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Making Connections: The Best Internet Marketing Conferences in 2016

Seth Rand
Feb 17, 2016

Trade shows remain a key factor to the success of any business.

No matter the size of the company or the type of industry, the act of attending large gatherings where like-minded individuals with similar goals and aspirations mix it up often results in the exchange of new ideas, the forging of new relationships and the creation of new business opportunities.

As consumer demand for purchasing products has increased, E-commerce has risen every year over the past decade, and in addition, the demand for conferences and expos that discuss the latest technologies trends and marketing strategies has grown at a similar pace.

Here’s a look at some of the notable 2016 Internet marketing conferences.

E-commerce Conferences

The National Retail Federation’s Big Show 2016

January 17-20, 2016
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
New York, NY.

The conference featured hundreds of exhibitors from communications and marketing, consumer electronics, data analytics and processing, finance/banking, human resources, IT, merchandising, music video and licensing, operations, security and more.

Speakers included: Chris Dieringer (Microsoft Corporation), Michael Cooper (GameStop, Inc.), Pete Bonnick (Rite Aid), Soren Ahrens (Ross Stores), Fred Argir (Barnes & Noble, Nook), and Reuben Arnold (Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd.). 

The 2nd Annual eCommerce Expo South Florida

February 17, 2016
Bahia Mar Hotel
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

The eCommerce Expo will take place on Fort Lauderdale beach at the Bahia Mar Hotel on February 17, 2016, amassing hundreds of E-commerce professionals for a day featuring 13 speakers on E-commerce related topics, web design and development, marketing, security, hosting and much more.

Featured speakers include representatives from Google, Simple Helix, Avalara, Bongo, OroCRM, UPS, dotmailer, nChannel, Shopgate, Miva, Springbot and Rand Marketing.  

The event is ideal for manufacturers to wholesalers, distributors, retailers, including those currently selling E-commerce and those considering selling E-commerce.

The E-commerce Expo will host dozens of E-commerce experts ranging from website design, web development, marketing strategy, advertising, shipping, security, IT and much more. 

eTail West

February 22-25, 2016
JW Marriott, Palm Springs
Palm Springs, CA

Set for February 22 to 25, 2016 at the JW Marriott, Palm Springs, CA. A conference “for eCommerce and multichannel retail innovators”, eTail is expecting more than 1,000 retail professionals for four days of exhibits, workshops, case studies, networking opportunities and keynote presentations from the likes of Ron Boire (Barnes & Noble), Kelly McGann (Sears Holdings Corporation), Eric Anderson (LensCrafters), Jen Cotter (HSN) and others.

There are also a number of giveaways planned, from swag takeaways to raffle prizes, as well as several informal evening receptions that the eTail brand has become quite known for, including one planned for the final evening that will also serve as the “Best in Class Awards” reception. 

Shopify’s Partner & Developer Conference

March 22-23, 2016
Herbst Pavilion
San Francisco, CA

Shopify’s Partner & Developer Conference will be held March 22 to 23, 2016 at the Herbst Pavilion in San Francisco, CA. It is an incredible, exclusive opportunity to connect with the personnel behind the popular E-commerce platform to discuss where the future of online shopping is headed, take in keynotes from key players, and attend panels and workshops about all things Shopify.

Attendees must apply, be screened and approved first to attend the private event. 


April 6-8, 2016
The Moody Theater
Austin, TX

WooConf is happening April 6 to 8, 2016 at the world-famous Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater in Austin, TX. Designers, developers and entrepreneurs will converge on the music venue and production facility to engage about one of the most popular E-commerce solutions, WooCommerce.

The conference will include site development discussions, panels to discuss and strategize, and network sessions between nonprofit, for-profit and Fortune 500 participants. Those who attend can expect to hear from Peep Laja (ConversionXL), David De Boer (iDEAL), Patrick Garman (ColourPop Cosmetics), Merrill Mayer (Kool Kat Web Designs), and yours truly representing Rand Marketing. 

Internet Retailer Conference (IRCE)

June 7-10, 2016
McCormick Place West 
Chicago, IL

A four-day conference bringing together E-commerce industry experts from June 7 to 10, 2016 at the McCormick Place West in Chicago.

The event begins with pre-conference workshops to get everyone ready and then continues with the main conference and exhibition, then rounding out with post-conference workshops to help digest all of the information.

As the largest E-commerce trade show in the industry, the exhibit hall will feature about 600 vendors from around the country, including Rand Marketing, that specialize in E-commerce, marketing, retail and more.

There will be more than 220 speakers who will discuss everything from trends in retail marketing to SEO techniques.

Speakers will include: Tom Anderson (Target), Fred Argir (Barnes & Noble), Brent Bellm (Bigcommerce), Martha Dalton (Coca-Cola), Bala Ganesh (UPS), David Potts (SalesWarp), Stephen Riddell (Sprint) and many more.  

