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Top Marketing Conferences in 2021: Live and Virtual Events

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NOTE: This list has been updated on 3/15/2021 to reflect changes due to COVID-19. Many events are offering virtual or hybrid events, while some conferences are planning in-person events later on in the year. 

By now, 91 percent of B2B companies use some form of content marketing and a full 56 percent consider themselves “very committed,” according to the Content Marketing Institute. That explains why industry movers and shakers are offering an increasing number of content marketing conferences aimed at helping them make the most of its possibilities.

While the scope of such events has become difficult to track, here’s a list of some upcoming conferences that could help your organization with future strategies. (Note our omission of the formerly ubiquitous SXSW, which has become so diverse in attempting to cover the worlds of film, culture, music and technology that many marketers are seeking more targeted events.)

Digital marketing

Digital Summit Series

Date: 2021 conferences will be a mix of virtual, in-person and hybrid events

Location: 15+ cities across the U.S. including Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago & more

Host: Digital Summit

Why attend: More than 20,000 people attend the Digital Summit series spanning several cities. 2018 featured more in-depth sessions and workshops on digital trends. NYC’s Summit in April, 2020, will feature Seth Godin, Ja Rule and experts from Reddit, NPR, CNN and more. View all Digital Summit event locations here.

True Influence Spring Summit

Date: April 14, 2021

Host: True Influence

Location: Virtual

Why attend: With Artificial Intelligence (AI) already revolutionizing aspects of our daily lives, there is no doubt that machine learning is redefining B2B marketing, sales and data. That’s why True Influence is bringing together some of the best minds in AI to share case studies and explore the future of AI in B2B. Experts from Google, Microsoft, SAP and Forrester will discuss the true learnings and insights that enable machine learning to turn B2B data, marketing and sales into a revenue machine. Former late night TV host Jay Leno will close out the summit with an entertaining keynote.

Adobe Summit

Date: April 27-29, 2021

Host: Adobe

Location: Virtual

Why attend: Get the latest insights and trends for brand and digital experiences, B2B marketing and more at this free (for users with an Adobe account) virtual conference. This year’s speakers include thought leaders from companies such as Adobe, Pfizer, Fedex and Peleton, as well as tennis champion Serena Williams.

Marketing Analytics Summit

Date: May 5-7; 10-12, 2021

Host: Rising Media

Location: Virtual

Why attend: This conference, which had its first event in 2002, is “where digital analysts and marketing professionals master marketing data.” Workshops include topics such as data literacy, artificial intelligence for marketing and masterclasses on Google Analytics. 

Advanced Search Summit

Date: June 9-11, 2021

Location: Napa Valley

Why attend: This two-track conference is dedicated to sharing insights on the latest and most cutting edge marketing trends to over 250 attendees. The website states: “With the recent COVID-19 outbreak we’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that your time with us is safe & enjoyable. For our 2021 show we’ll be making some serious upgrades including a new touchless registration system, personal sanitation kits for all attendees, and limiting available tickets for the event.”

MozCon

Date: July 12-14, 2021

Location: Virtual

Host: Moz

Why attend: One-track conference full of “forward-thinking, tactical sessions in SEO, growth marketing, the mobile landscape, analytics, content marketing and more” from the company that dominates in helping businesses boost their search rankings with innovative tools and thought leadership.

Strategic Marketing USA

Date: October 12-13, 2021

Location: Virtual

Host: Reuters Events

Why attend: This event is uniting the world’s most influential CMOs to showcase innovation, set benchmarks, and map the future of marketing – one where brands are purpose-driven, campaigns are intelligently data-backed, and innovation drives growth. 2021’s theme is “Move Beyond Marketing: The Future of Consumer-Brand Relationships.”

LeadsCon’s Connect to Convert

Date: October 21-22, 2021

Location: Las Vegas

Host: Access Intelligence

Why attend: “The world’s largest performance marketing conference and exposition” with over 30 sessions and over 1,000 attendees. 2021’s theme and speakers are TBD. Read LeadCon’s commitment to safety here

DigiMarCon West

Date: July 11-12, 2022

Location: Los Angeles

Host: DigiMarCon

Why attend: Next year’s sessions will focus on thriving as a marketer in an evolving digital world. Past speakers include Robert Rose, Rand Fishkin and Kevin Jonas.

Digital Growth Unleashed

Date: TBD, 2021

Host: Rising Media Ltd. and SiteTuners

Location: TBD

Why attend: About 1,000 attendees discover how to attract the right audience, align business models with the user experience, optimize the lifetime value of client relationships and get up to speed on the latest marketing technology.

Programmatic Pioneers Summit

Date: TBD, 2021

Host: World Business Research

Location: Los Angeles

Why Attend: This two-day conference hosts over 200 heads of programmatic, media, marketing, digital and advertising professionals to network and discuss the future of programmatic advertising. Speakers include leaders from American Express, Google, Dell and Samsung.

