Are you a seasoned marketer who invests in your professional growth each year? I hope this list of the best B2B marketing conferences helps you identify those that fit your business and career needs.
A large part of your career trajectory should be supported through ongoing education. Attending conferences is one a key component you should add to your annual marketing activities and events.
One of the primary reasons people attend conferences is to meet like-minded people and industry peers. After all, for both marketing speakers and attendees, marketing conferences bring together people from all over the world who share a common focus around the marketing field and its discipline.
While it’s easier and more convenient to increase your knowledge in marketing through personal reading, pursuing advanced degrees, industry books or taking online courses, they don’t always provide the same one-on-one professional experience.
Therefore, attending marketing conferences can put you directly in front of established marketing thought leaders, cutting edge data, tools and techniques. These components are important to become a successful senior marketing professional as you climb the corporate ladder within your organization, get hired onto a new marketing team or run your own consultancy.
2020: Looking Back & What Lies Ahead
As we sit in early 2021 many B2B marketing events and conferences have yet to announce dates, and with good reason.
The pandemic is bathing this year in uncertainty. Announcing your event dates prematurely may prove a poor investment as there hasn’t been a lot of reporting around the final bite Covid will take out of the events industry or when hundreds can safely gather in person.
Many organizations hosting annual events this year are not announcing dates yet. More are organizing free virtual events in early 2021 to engage with prospects, brands and speakers to keep them warm in possibly Q3 or Q4.
In 2020, many organizers turned in-person conferences that typically span several days into a one day online event. Others spread their event across three weeks, meeting a day each week to suppress Zoom fatigue.
One overarching trend: many didn’t attend online events live – they registered and watched on-demand Netflix style. Registrants found juggling WFM, families and multi-day online events exhausting even though they badly wanted to unite with friends and colleagues from previous years’ events.
With travel’s inevident ramping next year, organizations should focus and drop deposits on venues of choice for 2022/23 when conference wanderlust returns to itchy professionals missing friendly skies and conference friends.
7 Event Industry Predictions in 2021
Here are seven event industry predictions I’m making for 2021 and what lies ahead in the next several years as there’s a surge to return to in-person events:
1. Contract Details Matter
Both speakers and event venues should read each other’s contracts more closely, as well as tie iron-clad legalese to safeguard loss.
2. Higher Venue Deposits
Conference centers and hotels will require higher, potentially non-refundable deposits. Choose wisely.
3. Speaker Competition Will Heat Up
Competition among professionals speakers in 2022/2023 will reach an all-time high. Speakers should clearly define and differentiate their value as they compete against thousands of speakers for in-person events as venues ramp back up while supporting social distancing safety protocols.
4. Hybrid Events Will Flourish
Plan for a mix of pre- and post-virtual events and shorter in-person events. Typical 3-day conferences may morph into one, maybe two days. Conferences will take place outdoors during best comfortability for attendees — unless you’re attending during a bloody hot AZ or stifling humid FL summer!
5. Supply & Demand Issues Rise
Plan ahead for 2022 & 2023. Warmer spring and summer venues and temperate climates, like California, will be targeted at all time highs where conferences can safely take place outdoors — Think outdoor wedding style with open white tents!
6. AirBnBs & Exotic Destinations Will Enter
Smaller micro-events at boutique hotels, AirBnBs or out-of-the-way less competitive, exotic destinations will be imagined. Event planners could provide soup-to-nuts all-inclusive experiences where everything from flights, hotel, food, sessions and activities are fully arranged for one package price — almost like a conference at sea.
7. Thought Leaders Will Come Together for Tighter Collaborations
Brands will build in-person masterminds and think tanks that bring influencers and thought leaders together to collaborate in mind-trust events.
Best B2B Marketing Conferences in 2021
Jan 19-21, 2021 | Virtual | Website
TOPO Virtual Summit is a three day virtual conference for sales, sales development, and marketing practitioners. The content is based around TOPO’s new framework for revenue growth: Stabilize. Reinvent. Grow, with a focus on the growth stage. Content will cover topics for sales, sales development, and marketing practitioners across all three days. Each day runs from 8:00am – 2:00pm PST with a mix of sessions from TOPO Analysts and practitioners.
A TOPO Virtual Summit pass gets you access to all three days of content, the TOPO Virtual Summit community, the chance to win session giveaways, and access to post-event content.
Jan 20, 27 and Feb 3, 2021 |Virtual | Website
The CommerceNext Marketing Summit Series will help retailers and direct-to-consumer brands get 2021 off to a smart start. The virtual event takes place over three Wednesdays (January 20th, January 27th and February 3rd) with interactive bonus tracks on Fridays (January 22nd and January 29th). The Marketing Summit Series consists of live-streamed keynotes from industry leaders, original research presentations, panels on the latest marketing strategies, founder showcases and roundtable discussions. From leadership lessons to channel-specific deep dives, this series will advance key elements of your retail and ecommerce marketing strategy.
