2017 Marketing Conference Guide: The Top 24 Events for Digital Marketers

We've rounded up the best two dozen marketing conferences slated for 2017, along with some advice on how to make the most of your experience.

There are dozens of digital marketing conferences to choose from in 2017, but they’re not all created equal. In addition to needing to take cost, location and availability into consideration, you also need to choose the conference that best aligns with your company’s goals.

With that in mind, we’ve created this handy guide of the top content marketing conferences in 2017 to help you make your choice.

marketing conferencesPrices are actual at-the-door prices for the regular conference days. Various early-bird and group discounts apply; check the conference website for more information.

 

C3 2017

Date: March 1-2, 2017

Location: New York City

Cost: $1,399

Sponsor: Conductor

What’s in it for you: Choose one of three tracks, depending on your area of expertise — Strategic SEO, Content Marketing Intelligence, or Digital Marketing Leaders. Having agenda tracks ensures you can fine-tune your learning at the conference. C3 2017 also features 40-plus speakers (including Linda Boff, Jason Miller and Robert Rose) sharing their secrets to organic marketing success.

Digiday Agency Summit

Date: March 1-3, 2017

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Cost: $2,895

Sponsor: Digiday

What’s in it for you: You’ll definitely find less expensive content marketing conferences on this list, but the Digiday Agency Summit provides you with some experiences that you won’t find elsewhere — such as the eight-minute “speed dating” sessions between buyers and sellers that enable attendees to determine if they want to collaborate or do business together.

Brand Marketers Insider Summit

Date: March 7-10, 2017

Location: Austin, Texas

Cost: $3,295

Sponsor: MediaPost

What’s in it for you: If you want to stay highly focused on one topic at a time, you may appreciate the format of this summit. The event promotes a theme for each of its three days. The sessions and keynotes of the first day will be focused on “Building the New Cross-Channel Experience,” the second day’s events will discuss “Data, Measurement, Attribution,” and the conference will end on the third day focusing on the topic of “Content/Native Distribution.”

Digital Marketing Innovation Summit

Date: March 21-22, 2017

Location: New York City

Cost: $1,695

Sponsor: The Innovation Enterprise

What’s in it for you: The Digital Marketing Innovation Summit promises dozens of candid conversations about how to help your organization extend customer lifetime value, better use data and analytics, and improve audience engagement. Speakers at the conference represent some of the world’s largest brands, including Goldman Sachs, Pepsi, Google, Reebok, and Time Inc.

SMX West

Date: March 21-23, 2017

Location: San Jose, California

Cost: $1,895

Sponsor: Search Engine Land

What’s in it for you: Use the online scheduling tool to build your own agenda to find the best mixture of SEO and SEM classes that fit your needs. Some of the classes from which you can choose include “SEO and Social: A Match Made in Marketing Heaven,” “Mastering Multinational Search,” and “Search Engine Friendly Web Design.” Bonus points for this conference’s “Google Dance” held on March 22 at the Googleplex Campus.

Social Media Marketing World

Date: March 22-24, 2017

Location: San Diego

Cost: $1,597

Sponsor: Social Media Examiner

What’s in it for you: Social Media Marketing World has become the conference to attend if you are responsible for or associated with social media marketing with you organization. This is largely true simply because of the who’s who list of social media marketing experts who speak at the conference, including Jay Baer, Ann Handley, Amy Porterfield, Kim Garst, Marcus Sheridan and others.

Intelligent Content Conference

Date: March 28-30, 2017

Location: Las Vegas

Cost: $1,595

Sponsor: Content Marketing Institute

What’s in it for you: The organizers of the Intelligent Content Conference promise that those who follow an old model of hand-developing and curating content will be introduced to new ways to better distribute content across your organization. Attendees have an opportunity to learn from companies whose production methods have allowed them to reach more people inside — and outside — of their organizations.

