Savvy digital marketers realize that personalization and custom content are king. The game has become all about creating frictionless user experiences that are tailored to each individual.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that the best digital marketing conferences of 2020 are aiming to embody that same ethos.
Marketing conferences nowadays put a ton of work into creating live experiences that offer something for everyone. Whether you are interested in SEO, content marketing, growth marketing, ad optimization, social media marketing, or you just want to hear an inspiring keynote address — there’s an awesome conference and a like-minded audience base to meet at that conference.
We’ve rounded up a list of the top marketing conferences to attend in 2020. All these conferences feature top-notch speakers, insights into cutting edge digital marketing trends, and opportunities for networking.
The best marketing conferences to attend in 2020:
When and Where: August 18-21, Boston, MA
Price: $1,699 ($799 early bird special)
Why Attend? Inbound is a conference put on by HubSpot that, as the name suggests, is all about inbound marketing. As Hubspot puts it, “Inbound is a method of attracting, engaging, and delighting people to grow a business that provides value and builds trust.”
The goal of the conference is to go beyond providing tactics; they want to inspire and motivate, and their A-List speakers promise to do just that. In 2018 they had luminaries such as Deepak Chopra, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Beth Comstock gracing their stage. And in 2019, Katie Couric, Tara Westover, and Chip & Joanna Gaines all stopped by.
When and Where: July 6-8, Seattle, WA
Price: $1499 (early bird special)
Why Attend? Moz is one of the biggest names in SEO, so you can expect their marketing conference to have a heavy focus in that area. They are all about providing actionable tactics to allow you to optimize your search engine marketing. The conference is known for its friendly and enthusiastic attendees who are willing to share information and swap strategies — not surprisingly, two strategies found in successful content marketers.
Overall, this is an event for those looking to push the envelope for what is possible in the world of SEO. Search isn’t going anywhere — and for marketers looking to master this channel, this is a must-attend event.
When and Where: February 6, Austin, TX
Price: $599 ($349 early registration)
Why Attend? PubCon is known for putting on highly professional events that have a broad marketing focus. They promise to improve your expertise in SEO, PPC, social media, Google Analytics, content marketing, and more.
Last year, they had elite keynote speakers from Google’s marketing team, but the audience will get to spend a significant amount of time interacting with the speakers and get their pressing questions answered. Craig Newmark, the creator of Craigslist, puts it best: “Pubcon is a great way for Web professionals to connect in a seriously effective and down-to-do earth manner.”
When and Where: March 10-12, San Jose, CA
Why Attend? While a relative newcomer to the conference scene, SaaStr has quickly established itself as a must-attend event. It’s the biggest event for learning about B2B SaaS, an increasingly important area for today’s marketer.
If you want inside info on the hottest companies and the strategies they are using for growth — this is the place to be. Their speakers include some of the top CEO’s and VC’s in the world, and they also promise no commercials, no paid content, and no boring panels.
HubSpot’s CTO and co-founder Dharmesh Shar is a big fan of the event, saying, “SaaStr is the one place for all SaaS groupies to get together and meet each other in person.”
Traffic and Conversion Summit
When and Where: March 31 – April 2, San Diego, CA
Price: $2,595 ($1,295 early bird special)
Why Attend? True to its name, the Traffic and Conversion summit aims to keep things simple. In contrast to some conferences that can get bogged down by focusing on lofty but unclear strategies, this conference assures attendees that they get right down to brass tacks.
They pride themselves on the fact that “there is no conceptual thought or theoretical strategies behind any of these sessions,” just actionable insights from industry pros. Also, Entrepreneur Magazine called it a top 10 marketing summit — so you don’t want to miss it!
The Marketing Nation Summit
When and Where: March 24 – 28, Las Vegas, NV
Price: $2095 ($1695 Early Bird pass)
Why Attend? This marketing conference is put on by Marketo, the marketing automation company recently acquired by Adobe for $5 billion dollars.
If you use Marketo or a similar service, you will learn how to optimize your system to boost your results — straight from C-Suite execs who have done just that. They offer hundreds of breakout sessions that go into great detail on everything from learning what KPI’s to look at to aligning sales and marketing. Attendees will also have the chance to hear from a diverse set of speakers including SAP CEO Bill McDermott, Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn, and performer Jamie Foxx.
Social Media Marketing World
When and Where: March 1-3, San Diego, CA
Price: $1697 ($997 for early bird)
Why Attend? Social media is already one of the hottest topics for marketers but is only expected to grow in popularity in 2020.
It’s essential that all marketers understand the best practices for navigating this ever-changing landscape. One of the best ways to stay on top of everything is to attend Social Media Marketing World. They will have expert speakers doling out tips on how to succeed on every major social network as well as workshops to learn in-depth skills.