Internet Marketing Conferences

Connect by Search Engine Watch

February 4-5, 2016
Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne
Key Biscayne, Florida

Connect took place in Miami from February 4 to 5, 2016 at the Ritz-Carlton on Key Biscayne, and will cover search engine marketing news, advice, commentary and educational programming. Search Engine Strategies, notable as the “original search marketing event”, is celebrating its 20th year of conferences throughout the U.S., in London and the Far East.

The two-pronged agenda focuses on discussing the latest technology, strategy and thought-processes in paid and organic search, as well as on sessions to analyze the changing role of SEM in customer acquisition.

The agenda includes topics such as “Search Ranking Factors Demystified”, “Rethinking Retargeting: Advanced Techniques for Personalization & Audience Segmentation”, “Content, Panda and Scaling SEO Infinitely in 2016”, a case study on how LEGO uses social, PR and search marketing to drive customer engagement and more.

Scheduled to appear are:  Avinash Kaushik (Google), Ali Haris (Macy’s), Luis Navarrete Gómez (LEGO), Felicia Gardner (Bing), Erin Everhart (the Home Depot), Byron Hardie (Angie’s List), Adria Kyne (Vista Print) and more. 

SMX (Search Marketing Expo)

March 1-3, 2016
San Jose McEnery Convention Center
San Jose, CA

This expo has been a leading conference for SEO and SEM since 2007. This year’s event will be held at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in West San Jose, CA on March 1 to 3, 2016.  

Operating under the motto, “You’re obsessed with search. We are too.”, the expo will include in-depth workshops such as “SEO Training” by Bruce Clay, “Local Search Advantage”, “In House SEO Exchange” and more.

Organizer Danny Sullivan offers: “Search marketing is so tied into any kind of marketing that is happening out there, that everybody can learn from this kind of a show that we have here.

The search marketing space is constantly evolving, not on a yearly basis. It evolves on a month-to-month basis, literally.” The opening key note speech by Behshad Behzadi from Google is a can’t miss. Other speakers include Annie Cushing (, Wil Reynolds (Seer Interactive), Maggie Malek (MMI Agency) and Sahil Jain (AdStage).

Technology Conferences


February 19-21, 2016
Florida International University
Miami, FL

This is a comprehensive WordPress event featuring 60 expert speakers, panels, workshops, and a kids panel aimed at the next generation of WordPress users.

The event will take place at Florida International University in Miami, February 19 to 21, 2016.

As one of many sponosrs, Rand Marketing will have representatives in attendance. There’s also a pre-conference program targeting WordPress newbies covering topics like “Going from Hobby to Freelance”, “Tips on How to Handle Your Accounting and Taxes”, “BuddyCamp 101” (a popular plug-in that serves as an independent social network platform) and more. 

The main conference topics range from recognizing if you’ve been hacked, creating multi-lingual WordPress sites, creating and nurturing WordPress communities, growing email lists and building online stores to JavaScript integration, social media advertising, and more. 

Featured speakers include Karla Campos (Social Media Sass), Rachel Carden (WPCampus), Jim Gilbert (Gilbert Direct Marketing), Adrian Cardenas (formerly with ServerGrove), Jose L. Pimienta (Alpis), Bruno Cunha (EarlyShares), Steven Alig (South Florida Web Studio) among others.

eMerge Americas

April 15-19, 2016
Miami Beach Convention Center
Miami Beach, FL

This conference has quickly become one of the most important tech conferences in the Southeast, drawing a good number of heavy industry leaders, investors, government officials, and entrepreneurs from North America, Latin America and Europe.

Rand Marketing is proud to be a first-time sponsor of eMerge Americas this year. Taking place from April 15 to 19, 2016 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

The event will feature exhibits, panels, speakers, networking and more. The focus will be on three key initiatives: eGov, uniting government officials, urban panels and leaders from the Americas and Europe in discussions about how urban communities are using smart technology to transform and innovate; the eMerge Americas Startup Showcase, which will award $175K to the most promising new business idea; and the Women, Innovation & Technology (WIT) Summit, which intends to motivate, inspire and empower attendees by highlighting some of the women who are making an impact.

Notable speakers include Marc Randolph (Netflix), Andres Freire (Officenet), Michael Samway (Georgetown University), Denelle Dixon-Thayer (Mozilla), Dr. Monica Chiarini Tremblay (Florida International University). 

Which ever event or events you decide to attend, I wish you all safe travels. Don’t forget to pack extra business cards. See you on the road!

Seth Rand
Seth Rand, Founder and CEO of Rand Internet Marketing, is an internet marketing speaker, author, and consultant, specializing in search engine optimization marketing and social media marketing. Rand Internet Marketing, is an award winning firm specializing in responsive Wordpress and Magento e-commerce website design, development, and internet marketing. Our internet marketing services including SEO (search engine optimization) and Google Adwords PPC setup and management, online banner advertising, social media marketing, and online content marketing.