Digiday Publishing Summit

Date: March 29-31, 2017

Location: Vail, Colorado

Cost: $2,895

Sponsor: Digiday

What’s in it for you: This conference is full of decision-makers from some of the most important media brands, including Pete Cashmore, CEO of Mashable; Kurt Mueller, COO of The Onion; and Justin Smith; CEO of Bloomberg Media. If you are interested in learning from some of the top media minds about high-level strategy, spending a few days in Vail might be worth your time.

Pressnomics 

Date: April 6-8, 2017

Location: Phoenix

Cost: $425

Sponsor: Pagely

What’s in it for you: Whereas many conferences feature a multitude of speakers who give content marketing advice and counsel on a general level, those who speak at Pressnomics are people who are intimately involved in developing and marketing products with WordPress in mind. Learn from business owners, marketers, SEO specialists, and others.

Digiday Brand Summit

Date: April 18-20

Location: Charleston, South Carolina

Cost: $2,895

Sponsor: Digiday

What’s in it for you: This summit invites some of the top executives from large brands (such as Morton Salt, Wal-Mart, Marriott International, and Pepsico) to share thoughts and strategies about internal and external communication and organization to ensure that they are able to be relevant and timely, but also still ensure that the work they complete has a positive ROI.

The Marketing Nation Summit

Date: April 23-26, 2017

Location: San Francisco

Cost: $1,695

Sponsor: Marketo

What’s in it for you: Those who are currently Marketo customers might find this conference to be most valuable, since many of the breakout sessions focus on ways to better use Marketo’s tools and functionalities. Having said that, you don’t need to be a Marketo customer to learn from this summit. Several of the sessions are platform-agnostic and delve into ideas such as building media companies inside of marketing departments and learning to think like a chief marketing officer.

Interactive Day

Date: May 6, 2017

Location: San Diego

Cost: $649

Sponsor: SDX

What’s in it for you: With 5 separate learning tracks over one busy day, you might get more out of one packed day than you would in other longer conferences. Choose from “Data and Analytics,” “Branding and Marketing,” “Design and Inspiration,” “Content and Distribution,” or “Development and Technology” tracks.

MarTech 

Date: May 9-11, 2017

Location: San Francisco

Cost: $1,495

Sponsor: Third Door Media

What’s in it for you: MarTech promises to be a vendor-agnostic conference during which there are no hidden sales pitches—just valuable information to help you improve how you use technology in your marketing efforts. This conference is heavy on utilizing technologies and lighter on elements of storytelling in content marketing efforts, so if your bread and butter is exploring advancements in technology, this conference will provide for you actionable information.

Confab Central 

Date: June 7-9, 2017

Location: Minneapolis

Cost: $1,399

Sponsor: Brain Traffic

What’s in it for you: Finding a good conference in the summer is difficult, but ConFab has created a useful summer conference in a surprising location that allows for seasoned pros as well as eager learners to find value. Attendees can find breakout sessions from the simple (Content Strategy 101) to the advanced (Data vs. Insights: Your funnel isn’t a journey).

SMX Advanced

Date: June 13-14, 2017

Location: Seattle

Cost: $1,795

Sponsor: Marketing Land

What’s in it for you: If you are involved in advanced SEO and SEM marketing, this is one of the few conferences that is devoted especially to helping you learn advanced techniques from industry experts. There are no “101” courses here—only discussions of the latest and most-relevant tools and techniques. Because the conference is vendor-agnostic, you can focus on learning—not deflecting sales pitches.

MozCon 

Date: July 17-19, 2017

Location: Seattle

Cost: $1,549

Sponsor: Moz

What’s in it for you: MozCon features only one track over three days. If you are looking for a conference that doesn’t require you to make a lot of choices about sessions to attend, MozCon might be a good choice. Conference organizers promise multiple opportunities to connect with industry insiders and actionable sessions that delve into SEO, mobile analytics, content marketing, and customer experience.

Content Marketing World 

Date: Sept. 5-8, 2017

Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Cost: $1,495

Sponsor: Content Marketing Institute

What’s in it for you: Content Marketing World promises to be one of the largest content marketing events of the year. Organizers expect more than 4,000 attendees, 225 speakers, and more than 123 hours of scheduled events and sessions. Because representatives from more than 550 companies will be there, there are endless networking and partnering opportunities. Content Marketing World also often brings in keynote speakers with unique takes on content marketing, including Kevin Spacey, Mark Hamill, and John Cleese, among others.

