What marketing expos and trade shows should you attend in 2017? Our list of the 12 best events across the U.S. will help you plan your event calendar.

12 marketing conferences to mark on your 2017 calendar

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The year is winding down, and now that most of the summits, conferences and expos are over, it’s a great time to begin planning your 2017 marketing event calendars. Our conference schedule will be taking us coast to coast to present to – and learn from – some of the best in the business. While even we won’t be attending every single event next year, we wanted to highlight the top marketing expos, conferences and trade shows happening across the country so you can start planning which you’ll check out.

Q1: All marketing roads lead to Las Vegas

Networking, SEO, and marketing tech await ASW attendees in Las Vegas.

Affiliate Summit West 2017 Jan. 15-17 Las Vegas, Nevada Affiliate marketing

Affiliate Summit West is for marketers looking to expand their campaigns, work with new vendors and bring on more affiliates. The conference unites businesses with digital agencies who can provide solutions for site traffic, SEO, content, technology and networking. Affiliate Summit is so valuable for building our marketing network and staying up to date on the latest tech and marketing developments that we don’t just have a booth in Las Vegas, we also secure a place at the summer East Coast version in New York.

“In addition to the great keynote speakers like Kerri Pollard and Greg Gifford, it was great meeting all the new businesses that have been thriving in this market,” Sergey Pisarevskiy, a Senior Business Development Executive at Brafton, said about the networking potential he found at Affiliate West this year. “The expo is known for having the largest variety of people, so it’s easy to make some new connections.”

Learn more about lead generation and how to market directly to your audience at LeadsCon.

LeadsCon • March 20-22 Las Vegas, Nevada • Leads and sales

If you love ASW, or just want an excuse to go back to Las Vegas, LeadsCon is a great reason to head back to Sin City. It’s one of the biggest conferences for lead generation and direct response marketing professionals. If you are looking for ways to secure leads or want to learn more about how to best target them with content, you’ll find dozens of speakers, sessions and networking events to help you improve your relationships, understand your buyers and learn more about best practices for the major modern verticals.

Q2: 3 months, 3 cities, 4 major events

Marketo's annual summit is a key time to learn more about marketing automation.

Marketo Marketing Nation Summit April 23-26  San Francisco, California Digital marketing and customer engagement

Marketo is one of the most recognizable, successful and influential voices in the industry, and their annual Marketing Nation Summit unites about 6,000 attendees with leaders in their industries. In over 100 sessions, the conference covers the convergence of marketing, advertising and technology. Not only will Marketo be offering education on and certification with their software, but their network of over 100 partners will be available to connect with in the Expo Hall.

“A lot of people toss around the term ‘account based marketing,’” Brafton Content Marketing Strategist Michelle Joseph said of her experience at this year’s event. “But this conference demonstrated that to truly succeed, your key departments must all be aligned. Marketo provided a plethora of actionable insights as to why this unification is crucial to the success of your business.”

What is digital marketing without technology? Learn the latest options at MarTech.

MarTech May 9-11, 2017  San Francisco, California  Marketing technology

MarTech is known for having an eye on the future of marketing technology. Its speakers and sessions often focus on how vendors can integrate new technologies into their digital strategies, no matter what industry they are in. From seminars on software-driven marketing to courses on maintaining long-term success aligning your sales and marketing teams, MarTech is a leader in helping companies prepare for what’s next in the digital marketing world.

SEO is getting smarter. SearchLove covers everything you need to know.

Distilled’s SearchLove • June 56 • Boston Search, analytics and PPC

Distilled’s SearchLove conference is gaining popularity because of its modern approach to SEO. The event’s sessions leave links, keywords and other traditional forms of SEO at the door, and instead focus on the more complex, and contextual, aspects of optimizing your site and content: telling a story, building trust and matching user intent. The single-track format of SearchLove ensures that you won’t miss anything valuable – all of the presentations happen in the same room, giving you the chance to really get to know your neighbors and the presenters. Marketers also get a chance to unwind after each day and spend time with the other guests at the SearchLove parties – attendees that have included Moz, Google and Adobe, to name a few.

Calling all B2C marketers. IRCE offers workshops, keynotes and more for e-commerce brands.

IRCE 2017 June 6-9, 2017 Chicago, Illinois  E-commerce marketing

Come for the e-commerce and retail education; stay for the conversations and problem solving workshops with 10,000 other marketers. The marketing networking opportunities at IRCE are top-notch, as one of our Senior Sales Executives, Max Christopoulos, noted about his experience.

“It was great seeing all of the different technology and new marketing techniques e-commerce companies are using to develop better user experience, branding and revenue generation online,” Max said.

IRCE is a hub for B2B and B2C companies to connect and share stories about strategies involving SEO, design, conversion rate optimization and more.

“It really is all about people talking to people, and if you can tap into that, your success is boundless,” Abby DeAngelis, one of Brafton’s Senior Business Development Executives, said of IRCE.

Q3: A holistic summer of events

Affiliate West's East Coast partner offers more of the same great events in New York.

Affiliate Summit East 2017 • July 30-Aug. 1, 2017 • New York, New York • Affiliate marketing

If you can’t make it to Affiliate Summit West, or just couldn’t get enough and want more, you have one more chance to get in on all this conference series has to offer. As with its West Coast counterpart, Affiliate East will bring together digital marketers from around the world to network, demonstrate solutions and build relationships. The New York event does cover similar material as the Las Vegas events, but attending both allows you to see an additional lineup of keynotes and sessions.

The networking opportunities are reason enough to get the full Affiliate Summit experience by attending both events. With about 5,500 attendees, you’re sure to meet some great new contacts.

“ASE gave me the opportunity to quickly field hundreds of questions from potential customers,” Brafton Client Strategy Director Wilfred Hirst shared. “The conference really helped shed light on what businesses in this market really care about.”

LeadsCon New York brings all the lead gen expertise to the East Coast.

LeadsCon • Aug. 21-23, 2017 • New York, New York • Lead generation and direct response

LeadsCon, much like the Affiliate Summit, comes to New York every summer too. Many marketers choose to attend both LeadsCon events to double their chances to attend every session and keynote as well as extend their networking reach. Last year’s speakers came from companies such as Google, E*Trade and QuickenLoans, and 2017’s line-up is sure to be equally promising.

CMI is the world's largest content marketing event. Don't miss it!

Content Marketing World • Sept. 5-8, 2017 • Cleveland, Ohio • Content marketing

Over 3,500 marketers headed to CMWorld 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio, this September to learn from world-class marketers like Rand Fishkin and Jay Acunzo. Many even picked up some sage advice from a real life Jedi master. We’re already counting down the days until we head back for next year’s event.

CMWorld, which touts itself as the largest content marketing conference in the world, hosts speakers from across industries who provide actionable ways to incorporate content into your marketing strategy, no matter what space your brand is in.

Q4: Finish off the year with search, social and tech

Learn everything you need to know about search marketing at SMX East.

SMX East 2017 • Oct. 24-26, 2017 • New York, New York  • Search marketing

SMX, the world’s largest search marketing expo, is put on by the expert team behind Search Engine Land.  The event offers sessions on paid search advertising, SEO, increasing traffic, converting visitors to leads and more – and the seminars are tailored for both seasoned experts and beginners. Steve Pricco-Byers, a Sales Development Representative at Brafton, got a lot of value from cutting his marketing teeth on SMX.

“Being able to network and learn from the other attendees was incredibly valuable,” Steve said. “I was able to get some direct one-on-one time with expert marketers to develop myself professionally.”

Similar to MarTech, ad:tech is a great way for marketers to get a look at the latest in ad technology.

ad:tech • Early November 2017 • New York, New York  • Marketing and media technology

Ad:tech is a popular way for digital marketers to close out each year because it gives them a sense of what’s to come and prepare for the year ahead. Whether you’re in the advertising and marketing world or just looking to learn more about ads and marketing for your business, ad:tech has you covered. The keynotes and educational sessions help marketers leverage the extensive reach and power of technology, entertainment and big data.

“Ad:tech is one of my favorite events to attend. There is consistent foot traffic all day and you meet professionals from businesses of all sizes looking for the newest trends and strategies in digital marketing,” Matthew Driscoll, a Senior Account Executive at Brafton, said of his time at the event.

Inbound attracts the best and brighted from the digital marketing community.

INBOUND • Fall 2017 Boston, Massachusetts  Inbound marketing

What do Alec Baldwin, Malcolm Gladwell, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Aziz Ansari have in common? They have all been chosen as speakers for Hubspot’s Inbound conference over the years. Founded and hosted by Hubspot, Inbound is always an impressive end-of-year affair for marketers across the country. Inspirational keynote speakers, educational breakout sessions with marketing experts and A-list entertainers make Inbound a major “hub” for marketers far and wide.

Ben Silverman
Ben Silverman is a former marketing writer for Brafton. His writing experience dates back to his time reviewing music for The UMass Daily Collegian at UMass Amherst. Ben comes from a background in marketing in the classical and jazz industries.

Thoughts?

  • http://www.globalwebforce.com/ Hitesh Parekh

    Thanks for this. I may not be able to go in all of them. but I can plan for a couple of events to go.

    • Samantha Gordon

      I hope you choose some good ones (though they all sound exciting). Did any in particular catch your eye?

  • Laura Snitkovskiy

    Hi Ben,

    This is a great list you put together! I wanted to suggest adding The Social Shake-Up, which is a premier social media conference for marketing, social media, digital, PR, content and tech professionals. The 2017 event is taking place May 22-24 in Atlanta. You can lead more about the conference here http://www.socialshakeupshow.com and I’m happy to talk to you about in more detail!

    Laura Snitkovskiy
    The Social Shake-Up Show
    laura@accessintel.com

    • Samantha Gordon

      Hi Laura! Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention. I’ll reach out to you directly to speak further about the event so we can update this list to include it.

      Samantha Gordon
      Managing Editor – Brafton.com

  • Matthew Zajechowski

    Hey Samantha,

    Love the list here. Pubcon is one that I enjoy every year as well, especially the one in Vegas. I wanted to share a resource that we developed specially for marketers looking to plan their conference schedule for 2017. We developed an interactive that displays all the major marketing conferences in the U.S. for 2017.

    Along with being able to choose a marketing conference by geographical location, you can also filter by date, specialty and cost. We also list the hashtag for each conference so that you can see what people are tweeting about. We also direct you to the website of each conference and give you the ability to add each conference you are attending or have interest in directly to your calendar. The functionality of this interactive is extremely useful for anyone wishing to attending marketing conferences in the upcoming year.

    I’d love to share it with your audience if this is something you would be interested in checking it out.