Whether you have an education budget to spend, are feeling stuck in your career, want to broaden your network, or are desperate to fix your leaky funnel, a marketing event like a meetup or conference might be just what you need.
Marketing events allow you to discover new methodologies, tactics, and strategies which you can use to pave a new way to grow your business. They are also a key way to meet people who can help you find a new job, get a promotion, or start a business. Not only that, you can grow your personal brand through networking and speaking opportunities.
But, not all marketing events are created equal, and your time is valuable.
I’ve attended several marketing meetups and conferences over the years and can say from experience that you can either walk away feeling like you’ve learned a million new things to almost nothing at all. The key is to pick the right one. One that matches your interests and is just above your current skill level, so you actually soak up something new.
In this article, I’ll share some of the top marketing events with the best agendas, speakers, and workshops to put on your calendar this year.
A Note on Virtual vs In-Person Marketing Events
Before we go into the top marketing events, you might be wondering, “Should I prioritize going to an in-person event or a virtual one?”
The short answer? Both. Go to as many in-person and virtual events as you can. That’s because both have their pros and cons, but they balance each other out. For example, where a virtual conference or webinar lacks rich networking opportunities, the admission might be free, which is the opposite of what you can expect from an in-person conference.
Benefits of Attending In-Person Conferences
- Networking face-to-face helps you build relationships and exchange ideas with peers, potential clients, or partners. These personal connections can lead to new collaborations, business opportunities, or even friendships.
- Being fully immersed allows you to engage with the speakers, participate in interactive sessions, ask questions, and have real-time discussions. The environment is often designed to facilitate learning, inspiration, and personal growth, which can be more impactful when experienced firsthand.
- Bump into new people like industry leaders, thought influencers, or experts in your field while grabbing a coffee or during networking breaks. These spontaneous interactions can lead to valuable conversations, insights, or opportunities that you may not have encountered otherwise.
- Raise your company or personal brand awareness by participating actively, asking questions, and sharing your expertise.
Benefits of Attending Virtual Events
- Spend less money than you would to attend an in-person conference. Most virtual conferences are free or cost significantly less.
- Re-watch sessions at your convenience since they often allow you access to the recordings later, on-demand. This means you can listen instead of worrying about taking notes.
- Attending from home allows you to stay comfortable and save time and money since you don’t have to travel anywhere.
- Chat online with other attendees, sharing your LinkedIn profile, to easily stay connected with other professionals after the event is over.
Given these benefits, if you can afford it, I highly recommend you go to at least one in-person conference per year and one or two virtual events per quarter. This will help ensure you regularly get to stay on top of the latest trends and keep meeting new people.
Now, let’s uncover which are the best events for marketers to learn and grow.
Intimate Marketing Events
If you’re looking for short or local events that you can easily squeeze into your calendar, here are some options to consider. Besides these, you can find more small events via online marketing communities like M2 and Superpath.
If you don’t want to commit to a multiple-day event or travel far to learn and connect with others, you might find a Meetup for marketers to be just the thing. Meetup.com is a trusted platform for hosting events, creating interest groups, and meeting like-minded people.
I once attended a meetup for small business marketing at a cafe near me one morning before work. Led by a marketing consultant, it was a fun session that helped re-energize me and bring new ideas to the table at my company.
CMO Coffee Talk
Hosted by 6sense, CMO Coffee Talk is a series of weekly meetings specifically designed for Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) to discuss crowdsourced topics, engaging in a show-and-tell type format. A private group, no recording is allowed, and you must be approved in order to register.
Virtual Marketing Events
Next, let’s take a look at virtual marketing events you can attend from home.
Qualified Pipeline Summit
When: July 20th, 2023
Topics: Demand generation, building pipeline, revenue operations
The Qualified Pipeline Summit is a quarterly online event that brings together the best and brightest in B2B sales, marketing, and operations to share the tactics and strategies helping them drive growth for their business.
In the next edition, the marketing-focused sessions will cover the shifting buyer trends that influence everything we do, how to develop a social media strategy that drives pipeline, how to maximize ROI with influencer marketing, and strategies for planning in-person events with hybrid features.
What’s awesome about this free event is that anyone can attend and even watch recordings from previous editions online anytime.
When: October 17th, 2023
Topics: Growth Marketing, Product Management
According to its website, the Growth Hackers conference is tailored for professionals in growth, marketing, product, experimentation, innovation, CRO and entrepreneurs who are dedicated to driving business growth through experimentation.
The keynote speakers hail from top companies like Adobe, Amazon, and Etsy, revealing proven strategies, case studies, and industry trends that can elevate your growth. They also share how to optimize your work, harness the power of AI, and drive product innovation in any economy.
While the conference is free, you can purchase replays so you can learn and soak up all the information at your own pace.
When: July 25-26, 2023
Topics: Data-driven marketing strategy
If you’re a super analytical marketer who likes to get their hands dirty in the data, this conference is for you! ConCensus is a two-day virtual marketing and data conference to enhance the development of data-driven marketing and revenue-minded data leaders. The speaker lineup includes professionals from data-focused companies like Snowflake, Liveramp, Census, and Hakkoda.