CTA to Content Marketing Operating System ebook


Content marketing

Content Marketing Conference

Date: April 27-29, 2021

Location: Virtual

Why attend: They know that the world has changed, and online learning is best for some. They made the transition in 2020 with a digital experience that they rolled together in just a few weeks for 15,000 attendees. This event covers the six pillars of content marketing: planning, creation, optimization, distribution, performance and comedy.

Confab Central

Date: May 5-7, 2021

Location: Virtual

Host: Confab

Why attend: Confab draws more than 600 professionals from around the world who design, create and manage content. “From UX to storytelling, accessibility to structure, Confab brings together those who are committed to making content useful and usable.” Speakers this year include thought leaders from The New Yorker, LinkedIn, Dropbox and Netflix. 

Content Marketing World

Date: September 28 – October 1, 2021

Location: Cleveland

Host: Content Marketing Institute

Why attend: Some 4,000 attendees are offered 120 sessions presented by experts from around the world, covering strategy, storytelling, ROI, demand generation, AI, etc. The 2019 event featured Henry Rollins, as well as Mindy Kaling in a keynote Q&A. Read Brandpoint’s recap of the 2019 CMWorld event here

Inbound 2021

Date: October 12-14, 2021

Location: Virtual

Host: HubSpot

Why attend: 24,000 participants from 100-some countries. “A community of people passionate about marketing, selling, and delighting customers in an inbound way. We bring together speakers who are passionate not just about improving the bottom line, but also about building a brighter, kinder and more inclusive future.” Past speakers include Bob Iger, Jesse Williams, Van Jones and John Legend. 

LavaCon Content Strategy Conference

Date: October 24-27, 2021

Location: Virtual

Host: LavaCon

Why attend: For content strategists, documentation managers and senior content professionals who want to stay ahead of rapidly changing technology and customer demographics while connecting with vendors who can help with content challenges. This year’s theme is “Mastering the Content Development Cycle.”

Content Jam

Date: TBD, 2022

Location: Chicago

Host: Orbit Media

Why Attend: With over 500 attendees, this convention shares insights on content strategy, promotion, conversion and analytics. Speakers include Mark Schaefer, Wil Reynolds and Britney Muller. While Content Jam is canceled for 2020, their website states that they are still in the process of planning a virtual event. See available webinars here, in the meantime


Marketing

MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum

Dates: April 7-8, 2021

Location: Virtual

Host: MarketingProfs

Why attend: The “place where leaders, innovators and people who make things happen gather to learn about the latest in B2B marketing and share the secrets to success as well as “belly laughs, creative networking, shenanigans and marketers’ off-the-clock antics.” 2021 speakers include thought leaders from companies like Twitter, Seer and Luminary Productions.

Brand ManageCamp

Date: May 18-20, 2021

Location: Virtual

Host: ManageCamp

Why attend: Attendees learn about strategy, trends, storytelling, optimization, advertising, content, insights and more to help “take your brand to the next level.” The speakers are best-selling business authors, world-renowned experts, or up-and-coming mavericks, pushing the boundaries in their respective concentrations.

Mirren Live New York

Date: May 19-20, 2021

Location: Virtual

Host: Mirren

Why attend: Mirren Live New York bills itself as one of the most prominent conferences in the agency business. It sells out every year with 400 senior decision-makers taking in 60+ speakers in 30+ sessions over 2 jam-packed days. Focused on driving business growth, management team leads and CEOs join the conference from around the country. This year’s speakers include leaders from Gartner, Forbes, Adweek and AdAge.

CX North America

Date: June 7-9, 2021

Location: Virtual

Host: Forrester

Why attend: “Join 50 Forrester analysts and 1,500 CX industry leaders for three days of cutting-edge, interactive customer experience programming.” Topics included in this event range from AI to creative and modernization.

Affiliate Summit East

Date: July 19-20, 2021

Location: NYC

Host: Affiliate Summit

Why attend: The performance marketing industry’s premier global event featuring high-level decision makers including online publishers, bloggers, media owners, traffic sources, advertisers, global brands, networks, technology firms, agencies, and other solution providers. Typically more than 6,000 attendees, 70 sessions, 100 expert presenters and 300 exhibitors. Check out Affiliate Summit events in other locations around the globe.

FinCon 2021

Date: September 22-25, 2021

Location: Hybrid: Virtual + Austin, TX

Why attend: This conference states that “#FinCon21 is for anyone creating personal finance content on the internet — bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, coaches and advisors, social media influencers, authors, freelancers and more!” In 2019, this expo had 2300+ attendees, 200+ speakers and 100+ exhibitors.

Digital Sales & Marketing World

Date: October 5-7, 2021

Location: Hybrid: Virtual + Hartford, CT

Host: IMPACT Branding & Design

Why Attend: Formally known as IMPACT Live, this conference is “an immersive event for marketers, salespeople, and business leaders looking to drive significant revenue growth for their companies.” This event is directed towards marketers from all types of companies, including B2B, B2C and agencies.

