One of the good things that’s come out of 2020 is much easier access to professional development opportunities. As conferences have been forced online, many event hosts are offering discounted prices. Some events are even being offered for free.
When you take away the cost of travel, there’s really no excuse to not attend some of these opportunities.
Check your calendars, clear your schedules, and get ready for a year of learning. Now is a time of change in our industry, so take this opportunity to learn and better adapt for a successful year ahead.
Here’s your list of the top 10 digital marketing events that you should be attending in 2021.
Date: May 4-7, 2021
Good for: Social media managers, marketing directors
Social Media Week is so much more than just social strategy. From content, branding, paid media, and social media skills, this is great for any general marketer. This year will be especially interesting, as the event theme is “Reinvention: Rebuilding the Systems of Social Media Marketing for a Better Future.”
The three-day event is set to take place in three locations as of now, New York, Los Angeles, and London, but there’s also a virtual component for those not able to attend in-person. You can expect lots of discussion about how we can adapt as digital marketers to put humans first and technology second in the new post COVID world.
Much of the change we’ve experienced in recent years has been technologically driven, and we imagine this change will continue and even accelerate, but as marketers, the change we should want to affect, the kind of future we should be working hard to realize, is one that is human-first, technology second.
Sign up for event updates here.
Date: April 13-15, 2021
Good for: Content managers, digital marketers, marketing executives
You’ll definitely want to take advantage of the completely free and virtual Adobe Summit. If you play any part in creating, optimizing, or monetizing customer experiences, this event is for you. You can expect sessions focused on improving the customer experience to drive business growth and customer loyalty.
The virtual summit will include live sessions, and networking events with other global leaders in marketing automation, analytics, advertising and commerce. Even better, the session list has already been released. So you can take a look, and mark off what you and your team might be interested in. Here are some of our top picks:
- How a CIO-CMO Relationship Can Future-Proof Your Brand
- Marketing & Sales: Conquering Your Complex Buyer Journey
- Think Outside the Inbox: Building Effective Email Programs
- Marketo Engage Innovations: Uplevel Your B2B Marketing
Registration will begin in late January. Keep up to date here.
3. Inbound 2021
Date: Sept. 7-10, 2021
Cost: Rates vary, starting at $199
Good for: HubSpot users, inbound marketers, C Suite executives
HubSpot’s INBOUND is one of the biggest marketing conferences of the year. As of now, it’s expected to be held in Boston, but they are also holding a virtual event as well for those not able to travel. The last event drew over 70,000 attendees from marketing, sales and service industries in 100+ countries. You can expect celebrity keynotes, big name marketers, networking opportunities, and breakout sessions.
Last year’s virtual event included a comprehensive event platform, live sessions that were available on-demand, and multiple “meetup” groups and speakers from companies like Adobe, Amazon Web Services, Walt Disney Company, Intuit, and Liberty Mutual.
For HubSpot user’s, this is also a great opportunity to learn more about all the upcoming updates in the platform, and how to use it more effectively to achieve your marketing goals.
We don’t know what’s on the agenda yet for 2021, but here’s our recap from 2020’s event.
Stay up to date with the latest INBOUND 2021 information here.
Date: July 11-14, 2021
Cost: Rates vary, starting at $129
Good for: Content marketers, those interested in SEO
If you're looking to brush up on your SEO skills this conference is for you. And you don’t have to be an expert in search to attend this conference either. It’s for anyone wanting to dive deeper into the world of conversion, optimization and local search. Other topics covered will include analytics, content marketing, social media, customer experience, customer relationship management, lead generation and more.
The agenda for 2021 hasn’t been released yet, but you can expect insight into the new Google algorithm update, and tips on how to master your search strategy amid these changes.
Stay up to date with MozCon 2021 information here.
Date: TBD, Last year Sept. 29 - Oct. 8
Cost: Rates start at $125
Good for: Social media managers, CMOS, all marketers
Advertising Week is another general marketing event that should be on the radar of any level marketer. It brings together CMOs, social media advisors and public relations professionals for and other marketing professionals for a comprehensive learning experience. We’re not sure what to expect for 2021 yet, but 2020’s event featured over 100 hours of programming.
