Top Marketing Conferences: Our Takeaways

It’s no secret that marketing conferences are an investment of time, money and energy. It can be difficult to get a supervisor on board with them, especially since taking time off of work means losing concrete progress that you could have made on your projects. Conferences are, however, worthwhile ventures. They are opportunities to step away from the day-to-day and gain insight into cutting-edge industry tactics that can be implemented into your company’s operations. They’re also a fantastic chance to network (and even gain quality sales prospects) — it’s a no-brainer.

Industry leaders are offering an increasing number of these conferences, especially since content marketing is on the rise, especially among B2B companies. This post will serve as a hub for the insights and takeaways from the bigger marketing conferences that Brandpoint has attended in recent years.

(It can be tough to keep track of events, we get it. Check out this always-updated post on the top upcoming content marketing conferences in 2019 so you don’t miss a beat.)


Content Marketing World 2019

content marketing world 2019 takeaways

Content Marketing World 2019 took place in Cleveland, Ohio. There were over 4,000 attendees at the event this year from over 50 different countries. This event was a great time for marketing professionals to catch up on new content marketing trends, network, build relationships with potential brands and clients and have some fun, as well! Attendees visited the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, enjoyed a night at Punch Bowl Social and listened to awesome speeches by the famous Mindy Kaling, Henry Rollins and Ann Handley.

Some of the overarching themes of this year’s event were related to brand voice, sales enablement, integrity and social advocacy. Specifically, we attended sessions about sales and marketing alignment, creating an effective brand voice, creating an employee advocacy program and what “being authentic” looks like from a marketing lens.

Overall, it was a successful event, and there was even some cool swag, as well, including ice cream, stuffed sloths, Starbucks nitro and custom t-shirts!

For more information on this event, read “9 Lessons Learned at Content Marketing World” or “Takeaways from Social Media and Creativity Focused Sessions at Content Marketing World.


2019 Digital Summit Chicago

The Chicago Digital Summit was a two-day event full of networking and learning at McCormick Place in Chicago! While we were there, we joined 1,700+ other excited attendees in listening to keynote speeches and over 55 informational sessions. If you plan to attend this event in the future, make sure to wear super comfortable shoes. “Chicago blocks” are real, people!

Topics from the event included employee advocacy, email marketing and successful video marketing. We learned everything from how to start an employee advocacy program to the fact that email is still a “thing” for Generation Z. The sessions covered at the Digital Summit included topics from all over the spectrum, so there was definitely something for everyone.

For a deeper glance into the Chicago Digital Summit, check out “Our First Time at the Chicago Digital Summit.”


2019 Digital Summit Minneapolis

takeaways from the 2019 minneapolis digital summit

The Minneapolis Digital Summit took place mid-August at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Similar to the Chicago event, it was as two-day conference with over 1,500 attendees and 50 break-out sessions. That is over 1,500 minutes of content!

We learned about nine powerful trends shaping marketing, how to leverage digital and strategic partnerships, tips for measuring user behavior, how to apply four principles of feng shui in your email marketing strategies and much, much more. The Digital Summit Series conferences are perfect events for pretty much anyone who is in the digital space or anyone wants to learn more about different forms of marketing.

Check out “Digital Summit Minneapolis 2019: Tech Innovation, Customer Experience and the Spirit of Evolution” for a in-depth recap of the Minneapolis event and some of the sessions we attended.


2019 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Digital Storytelling Workshop

2019 (PRSA) Digital Storytelling Workshop

This workshop, which took place on June 24 at the Hubbard School of Journalism at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, featured a number of speakers, panels and presentations about all things digital storytelling. Scott Severson, President of Brandpoint, delivered the keynote about the importance of E-A-T in content marketing, and Bridget Jewell, Creative Director at Periscope, discussed breaking the norms of different social platforms and creating “thumb-stopping” digital content. There were also two panels about influencer marketing, both chock-full of experienced professionals, and a compelling presentation on eight social media trends to watch for delivered by Arik Hanson from ACH Communications.

Read the full post here for the biggest takeaways and a more in-depth summary of the conference.


2019 MN PRSA Classics Awards

2019 MN PRSA Classics Awards

The PRSA Classics are essentially the Grammys but for PR professionals. Over the course of the evening, which took place in early May, 38 awards in total were presented to various PR companies. Award categories included community relations, content marketing, influencer outreach and social media promotion. There were also a number of individual achievement awards, as well as scholarships awarded to up-and-coming students in the PR industry.

Read the full post about the awards for a more comprehensive look into the event. Brandpoint also interviewed the Minnesota PRSA President, Greg Zimprich, which you can read here.

2018 Content Marketing World

2018 Content Marketing World

Content Marketing World, taking place in Cleveland, Ohio, in early September, was a massive marketing phenomenon with numerous takeaways. It featured 10+ different sessions for visitors to choose from, ensuring that everyone had a uniquely informative and engaging experience. It featured workshops from industry-leading brands and strategists, and even had a keynote with comedian Tina Fey. There was something for everybody.

Some key takeaways included the value of sales-marketing alignment, that great content can come from anywhere, that every organization has a story to tell, that influencer marketing goes deeper than you think, and that despite the growth of AI and other technological innovations, email marketing is here to stay. For a more in-depth look into CMW 2018, read this post.


2018 PRSA International Conference

2018 PRSA International Conference

The 2018 PRSA International Conference, taking place in Austin, Texas, (as the image suggests) was all about ethics. “Public relations is the conscience of an organization,” and “PR should ground its messaging in data-driven research rather than half-truths” are two points that encapsulate the empowering marketing gathering. Many of these messages, such as the concept of ‘fake news,’ rose to the forefront of the national conversation.

Delve further into the takeaways from the conference with David Olson, senior vice president at Brandpoint.


2017 Content Marketing World: Two-Part Series

2017 Content Marketing World: Two-Part Series

Content Marketing World attracts thousands of content marketers from over 50 different countries; it’s the most highly-anticipated event of the year for the industry. One of our content marketing specialists wrote a recap series of the two-day event that took place in Cleveland, OH. The series contained in-depth takeaways concerning subjects like how to conduct a content audit, how to get promoted by creating less content and how improvisational storytelling can benefit B2B content creation.

For more on the event, check out the event preview post, a recap of the first day, and the highlights from day 2.


2017 SMBMSP #96

SMBMSP #96 Recap

The 2017 annual Minneapolis/Saint Paul Social Media Breakfast (SMBMSP) was one for the books. Its highlight was the actionable social media trends presentation given by communications and marketing professional Arik Hanson. He gave nine trends that companies without colossal marketing budgets can implement. The biggest takeaway? “Just don’t produce crap.” Maybe easier said than done.

Read the full-length recap of the 96th SMBMSP here.



Don’t miss a beat of the latest trends in the industry. Here are the top upcoming marketing conferences for the rest of the year.

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