A question I’m asked routinely is, “What are the best conferences and events to go to for social media?” Assuming the point is to find out which ones I think are great for learning social media marketing, I certainly have my opinions. Granted, some of the events I’m enthusiastic about are ones at which I speak, some of those also offer me affiliate arrangements where I get a percentage of each sign-up, but I hope you know by now I don’t endorse or profit from anything I wouldn’t recommend even without those perks.

Since I’ve seemed to answer that question a few times in the last couple weeks, I thought it might help to offer up a list of upcoming social media marketing related events that I think will be strong for your learning pleasure. Where there is an affiliate relationship, I’ve given you the opportunity to sign up both with and without giving me credit.

Social Fresh
St. Louis is next – April 19

Shot from the stage at Bloggers-PR panel
Image by Jason Falls via Flickr

Jason Keath has built a really strong, one-day, traveling social media marketing event in Social Fresh. I had the honor of speaking at Social Fresh Nashville and will be at Social Fresh St. Louis on Monday of next week. What Jason has done that many other conferences fail to do is bring brands to the table to tell their stories. That, coupled with social media marketing brains that are in the trenches actually doing the work, not just talking about it, and you’ve got a solid and affordable one-day experience.

Sign Up for Social Fresh St. Louis (Jason’s Affiliate Link) | (Direct Purchase)

SOBCon 2010
April 30-May 2 – Chicago

It hurts my heart I can’t be at SOBCon this year. Liz Strauss’s annual blogging for business master’s-degree-in-a-weekend event is a must attend for me. Unfortunately, my mother decided to go and turn 60 and is having a party, so I got a “just this once” pass from Liz. But you should most definitely go. Liz always makes it a great learning experience for attendees and gives sponsors value beyond any other conference I’ve ever seen. Everyone wins at this one.

Sign Up for SOBCon 2010

Web 2.0 Expo
May 3-6 – San Francisco

Web 2.0 is one of those events I’ve never been to, but spend time pilfering through hashtag filters and reaction posts from bloggers in attendance. There are always some neat nuggets to digest from the conversations around the event. Maybe one day I’ll get to go. It’s a Bay area event in early May and there are always some good name folks there from the Silicon Valley set that make it well worth the investment.

Sign Up for Web 2.0 Expo

MarketingProfs B2B Forum
May 3-5 – Boston

While MarketingProfs has a distinctive B2B flavor and this is a designed B2B event, it’s probably the highest concentration of B2B thinkers and doers out there AND has a high concentration of just generally smart social media marketing brains as speakers and attendees. Ann Handley is one of the smartest and classiest people in the new media world. Her events are just as good. This is another I wish I could attend this year.

Sign Up For MarketingProfs B2B Forum

Social Media Success Summit
May 4-25 (Virtual Webinars; Live or Archived)

Unlike other conferences, this one is virtual. You don’t have to leave your desk and you still get almost one-on-one interactions (and not almost if your question gets through the cue) with the likes of Guy Kawasaki, Steve Rubel, Chris Brogan and 21 other awesome speakers. (Okay, 20 and me.) The event was a huge success last year and there are already over 1,200 folks signed up. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the live audience for this and sign up now. Even if you wait a bit, you can still get the archives, though. It’s a can’t miss deal for good knowledge from smart people.

Sign Up for the Social Media Success Summit (Jason’s Affiliate Link) | (Direct Purchase)

UnGeeked Elite
May 13-15 – Milwaukee

Milwaukee is going to be host to what I think could be the underdog event of the year. UnGeeked Elite features Chris Brogan, Olivier Blanchard, Scott Stratten, Sally Hogshead, Dan Schawbel … it’s going to be impressive. It’s a new event put on by SohoBizTube and is focused on de-geekifying the hype and the jargon to make social media make sense. I’m tickled I’ve been invited to this and have a good feeling it’s going to be a “wow” event this year.

Sign Up for UnGeeked Elite

Social Media Plus
May 25 – Philadelphia

This event is new, but you should sign up and come to Philadelphia on May 25 to be a part of the first of what I’m sure will be many. The quality of speakers and unique, track delineation of this event, along with the focus to have the audience made up of brand managers, CEOs and marketing managers is going to make this a must-attend event in the social media world and fast. I am speaking at this event, but do not have an affiliate agreement with them. I do, however, have a 15 percent discount for you when you enroll. Just use the code “VIP15″ when you sign up!