We can expect to hear from top global industry leaders like Google, Twitter, IBM and LinkedIn. The agenda, if anything like 2020’s, will include expert presentations, debates and workshops led by brands, agencies, and tech companies. You can expect to learn new marketing skills while getting ideas and strategies from other marketing professionals to help elevate your business.
Stay up to date on Advertising Week 2021 here.
Date: April 7-8, 2021
Cost: $595, includes MarketingProfs subscription
Good for: B2B marketers
This event is specifically designed for B2B companies and professionals. Expect sessions in a Q&A format where you can connect with speakers in a personal way. MarketingProfs is led by Ann Hanley, one of the most respected content marketers in the industry. So you can be sure the agenda will be packed full of inspiring and useful content.
Expect sessions focused on B2B content ideas, tips for virtual events, data first marketing insights, and strategies for customer retention. Plus, with virtual cocktail hours, fireside chats, and meetup rooms, you can expect lots of networking with other B2B professionals.
Register for MarketingProfs B2b Forum here.
Date: March 3-4, 2021
Good for: B2B CEOs, CMOs, marketing directors
With over 10,000 B2B marketers expected to attend, and 250 thought-leading speakers, this is a great networking opportunity for all CEOs, CMOs, and marketing directors. Plus, it’s completely free!
The actual event is taking place in Los Angeles, but there will also be a virtual seminar platform where you can attend sessions, exhibits, and listen to keynote speakers and partners. Expect everything from trends driving the marketing industry in 2021 to the in’s and out’s of building up a brand strategy. Other topics like effective personalization in marketing, the impact of voice search, and the power of web apps and chatbots will all be included.
Learn more about the B2B Marketing Expo here.
Date: Feb. 22-24, 2021
Good for: B2B CEOs, CMOs, marketing directors
This immersive, digital conference will include an online experience specifically designed for B2B marketers. You can expect 1:1 networking, mentoring opportunities and hands-on educational sessions. Speakers and industry experts from companies Oracle, SmartBug Media, Equifax, and eMarketer will provide key insights you won’t want to miss out on.
2021’s agenda and registration details have not yet been released, but you can stay up to date on the latest updates here.
Cost: Previous rates start at $799
Good for: C-Suite executives, brand marketers, content marketers
The ContentTECH Summit is great for anyone wanting to incorporate content marketing plans into their business strategies. The agenda will take a deep dive on how to make the most of your martech and technology stacks. Expect to learn tips on how to better measure, optimize and manage all of your content across departments.
Content strategy leaders, authors, and leading content marketers are expected to make up the speaker list. A great investment for any business professional or marketer who is begging their content journey, or wanting to take their content strategy to the next level.
Information on 2021’s event is not yet available, but you can stay up to date here.
This event is for anyone who finds nurturing and converting quality leads an essential part of their professional role. The conference will include networking events, workshops, breakout sessions and online exhibits. Executive-level speakers will share new strategies and unique insights on nurturing and converting more quality leads.
Last year’s virtual agenda included sessions on topics like untangling the buyer’s journey, higher education lead generation and achieving student enrollment, social strategy for lead generation, and email marketing trends and tips.
Get the latest information from LeadsCon 2021 here.
Research Before You Attend 2021 Marketing Conferences
Hopefully this list helped inspire you as we head into 2021. With the rise of virtual events, there’s a ton of professional development, networking and learning opportunities out there that you can take advantage of for free or at an extremely low cost.
But make sure you do your research before you sign up. With things still uncertain for 2021, you’ll want to prepare for changes in scheduling or cancelations.
Luckily, all of these events have a virtual component that will likely take place no matter what happens. So grab your pen and notebook, and get ready to learn in 2021. As our industry continues to change into something we’ve never seen before, insights from industry experts are crucial to 2021 success.