Confab Intensive

Date: Sept. 11-13, 2017

Location: Denver, Colorado

Cost: $1,699

Sponsor: Brain Traffic

What’s in it for you: Whereas most conferences have you running from session to session—struggling to keep up with what you are learning—Confab Intensive is unique in that it features only two in-depth workshops per day. This means that you have the opportunity to more deeply study what’s most important to you, rather than only skim the surface on multiple topics. You may choose from a total of 24 different sessions that deal with everything from comedy in business strategy to voice and tone guidelines for interfaces.

Inbound 

Date: Sept. 25-28, 2017

Location: Boston

Cost: $1,699

Sponsor: HubSpot

What’s in it for you: InBound is a blend of some of the best content marketers in the business with some of the most entertaining celebrities. What results is a well-rounded content marketing conference that educates and entertains attendees. Pasts guests have varied from content marketing geniuses like Marcus Sheridan to actors like Anna Kendrick and Alec Baldwin. InBound promises opportunities to network with more than 19,000 fellow marketers and salespeople in an environment that is equal parts actionable and entertaining.

AdWeek NY

Date: Sept. 25-29, 2017

Location: New York City

Cost: TBD

Sponsor: AdvertisingWeek

What’s in it for you: Advertising Week 2017 promises to build on the successes of the 2016 session. A wide array of professionals attends AdvertisingWeek—from public relations professionals and advertising account managers to SEO practitioners and social media advisors. Sessions can be broad or very specific. For example, one of the 2016 sessions, “A Millennial Shift in Hotel Marketing” was certainly created to cater to the needs of a specific audience.

MarketingProfs B2B Forum

Date: Oct. 3-6, 2017

Location: Boston

Cost: $1,895

Sponsor: MarketingProfs

What’s in it for you: Many of the conferences available spread their focus so that it applies to both B2B and B2C marketers, but MarketingProfs B2B Forum is one of the few that provides the kind of focus that allows B2B marketers to get a finely tuned experience specifically for them. Of course, the advantage associated with attending a large B2B conference like this is found in the fact that many other B2B marketers are also attending and want to make connections just as much as you do.

ad:tech NY 

Date: Oct. 18 – 19, 2017

Location: New York City

Cost: TBD

Sponsor: ad:tech

What’s in it for you: The diverse audience who is invited to attend ad:tech NY includes brands, agencies, tech providers and publishers. Because attendees come from a diverse background of careers, those who attend have opportunities to be exposed to different strategies from multiple industries that can help them as they apply the discussions to their own work. The conference promises to help you attain a broader understanding of what it takes to be—and stay—successful in the world of digital publishing and content marketing.

SMX East 

Date: Oct. 24-26, 2017

Location: New York City

Cost: TBD

Sponsor: Marketing Land

What’s in it for you: In addition to inviting speakers and attendees who are obsessed with SEM and SEO, the organizers of SMX East promise that attendees will leave the conference with actionable tactics techniques and tips that they will be able to immediately use upon returning to their jobs. If you already have an advanced understanding of SEO and SEM, you can find several sessions that feature high-level discussions.

PubCon 

Date: Nov. 6-9, 2017

Location: Las Vegas

Cost: TBD

Sponsor: PubCon

What’s in it for you: While the final three days of this conference are set to feature an abundance of search and social media marketing information, the first day promises to allow attendees who register for the Master Group session to be able to delve deeper into specific and intense workshops to leave with a deeper understanding of SEO fundamentals, social media campaigns, AdWords automation, and neuromarketing, among other things.

Which conference(s) are you headed to this year? Let us know in the comments below.

Tags: content marketing conferences, marketing conference

Category: Strategy
Chad Buleen

About Chad

Chad Buleen is an award-winning journalist, the manager of social messaging for a large international nonprofit, a digital media enthusiast and father of four. Follow him on Twitter .

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