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The 16 Best Digital Marketing Conferences of 2016

A couple of weeks ago, I heard a barber say you’re only as good as your last haircut. In marketing, this couldn’t be more accurate — using last year’s tactics just won’t cut it.

Surely, you’re staying up to date on the latest marketing trends with blog posts, AMAs and webinars. But sometimes, in order to level up, you need to step away from your desk and get a front-row seat to the action.

people having fun at Unbounce’s CTA conference
Knowledge learned in the flesh will help you reach new heights in 2016. Image via Unbounce CTA Conference.

With so many digital marketing conferences to choose from, we’ve selected the top marketing events we think will inspire and educate you in 2016.

These marketing conferences cover a variety of topics: content marketing, conversion optimization, design, email marketing, entrepreneurship, innovation, mobile, performance marketing, search, social, growth marketing, video marketing and local marketing.

If you’re on a mission to get some real life knowledge and socializing under your belt, here’s an epic list of the 20 most thought-provoking, engaging digital marketing conferences 2016 has to offer.

Bonus: to help with you whittle down your conference wish list, we found out what people had to say about last year’s conferences.

1. MozCon: September 12–14, 2016 (Seattle, Washington)

MozCon Logo

MozCon promises three days of actionable sessions, speakers sharing first-hand advice and fun networking events that won’t disappoint. If you’re looking to get exposed to what’s new in SEO, CRO, content marketing and community building, don’t wait too long to sign up.

Bonus: Roger, the cutest and cuddliest robot, will be there to give you a hug.

What last year’s attendees said:

2. Unbounce Call to Action Conference: June 19–21, 2016 (Vancouver, Canada)

Our very own Call to Action Conference brings together experts in conversion optimization, pay-per-click, email, copywriting and UX design. If your goal is to become a faster, better and stronger marketer, we have amazing hands-on workshops that will expand your skill set and help you get there. Vancouver is at its most charming in the month the June, not to mention the parties and the swag are pretty awesome! Come pay us a visit in Vancouver.

What last year’s attendees said:

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3. ConversionXL Live: March 30–April 1, 2016 (Austin Area, Texas)

CXL image 2016

ConversionXL Live brings the top conversion optimization experts in the world together to teach you all their processes and methods. Unlike other conferences, networking is underlined and emphasized so you can further your learning while building relationships with your peers. If you’ve read Peep Laja’s ConversionXL blog, you know this is one of the most informative blogs on conversion optimization out there. And if this is an area you want to dominate, ConversionXL Live is one of the best marketing conferences out there.

What last year’s attendees said:

4. MARTech: March 21–22, 2016 (San Francisco, CA) and October 20–21, 2016 (London, UK)

Digital Marketing Conference Martech

As the name MARTech implies, this conference is for hybrid professionals that are both marketing experts and technology savvy. This event blurs the lines between marketing and IT and introduces conference goers to new technologies that will influence the data science, growth-hacking and digital marketing landscapes.

What last year’s attendees said:

5. Hero Conf: April 25–27, 2016 (Philadelphia, PA) and October 24–26, 2016 (London, UK)

Hero Conference

Hero Conf is one of the top marketing conferences for marketers who want to focus on improving their PPC skills. This PPC theme allows for actionable takeaways focused on improving your strategy around paid ads and data on LinkedIn, Bing, Google, Facebook and more. A low speaker-to-attendee ratio means that networking and nightly events are both fun and informative.

What last year’s attendees said:

6. WistiaFest: June 5–7, 2016 (Boston, MA)

Wistia image

WistiaFest delivers you three days of video marketing insights, data, analytics content and more from some of the industry’s top professionals from around the world. This is an important event for marketers who use video in their marketing efforts and want to see where the future of video lies, and who want to catch up with their peers at one of the best video marketing conferences.

What last year’s attendees said:

7. MozCon Local: February 18–19, 2016 (Seattle, Washington)

Mozcon local image

If you’re part of a local business and want to gain insights and knowledge on local SEO and other marketing tools, this is a great event that will feed your SEO and marketing hunger. MozCon Local will arm you with knowledge as well as tactical tips in the form of talks, workshops and cool networking events in lovely Seattle. What more could you want in a conference?

What last year’s attendees said:

8. ad:tech: November 2–3, 2016 (New York City, NY)

Adtech image

ad:tech is an event held in eight countries that covers the changing landscape of advertising technology. The event is for marketers, brand strategists, agencies and publishers. ad:tech helps you navigate the evolution of key technologies and keeps you ahead of the curve so that you can drive innovation within your brand or agency.

