Top Content Marketing Conferences You Won’t Want to Miss in 2021

By Feb 16, 2021

It’s a new year, but it doesn’t feel a whole lot different yet. Mostly because “business casual” still means it’s OK to wear pajama bottoms to meetings—just as long as your Zoom peers don’t notice.

In 2020, the global pandemic changed the way we worked. It also changed the way we attended events. Major brands and organizations shifted gears from hosting large in-person events to instead using digital channels—including on-demand webinars and digital roundtables. In some industry surveys, over 70% of event creators had to make the switch from face-to-face to digital. Marketers are in this same holding pattern for 2021.

For content marketers, the new year brings new opportunities to refine their craft. It may just end up looking a lot different than we’re used to. (Absolutely everyone will be wearing pajamas.) In fact, it’s already very different for some tried-and-true events.

Below are the seven best content marketing conferences to check out this year. We’re listing them in order of when they’ll pop up on the calendar, but we’re opening with a bang: Content Marketing World has been a staple for content marketers for years. If your calendar or budget allows for only one major industry event in 2021, this might be the best choice.

 

Content Marketing World 2021

The Rolls-Royce of content marketing conferences, this annual event is hosted by the Content Marketing Institute. They’re the folks who made content marketing a thing. Their conferences help both marketing upstarts and seasoned veterans get better at what they do. This year, they’ve got 225 speakers slated and more than 123 hours’ worth of learning material (between keynotes, sessions, and networking opportunities).

When: September 28–October 1, 2021

Where: Cleveland

Cost: $699 to $2,399 (for regular rates)

How They’re Adapting to the Pandemic: They provide virtual passes that include livestreaming and recordings of most events.

 

Social Media Week 2021 Events

This is a strange one to include in a list of content marketing conferences for the year—mostly because it’s not just one single event. Social Media Week (now an Adweek brand) hosts different events across the globe throughout the year. Their big ones are in New York (May), Los Angeles (June), and London (October), but they have a ton of other fantastic events in other cities scattered across the globe. So, if you’ve got some free time on the calendar and you just so happen to be looking for emerging trends, innovations, and monetization strategies for social media, SMW may have something for you.

When: Throughout the year

Where: Virtual (in-person events in select cities)

Cost: Varies (several are free)

How They’re Adapting to the Pandemic: Most of the events are fully virtual, and the virtual passes give attendees access to a bunch of resources to support the livestreams.

 

CMC 2021

The new kid on the content marketing block, the Content Marketing Conference, has seen explosive growth over the handful of years they’ve been putting events together. Where they shine is enterprise content, showing content marketers how to leverage top industry tools to really make a dent in their content planning, creation, distribution, optimization, and measurement. The event is virtual, and the fee doesn’t just give you access to conference resources—it also gives you a great crack at getting their incredibly valuable Content Strategy Certification with support from true masters in the field.

When: April 27–29, 2021

Where: Virtual

Cost: $799

How They’re Adapting to the Pandemic: The event is fully virtual, and recordings are available for a certain time after the event.

 

Confab 2021

If you’re itching to become a content strategy guru (and it’s not just a reaction to your new soap), check out Confab. They focus on the strategic components of content marketing—from research and analysis all the way to accessibility and workflows. This is for marketers serious about building the right kind of content marketing engine for both today during the pandemic and in a post-COVID world. In the past, they’ve been creative with their events (like setting up separate lounges for introverts and extroverts), and they’re bound to find a way to bring people together this year for attendees weary from the pandemic.

When: May 5–7, 2021

Where: Virtual

Cost: $895 to $1,095

How They’re Adapting to the Pandemic: The event is fully virtual, and they offer partial cancellation refunds if you can no longer attend.

 

ContentTECH Summit 2021

Brought to you by the makers of Content Marketing World 2021, this conference is for the tech geeks and operations gurus on marketing teams. Here, they focus on surfacing trends and next-level thinking around effective use of technology and content to provide better digital experiences. This feels especially important in 2021 as audiences are doing more with digital content than ever before. For brands to elevate their enterprise-level content, learning from trailblazers and their innovations could be the difference between standing out and standing still.

When: June 8–10, 2021

Where: Virtual

Cost: Registration not open yet

How They’re Adapting to the Pandemic: The event is fully virtual, and they’ll offer virtual passes that allow for livestreams and recordings.

 

MozCon 2021

For content marketers who want to zero in on SEO, this is a serious contender for bumping that foosball tournament off your calendar in July. The pandemic has forced marketers to learn new tactics (and unlearn a few outdated ones) to continue to stand out during a crisis. Quite frankly, more people are online now. And they’re using search engines more often. For marketers who want to sharpen skills, explore new and upcoming tactics, and learn about how the nature of search is evolving, this event’s for you.

When: July 12–14, 2021

Where: Virtual

Cost: $129 to $149

How They’re Adapting to the Pandemic: The event is fully virtual, but the MozCon team will also contact ticket holders if there are health- and safety-related changes that can’t be ignored.

 

Inbound 2021

For a truly immersive, global experience, consider HubSpot’s Inbound 2021. Open to attendees from across the globe, the event brings together over 250 activists, entertainers, and Fortune 500 executives to the digital stage. There’s a good mix of work and play: interactive sessions, nightly parties, comedy shows, and happy hours. If you miss the fun times of being at fun industry events, this one shines brightest. Especially because it’s a fantastic way to close out the dog days of content marketing summer.

When: September 7–10, 2021

Where: Virtual

Cost: $49 to $149

How They’re Adapting to the Pandemic: The event is fully virtual, and recordings are available for a certain time after the event.