Whether you’re a CMO or a community manager, you probably connect with most of your industry colleagues over the web. Getting to meet them face-to-face, however, is an invaluable experience—both for networking and for sharpening your skills as a professional.
To that end, we’ve gathered some of our favorite social media conferences from around the world into the handy list below for the remainder of 2015. Before reading it, though, consider the following:
- What do you want to learn to advance your organization and/or your career?
- Who is the event targeting: C-levels? Directors? Managers? Etc.
- Which format do you prefer: Presentations? Workshops? Q&As?
Once you’ve determined what type of event meets your criteria, you’re ready to find the right opportunity. Here are the top social media events that we think will help you stand out in person as much as you already shine online. Once you’ve hit the best events of 2015, check back for our 2016 update.
Social Media World Forum is an event series focused on social media marketing, with the goal of bringing together marketers to share best practices and trends in SMM strategies and engagement. Recent topics have included social shopping, B2B marketing, social TV, platform-specific marketing and more.
A truly global series, Social Media Week hosts conferences on social media and technology on six continents. Panelists and topics span industries and include insights into business, society and culture as well as trends and innovations in the social sphere. Can’t make it to any event? Follow along using the hashtag of each panel.
The Social Shake-Up, run by Social Media Today, brings together social media experts and top brands from across industry to discuss what’s new and what’s next in social media. The 2015 event includes an optional third day focused on employee advocacy, where leading household brands will share how they have implemented successful programs to get their employees talking.
Geared toward social media marketers, these two- or three-day events by GSMI Conferences & Training provide insights into driving engagement, crafting content, measuring your social ROI and using social to build meaningful relationships. Summits focus on social media marketing generally or specific industries, such as higher education.
Hosted by Tech Media, Digital Summits take place almost every month in different locations around the United States. The price point is friendly for independent and smaller businesses, and the content covers topics spanning the digital commerce ecosystem, including marketing, design, user experience, search, content, mobile and more.
Mozcon is a high-value, action-packed event that incorporates topics from across marketing disciplines: SEO, social media, community management, content, analytics, and more. The sessions are unique in that all speakers are invited by Moz’s selection committee or from among the community. Each day concludes with an evening party or networking reception to encourage attendees to make new connections and decompress after a day of learning.
Web Congress has one mission: “teaching online marketing strategies by involving leading companies in the industry.” Its global events combine breakout sessions, workshops, training and networking, with topics ranging from email marketing to community management.
The most popular month for holidays and vacations around the world, the height of summer is a rather slow time for business events. Nothing caught our eye—do you have any recommendations? Share them in the comments below.
Content Marketing World aims to help marketing and public relations professionals leave with a content marketing plan and actionable insights for improving their team’s content strategy. Designed for people who develop or curate content in multiple channels, CMW is an opportunity to collaborate with and learn from some of the leading minds in content marketing.
One of the largest marketing and sales conferences in the world, INBOUND allows professionals from across industry to learn, network and walk away with valuable business insights. With notable keynote speakers, such as Seth Godin, Brené Brown and Daniel Pink, INBOUND sessions combine insight into both the how and why of inbound marketing.
With a mix of inspiration and technical how-to, New Media Europe is an opportunity for entrepreneurs and new media enthusiasts to network, learn and generate new ideas. Topics include the latest trends in podcasts, video, blogs and other emerging media.
Social Fresh is a high-energy event focused on delivering exceptional content and fostering attendee networking among leading social media marketers. The average attendee has been working in social media for over five years, making this conference an opportunity for higher level dialogue. Their program is always evolving, including a shift in 2015 from two events to one annual conference as well as a podcast series. Fun fact: The Sprout Social Smart Bar (formerly called the Genius Bar), an on-site opportunity to talk with Sprout experts about all things social media, was first held at Social Fresh in 2014.
Our own Andy White and Joshua Sigler dropping gold and social media wisdom at the #SocialFresh Genius Bar! If you’re they’re, stop by and say ‘ello. A photo posted by Sprout Social (@sproutsocial) on
While it hosts two annual summits, CMX is more of a community than a conference provider. Its events provide an opportunity for community management professionals to connect, learn and support each other as they build successful organizations and networks. In addition to the annual East and West summits, they hold city meetups around the country for attendees to network and get to know each other in advance of the conference.
A high-energy event full of engaging content, Brand Driven Digital’s Social Brand Forum is a digital marketing event that brings together marketers from large and small organizations, all driven to build better brands online. Topics include community building, content strategy, social listening and more.
The Social Tools Summit is unique in that it focuses specifically on social tools for business, from what’s available to strategic use and case studies. Join vendors and marketers from across industries as they discuss trends, the future of social and the needs of power users in a fast-paced and interactive setting.
The Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s annual summit is a premier gathering of experts in online and offline word of mouth and social media marketing. With an emphasis on best practices and new ideas, the WOMMA Summit offers an opportunity to network and learn about the latest research and technology from industry thought leaders.
— Andy White (@white) November 19, 2014
Web Summit is a technology conference with attendees ranging from startups to leading technology and Fortune 500 companies. With more than 30,000 attendees expected in 2015, this event has grown rapidly and shows no sign of stopping. The event includes 10 stages with topics ranging from digital marketing to enterprise to “The Internet of Things.”
One of Europe’s most renowned technology and digital media conferences, LeWeb brings together startups, tech companies, brands and media to discuss trends in technology and Internet-driven business. Sessions throughout the event include a startup competition as well as a LeWeb trends panel featuring innovation experts from multiple industries.
Connect With Us
You will see Sprout at all the events we’ve listed here—please come say hi! Also, if you have a favorite upcoming event that you think we should know about, feel free to share it in the comments below.
Sunnie Niklaus: Sunnie Niklaus is the Director of Events at Sprout Social and an all-around events geek whose mantra is "be unexpected but relevant." When not eventing, she loves traveling, anything Doctor Who and bright-colored shoes.
We would love to feature a brand new Social Media Conference for 2016. It is called Social Media Interactive (http://smidayton.com/) and will be held October 4, 2016 in Dayton, OH.
@Kate Evans Thanks for the suggestion, Kate! We'll be sure to consider it for our next update.
@ZalakTrivedi We're definitely looking into creating one for 2016. Stay tuned!
Hi guys! Thanks for these listings - some great conferences on there. I did notice that you've missed off a huge UK one - The Big Social Media Conference, 9th & 10th July 15 in Manchester, UK. I'm looking forward to seeing you there!
@Alexandra Kington Thanks for the suggestion, Alexandra! We'll be sure to include it into our list for 2016. Cheers!