ANA Masters of Marketing
When and Where: October 20-23, Orlando, FL
Why Attend? This conference is all about learning about discussing the latest tools when it comes to growth marketing, and you get the info straight from top CMOs. If for some reason you are still using a “set it and forget it” marketing strategy, this is the conference for you. In the past, they’ve had experts from Progressive, FedEx, and eBay dishing on the tools and strategies they use to take their digital marketing efforts to the next level.
Content Marketing World
When and Where: October 13-16, Cleveland, OH
Price: $2,399 ($1,999 early bird special)
Why Attend? Last year, Content Marketing World hosted thousands of marketers from 50 different countries. Thus, attendees get to learn from and work with a diverse group of people, which is so important for today’s modern marketer working on a global web.
The conference prides itself on discussing strategies that can be applied across many different verticals and industries, and they do so through 120+ focused breakout sessions. They don’t skimp on their speakers either, as Tina Fey gave a keynote address in 2018.
When and Where: February 19-20, San Jose, CA
Why Attend? If you want an event similar to the ANA Master of Marketing event but you prefer the West Coast, SMX West is a great option.
They have been around since 2007, and they are known for bringing in big brands such as eBay, HP, and Mercedes Benz to give presentations. The conference goes deep into SEO and SEM best practices and gets rave reviews, such as this one from Purna Virji, a Senior Manager of Global Engagement at Microsoft: “There’s a perfect balance of learning and networking opportunities, organized with the care and precision typical of the SMX shows.”
When and Where: April 5-7, Austin, TX
Price: $3,299 ($2799 for early bird)
Why Attend? The CXL Live conference is put on by ConversionXL.com, and the goal of the conference is to provide a three-day masterclass in all things conversion optimization. Their niche focus on conversion strategies is what sets the conference apart. While the other conferences certainly talk about CRO, none do as deep a dive as CXL Live. Seeing as optimization, testing, and personalization are the keys to marketing on the modern web, this conference should be high on every growth marketer’s list.
Plus, as residents of Austin, we think our hometown is a pretty fun place to visit.
When and Where: London, May 6
Why Attend? As more and more conferences pop up that promise you tips, tricks, and tools, HYPERGROWTH stands out by going in the opposite direction. It is in theory a sales and marketing conference, but the real point of the event is not to learn new tactics but to learn how to grow as a person.
The thinking is that if you can be your best, most confident self, success in marketing will follow. Their focus is on providing an energetic atmosphere where you will gain the motivation to tackle life’s challenges over the course of one day of nonstop action. To that end, they lean heavily on their awesome lineup of speakers, which in 2018 included former Navy SEAL Jocko Willink and bestselling author Amy Morin.
Just like Drift, they truly prevent a unique and thoughtful experience.
South by Southwest
When and Where: March 13-22, Austin, TX
Price: $1,725 ($1,350 early bird special)
Why Attend? South by Southwest (SXSW) started as a music festival but has grown into a massive event encompassing music, film, gaming, and technology. As the role of technology in our lives continues to increase, SXSW’s focus on digital media has grown to match.
They now invest quite a bit into creating opportunities for digital media professionals to learn and network. (The parties they throw are legendary as well.) If you are looking to build up your network in a fun environment, SXSW really can’t be topped. This year, you can learn about the future of the tech industry from speakers such as Kevin Systrom, co-founder and CEO of Instagram.
When and Where: May 14-15, New York, NY
Why Attend? Agencies play a huge role in the digital marketing world, so the Mirren conference is the perfect one to round out this list. They bring together over 400 agencies in order to help marketers make connections and develop new strategies. In their own words, they are “dead focused on driving agency growth.” If you work at an agency and you want to up your marketing efforts in 2020, this should be worth your time.
REACH by G2
When and Where: September 11, 2019 in Chicago, IL
Price: $99 (Early Bird special until July 31); $199 General Admission (Sales begin August 1)
Why Attend? G2 is the world’s largest B2B tech marketplace, helping people discover, buy, and manage software that helps their businesses reach their potential. REACH 2019 is G2’s first-ever conference, specifically designed for people who sell and market software. With marketing heavyweights, Neil Patel, founder of Kissmetrics and Crazy Egg; Meghan Anderson, VP of Marketing at HubSpot; and Eric Yuan, CEO at Zoom – as well as many others, REACH is sure to be a unique experience at an amazing venue in the heart of Chicago!
This list is by no means comprehensive, as there are marketing conferences of all sizes and styles going on all throughout the year. That said, these are the cream of the crop, and if you are serious about growing your skills and your company, attending one or more of these conferences is a very good idea. You’ll develop the brand, content, and social media skills — plus, you’ll develop meaningful, long-term connections with other companies in your sphere.
Looking for other ways to level up your marketing skills? Check out these top marketing podcasts and our favorite marketing books while you’re here.