February 24-25, 2021 | Virtual | Website
The Sales 3.0 Conference, Toronto will provide executives in sales and sales operations with key insight and strategies to drive improved sales performance and revenue growth. You’ll learn from sales VPs from industry-leading companies, technology influencers, analysts, and management and leadership experts.
Digital Marketing for Financial Services
February 24 & 25, 2021 | Virtual | Website
Take advantage of this one-stop, two-day, virtual event and acquire all of the information you need to drive conversion, create loyalty, and maintain your competitive edge in an increasingly complex financial services sector. Join thought leaders, experts and professionals for an in-depth idea exchange and get tips to enhance your digital marketing efforts.
Engage Marketing Conference
Aug 5-6, 2021 | Virtual | Website
Engage Marketing Conference is a two-day digital marketing conference featuring informative learning tracks and panel sessions designed to provide you expert insight into the latest strategies and technological advancements in digital marketing, social media, content, UX/design, creative, advertising, SEO, paid media, and more
Oracle Modern Business Experience
TBD 2021 |TBD | Website
Learn how to embrace data and emerging technologies to better understand and engage customers across the new buying journey at Oracle Modern Business Experience. Join marketing experts and practitioners who are embracing innovative technologies to engage customers in real-time.
TBD | San Diego, CA | Website
At Unleash 2020 you will experience one of a kind coaching, workshops and career investment you can’t get anywhere else. Hear from Outreach co-founder Manny Medina & team on the evolution of becoming a $1B Unicorn by transforming the age-old profession of sales.
Adobe Summit Influencer
April 27-28, 2021 | Free Virtual Event | Website
When you attend Adobe Summit Influencer you will walk away with platform-agnostic insights in marketing, advertising, IT, and client services, diving deep into concepts such as marketing automation, innovation, digital transformation. The marketing conference includes over 300 sessions and a dozen content tracks.
Tech Leadership Series 2021
March 23-26, 2021 | Virtual | Website
The Tech Leadership Series is a virtual experience that brings together the foremost industry experts with executive and technologists to share insights on how our industry is transforming, the techniques applied by organizations who are leading from the from and look and what’s on the horizon.
B2B Marketing Forum
April 7 & 8 2021 | Online | Website
MarketingProfs B2B Forum is more than just a quirky (not-so-little) conference.
It’s the place where leaders, innovators, and people who make things happen gather to learn about the latest in B2B marketing and share the secrets to success.
With approximately 1,000 attendees, it’s intimate enough you’ll see some of your favorite marketing pals, but big enough that you’ll find more than enough smarts to help you go the distance.
April 20-22, 2020 | Chicago, IL | Website
B2B Online is the only event where the top minds in manufacturing and distribution meet and learn. You’ll receive the most disruptive digital, eCommerce and omnichannel content, and walk away with actionable insights to grow your profits, faster.
With 900+ B2B leaders exclusively in one place at one time, this is the only meeting place to shape the future of the industry.
B2B Summit North America
May 3-6, 2021 | Live | Website
B2B Summit is the only event to leverage the insights, analysis, and experience of the brightest B2B minds to spark your curiosity, shape your strategy, and fuel double-digit business growth. Top analysts, inspirational thinkers, innovative technology providers, and more than 3,000 of your peers will come together as a community to learn from each other and stake out audacious plans for success in 2021.
B2B Marketing Exchange
June 7-9, 2020 | Scottsdale, AZ | Website
The B2B Marketing Exchange is a great conference to attend if you want to better understand how intelligent marketing, sales, and content can come together to create unforgettable content for your company.
ANA Masters of B2B Marketing Conference
June 7-9, 2021 | Naples, FL | Website
The ANA Masters of B2B Marketing Conference is programmed to inform, empower and connect you with top industry brands leaders who will share insights and advice on the latest B2B developments. Get smarter about the hottest topics including ABM, customer experience, B2H, emotional drivers, and channel marketing, to help you deliver positive results for your organization.
Gartner Marketing Symposium | XPO
August 17-19, 2021 | Virtual | Website
Join over 1,600 marketing executive peers for an unparalleled program designed for Chief Marketing Officers and their leadership teams. You’ll gain insights into a range of topics, from customer experience to market insights and the marketing technologies that fuel your marketing strategy.
B2B Marketing Leaders Forum Asia
Aug 19-20, 2021 | Singapore | Website
APAC’s largest marketing conference for B2B CMOs and marketing leaders – sharing their strategies, technologies and leadership techniques for turning marketing departments into revenue-generating machines, securing larger budgets and a stronger voice in the C-suite.