What last year’s attendees said:

9. Marketing United: April 18–20, 2016 (Nashville, TN)

United image

Marketing United is bringing some of the world’s top marketers to Nashville to share their tips, tricks and stories to help inspire you. Each session promises to be informative and exciting, not to mention the venue is steps away from great food and music à la Nashville.

What last year’s attendees said:

10. Advocamp: March 7–9, 2016 (San Francisco, CA)

Advocamp image

If you’ve got customer growth and development on the brain then Advocamp is one of the best marketing conferences for you. Advocamp is the only conference that focuses on customer delight all while providing you with the tools to build a viable business strategy. Not to mention they take the conference’s name seriously and pair attendees into smaller “camp” groups. This is Advocamp’s second year, and it’s sure not to disappoint.

What last year’s attendees said:

11. C2 Montreal: May 24–26, 2016 (Montreal, Canada)

 

C2 logo Marketing Conference

C2 focuses on creativity and commerce by bringing together some of the most innovative thought leaders across various disciplines. Not only does creativity take center stage, it also makes an appearance after hours. C2 has created some of the most engaging and entertaining networking events all with the help of Quebec’s own Cirque du Soleil. Get exposed to innovation and creativity from all facets of the business world.

What last year’s attendees said:

12. Searchlove: May 3–4, 2016 (Boston, MA) and October 17-18, 2016 (London, UK)

Searlove Logo

This two-day event attracts some of the world’s top online marketing talent and covers a variety of topics from search, analytics and paid to content strategy and optimization. With actionable advice, tips and processes, SearchLove is filled with the information you need to push your career forward.

What last year’s attendees said:

13. SXSW Interactive: March 11–15, 2016 (Austin, Texas)

SXSW logo

Considered one of the top marketing events out there, SXSW Interactive has historically been the place to launch your product and boost your career. With a guest list brimming with the who’s who in the industry, this event is usually packed with stars from the digital world as well as Hollywood. It’s also one of the best conferences work on your networking skills. SXSW Interactive puts an emphasis on innovation and the changing digital landscapes. If you’re a startup or looking to launch your product, SXSW Interactive may be the place for you.

What last year’s attendees said:

14. Intelligent Content Conference: March 7–9, 2016 (Las Vegas, NV)

 

ICC Best Marketing Conference 2016

If you’ve been looking to improve your content strategy skills, ICC is that best marketing conference to help you up your game. With topics covering how to scale content production, reusing and repurposing legacy content and diffusion of content on different platforms, ICC is one of the most on-point content marketing conferences out there.

What last year’s attendees said:

15. Inbound: November 8–11, 2016 (Boston, MA)

Inbound logo 2016

Inbound’s four-day event has over 170 training sessions, five keynotes and lots of entertaining and fun activities at night. Past entertainment has included the likes of Amy Schumer and Janelle Monáe. With 14,000 attendees, the event is a huge opportunity to network and see some of the best professionals in the marketing industry.

Pro tip: Inbound is a huge event with lots of great workshops and speakers happening at the same time. Make a list of the events that you’d like to attend in advance to get the most of out of your experience.

What last year’s attendees said:

16. Search Marketing Summit: May 30–June 3, 2016 (Sydney, Australia)

SMS logo 2016

If you’re living down under or you’ve always wanted to visit, Search Marketing Summit is the number one event of its kind in Australia. This five-day event is packed with advanced workshops that cover topics from mobile, search and email marketing. Search Marketing Summit is a great way to update your skills and advance your knowledge in just a few days.

What last year’s attendees said:

Time to step it up

Attending conferences is important because they push you out of your professional habits and routines and expose you to new technologies, trends and people.

We’ve armed you with the a list of the best digital marketing conferences of 2016 that will provide you with the right tools and knowledge to level up your marketing game. It’s up to you to make the next move.

Your personal growth and that of your agency or company depend on it.

What conferences have you attended that have shaped your career and improved your skills? Share the best with us in the comments below.

About Helen Arceyut Frixione
Helen is a Writer and Content Strategist at Unbounce. She’s worked in startup, agency and freelance environments. With a marketing background in social media strategy, community management and user acquisition, she loves using data to inform herself, but also enjoys the occasional animated cat gif. Find her on Twitter @haaf
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Comments:

  1. Alan Moir

    Don’t forget about BrightonSEO in the UK!

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  2. Stephan Hovnanian

    Great list for sure. Sad to see MarketingProfs B2B Forum didn’t make the cut, though. It’s an incredible conference for learning and networking with people who share the same marketing challenges as you, but come from all walks of business. Total family atmosphere, much like some of the others mentioned here.