Sign Up for Social Media Plus

New Marketing Experience
September 21, 2010 – Chicago

Chris Brogan’s Inbound Marketing Summit is in Boston in October. He’s calling his other events this year “New Marketing Experience” and I’m sure they will each be well worth the investment in time and money. (The earlier ones are April 13 in San Francisco and May 26 in Dallas. I picked Chicago to point out for geography and calendaring purposes here.) I’ve spoken at a couple of New Marketing Labs events and have always thought they were one of the best buys in the social media conference world. You get much more than social media, but still come away thinking you’re better off with blogs, Facebook and Twitter as a result, too. Chris does a great job of getting smart companies together to educate the crowd and the frenetic speaking pace crams as much info into a day or two as you can possibly imagine.

Sign Up for New Marketing Experience

Blog World & New Media Expo
Oct. 14-16 – Las Vegas

Being a part of the organization of Blog World & New Media Expo last year makes me even more passionate about telling you that you should go. I’ve had the honor of speaking at this event and programmed the Social Media Business Summit last year and I think we offered as good a program as any event out there. It’s three days of fantastic learning from innovators and creators as well as brand-side doers and even outside-the-bubble folks leveraging blogs and social media platforms for business success. And it’s in Vegas. You can’t go to this event and not have a blast.

Sign Up for Blog World & New Media Expo (Jason’s Affiliate Link) | (Direct Purchase)

Those are what come to mind for now. I’m sure there are more. What events are you looking forward to this year? Let the comments be our calendar!

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments & Reactions

Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • jimredmile

    Thanks so much for the awesome social media directory. As a rookie marketing & social media specialist for a B2B, http://www.accuform.com, I am always trying to talk my director into sending me to these conferences whe I happen upon them. Hopefully, with so many to choose from, this time I can get him to commit.

  • http://personalbrandingblog.com Dan Schawbel

    Will be good to meet you at the event Jason.

  • http://vsellis.com Scott Ellis

    Jason, Good list. I'd like to put OpenCamp (http://openca.mp) on the radar. It is going to be a powerhouse event. It'll serve as an umbrella for WordCamp, DrupalCamp and JoomlaCamp as well as include a lot of discussion on SocialMedia, Podcasting and more.

    I can only speak to WordCamp (Dallas) since I'm largely a WP guy but we've had awesome line-ups in the past and the nature of OpenCamp tells me were going to blow it out this year.

    You should think about doing a session if you don't mind coming to Dallas in August!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Well done, Scott. Love having more events to list here. Thank you for this!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/fan-wu-zhi/100000452267472 反物質

    阿彌陀佛 無相佈施

    不要吃五辛(葷菜,在古代宗教指的是一些食用後會影響性情、慾望的植
    物,主要有五種葷菜,合稱五葷,佛家與道家所指有異。

    近代則訛稱含有動物性成分的餐飲食物為「葷菜」,事實上這在古代是稱
    之為腥。所謂「葷腥」即這兩類的合稱。 葷菜
    維基百科,自由的百科全書
    (重定向自五辛) 佛家五葷

    在佛家另稱為五辛,五種辛味之菜。根據《楞嚴經》記載,佛家五葷為大
    蒜、小蒜、興渠、慈蔥、茖蔥;五葷生啖增恚,使人易怒;熟食發淫,令
    人多慾。[1]

    《本草備要》註解云:「慈蔥,冬蔥也;茖蔥,山蔥也;興渠,西域菜,云
    即中國之荽。」

    興渠另說為洋蔥。) 肉 蛋 奶?!

    念楞嚴經 *∞窮盡相關 消去無關 證據 時效 念阿彌陀佛往生西方極樂世界

    我想製造自己的行為反作用力
    不婚 不生子女 生生世世不當老師

    log 二0.3010 三0.47710.48 五0.6990 七0.8451 .85
    root 二1.414 1.41 三1.732 1.73五 2.236 2.24七 2.646
    =>十3.16 π∈Q' 一點八1.34

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  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    Thanks for the Social Fresh shout out sir. Appreciate the kind words. The rest of the list is pretty badass as well.

    Also, check the social media conference twitter list http://twitter.com/sofresh/social-media-conference

  • http://socialbutterflyguy.com/ DJ Waldow

    Looks like we may be sucking down a few beers together over remaining 8+ months of 2010. Pumped.

