Mar 2, 2018

Digital Events for 2018: a Look Ahead to the Year’s Hottest Events

by Digital Marketing Institute

Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or expert in the digital marketing sphere, checking out a digital marketing conference in your area or making a trip is one of the best ways to keep up with the latest trends and strategies. If you find yourself feeling hesitant about spending the money, just remember that it’s a business expense that will pay off in a variety of unexpected ways.

Read on for a brief overview of some of the most interesting and exciting gatherings for marketers of all backgrounds who want to grow their business.

SMX West

SMX West is a search marketing expo for professionals passionate about SEO and SEM, and it’s one of the hottest digital marketing events around. It takes place in March in San Jose, CA. You’ll gather with others in this field to learn in-depth information about all things search-related, including PPC, social media, and content marketing. There’s something here for someone at every level, so don’t be intimidated if you’re still a beginner. And if you’re highly experienced, you may want to check out SMX Advanced.


Pubcon has been running strong for 17 years. It takes place in Austin and Florida at different times of the year (keep an eye out for 2019 dates if it’s too late this year). Go there to learn everything you would ever want to know about mobile, video, content development, SEO, and so much more. They’re known for having stellar keynote speakers, and sponsorship opportunities abound.

The Social Shakeup

Social Media Today puts on this inspiring conference every year in Atlanta, and this year it’s taking place in May. Attend to find the latest scoop on what’s hot, what’s not, how to tell a great story, multimedia social strategy, and so much more. Here you’ll find speakers from some of the biggest companies in the world (think Google and Twitter), and you’ll learn to take your social to heights you never thought possible.


Tech-oriented marketing and product managers – and pretty much anyone who works with them – should take note of MARTECH West which takes place in San Jose in April. This is the perfect place to build your skills if you’re in the tech/marketing end of things. You’ll learn effective strategies for business organization and collaboration while exploring a range of marketing strategies.

Digital Growth Unleashed

This conference is great as this year there are events in Vegas, London, and Berlin, so if you miss the first one and you’re in the US, you still have time to plan a little trip to Europe for the fall or vice versa. Digital Growth Unleashed has a distinctive focus on customer experience and as such can teach you plenty of the latest tips and tricks in digital marketing no matter what your industry.

With four days to spend on one of two tracks, you’ll learn how to understand your leads and clients in a different way, and will have the tools and motivation to really push your business where it needs to go. This conference used to be known as Conversion Conference and is now in its 8th year.

Marketing Analytics Conference

The Marketing Analytics Conference is the perfect event to attend if you’re interested in using data-based marketing to push your business forward. Here you’ll learn from senior leaders in major industries exactly how the best of the best use data to build brand awareness and design the optimal customer experience. You’ll find out some exclusive strategies from C-suite keynote speakers that will help you take your digital marketing strategy to the next level.

Sirius Decisions Summit

This conference is specifically devoted to sales and leadership. Over 3000 people typically attend to learn from experts in the field of B2B and data-based marketing strategies. Sirius Decisions is the place to be for leaders looking to rub shoulders with an elite community of business experts and learn the latest in all aspects of marketing and sales from industry leaders.


Are you excited about all things video? If you’re looking to learn just how to integrate this extremely effective mode of content into your regular marketing strategy, or if you’re already involved in video production, and you want to build your skills further, Vidcon is the place to be. The conference is divided into three different sections – community, creator, and industry – so that you can choose the one that best suits your level and needs.

This conference is definitely one of the more fun and colorful on the list, and if you’re looking to add a new edge to your visuals while networking with super fun folks, you’ll want to check it out.

The Marketing Nation Summit

The Marketing Nation Summit is your chance to learn from the best while connecting with peers and enriching your knowledge of everything to do with advertising, marketing and IT. Boost your leadership skills, get certified and schmooze with others in your field while enjoying a visit to San Francisco. Past speakers include Hillary Clinton and Arianna Huffington.

The Loyalty Expo

If your focus is specifically on building brand loyalty and awareness, you should definitely consider attending the Loyalty Expo. This conference is unique in its focus on helping people build business specifically through customer strategy. Past keynotes have been from companies like GM and Marvel comics. Stay tuned for plenty of opportunities with fellow experts in both group and one-on-one scenarios.

DigiDay AI Marketing Summit

One of the best digital marketing conferences in 2018 has got to be Santa Barbara’s DigiDay AI Marketing summit. This one’s for the techie set and attending will seriously put you ahead of your competitors in the world of AI. This is such a rapidly growing element of digital marketing that heading to a conference on the topic as soon as you can be bound to give you a leg up on what’s in store for the near future.


INBOUND 2018 takes place in September this year, and it looks like it’s going to be a blast. With speakers like Michelle Obama and Brene Brown (last year), you know it’s going to be big. This conference is great for people of all levels because it’s less expensive than some others, but it’s very well-organized, too. It really tries to focus on the human side of the business, and it is more about relationship-building than sales or tech. From amazing breakout sessions and professional speakers, we’re looking at a seriously fun, passionate, intelligent and human-centered crowd to talk business with.

Social Media Marketing World

For those looking specifically for content marketing conferences in 2018, podcasters, bloggers, and social media gurus will want to take a peek at this lovely and not-so-little event being held in San Diego this year, which is put on by the Social Media Examiner. Social Media Marketing World typically attracts about 5 000 people from everywhere you can think of, so it’s definitely a great place for a meeting of the minds. Plus, it seems to get rave reviews from its professional speakers – really, what’s not to like?

Staying Up to Date

Whether you’re just starting out, already an expert or somewhere in-between and you’re looking for a chance to pivot your current career, attending one of these digital events in 2018 is one the best ways to build brand awareness, market yourself, find clients, meet new partners and find top talent in the world of digital marketing.

Choose something with keynote speakers you resonate with and workshops that truly pique your interest, and you’ll notice the results, hands down. This could be one of the best professional decisions you make. Don’t be scared to go and network with the best of the best, and most of all, don’t forget to have a blast while doing it!

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