Top 7 Marketing Events for Professional Growth in 2018


“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

With hundreds of marketing events, which ones deliver the knowledge ROI and are worth the expense for air, hotel, and time away from the office and family?

Having attended many over the years, I’ve trimmed the list down to seven must-attend marketing events where you’ll gain the latest knowledge of what’s working now, learn how to design a scalable martech stack, and connect with individuals that will elevate your career. In calendar order, here are the best marketing conferences you won’t want to miss in 2018.

1. B2B Marketing Exchange: February 19-21 (Scottsdale, AZ)

One of the first marketing events of the year, the B2B Marketing Exchange, is where marketers meet to share strategies and tactics for navigating the complex sales cycle. This is my favorite event of the year. Over the last few years, this event has continued to grow in attendance as thought leaders and practitioners share case studies of what’s working in B2B marketing and sales. Topics to be covered include: account strategies, messaging frameworks, demand acceleration, and sales enablement.

Projected attendees: 900+

Number of sessions: 85+

Make sure to book your travel plans to arrive before 6:00 p.m. on Monday, as the event kicks off with an opening night reception and fireworks show!

Register here and save $400 on your pass with code B2BMXRESCAP (I don’t get any benefit from this code). Don’t wait to register, as there are only 200 passes left!

2. TOPO Summit: March 20 and 21 (San Francisco, CA)

One of the newer conferences on the list, the TOPO Summit has quickly become known as the event where sales and marketing leaders share what they do to achieve scalable revenue growth.

This two-day conference is divided into six content tracks that are led by industry experts and TOPO analysts. Topic tracks include:

  • Account-Based
  • Sales Development
  • Sales Effectiveness
  • Sales Ops and Technology
  • Marketing Ops and Technology
  • Executive Leadership

Projected attendees: 1,500

Number of sessions: 50+

Register here and save 20% on an All-Access Ticket.

3. Marketing Nation Summit: April 29-May 2 (San Francisco, CA)

Regardless of whether you’re a Marketo customer or not, the Marketing Nation Summit is the event for sharing ideas and best practices in digital transformation. Known for its celebrity keynotes, past conferences have included Hillary Clinton, Will Smith, Arianna Huffington, John Legend, James Corden, and Queen Latifah. This year is sure not to disappoint.

Projected attendees: 7,000+

Number of sessions: 100+

The event kicks off with University Day, featuring workshops, demos, and the ability to take your Marketo certification exam.

Register here. Enter discount code Nation150 at checkout for $150 off the registration price.

4. SiriusDecisions Summit: May 8-10 (Las Vegas, NV)

Back in Las Vegas again this year, the SiriusDecisions Summit will include three full days of data-driven best practices research, unveiling new innovations across the B2B space. Each year, SiriusDecisions reveals new models and frameworks like the Demand Unit Waterfall to define processes and handoff points for lead management.

Projected attendees: 3,200+

Number of sessions: 100+

What will SiriusDecisions reveal this year? My prediction is a model for integrating AI. To get early bird pricing, you’ll need to register before February 28.

5. Content Marketing World: September 4-7 (Cleveland, OH)

The largest content market conference of the year, Content Marketing World, is the place to learn about content strategy, integration, and measurement. With 30 percent of our marketing budgets going toward content creation, this is the event to learn about the latest trends in content consumption, see what other brands are doing, and attend one of the many hands-on labs the conference offers.

Projected attendees: 4,500+

Number of sessions: 120

Super Early Bird pricing is available through February 28. Register here

6. Dreamforce: September 25-28 (San Francisco, CA)

The largest event of the year is Dreamforce. Downtown San Francisco is taken over for an entire week for all things Salesforce. If you’re not a Salesforce customer, there’s still plenty to learn from the magnitude of sessions offered.

Due to the popularity of the event, here are some recommendations to make the most out of your experience:

  • Book your hotel now, even if you decide not to attend. Prices are outrageous, but they will be entirely booked by May. Often times there are more economical options through Airbnb.
  • Once the agenda is released, book your sessions. The key sessions are filled fast.
  • Buy your Dreamforce ticket before June. They sell out every year.

Projected attendees: 170,000+

Number of sessions: 3,200

To get the best ticket rates, sign up for the save the date list here.

7. Marketing Profs’ B2B Marketing Forum: November 13-16 (San Francisco, CA)

For the first time ever, MarketingProfs is hosting the event on the West Coast. Sessions are designed to bridge the knowledge gap, whether there’s a need for better content curation, innovative demand gen campaigns, or creating a winning marketing strategy.

Projected attendees: 1,000+

Number of sessions: 50+

Early adopter tickets are available through February 15.

Take Action and Share the Learnings

Want to share knowledge? It’s unlikely you’ll be able to attend all events or even all the sessions of interest, so let’s connect and share our conference notes. Send me an email and let me know which events you’re attending so we can trade slides, notes, and/or meet at the events.

And, if you’re a martech provider, it’s likely you’ll be attending these seven must-attend marketing events for new business. To make the most of your efforts, download a copy of our Event Campaign Template to plan your pre-, during, and post-event activity.

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