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
    @djwaldow

  • Eyelona

    Hi Jason – thanks for putting this together. Talk about “making sense of the noise”, there seem to be so many conferences on social media out there, that it's hard to figure out which is worth the time and no the 'same ole'.

    I'd like to add one more to be on the watch for, which is LiftSummit, where the folks from Wharton Interactive Media Initiative (WIMI) and OfficeArrow.com talk about SM and Social Commerce. I know it's coming in the Fall, but the date is still TBD. Will reach out when I know more.

  • 正碩嫌念阿彌陀佛往生西方極樂世界

    阿彌陀佛 無相佈施

    不要吃五辛(葷菜,在古代宗教指的是一些食用後會影響性情、慾望的植
    物,主要有五種葷菜,合稱五葷,佛家與道家所指有異。

    近代則訛稱含有動物性成分的餐飲食物為「葷菜」,事實上這在古代是稱
    之為腥。所謂「葷腥」即這兩類的合稱。 葷菜
    維基百科,自由的百科全書
    (重定向自五辛) 佛家五葷

    在佛家另稱為五辛,五種辛味之菜。根據《楞嚴經》記載,佛家五葷為大
    蒜、小蒜、興渠、慈蔥、茖蔥;五葷生啖增恚,使人易怒;熟食發淫,令
    人多慾。[1]

    《本草備要》註解云:「慈蔥,冬蔥也;茖蔥,山蔥也;興渠,西域菜,云
    即中國之荽。」

    興渠另說為洋蔥。) 肉 蛋 奶?!

    念楞嚴經 *∞窮盡相關 消去無關 證據 時效 念阿彌陀佛往生西方極樂世界

    我想製造自己的行為反作用力
    不婚 不生子女 生生世世不當老師

    log 二0.3010 三0.47710.48 五0.6990 七0.8451 .85
    root 二1.414 1.41 三1.732 1.73五 2.236 2.24七 2.646
    =>十3.16 π∈Q' 一點八1.34

  • http://www.motiont.com motiontech

    Thanks for the list. We have never gone to a social media event, but it seems like a good use of time and money.

  • http://travelingmamas.com Shannon Hurst Lane

    Jason – Great roundup of events. I'm excited that the Baton Rouge Social Media Club is hosting http://SocialCoastal.com and the fabulous lineup of speakers is coming together nicely ;)

    Mark your calendars for September 29, 2010 in Baton Rouge, LA. The City of Baton Rouge is very supportive of new media efforts in the Gulf Coast area but there is a limit to the number of attendees this year. Plus, we have good grub!

  • http://travelingmamas.com Shannon Hurst Lane

    My coffee hasn't activated my brain just yet this morning. Correct link is http://coastalsocial.com.

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  • http://www.freestatesocial.com Whitney

    Short notice, but the Free State Social is happening just outside Kansas City (in Lawrence, KS) on April 29-30, 2010. Chris Brogan, Jeremiah Owyang, Sarah Evans, Shawna Coronado, Scott Raymond (Gowalla founder) and Ellyn Angelotti (Poynter Institute) are all speaking and leading small group discussions. Tickets are limited, but there are still a few available! http://www.freestatesocial.com

  • http://thesocialmediachronicle.blogspot.com/ Natalie DeNike

    Thank you for the information. As a student, I feel that these social media events are a great way to learn from influential social media experts. It is easy to learn in the classroom but listening and watching a presentation from a leader in Web 2.0 truly puts things in perspective. It appears that there are no dates in Texas so I hope to attend the virtual webinar in May. Just another great example of the increased ability to connect through the web.

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  • powder metallurgy

    Beginning of the beginning is always sweet
    Later there will be a tired, used, abandoned, lonely, desperate and sneer
    Was eager to work with a person fated, then, how glad that they left
    Once upon a time, in a short period of time where
    We thought he was a man deeply in love.
    Later, we learned
    That is not love, it is just lying to yourself.
    army surplus
    body armor

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  • http://twitter.com/BrazilMedia Mariana B Magness

    I will add to this list Gravity Summit’s Social Media Marketing for Business conference at the Harvard Faculty Club in Boston on Monday, September 12, 2011. 
    http://www.gravitysummit.com/Major news groups call this the Gold Standard in Social Media.

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