Marketing Conferences: Gain the Knowledge Without the Hefty Fees / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Before you spend your precious pennies on a trip to a marketing conference, read our insightful roundup with key takeaways and tips.

With spring comes showers and flowers, and the furry of conference hours.

That’s right. It’s that time – conference season. In the last month, it feels like every other email I’ve received has a conference suggestion or round up review asking us to cover it.

For those of you that don’t have budget set aside to attend fancy conferences, or just don’t have the time to attend, here’s a round up of the latest marketing conferences and access to all the content to view on your time. And some new ones coming up in case your schedule or funds open up.

iMedia Brand Summit #imediasummit

February – Amelia Island, Florida

imedia brand summitThe iMedia Summits are still going strong when it comes to brands getting together and sharing secrets. With two per year focused on just brands, the theme this past winter was ‘Man Vs. Machine.’ This is an invite-only conference for brands during the first day and then opens up to sellers. Some of the key takeaways during the marketing-only meeting:

Peter Stringer, VP of Digital Media, Boston Celtics: Ins and Outs of Facebook

Track reach rate (organic reach/total audience #) to determine the algorithm-friendly posts, track custom share metric to give them context (shares/10k reached), upload video directly to Facebook, tag pages to better track and spread posts out (every 3-4 hours).

Daliah Saper of Saper Law: Legal Considerations of Social Media

Privacy laws, brand protection with hashtags, content owners, defamation, permission of imagery, native advertising are all major issues brands need to pay attention to today.

Emery R. Skolfield, VP, Digital Strategy, Office Depot: Strategy + CRM

Have a narrow focus on your audience and tell a story to make an emotional connection with that audience. Here’s how they did it. #teacherschangelives 

For more coverage including videos and articles, visit imediaconnection here.

Social Marketing Media World #SMMW15

April – San Diego, California

Social Media Marketing World has grown to a substantial conference at 2500+ attendees and is always in our backyard here in San Diego. If you couldn’t attend, it’s worth it to review our recap of the conference or 30 crazy stats we heard

Key Takeaways: Facebook’s emphasis on native video a threat to YouTube, Podcasting is taking off, and if you aren’t using UTMs for social, go here.

Related ArticleMaking the Most of Social Media at Conferences and Trade Shows

Digiday Publishing Summit #DigidayDPS

March – Vail, Colorado

Digiday publisher conference

Five major themes were discussed during Digiday's 2015 Publishing Summit. How are publishers dealing with ad blocking, what are the standards around viewability, should you publish straight to social platforms and if so, which is the right platform, native needs to grow up with sophisticated metrics and scale, and my favorite, digital media is as hard as it gets.

For example, if your market is 18-29 year olds who turn on their ad blocks by default, you may have a problem. Hear from NYTimes,, SheKnows, DailyMail and more here.

Content 2 Conversions #C2C15

February – Phoenix, Arizona


For those of you looking to get out of the cold, Content 2 Conversions is annually held in Phoenix run by DemandGen Report, a division of G3 Communications. The theme in 2015 was about connecting the dots between content generation and demand generation. We didn’t attend this conference and there was not a ton of coverage for it. It seems that the messaging is very similar to the other content conferences out there, but if you have time, here is where you can find the recorded sessions.

#MarTech: The Marketing Technology Conference

April 1 – San Francisco, California


Held in San Francisco March 31-April 1, MarTech is all about marketing technology. The emergence of technological tools for marketing has made life much better for us marketers and helped synthesize the worlds of marketing and IT to forge a new discipline. If you missed it this year, you can still view the speaker presentations here or on their Slideshare account and feel as if you were one of the 1000 people who attended the event.

#MKTGnation: The Marketing Nation Summit

April - San Francisco, California

With over 7,000 attendees, the Marketo-hosted Marketing Nation Summit conference in San Francisco not only had industry leaders, but also hosted Oscar winner John Legend talking about creativity. Unfortunatel,y right now you can only watch the coverage from 2014.

The Content Markerting Summit #ThinkContent

May – New York, New York

This is the third annual conference for NewsCred heavily focused on how brands intersect creativity with technology to define the future of storytelling. It was only a day which could be an expensive trip if you are not in New York, but they did have live streaming available. In my point of view there were two viewpoints here: how does content build belief and tell stories leading to trust and building distribution around what the content is intended for.

Key Takeaways: 11 pieces of content are consumed before any transaction or purchase, every marketer is facing global reach and local relevance challenges, and most importantly: people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. You can watch the coverage in full video, and check out the presentations.

Gartner Digital Marketing Conference

May - San Diego, Calfornia

Managing customer experience, wrangling marketing data and properly setting up the marketing organization thinking through tech stacks and such was this year’s key themes during the Gartner conference held a few weeks ago in San Diego. This was the first-ever Gartner Digital conference. Hint: buyers determine the journey, go back to the basics with a simplification strategy, agile is important in marketing especially now, and develop predictive benchmarks. 

Conferences Coming Up: ABM & Information Industry Summit #ABMIIS15

June 14-16 - Washington, D.C.

Our CEO, Tony Uphoff, will present to nearly 1,000 marketers and media executives speaking directly to the challenges specific to B2B marketers in a session titled "How Automation and Algorithms Can Make or Break Content and Advertising-Driven Businesses." 

"Striking the balance between being a "content company" and a "technology company" is essential to our success. Our workflows, our culture and our revenue are being dictated more and more by the technology in our marketplace. In this session, industry experts show how data-driven publishing, advanced analytics and algorithmic advertising are going to change the fundamentals of how we operate as information and media companies."

 It's one of the only events focused on the entire B2B business model covering data, events, information, marketing services and media. 

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