Now that the new year celebrations are over, it’s time to put the pedal to the metal toward your content marketing goals for 2020. With eyes fixed on the road, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to shift gears, accelerate, and jostle for position to gain ground.
Perhaps you’ve already found your content marketing sweet spot—one that’s paid you back generously in brand awareness, customer loyalty, or bottom-line ROI. If so, you’re doing something right. If not, that’s okay—anytime is the perfect time to buckle up and get moving.
But before you rev up your engine, gather your content crew—your wordsmiths, SEO wizards, graphic designers, and content managers—and give them an edge on the inside track by checking out key 2020 gatherings where experts discuss the race ahead.
Even if you and your team can’t attend every industry meeting below—and really, who has the time?—try to reserve a calendar spot for at least a couple. Barring that, visit some of the sponsors’ websites afterward to see what wisdom you can harvest. A lot of thoughtful speeches, articles, and webcasts typically get posted online.
It’s a New Year. Time to Do Something Epic
Here are 10 content marketing conferences to check out this year. By the way, they’re not listed in order of preference. All of them have something unique to offer. That said, some have been around longer than others, and Content Marketing World has been the industry standard for years. If you can only make it to one, that might be your best bet.
This event is hosted by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI). Hear of them before? They’re only one of the biggest and earliest content marketing collectives. CMI founder Joe Pulizzi virtually coined the term “content marketing.” This content marketing conference is a good fit for any company that “wants to create epic content marketing with some of the brightest in the business.” Whether you’re new to digital inbound marketing or a seasoned practitioner, CMI is among the be-all-end-all in the entire content industry. So show up and leverage up, or dismiss to your detriment.
When: October 13–16, 2020
Cost: $599 to $2,599
If you want to venture into the heart of SEO wizardry, this conference is for you. SEO strategies and tactics, conversion optimization, link building, and local ranking are just a few of the topics to be covered by their roster of top-line SEO experts. If you didn’t already know, Moz is a leading software-as-a-service company based in Seattle that specializes in inbound marketing and marketing analytics solutions. So if you’re wondering how to transform your digital marketing data into actionable opportunities and results, then check out MozCon’s SEO conference. They’ve got plenty of answers, advice, and solutions.
When: July 6–8, 2020
Cost: $999 (early bird) to $1,199 for Moz subscribers; $1,499 (early bird) to $1,699 for general admission
Working during the summer months can be a real drag, especially on those warm, sunny days when the flowers beckon through your office window. So what better way to spend four of those days than upping your inbound marketing game with a choice of 250 “break-out industry thinkers,” lots of interactive sessions, and nightly parties including comedy shows and happy hour? You’re also certain to meet new friends or colleagues, as up to 24,000 other people will be joining in the fun. INBOUND is hosted by HubSpot, a major software firm specializing in inbound marketing, social media, SEO, web analytics, and content management—seemingly everything crammed into a four-day event. You won’t miss your office.
When: August 18–21, 2020
Cost: $49 to $1,299
The Content Marketing Conference is relatively new to the scene (it’s five years old), but it’s seen tremendous growth with top brands in attendance and a roster of outstanding speakers, such as this year’s content extraordinaire Ann Handley. CMC is geared toward anyone interested in learning the tools and technologies of enterprise content—what its practitioners might call “content strategy proper.” CMC’s main sponsor is the search analytics form SpyFu, and the main focus will be on demos of products for “content planning, creation, optimization, distribution, and performance measurement.” If you’re looking to optimize your enterprise content strategy, this might be the one for you.
When: April 21–23, 2020
Cost: $899 to $1,399 (early bird prices are discounted)
So your SEO itch isn’t quite satisfied? Maybe these two days in the spring will do it for you. Not only will you get up to date on the latest in digital (content and search) marketing and SEO, you can also do brewery tours, winter sports, and get some spa time to refresh body and brain. As you might expect from the name, this conference is SEO-heavy—so it’s perfect for those who won’t settle for anything less than total saturation in SEO craft.
When: April 30–May 1
Where: Denver, CO
Cost: $349 to $739
Who doesn’t want to harness the power of social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn, Vimeo, and more? Here’s your chance to talk to and learn from a handful of social media gurus who’ve mastered the scene. This social media conference says it’s “the largest gathering of social pros, period!” That’s quite a claim, but when you take a look at their roster of speakers, you have to admit ... it’s hard to dispute.
When: March 1–3, 2020
Where: San Diego
Cost: $697 to $1,697
Looking at their agenda and past speakers, you can tell right off the bat that this is a real smorgasbord of an event, one that covers lots of ground from entertainment to corporate retail and everything in between and beyond. Of course, some say social media knows no boundaries (it’s sort of the “anti-boundary,” wouldn’t you think?), so that’s what you’ll get: Emerging trends, innovations, and new ideas on driving and monetizing digital conversations. There’s a lot on the plate, so you might want to check out the agenda.
When: June 17–18, 2020
Where: Santa Monica, CA
Cost: $329 to $1,349 (watch early bird pricing)
Another all-encompassing digital marketing event, this one seems focused on building traffic, developing your audience, and spreading brand awareness. Those are, of course, the first steps you want to take when rolling out a digital marketing strategy. But it’s certainly cool for DigiMarCon to make this one of its primary focus areas. Plus, the sponsors make it a point to emphasize that this event might take a more “audacious” approach to challenging conventional thought (quite a big task, as innovation is the “boring” baseline for nearly every digital marketing conference). But doesn’t it just make you want to check it out? And if you’re not convinced, DigiMarCon published a cool infographic on its Top 10 Reasons to Attend.
When: June 17–18, 2020
Cost: $397 (early bird) to $1,297
This list would be incomplete without at least one “hardcore” enterprise content strategy event. Meaning what? Well, it’s the kind of content strategy discipline that focuses on top-down governance, workflow management, and UX design, all the way down to the netherworld of meta-content where reality looks, well, a bit nerdier. If you find your inner content geek clamoring to take over, then just let your alter-ego have its day and head over to Confab 2020, where they’ll be discussing all of the above and much more.
When: May 17–20, 2020
Cost: $1,095 to $2,695
Last but not least, here’s another conference from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), this one focusing on the “techier” side of enterprise content marketing. Their mission: “to show [you] how the effective use of technology and better processes can help your strategic efforts to create, manage, deliver, and scale your enterprise content and provide your customers with better digital experiences.” Sounds like a mouthful, and it is. This one might be similar to Content Marketing World, but with loads more tech and an enterprise focus. If this is your game, then this event runs your gamut.
When: April 20–22, 2020
Where: San Diego
Cost: $1,299 to $2,399