Social Media Strategies Summit
Topics: Industry-specific social strategies, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube marketing
Looking to level up your social media game? The Social Media Strategies Summit is a must-attend event for digital marketers. Attendees learn about effective tactics, tools, and technologies for the different social media channels. They even have events geared toward different industries like healthcare, government, higher education, etc. This is particularly valuable since you can learn from your peers what works in your specific industry.
In-Person Marketing Events
Now that we’ve covered small and virtual events, let’s take a look at some of the major marketing events you can attend in person.
Marketing AI Conference
Where: Cleveland, Ohio
When: July 26-28, 2023
Topics: Adopting and scaling AI marketing
Price: From $1,199 - $2,299
If you’ve been following all of the latest on AI, this marketing event is for you! Presented by the Marketing AI Institute, the Marketing AI Conference (MAICON) brings the very best in the industry to help you learn, grow, and accelerate your AI journey.
Attend to hear from some of the leading innovators in the space, such as the CMO of Jasper AI, Meghan Keaney, on how it’s not too late to get started with AI. Learn the best strategies to adopt AI to further your career and reach your business goals.
The best part? You don't need a background in analytics, data science, or programming to understand and apply what you learn.
Where: Boston, MA
When: Sept 5-8, 2023
Topics: Inbound marketing, Hubspot, automation
Price: From $1,199 - $1614
Inbound is perhaps the king of all marketing conferences, especially if you are a HubSpot user, it’s practically mandatory to attend! Inbound not only covers marketing but sales and business development growth, acquisition, and other ways to grow your business with HubSpot.
With a star-studded speaker lineup including Neil Patel, Dave Rogenmoser, CEO and Co-founder of Jasper AI, Kipp Bodnar, the CMO of Hubspot, and the one and only Reese Witherspoon, it is sure to be an event you won’t forget. If you feel comfortable using marketing jargon in everyday life, this conference is right up your alley!
Content Marketing World
Where: Washington DC
When: Sept 26-28, 2023
Topics: Industry masterclasses, SEO, strategy, writing
Price: From $899 - $2,299
If you are a content marketer and you want to meet others, learn new techniques, and get inspired this year, don't forget to join Content Marketing World. This conference boasts over 150 expert speakers and a vibrant marketing community that’s been growing for 13 years. Featured speakers include marketers from Google, VM, Yelp, Salesforce, and more.
Where: San Diego, CA
When: Nov 2-3
Topics: technical SEO, on-page SEO, strategy
Price: From $350-$1500; they also raffle off a limited amount of free tickets
brightonSEO attracts the best and brightest minds in the world of search engine optimization. Whether you're a consultant, freelancer, or in-house SEO, this is the event for you to fill the gaps in your knowledge, see what's new, and hear what is working for others.
This marketing event started out, like many a fine idea, as a conversation in a pub. The basic concept was to share ideas and chat about all the interesting stuff that only SEOs seem to find interesting.A decade later, brightonSEO attacts thousands of search marketers from around the world.
B2B Marketing Expo
Where: London, UK
When: Nov 29-30
Topics: Digital marketing, martech, lead generation
Colocated with the Marketing Technology Expo, the B2B Marketing Expo is the place to be for marketers who want a taste of global success. It's like a buffet of marketing trends, ideas, and practices that can spice up your digital campaigns.
The B2B Marketing Expo is on a mission to deliver innovation and inspiration to sales and marketing professionals so they can transform the way they work and drive their organization's growth. Packed with expert speakers, industry-leading exhibitors and live demos, this event will leave you buzzing with ideas and key takeaways.
B2B Forum by Marketing Profs
Where: Boston, MA
When: October 4-6
Topics: Demand generation, startups, GTM,
Price: Virtual for free or from $279 to $2,195
Marketing Profs have a 15-year track record for creating one of the best marketing events in the industry. Each conference contains comprehensive, in-depth material from thought leaders spanning email marketing, metrics, marketing tools, different types of marketing channels, etc.
They have a variety of formats from expert-led roundtables to workshops and lectures.
A hybrid event, you can watch along from home or attend the event in Boston. Either way, you’ll be up-to-date on all the latest in the marketing industry.
2023 Digital Marketing World Forum
Where: Multiple locations
Topics: B2B marketing, marketing campaign management
Co-located with Influencer Marketing World, the Digital Marketing World Forum is a conference that explores the future of digital technologies in marketing. Get ready to dive into the exciting world of tech disruptions, emerging social networks, and latest trends.
The next event takes place in Miami, with other following events in Amsterdam, Singapore, and London. The Digital Marketing World Forum also offers live streaming for event attendees who can’t make it in person.
Find the Right Marketing Event for You
Well, there you have it, the top marketing events to mark on your calendar. By picking the one that best matches your skill level and interest, you can increase the likelihood of a positive event ROI and boost your marketing efforts like never before.
In the meantime, don’t forget to check out these top marketing blogs and subscribe to The CMO newsletter for more ways to stay on top of all the latest in marketing. For more on this topic, visit our article on marketing conferences.