September 13-14, 2021 | Cleveland, OH | Website
Marketing Artificial Intelligence Conference (MAICON) is an event for practitioners and leaders seeking to drive the next frontier of digital marketing transformation within their organizations. Above all, MAICON is built to help marketers understand, experience, and improve their AI knowledge.
September 21 to 24, 2001 | San Francisco, CA | Website
Dreamforce is one of the largest cloud- and SaaS-centric conferences in the world, with a heavy emphasis on customer and partner case studies. In addition to CRM, topics typically include marketing, sales, automation, artificial intelligence and more.
Content Marketing World
September 28-October 1, 2021 | Cleveland, OH | Website
Entering its tenth year, at Content Marketing World you will experience over 125 sessions and workshops presented by the leading brand marketers and experts from around the world are customized to you, our attendees. We have tracks covering every aspect of content marketing so your agenda can be built for you.
Oct 11-13. 2021 | TBD | Website
In this ever-changing environment, sales enablement continues to play an integral role in the success of sales organizations. This conference is led by internal practitioners who crafted an engaging and highly interactive virtual experience to help you drive business impact.
During four days of sessions, you’ll learn, network, collaborate, and find ways to apply new knowledge. As thought leaders share their experiences and insights, you’ll join in the conversation around topics ranging from and including sales alignment, manager enablement, and selling systems.
Digital Summit Oregon
TBD | Portland, OR | Website
Digital Summit attendees are the movers and shakers influencing the growth and success of their company’s digital marketing — and the future landscape of the digital economy.
They come from a wide variety of companies and organizations — including national brands, CPG, agencies, service providers, technology pioneers, B2B providers, associations & nonprofits, startups, and much more.
Marketing Impact 2025
TBD | TBD | Website
Marketing Impact 2025 is the one event where strategic and tactical marketing leaders gather to be inspired and inspire others in the pursuit of a complete reinvention of marketing.
Attend the 21st Annual event, and gain unmatched opportunities to interact with marketing professionals across multiple industries. You’ll experience that Eureka! Moment, along with real-world lessons learned and best practices, all while having a tremendous amount of fun.
B2B Sales and Marketing Exchange
TBD | TBD | Website
Experience 50 sessions from leading executives in B2B — sharing perspectives from sales, marketing and operations. Hear from thought leaders in ABM (Account-Based Marketing), Revenue Marketing and Demand Generation.
TBD | Virtual | Website
INBOUND is an annual experience uniting super curious, question-asking professionals with big-name and break-out industry thinkers, high-octane events, and boundless education sessions.
Our 250+ speakers are reshaping the future and will help you pump change-fueled adrenaline into everything you touch. The comedy shows and happy hours whisk away the always-on, daily grind of regular work life. Interactive forums build community.
Connect to Convert
TBD | TBD | Website
Technology has transformed the way we develop relationships, build leads, engage customers and convert our marketing into revenue.
Connect to Convert compasses the ever-changing marketing landscape and reframes the definition of modern marketing with dedicated B2C and B2B content designed around each section of the sales cycle. Arm yourself with top knowledge from the industry and stay ahead of the curve for 2019 and beyond.
MarTech Conference East
TDB | TBD | Website
At the MarTech Conference experience you’ll unlock expert-led presentations that deliver actionable tactics to solve marketing challenges. You’ll meet senior-level marketers like you who are redefining how their organizations deploy martech to achieve business results. And you’ll discover time-saving solutions that deliver ROI.
TBD | TBD | Website
The Highspot Spark customer conference brought together hundreds of enablement, sales, and marketing leaders for two days of virtual learning, best practice sharing, and community building.
TBD | TBD | Website
This year’s virtual experience is a multi-day event, with speakers, breakout sessions, networking, and collaboration on a virtual platform. It’s an exciting time for our conference planning committee as we pivot to create an extraordinary and truly global experience, only found at SES Conferences, to an immersive, interactive, virtual environment.
Sales Enablement Festival
TBD | TBD | Website
From inspiration to impact. Driving growth through sales enablement.
Sales Enablement Summit World 2020
Various Dates | Various Cities | Website
In 2020, Sales Enablement Summit will assemble the largest gathering of Sales Enablement leaders from the world’s largest companies and most exciting startups to share Sales Enablement success stories, experiences and challenges of those who drive consistent and predictable interactions across the customer journey.
Where to See Pam Didner in 2021
Pam Didner is a passionate B2B marketer and speaks around the world each year. She has more than 20 years of experience in sales enablement and product, partner and content marketing for clients such as Cisco, Intel, 3M, and Microsoft.
Pam works together with sales and marketing to distill complex challenges into actionable tasks and provide easy-to-follow templates and solutions. She helps marketers think strategically, act tactically, and connect the dots and a special place to see this in action is when she’s live on stage.
Here’s where you can see Pam speak this year, check back as we continue to add new dates: