There are dozens of marketing conferences and conventions, but some are decidedly more beneficial than others. With panels, workshops, Q&A’s, discussions, keynote speeches, special sessions, meet-ups, and presentations, conventions with a specific focus on influencers and online creators can be a great way to build relationships, improve tactics, gain insight, and get a better understanding of the influencer marketing industry as a whole.
Each convention focuses on different aspects of influencer marketing. Types of creators, content, brands, exhibitors, and presentations vary from convention to convention, but there are a few standout events that provide the best opportunities and information in influencer marketing. Here are the best influencer marketing conferences and related convetions to attend.
One of the primary conventions for YouTubers, VidCon is the perfect place to learn about current trends and the latest developments in influencer spaces. It’s not limited to YouTube, either. VidCon industry events cover a wide variety of topics, from building a Snapchat audience to telling branded stories in virtual reality.
Taking place in New York, Los Angeles, and London, BeautyCon is considered the ultimate destination for fashion and beauty marketers and influencers alike. It’s the perfect place to gain new insight into the industry, meet talent, and forge partnerships, and its singular focus on beauty and fashion means that information and events are tailored and relevant.
BeautyCon is home to panels, tutorials, events, shows, and meet-ups.
Playlist Live is held in Orlando, FL, and is one of the biggest events for online creators. Much of Playlist Live focuses on influencers meeting one another and strengthening their business practices through discussions, Q&A’s, panels, and workshops. There’s also a deep social component to Playlist Live, as it’s one of the best opportunities creators have to meet and develop partnerships.
Playlist Live is also noted for its festive environment. There are shows and parties happening outside of the panels and workshops, which makes it a prime opportunity for influencers to capitalize on the atmosphere of the event itself in order to drive engagement.
Twitch may not be the first platform that comes to mind for influencer marketing, but given its place of importance in the gaming community, it’s important not to discount Twitch. Drawing 9.7 million daily active users, it’s a veritable powerhouse in livestreaming. TwitchCon is an opportunity for creators, brands, industry partners, and fans to interact face-to-face, which is particularly beneficial for influencers and marketers looking to get a better understanding of the dynamic that drives Twitch.
TwitchCon includes sessions and events and is designed to be a major opportunity for networking and partnership development.
South by Southwest (SXSW) has grown immensely in the 30 years since the first festival. Spanning film, music, and interactive media, SXSW is a huge opportunity for marketers and influencers to immerse themselves in the cutting edge of art, popular culture, and creative progress. Interactive focuses on technology and emerging media, making it the perfect opportunity for brands and creators to connect through advertising and content creation discussions.
SXSW takes place every year in Austin, TX, and includes panels, keynote speakers, Q&A’s and large live events and gatherings. Because the film, music, and interactive portions of the festival overlap or run concurrently, there are unprecedented opportunities to interact with intersecting pieces of culture, technology, and audience development.
The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) takes place in Las Vegas, NV, annually and is a trade show focused on consumer electronics. One of the largest gatherings of brands, creative talent, and advertisers, CES has a massive show floor but is also known for its keynote addresses and sessions during the conference.
CES also provides an opportunity for brands to show off their latest wares and make face-to-face connections with personalities that may have access to and a profound connection with their core and sought after demographics.
Digiday puts on a host of events annually, and its Content Marketing Summit is focused on improving content marketing tactics and looking forward to what’s ahead for brand communication.
Focused specifically on reaching audiences through social, The Social Shake-Up Show covers topics on social media networks, SEO, livestreaming and more.
Content Marketing World includes workshops, sessions, and panels on the most effective ways to implement and track content marketing efforts.
Drawing speakers like Issa Rae (former YouTuber and co-creator/star of HBO’s Insecure), Brit Marling (creator of Netflix’s The OA) and Chef Mario Batali, Inbound brings some big names to the table to discuss sales and marketing through keynotes, sessions, and networking events.
Taking place in various cities throughout the country between April 2017 and February 2018, the Social Media Strategies Summit is a meeting of experts to discuss brand practices and marketing on social media.
Convening in cities all over the world (including New York, Los Angeles, and London), Social Media Week covers a range of topics, from issues stemming from fake news to video advertising in social.
With speakers and presenters like Kate McKinnon and Peyton Manning along with top marketing talents from National Geographic, the NBA, Facebook, and Microsoft, Adobe Summit is one of the biggest marketing conferences around.
Covering topics in social media, digital advertising, and online media, PubCon began in London pub in 2000 but has since grown to a major destination for marketers in online advertising.
Though it spans just two days, ad:tech conferences cover a wealth of relevant topics that intersect with influencer marketing, such as Twitch, live video streaming, and Snapchat. It also has a heavy focus on technology’s role in advertising.
Another conference that draws big names, Marketing Nation Summit is presented by Marketo and will play host to Queen Latifah, James Corden and more to discuss influencer marketing, content marketing and more. Though it covers more than just digital marketing, it’s a destination for some of the biggest creators and brands in marketing.
Spredfast covers a wide range of topics, including influencer and celebrity marketing, virtual reality, livestreaming, and storytelling. A multi-media conference, it provides attendees with a number of diverse opportunities for sessions.
2017 will be the first year for the Influencer Marketing Hub conference, but it promises to bring together platforms (like TapInfluence) and brands along with speakers to discuss influencer campaigns and how to elevate them.
IZEAFest includes sessions and events where brands and influencers meet to discuss and forge connections through the specific lens of influencer and content marketing.
One of the premiere events in entertainment and media, San Diego Comic-Con is a next-level opportunity for influencers and creators to connect with the biggest brands looking to leverage the power of entertainment and pop culture in marketing.
Taking place at Disney World, Ragan’s social media conference focuses on PR and corporate communications.
Digital Marketing World Forum covers a wide range of topics, including content marketing and social media marketing, with some focus on influencer marketing and engagement on social platforms.
The keynote speeches, sessions, panels and discussions at the Content Marketing Conference focus on improving content marketing tactics through comedy, storytelling, and more.
The biggest draw of Social Media Camp is the variety in programming and content, as it focuses not just on marketing tactics, but on the impact of those tactics on a cultural level.
Another Canadian conference, Influence This’ one-day event focuses specifically on influencer partnerships, bringing together influencers, agencies, and brands.
Focused on the way in which brands interact with their audiences through social media, the Corporate Social Media Summit aims to help the world’s biggest brands understand how to inspire loyalty and engagement through social media messaging.
Centered around developing effective tactics for customer-facing brands, GrowCommerce is a one-day conference that covers a variety of topics in customer acquisition and engagement, including influencer marketing.
eTail is primarily retail-focused and includes all manner of marketing-related topics as they pertain to retailers, particularly in the e-commerce space.
The Social Tools Summit is all about highlighting and learning how to implement tools, tactics, and best practices in social media marketing.
A major destination for women in media and digital marketing, the BlogHer conference brings together influencers, marketers, creators, and brands.
Centered around the intersection of moms and marketers in the online space, Mom 2.0 Summit particularly pertains to topics in parenting, food, politics, entertainment, and more.
The New Media Expo is all about examining opportunities in marketing in new and emerging content types, from blogs and podcasts to online video and social media networks.
PAX conferences take place all over the world and focus on specifically on gaming and the fans, creators, and brands that deal primarily in the gaming space. PAX Prime takes place in Seattle, WA.
Digital Summit is about the intersection of digital media and marketing, covering everything from email marketing tactics to mobile and video marketing strategies.