    Anyway, I know you can’t include every single conference but had to extol the virtues of #mpb2b. http://mpb2b.marketingprofs.com is the link for anybody who’s interested, it’s Oct. 19-21 in Boston. Hope to see some of you there as well!

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    • Oli Gardner

      Totally agree with that recommendation Stephan. I think the important thing about lists like this is that we get together as a community (like this) and point out what’s missing.

      Ann Handley is amazing and the team at Marketing Profs does an exceptional job with B2B forum. I spoke there last year and loved it! I’m speaking again this year.

      Highly recommended.

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  3. Matthew

    With all due respect, how on earth did Search Marketing Expo not make this list?

    Exponentially more beneficial than half of these offerings. I mean, even inbound made the list – and that is just chaos.

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    • Helen Arceyut Frixione

      Hey, Matthew. :)

      We tried to come up with a list that covers all different level of marketing skills and niches while also providing people with different styles of conferences.

      Apart from Search Marketing Expo what other conferences have you attended and liked?

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    • Oli Gardner

      What is about Search Marketing Expo that you think is exceptional? Im curious having not attended.

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  4. Paul Shepherd

    Great list Helen! Thanks for sharing. I’ll check out Search Marketing Summit in Sydney.
    One event that needs to be on this list is “Funnel Hacking” in San Diego in March. Im off to this one also, which is all about Sales Funnels. Brilliant for the next level digital marketer.

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    • Helen Arceyut Frixione

      Thanks, Paul! It’s great to have single track conferences suggestions. :)

      Funnel Hacking is a conference I’m sure lots of people would be interested in. Great suggestion.

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  5. Mark Thompson

    Can anyone recommend good learning and development events for Digital marketing. By that I don’t mean training providers, I mean events that address the skills gap in digital and is aimed for the L&D function of a business looking to improve digital fluency not marketers themselves

    Plus

    A shameless plug for Econsultancy’s Festival of Marketing in London http://www.festivalofmarketing.com/

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  6. Sofie

    What about good conferences in Europe? Must be more than the 2-3 you mentioned..? :-)

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    • Helen Arceyut Frixione

      Hi, Sofie! SMX Munich is a great option if you’re in Europe. Last year some included speakers like Rand Fishkin and Joost de Valk from (SEO By Yoast). There’s also a new conference out of London called Digital Shift that looks very interesting.

      What area of Europe are you in? Maybe I can help point in you in the right direction? :)

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    • smaranda

      Hi,

      There’s also ICEEFEST – http://www.iceefest.com which takes place in Bucharest. This year’s edition is scheduled for June 9th and 10th. It’s a cool event with 2500+ attendees from all over the region, international speakers and hot topics such as Digital Creativity, Online Content, Social Media, Mobile, Programmatic, eCommerce, Performance Marketing, Entrepreneurship.

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  7. PJP

    I thought Convrsion Conference and Content Marketing World were both great!

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  8. Thomas

    Europe has a lot of good conferences that are not listed. Superweek was one of the world best digital analytics conferences ever. My suggestion for next blog post is that you make the list of best conferences by continents.

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    • Helen Arceyut Frixione

      Hi Thomas! Thanks for your suggestion. We’ve listed some conferences that have sister events happening in the UK. I will definitely keep that in mind next time. :)

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  9. Ali Mayar

    Love it! Can’t wait for SearchLove in early May!

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  10. bharat

    Thank you so much for sharing this list. Get ready to attend them.

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  11. sonali singh

    Great events really glad to know that these events happens. its a great time for learning from this events.

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  12. michael

    Thanks for sharing this

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  13. michael

    Thanks for the info in this post

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  14. Beanstalkwebsolutions

    That was really a nice information to look..Great share..

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  15. Gazalla

    I would add Content Marketing World to this list. Some of the best folks from the biz present at this conference such as Rand Fishkin, Ann Handley, Kristina Halverson and Jay Baer.

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  16. Tom Tailor

    Hello, Helen!
    Thank you for sharing this useful informartion! I would like to visit at least one of these conferences! Ans I have some time to think about it! Thank you for providing us with this information one more time, because it would be easier to choose!

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  17. Len Hestein

    Hi Helen,

    Great list. I would love for you to check out Brand ManageCamp. September 15-16 will mark our 14th annual iteration of this 2 day event. I know I am a bit biased…but I encourage you to check out the hundreds and hundreds of testimonials on our website as well as all the positive tweets out there! Let me know if you have any questions (or would like to check it out for yourself…). Thanks!

