No matter how experienced you are as a marketer, or how long you’ve been in the industry, everyone can learn something new. It’s important to lead the charge and model the importance of professional development for everyone on your team. Especially if you work in a small office, it’s easy to feel isolated and to miss new ideas and trends that can impact future results.
Professional development conferences offer an excellent opportunity to network with other professionals. Our peers are valuable resources for best practices and new ideas. Collaboration is the way forward for bringing new, fresh and innovative ideas to our school marketing departments. Even if you don’t feel like you have the time to attend a conference, the reality is that not taking the time to get out and meet people will lead to stagnation and feeling stuck. Look to others to uncover ideas and spark your inspiration.
To help you get started planning your professional development events for 2019, here are thirteen leading social media marketing conferences in the U.S and Canada.
#1. Social Media Week Austin – #SMWATX
When: February 20-22, 2019
Where: Austin, Texas
Social Media Week Austin is a 3-day conference designed for industry leaders, experts and practitioners. This conference is a practical, immersive experience in the fields of social media and digital marketing. While the full programming won’t be available until January 2019, last year’s speakers included Microsoft, Charles Schwab, Deloitte, WeWork, BigCommerce, Texas Monthly among others. Scholarships available.
#2. Digital Summit Seattle – #DSSEA #DigitalSummit
When: February 26-27, 2019
Digital Summit is a social media and digital marketing conference that will be held in Seattle in late February. There will be over fifty speakers in attendance, many of which come from well-known Fortune 500 companies, offering innovative ideas and best practices. Expect speakers from major brands such as Airbnb, Amazon, Nike, Facebook, Google, Coca-Cola, Uber, NASDAQ, ESPN, BuzzFeed and Slack. Even Rand Fishkin was there last year! Topics include brand storytelling, strategy, search, content, social email data & analytics, conversion & engagement, UX & design, mobile, B2B and B2C.
#3. Social Media Strategies Summit – #SMSsummit
When: March 19-21, 2019
Where: Anaheim, California
The Social Media Strategies Summit focuses on best practices in social media marketing. Featured speakers represent leading brands such as Netflix, Coty, Hot Wheels, Microsoft, Walmart and Digitas. Group discounts available.
#4. Social Media Marketing World – #SMMW19
When: March 20-22, 2019
Where: San Diego, California
Social Media Marketing World is sponsored by Social Media Examiner. You can expect over 7,000 attendees, and a host of expert speakers, such as:
- Mari Smith, Facebook marketing expert
- Jay Baer, social media customer service authority
- Michael Stelzner, Social Media Examiner founder
- Ann Handley – Chief Content Strategist, MarketingProfs
- Amy Porterfield – online marketing pro
- Mark Schaefer – social media futurist
- Tim Schmoyer – leading YouTube expert
- Sue B. Zimmerman – Instagram expert
- Peg Fitzpatrick – leading Pinterest pro
- Viveka von Rosen – top LinkedIn expert
- Derral Eves – YouTube authority
- Madalyn Sklar – leading Twitter pro
- Marcus Sheridan – leading content marketing ninja
- Christopher Penn – analytics guru
- And many more!
Social Media Marketing World promises advanced marketing ideas, connections with marketers from all over the world, and a gorgeous venue on the San Diego Bay waterfront. All-access, marketer, community (live content only) and virtual tickets available.
#5. Midwest Digital Marketing Conference – #MDMC
When: April 16-18, 2019
Where: St. Louis Union Station
The Midwest Digital Marketing Conference proudly claims to be the largest digital marketing conference in the Midwest. Last year there were speakers from Pandora, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Hubspot, Google, Yahoo, Nielsen and more. Topics include data, digital, social media, creative, e-commerce, innovation, academic, tech and entrepreneurial. This conference promises inspiration, connections and new ideas. Early bird prices through December 31, 2018.
