Remember traveling to a foreign land to attend a conference and the excitement that came with it? Engaging sessions with class A speakers, impressive stage decor, the freebies that came with visiting booths, and of course, leaving with a LinkedIn inbox filled with connection requests, knowledge to share, and memories to cherish.
The overall experience might have changed given the occurrence of 2020, however, that doesn’t mean that the main takeaways of in-person events can’t be achieved virtually.
One of the biggest challenges event managers worldwide face is how to bring the in-person experience to a virtual realm, while ensuring an equal level of engagement and attendee satisfaction.
The good news? They’ve gotten close. Care packages with name badges are being sent to the attendee’s home address, creative Zoom backgrounds immerse the viewer into the conference atmosphere in question, and ‘virtual speed-dating’ sessions have taken place to ensure that attendees don’t log off without getting to know their peers.
And the best of it all? Nobody will judge you for attending in your pajamas. Personally, I can only see win-wins to this new normal. A new normal, while it cannot ever replace the physical advantages of meeting face to face, will at the very least become a new hybrid option in the menu us marketers have.
We wouldn’t want you to miss out on any growth and learning opportunities this year. For that reason, we have compiled a list of the top digital marketing conferences you should attend in 2021.
This guide includes the dates and locations for each conference so fear not if you are based in a different time zone, as most providers allow viewing their sessions on-demand.
Social Media Strategies Summit (SMSS)
As the longest-running social media conference in the world, SMSS gives senior marketers and brand practitioners the chance to gather and discuss solutions to the latest social media marketing challenges. And who doesn’t like solving a challenge? By attending this year, you can gain inspiration directly from Ocean Spray’s Dreams on how to navigate the world of TikTok and messaging to a Gen-Z audience or listen to Nickelodeon’s director of social media on harnessing the power of online communities for your strategies.
And we’ll be attending too on Thursday, February 25th at 11:45 am – 12:30 pm PDT
If the above sparks interest, we can happily offer you a 10% discount on your ticket. Simply use the code FALCON10 upon registering, and voilà!
Date: February 25-26, 2021.
MAD // Anywhere
Distinctive, daring, and now in 2021, 100% digital! This virtual event series is the place where innovation and brand experts join forces to disrupt the digital sphere. Any country, any location, any screen, live and on-demand MAD//Anywhere is the perfect platform to learn from with global brands, connect with industry leaders, and bring home plenty of new ideas for your business.
MAD//Anywhere is all about using live content, digital entertainment, and interactive engagement to bring together the global marketing community with a unique multichannel event experience. From having attended in the past I can only say, this is an event you truly can’t miss.
Check out how amazingly executed their virtual show was conducted last year:
Date: March 11-12, 2021
Social Media Week NYC (#SMWNYC)
Social Media Week is a leading news platform and worldwide conference that curates and shares the best ideas and insights into social media and technology’s impact on business, society, and culture. In 2020, their joint virtual conference SMW ONE attracted over 10,000 attendees with over 175 hours of content. With Adweek now in the mix, this year’s events are bound to get more interesting. This year, the theme of this year’s flagship conference is “Reinvention: Rebuilding the Systems of Social Media Marketing for a Better Future”.
Check out our sessions at SMW ONE last year here.
Date: May 4–7, 2021.
With a 12+ year history of bringing together the worldwide digital marketing community to tackle the challenges that the digital future presents, #DMWF Global can provide nothing but inspiration! The 2-day event explores the latest trends & strategies within Digital Marketing, including Digital Marketing Technologies, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Influencer Marketing, UX, CX, eCommerce, Content Marketing, Data, Analytics, and Mobile. What can I say, this conference is not to be missed.
Date: 2-3 June 2021
Location: London & Virtual
DMEXCO is Europe’s leading and one of the world’s largest digital marketing & tech event. They bring together industry leaders, marketing and media professionals, and tech pioneers to set the digital agenda. Both globally informed and locally focused, DMEXCO offers an ecosystem with seminars, debates, expositions, and masterclasses outlining the future of the digital economy and driving market value.
You can watch our DMEXCO sessions on demand here by using the voucher code: 6QJFLU
Date: September 7-8, 2021
Location: Virtual & Cologne (Germany)
Note: A large number of the presentations at DMEXCO are in German.
OMR Festival (Online Marketing Rockstars Festival)
The annual OMR Festival is the event of the year for marketing pros and aficionados. Part expo, conference, Masterclass, side events, and, of course, party, the OMR Festival is the centerpiece of the OMR organization. Since its inception eight years ago, the two-day event taking place has grown from 200 visitors in year one to over 52K visitors last year.
Attendance is a must for marketing makers that want to network with other professionals and stay up-to-date in an ever-changing industry, including past speakers such as legendary skater Tony Hawk, Buzzfeed founder Jonah Peretti, Pinterest founder Evan Sharp, and Wired founder John Battelle.
Date: To be announced
Location: Virtual & Hamburg (Germany)
Content Marketing World
Content Marketing World is not just another marketing conference. In fact, it is the largest content marketing event on the planet. Yes, the planet! The conference has become a place where thousands of marketers from over 60 countries converge, learn, grow, and connect. With over 200 speakers from all over the world, each year #CMMWorld brings in new names from brands excelling in content marketing. This year, they expect to welcome 4,000 attendees, 225 speakers, and hundreds of hours of entertainment and inspiration.
Date: September 28-October 1, 2021
Location: Cleveland, Ohio – USA
WebSummit welcomed 104,328 people – remotely – last year alone, which gives an accurate image of the scale of this event. Attendees got the chance to listen to 679 talks, keynotes and panel discussions, including European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer, tennis star Serena Williams, and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, to just name a few. For Web Summit 2021, they’re again bringing the biggest names together for an event with a difference. There are already 50 percent discounts available for pre-registered attendees for Web Summit 2021, which you can find here. Check out the trailer for the conference below.
Date: November 1-4, 2021
Location: Virtual & Lisbon (Portugal)
How to Make the Most Out of Virtual Conferences
With Virtual events on the rise, Cvent has compiled a list of tips on how to make the most out of virtual conferences. These include:
- Learn how to use the tool, as it will ensure you make the most out of the conference. Block off your calendar and schedule your time based on live and on-demand opportunities.
- Don’t forget to get your snacks, beverage of choice, and remember to give your brain a break.
- Attend with others. Conferences – even virtual – are better when shared.
- Set up appointments and network – Conferences aren’t just for learning but connecting too!
- Go Old-School and take notes on paper to focus more.
Which (digital) conferences are you attending in 2021? Let us know via email ([email protected]) or by leaving a comment on our Facebook group, Grow With Social. And speaking of conferences to attend, you can’t miss out on our very own virtual summit.
Virtual Summit: 2021 Digital Marketing Trends
There are clear trends and shifts emerging, which will impact how we conduct our marketing activities. Join us for a 3 day summit where we dive into the top 10 influential trends of 2021, and take a look at how our 2020 trend predictions performed. For details on each trend, download the 2021 Digital Marketing Trends eBook.
By saving your seat, you have access to the entire 3-day event. All times are in Eastern Time (ET).