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.
St. Louis is next – April 19
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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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