#6. Social Media Camp – #SMSCamp
When: April 25-26, 2019
Where: Victoria, Canada
Social Media Camp is the largest social media conference in Canada. During the event you will be paired with a coach who will help you walk away with new ideas and plan of action on how to implement your organization’s social media marketing plan. Social Media Camp offers a broad spectrum of speakers that tackle all aspects of social media marketing.
#7. Social Media Week New York – #SMWNYC
When: April 30-May 2, 2019
Where: Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel
Billed as New York’s premier media and marketing event, Social Media Week New York is promoting their 2019 global theme – Stories: With Great Influence Comes Great Responsibility. Past speakers include Meredith Kopit Levien, EVP & COO; Joseph Rev Run Simmons, Run DMC; Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart & Living Omnimedia; James Thompson, Diageo; Alex Tapscott, Blockchain Revolution; Nancy Lublin, Crisis Text Line; John Nitti, Verizon and Melissa Bell, Vox Media. Discounts or scholarships are currently not available.
#8. The Social Shake Up – #SSU2019
When: May 6-8, 2019
Where: Atlanta, Georgia
The Social Shake Up is a very well-known event and for good reason – the conference covers a wide-range of topics jam-packed into a two-day conference. Each session dives deep, giving even experienced marketers something new to take away. Expect to see marketing professionals from Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Southwest Airlines, IBM, Cisco, Arby’s, Microsoft and so many more! I’m particularly interested in the “Visual Storytelling Essentials for Pinterest, Facebook and Snapchat” discussion. Social Shake Up is offering discounts for groups, nonprofits and government entities.
#9. SocialWest – #SocialWest
When: June 12, 13 & 14, 2019
Where: Calgary, Alberta
SocialWest targets social media and marketing professionals at all levels. Expect to hear advanced topics related to social media, artificial intelligence, mobile and video. If you’re interested in attending sessions lead by the industry’s foremost experts, get this conference on your calendar and sign up for updates about the event.
#10. DigiMarCon Midwest – #DigiMarCon #DigiMarMidwest
When: June 20-21, 2019
Where: Chicago, Illinois
Learn from digital marketing experts and sales professionals that will help you utilize the latest digital marketing techniques. Hear success stories from organizations that have leveraged digital marketing to drive remarkable success. Awesome keynote speakers, expert panels and new tools will all be presenting, leaving you with new ideas that will lead your team to greater success. Super early bird pricing ends April 12th.
#11. Social Media Day – #SMDH19
When: Friday, June 21, 2019
Where: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Social Media Day: Halifax is a day-long event dedicated to social media and digital marketing. The event focuses on teaching social media managers applicable skills they can bring to the workplace. Expect actionable lessons, like how to optimize Facebook ads, legal tips and informational sessions on how to build better marketing funnels. Tickets go on sale January 6, 2019.
#12. International Conference on Social Media Marketing – #ICSMM19
When: July 18-19, 2019
Where: Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center, New Brunswick, New Jersey
The International Conference on Social Media Marketing is a global forum that brings the world of academia and social media practitioners together under one roof for active dialog and practical skill development. Expect to gain valuable knowledge on trending issues and new tools that address the theory and practice of all dimensions of social media marketing.
#13. ANA 2019 Digital & Social Media Conference – #ANADigital
When: July 24-26, 2019
Where: San Diego, California
The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) annual digital and social media conference aims to keep marketers at the top of their game. Over the course of the two-day event, expect to cover new and emerging social media and technology-related topics such as chatbots, artificial intelligence, voice, influencer marketing, augmented and even virtual reality. Expect to see some of the world’s most iconic brands, such as MasterCard, Yamaha, Frito-Lay, Hershey, Wendy’s and Lufthansa Airlines.
Which social media conference(s) are you considering or planning to attend?
Which ones have I left out that you think should be on this list?
Be sure to leave a comment below the infographic and share with the rest of the school marketing community which conferences you would like to attend and what you’d like to get out of the events. We’d love to hear from you!