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    • Helen Arceyut Frixione

      No need to apologize Len! Brand ManageCamp looks great. Thanks for taking the time to share.

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  18. Heidi Foy

    Any suggestions for a newbie to the digital marketing world…I have a lot to catch up on and need a good place to start!

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    • Helen Arceyut Frixione

      Hey Heidi. I’d say pick a topic you’d like to more about and then go from there. Some of the bigger conferences can be a bit overwhelming for a newbie — that’s how I felt at first. The other option is picking a conference and planning out what you want to see beforehand around a certain topic or type of marketing.

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  19. Brandy Parslow

    I agree, great list. Would love to see the HTASummit make it one year. I know Daymond John is speaking at this year’s summit. And with 10,000 attendees, I can’t be the only one who loves to go.

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    • Helen Arceyut Frixione

      Great suggestions Brandy. There are so many great events out there, it’s hard to get them all down. Let us know how it goes this year at HTASummit. It looks like a great event from what I just saw. :)

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  20. Cheryl Gifford

    What about the SMX Advanced Conference? Any thoughts? We are B2B so any recommendations for B2B conferences would be appreciated.

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    • Helen Arceyut Frixione

      For sure Cheryl. I think any SMX event is a great idea for a B2B company, especially an SMX advanced company. :)

      Another way to approach this is to try pick events is by area of expertise. What domains does your team need to grow and gain knowledge?

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  21. Helen Arceyut Frixione

    Hey Mark! I’ll ask our CTA conference organizers if they can think of any events that fit what you’re describing. :)

    And, no need to apologize for the shameless plug (To be fair I read shameless pug and was confused and amused). Thanks for sharing. :)

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  22. Carolyn Capern

    Hey Helen!

    Love this article — a fantastic round-up of amazing industry conferences. I’m sad to see Social Fresh Conference missing– have you stumbled across them before? They are the longest-running social media marketing conference in the industry – now on their eighth year and eighteenth event (which will be held in Orlando for 2016). Most of the attendees work for major brands and agencies. The event is all about helping marketers get inspired from one another’s work, and it’s single-track so you never have to worry about missing out.

    I could keep rambling about it, but I’ll just say that in my opinion, this conference is one of the best-kept secrets in this business. Maybe you could do a sequel post and include more of the conferences mentioned in these comments! :) Thanks for your thoughtful content!

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    • Helen Arceyut Frixione

      Thanks, Carolyn! We love ‘best-kept secret’ type of events.

      A follow-up post would be a great way for us to include some these suggestions and expand on what we’ve listed above. I appreciate your thoughtful comment. :)

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  23. Alice

    Hey Helen!

    Thanks for sharing a great list of digital marketing conferences to attend this year. Although, I’m sad to see that ONTRApalooza didn’t make the cut. However, maybe you can expand the list in the future and include ONTRApalooza and other amazing marketing seminars suggested in these comments :)

    ONTRApalooza is a two-day business-building conference for entrepreneurs, small business owners and marketers all over the world. On October 13-14, 2016 in Santa Barbara CA, all attendees will get access to 16 hands-on business-building workshops, learn from the sharpest minds in marketing, sales, operations and customer experience and get the inside scoop on what’s coming next from ONTRAPORT.

    For more information about our speakers, pricing and sessions, please visit: https://ontrapalooza.com/learn-more

    Cheers,

    Alice

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  24. Monse O.

    Awesome list of must-see conferences! I’m excited to check them out. I think you’re missing one though – located in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA: https://ontrapalooza.com/

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  25. samatha

    Nice List

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  26. Rahul Alim

    Great list Helen! Does anyone have any details on Digital Marketers conferences?

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  27. Jordan

    Great list! Might I add one to the list as well:

    OnBrand ’16 will be in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on October 13th. OnBrand is the leading branding conference for the international marketing communications industry. Join 500+ marketing professionals to get cutting edge marketing insight from key industry leaders, brand managers and designers.

    OnBrand 2016 prepares marketers for a new era of branding with insightful keynotes and panel discussions from leaders in branding and marketing. Our expert lineup will share their own insights and best practices, and provide you with actionable insights to succeed in the digital age.

    Thanks again for the awesome list!

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  28. Lukas Mehnert

    Hi Helen,
    great post!
    Could you also add:
    404 Conference will take place in Las Vegas from November 2-4 this year, and it focuses on Digital Marketing and Website Development
    http://www.404.digital

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