There’s no shortage of great digital marketing conferences happening in 2020. But which ones are worth your time and money? Here are our picks.
When: July 6-8, 2020
Where: Seattle, WA
Who: SEOs, marketers, executives
Why Go: Moz is a pioneer in the SEO space, and their annual conference features some of the biggest thought leaders in search and digital marketing. Sessions are highly specialized, and focus on everything from mobile optimization, to local search, to email marketing. Attendees looking for a little bit of facilitated networking can check out their Birds of a Feather discussion tables, which host topic-specific conversations during lunch. Plus: all of the Roger the robot you could ask for.
When: April 22-24, 2020
Where: Napa, CA
Who: Digital marketers, digital agencies, entrepreneurs, SEOs, SEMs, analysts, social marketers, brands
Why Go: A roster of digital marketing experts will discuss the latest trends in digital marketing, focusing on actionable tactics and the technical aspects of data-driven marketing. If you’re a wine aficionado, you’ll appreciate that the conference’s networking events focus on the region’s most famous export. The host resort has an on-site vineyard, and the agenda includes both a wine tasting night and a wine-paired dinner. To recap: you’ll hear from the best-of-the-best in search, but more importantly, there’s wine, wine, and more wine.
When: April 16-17, 2020 and Oct 1-2, 2020
Where: Brighton, England
Who: Search marketers of all kinds, including freelancers, agencies, and brands
Why Go: From its humble beginnings as a local marketing meetup (in the basement of a pub, naturally), BrightonSEO has grown into a massive international event with thousands of attendees. And most people don’t even pay to get in the door—75% of the tickets are handed out for free, using a staggered lottery system. With your free ticket, you’ll get access to sessions led by top search marketers from around the world. BrightonSEO also hosts free non-traditional networking events like a group beach cleanup and a yoga class at the top of the British Airways i360. Worth noting: their Twitter account is basically a one-stop shop for the best in SEO humo(u)r.
When: June 8-10, 2020
Where: Seattle, WA
Who: SEO and SEM Experts
Why Go: SMX Advanced isn’t for beginners. It’s the experts-only event in Search Engine Land’s SMX conference series, and it features a full agenda of in-depth sessions on tactics aimed at raising brand awareness, driving traffic, increasing conversion rates, and generating profit. It’s intense, but it’s designed to help you get results. In between hardcore SEO sessions, you can wander the rainy streets of Seattle, living out your teenaged Real World fantasies or pretending to be Kurt Cobain.
When: May 11-13, 2020
Where: New York, NY
Who: Content Marketers, SEOs, and Digital Marketers
Why Go: Ok, maybe we’re biased, but we wouldn’t host C3 every year if we couldn’t make it one of the best conferences around. (Seriously, it’s a lot of work. But it’s worth it.) Conductor’s annual conference brings together marketing leaders from around the world to network, collaborate, and share new ideas. We curate a full agenda of sessions hosted by industry leaders, as well as non-traditional networking experiences, like fitness classes and mindfulness workshops. C3 isn’t a passive conference experience—you’ll connect with and learn from other members of the marketing community, and glean actionable insights that will help your company stay at the forefront of the marketing revolution.
When: October 13-16, 2020
Where: Cleveland, OH
Who: Marketing and PR Professionals, Executives, Content Creators
Why Go: They may throw events at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame every year—Ohioans are proud of their musical heritage—but don’t let that fool you, this conference is known for its fresh content. All speakers are required to come prepared with an original, never-before-seen presentation, and sessions cover everything from strategy, to storytelling, to demand generation, and more. You’ll get all the orange swag you can imagine, and last year they may or may not have had a dog happy hour featuring local rescues up for adoption.
When: February 24-26, 2020
Where: Scottsdale, AZ
Who: B2B Sales or Marketing Practitioners
Why Go: Are you interested in sipping a margarita poolside while your colleagues in colder climes get pummeled with snow? Then #B2BMX is for you. If the Scottsdale locale isn’t enough to sway your company to foot the bill for a ticket, you can mention the conference’s comprehensive content, with six tracks that cover everything from audience-centric messaging to ABM, and from demand gen to buyer-centric sales enablement. The conference also features opportunities for direct engagement with industry leaders, and hosts the Killer Content Awards (also known as “the Finnys”), a ceremony that celebrates the most groundbreaking B2B marketing campaigns.
When: August 18-21, 2020
Where: Boston, MA
Who: Marketers, Salespeople, Customer Success Professionals
Why Go: INBOUND is full of a-listers, with speakers that range from big celebrities to industry insiders, and comedy shows headlined by household names. Over 24,000 people from 100+ countries gather for the annual event, which also features networking happy hours, panels, and interactive forums. But don’t let the big names fool you; this may be marketing’s see-and-be-seen event, but the sheer breadth of education and networking makes it a must-go for reasons beyond “OMG it’s Michelle Obama.”
When: March 29-April 2, 2020
Where: Las Vegas, NV
Who: Leaders in marketing automation, analytics, advertising, and commerce
Why Go: Don’t let the Vegas location fool you. Sure, this conference has a bit of Sin City flash (the Killers performed at last year’s Summit Bash), but it’s not really a gamble. Case studies, a-list speakers, and facilitated networking opportunities guarantee that attendees will walk away with fresh insights on the customer experience. There’s inevitably a whole lot of Adobe around, but few of us in the marketing space aren’t in thrall to at least one Adobe product. So let’s recognize our overlords, do the obligatory bow before them, and see what’s on the cutting edge of marketing technology while we’re at it.
When: November 3-6, 2020
Where: San Francisco, CA
Who: B2B Marketing Professionals
Why Go: This one’s a B2B conference through-and-through. The “celebrity” speakers are B2B experts and practitioners. The attendees are B2B experts and practitioners. They understand the challenges you’re facing, and have probably faced the same ones themselves. This conference will give you the tools you need to succeed in B2B, starting with a “convince your boss” guide to help you justify the price of admission. Plus you know you’ll get the chance for a classic Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer (OG), selfie, and we are unapologetically, embarrassingly into everything she does.