Advertising Week

Dates: TBD, 2021

Location: Virtual

Why attend: With over 98,000 attendees, this conference is a must attend for PR professionals, social media strategists and CMOs. Past speakers include Al Gore, Sheryl Sandberg and Arianna Huffington. Speakers at the 2020 virtual event include Bozoma Saint John of Netflix, Jewel and Bobby Berk of Queer Eye. 

Forbes CMO Summit: Virtual Series

Dates: TBD, 2021

Location: Virtual

Host: Forbes

Why attend: 2020’s event was a multi-part virtual series: “In Episode 1, CMOs will discuss how they tell unique stories, diversify their teams, and continuously reinvent and create healthier cultures both inside and outside their brands.” Past speakers at live events include CMOs from Wells Fargo, the NHL, Facebook and Target.

Retail Innovation Conference

Date: TBD, 2021

Location: Virtual

Host: RetailX

Why attend: As the event’s website states, “During this time of retail reinvention, we need to refocus our perspective, rethink our strategies, and accelerate our technology and business plans to meet the needs of a very different consumer base. The now 100% virtual 2020 Retail Innovation Conference is set to deliver timely content, strategic insights and tactical best practices that will help brands and retailers secure a strong future.”

PRNews Media Relations Conference

Dates: TBD, 2021

Location: Arlington, VA

Host: PRNews

Why attend: This conference is “for communications professionals who need to hear forward-thinking insights on media pitching, measurement, the impact of AI/machine learning on media relations and journalism, influencer relations, social media marketing, and the best media relations tools from leading brands like USA Today, NPR, Accenture, Aflac and D.C. Public Charter School Board.”

B2B Marketing Exchange

Date: TBD, 2022

Location: Scottsdale, Arizona

Host: Demand Gen Report

Why attend: More than 1,000 participants in 2018, with more than 85 workshops and case study sessions. Speakers include the industry’s top marketing professionals including analysts, authors and B2B practitioners from companies like Facebook, BuzzFeed and LinkedIn.

[FREE CHECKLIST: How to Market Your Business While Attending an Event or Tradeshow]


Social media

VidCon

Date: Ongoing in 2021, Free

Location: Virtual

Host: VidCon

Why attend: Learn about VidCon Now, the new “digitally-delivered experience.” These sessions are free for registrants and will take place over a number of months. 

AMPlify

Date: Wednesdays starting May 5 through May 26, 2021

Location: Virtual

Host: GaggleAMP

Why attend: Bills itself as “the only marketing event addressing the unique challenges associated with leveraging employees and stakeholders in your digital marketing strategies.” Learn more about employee advocacy in this virtual webinar series.

Social Media Week

Date: May 4-7, 2021

Location: Virtual

Host: Social Media Week

Why attend: #SMWNYC will be virtual this year, hosting an event that “serves as the central meeting point for the entire social media marketing industry.” Hear from speakers from Snapchat, Google, Vice, LEGO, Facebook and TikTok. Gain access to 300+ speakers across 150 sessions and extensive digital networking.

Social Media Strategies Summit

Date: June 8-11, 2021

Location: Virtual

Host: GSMI

Why attend: The event features best practices in social media marketing from successful brands. 2020 featured speakers from companies such as Vitamix and CERN. This virtual event in July will include leaders from AT&T, Nasdaq and Instacart. Past speakers have been from Intel, Ben & Jerry’s and GE Healthcare.

Social Media Marketing World

Date: March 14-16, 2022

Location: San Diego, California

Host: Social Media Examiner

Why attend: With some 7,000 participants, bills itself as the industry’s largest social media marketing conference. Sponsor is considered the world’s leading online social media magazine for businesses, with more than 1.5 million monthly visitors. While the 2021 event was postponed, you can still view webinars on their site


Technology

MarTech

Date: March 16-17, 2021

Location: Virtual

Host: Chief Marketing Technologist

Why attend: This spring’s virtual event is free. The MarTech experience is all choreographed. You’ll unlock presentations that deliver actionable tactics to solve confounding marketing challenges. You’ll meet senior-level marketers like you who are redefining how their organizations deploy martech to achieve business results. And you’ll discover time-saving solutions that deliver ROI. 

ContentTECH Summit

Date: June 8-10, 2021

Location: Virtual

Host: Content Marketing Institute

Why attend: Formerly the Intelligent Content Conference, the refresh of this event will help senior marketing executives learn how to enable technology to improve processes to better execute their content strategy. The 2018 event drew 400 participants who learned from leaders representing Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Mayo Clinic, Cisco, Salesforce and others.

MAICON

Date: September 15-16, 2021

Location: Virtual

Host: Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institution

Why attend: AI in marketing is a trend that only is getting larger, but it’s a tactic that many professionals are still struggling to implement. This event is for manager-level and above marketers, and is catered to non-technical audiences. Meaning: if you need to learn about AI, this conference is for you.


Editor’s note: Would you like your marketing event added to this list? Please only send annual, U.S. events. Send us an email for consideration. This post is regularly updated.

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