The year is well underway and you want to make sure that you attend the best marketing conferences of 2017 for you. Attending digital marketing conferences are a great way to grow your knowledge, enhance employee engagement, position your product more effectively, network with other companies, and better your clients’ marketing campaigns just to name a few. There are many factors to keep in mind when choosing the best digital marketing conference.
#1. Who (from the office) will be attending the conference?
A common question to ask is if this digital marketing conference is best served for select individuals, an entire department, or the full company? This decision normally comes down to three factors. The duration of the conference, the focus of the conference and price. Someone needs to be answering the phone and responding to customer questions while your employees are at the conference. Make sure you choose the best person(s) to not only go to the conference, but stay behind.
It might not be possible to give everyone the conference experience. If this is the case, have the conference goer take detailed notes, request speaker slides, and come back with a wealth of knowledge to share with the group. We recommend to rotate the conference experience amongst employees to make the conference learning experience available to all. If you decide to take an entire team to a conference make sure that the conference is beneficial to all and that you aren’t leaving clients in the dark for extended periods of time.
#2. Does the conference meet your needs?
Obviously someone starting their own business and someone working for a digital marketing agency aren’t going to be desiring the same information at a conference. A small business owner might want a brief overview of the different digital marketing offerings that would provide value to their company and have good questions to ask to a digital marketing agency to make sure that agency is best for their business.
A digital marketing agency might have very specific questions that are needed answered and want the actual hands on conference to learn what they will need to implement as soon as they are returning to the office. Others might just want the best networking conference available. Whatever your needs, make sure the conference is at a level where you can learn and grow and bring value back to your company.
#3. Does the conference timing work for you?
Like many of us it’s a challenge to carve out 3-5 days to dedicate to a conference away from clients and projects. We recommend to plan your next conference well in advance and have an understanding of your crazy busy season. If there is a certain time of the year when you consistently have to do updates and revisions to clients accounts…it might be a good idea to circle other days on your calendar for a potential conference. When you say your making time for the conference then make time for the conference. When at the conference be present and not just thinking about what needs done when you return to the office or emails you have to respond to. This can be done after each day is wrapped up.
#4. What preparation should I do before the conference?
Network, network, network! Before the digital marketing conference, make sure to ask for a list of the enrollee list so you are prepared knowing which companies you can be of resource to one another and who you’d like to ask questions. Make a list of what is important to you. Most importantly, how you will achieve this by attending the conference? Before going to the conference take the time to talk to each person in the department to understand what they would hope to learn from the conference and come back with these answers.
When returning to the office from the conference, set up an afternoon to talk to the team about what the key take-aways were. You’ll find that with doing these “conference take-away afternoons” that the employee that attend will have a better understanding of what they learned by teaching the staff and that the conferences aren’t just a way to escape the office for a few days. Staying accountable to your list will help you stay focused.
A list might include….
- Answer my pre-determined list of questions about X.
- Obtain 10 new contacts that can benefit me with X.
- I have client X, how are other agencies solving this problem?
- Meet all the keynote speakers and develop an open conversation. Ask if you could keep them in mind for future questions.
- Create a top 10 list of what my take-away is from the conference
- What are 3 things that I learned? What can I share with other departments in my company?
#5. Research Upcoming Digital Marketing Conferences
There are hundreds of conferences a year for Google Ads, SEO, Website Development, Coding, App Creation…you name it, you’ll find it. Here are a list of well regarded upcoming conferences. Check out the links to see which digital marketing conference seems the most beneficial to you.
#5. Research Upcoming Digital Marketing Conferences
Search Love – June 5-6 (Boston, MA)
Unbounce Call To Action Conference – June 25-27 (Vancouver, BC)
MozCon – July 17-19 (Seattle, WA)
Design & Content – July 17-19 (Vancouver, BC)
Inbound – September 25-28 (Boston, MA)
Internet Summit – November 15-16 (Raleigh, NC)
AvoCamp – December 6-8 (San Francisco, CA)