for Communicators Conference

Overview:

First of its kind from an experienced conference convener, Ragan's Women's Retreat for Communicators will focus on leadership, personal branding, and strategic communication workshops for women in senior positions. The agenda also includes a includes poker workshop, a keynote speech from Christina Langdon, author of For Success Sake, yoga, and networking opportunities.

Takeaways from Ragan's 2024 Women's Retreat for Communicators Conference:

Guest speaker, Christina Langdon delivered the goods at Ragan's first-ever communications conference for female communication leaders and professionals.

Here's what some conference participants thought about Christina's session and the conference in general:

From Kelly Insana, VP of Marketing and Communications, Tennessee Hospital Association, "What a wonderful event! I learned so much and and value each of the connections that were made. Well done Ragan Communications!"

From Jacqueline D. Bryant, Interim Executive Director of Communications, Columbus City Schools, "I truly feel rejuvenated in my work and personal pathways. I have worn this everyday since our gathering, as a reminder to unlock my potential, know my worth, and to continue to be purposely driven. Most importantly, empowering myself to make changes. Thank you for the new ideas and connections."

4. PRWeek Crisis Comms Conference - Washington DC (April 2024)

Dialogue session on communication strategies at the PRWeek Crisis Comms Conference
PRWeek Crisis Comms Conference

Overview:

A one-day intensive conference focusing on managing communication before, during, and after a crisis. It covers strategy development, media relations, and brand reputation management.

Takeaways from PRWeek Crisis Comms 2024 Conference:

The conference had speakers from top organizations such as Ben & Jerry's, Molson Coors, UPS, Delta Air Lines, and others.

The biggest takeaway for all gathered? Communicators and communication teams will need to pick their AI partners carefully, especially in times of crisis. Agencies like Weber Shandwick shared their approach to partnering with AI technology providers.

You can read more of the conference's takeaways here.

5. PRWeek PR360 - Brighton, UK (May 2024)

Panelists at PRWeek PR360 conference
PRWeek PR360 conference

Overview:

PR360 brings together senior PR and communications professionals to discuss the future of public relations. Topics include influencer marketing, digital PR strategies, and ethical communication.

Why You Should Attend:

This conference is a masterclass in PR and Comms, with insights from experts such as PRWeek's Editor-in-Chief, Danny Roger, and Samsung UK's Head of PR and Communications, Lindsay Landi.

Lindsay's panel session on AI, PR and Comms is a must-attend. She and her fellow panellists will explore AI, and its impact on the current and future PR and Comms campaigns and strategies.

6. PR Daily Media Relations Conference - Washington, DC (June 2024)

Panel discussion at the PR Daily Media Relations Conference
PR Daily Media Relations Conference

Overview:

This conference focuses on media relations, storytelling, and pitching. Learn how to build relationships with journalists, craft compelling stories, and measure the impact of your media efforts.

Why You Should Attend:

Effective media relations are key to any communication strategy. This event offers practical advice and strategies to enhance your storytelling and approach to media engagement.

7. 2024 CPRS National Conference - Quebec, Canada (June 2024)

Delegates gather at the 2024 CPRS National Conference
The CPRS National Conference

Overview:

The Canadian Public Relations Society's conference is a great place to be if you are looking to learn from experts on a wide range of topics including ethics, technology in PR, and strategic communication planning. The topics are all discussed within a Canadian PR and Comms context.

Why You Should Attend:

This conference brings together Canada's top PR professionals and is a great watering hole if you're looking to understand the nuances of the Canadian market.

8. IoIC Festival 2024 - North London, UK (June 2024)

Engaged panelists at the IoIC Festival 2024
The IoIC Festival 2024

Overview:

This festival celebrates internal communication, with a focus on creativity, innovation, and best practices for building engaging employee experiences.

Why You Should Attend:

The conference brings together leading-edge thinkers in the internal communications industry. You can expect practical keynotes and workshops that leave you with an insight or two you can use to improve your workplace's internal comms strategies.

9. IABC World Conference - Chicago, IL (June 2024)

Attendees gather and enjoy their food at IABC World Conference
The IABC World Conference

Overview:

The International Association of Business Communicators' flagship event covers a broad range of topics including leadership communication, brand storytelling, and the future of work.

Why You Should Attend:

This global conference offers unparalleled networking opportunities and insights from some of the most influential industry professionals and industry leaders in the field.

10. PRWeek Crisis Communications - London, UK (June 2024)

Engaged attendees at the PRWeek Crisis Communications conference
The PRWeek Crisis Communications Conference

Overview:

A counterpart to the Washington DC crisis communications event, this conference also explores crisis management trends, tactics and tips. Expect a dose of international case studies and crisis management strategies.

Why You Should Attend:

If you work out of anywhere in Europe or deal with a global audience, this conference offers insights into crisis communication that transcends borders.

11. PR Decoded Purpose+ - Chicago, IL (October 2024)

Industry experts share insights at the PR Decoded Purpose+ conference
The PR Decoded Purpose+ conference

Overview:

PR Decoded focuses on the intersection of technology and public relations, exploring how digital innovation is reshaping the way organizations communicate.

Why You Should Attend:

With the digital landscape constantly shifting, understanding how to leverage technology in your PR strategy is key to staying relevant.

12. Comms Connect Melbourne 2024 - Melbourne, Australia (October 2024)

Engaged professionals at Comms Connect Melbourne 2024
Comms Connect Melbourne conference

Overview:

This conference focuses on critical communications, covering topics like emergency management, public safety, and the latest in communication technology.

Why You Should Attend:

For those involved in crisis communication or need to understand the latest in emergency communication technologies, this is a critical event.

13. Communications Week - Austin, TX (November 2024)

Attendees gather for a session at Communications Week conference
The Communications Week conference

Overview:

A week-long event that covers the spectrum of communications through panels, workshops, and networking events, focusing on innovation, media, and the future of work.

Why You Should Attend:

It's a great conference for networking. Plus it attracts the heavyweights of the communications industry. So you can expect to leave with your notebook chock full of insights, tips and tactics you can try out.

Which Communications Conference are You Signing Up For?

If you're looking to learn about the fusion of social and comms, Social Media Conference is your best bet. If you are all about crisis management, the PRWeek Crisis Communication conferences are great options - depending on where you live.

The point is there are a ton of good options on the list. You only need to decide which fits your budget, industry needs, or specific challenges. Now let's get to making a choice, shall we?

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Dozie Anyaegbunam
By Dozie Anyaegbunam

Dozie Anyaegbunam is the Senior Editor of The CMO, digital marketing firepower for SaaS pioneers. He's a marketing strategist with years of experience in Marketing, Communications, Ecommerce, and SEO. And has worked across verticals ranging from software to edu-tech, apparel, and F&B, leading teams at B2B SaaS startups, global multinationals, and the public sector. He’s the Founder & Host of The Newcomer’s Podcast featuring immigrants and their stories of moving to a new country, and he’s currently producing a documentary on the immigrant’s experience.