Top 2016 Marketing Events You Need to Attend

Top 2016 Marketing Events You Need to Attend

No matter what size or industry your business is, it can benefit in a myriad of ways when you make a habit of attending major marketing events every year. These events allow you to learn from some of the marketing industry's brightest minds, get actionable advice that's relevant to your industry, and address your weaknesses by learning from peers and market leaders. Receive actionable insights that you can use to grow your business, reach your goals, and connect with customers when you visit trade shows. Fail to attend these events and you risk losing out on business to a major competitor who is better at getting their message across or being a latecomer to new technologies and trends. These upcoming marketing events represent the best opportunities for retailers across niches. Review the details below and add these events to your business calendar to stay competitive in your niche.

1. Small Business Expo - Held in 14 major cities across the U.S., the Small Business Expo brings together professionals from advertising, consulting, creative, entrepreneur, finance, insurance, government, marketing, public relations, retail, technology, and other sectors. This event is free to attend and geared toward small business professionals across industries who want to connect with thought leaders, unpack proven strategies for success, and find inspiration. Network with vendors, explore new products and tools, and learn in small group settings at this signature small business showcase. Upcoming small business expo events include Houston on February 4th, Miami on March 3rd, and Philadelphia on March 24, 2016. 

2. MarketingSherpa Summit 2016 - Scheduled for February 22-24 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, this year's MarketingSherpa summit promises to deliver "proven, practical, and actionable" marketing tips that can help businesses find success with digital marketing strategies. MarketingSherpa Summit 2016 offers one-on-one coaching clinics with industry leaders, skills certification workshops, expert roundtables, and networking opportunities. Featured speakers at the 2016 event include documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, business productivity author Charles Duhigg, and marketing professional Karen Thomas-Smith. 

3. ICON - The 10th annual conference from Infusionsoft, ICON will be held in Phoenix March 2-4. This event is popular among the small business and entrepreneur community, who use Infusionsoft to grow their businesses. This year's event offers the opportunity to network and connect with industry peers, learn how to implement best in class solutions even with a small staff and budget, and create a strong sales strategy and action framework to boost ROI. Attendees can learn how to grow businesses, hire the right people, tell their story, learn from mistakes, and much more.   

4. SXSW Interactive - SXSW has only been getting bigger and better every single year. This year's Interactive event, which is held March 11-15 in Austin, promises to be no exception. Attendees will be able to attend panels and presentations from some of the biggest disrupters in digital, technology, startup culture, and entrepreneurship; visit trade shows tents that bring together enterprising startups and demonstrated leaders; and visit a premier gaming expo. While digital, tech, film, media, and gaming businesses may get the most out of visiting SXSW Interactive, the Austin marketing show promises to offer actionable advice for succeeding with technology that will benefit businesses across niches.  


5. Marketing Unbound - Senior executives across industries will want to make room for a new marketing conference from The Economist, Marketing Unbound. In its third year, the 2016 event promises to unpack best practices for success and lessons learned from marketing failures across industries. Along with valuable data on marketing success and failure, The Economist conference will include insightful topics and predictions for the future. If you want to stay relevant, learn from the success of established brands and avoid failures, you need to be at this showcase. Hear from marketing vice presidents and chief marketing officers at JetBlue, Moet Hennessy USA, PayPal, Intel, The Weather Company, and TIAA-CREF. This year's one-day event is scheduled for March 24th, in New York City. 

6. CAA World Congress of Sports - Scheduled for April 13-14 in Los Angeles, CAA World Congress of Sports is a premier sports business event spearheaded by SportsBusiness Journal/Daily and CAA Sports. The 2016 business expo promises to deliver sports and sports entertainment professionals at all levels to discuss unique sports focused business and marketing challenges. Planning is still underway for the 2016 event; however if past CAA World Congress of Sports events are an indication, this one is not to be missed. 

7. Social Media Marketing World 2016 - If you use social media for marketing purposes, or aspire to, then you simply need to attend Social Media Marketing World 2016. Presented by Social Media Examiner in San Diego April 17-19, the event brings together thousands of marketing professionals including some of the biggest minds in social media marketing. 2016's slate of talented presenters include Guy Kawasaki, Michael Hyatt, Michael Port, Kim Garst, Darren Rowse, Robert Rose, and Pat Flynn. Learn the best way to implement social media marketing, what works and what doesn't work, and how to develop a social strategy and execute regular, timely content creation from social mavens and top brands who are killing it with social.


8. InterSport Brand Engagement Summit - Sports entrepreneurs will want to head to Chicago June 1st and 2nd for the 2016 InterSport Brand Engagement Summit, which offers an early registration discount through March 25th. This event will dig into key engagement issues related to marketing and branding, including sponsorship, interactive media, and brand experienced. Marketing managers and VPs, digital marketers, interactive marketers, media executives, and agency executives are invited to attend. InterSport Brand Engagement Summit speakers include Gatorade chef marketing officer Morgan Flatley and additional speakers to be announced closer to the event. 

9. Gartner Digital Marketing Conference - The perfect opportunity for B2B and B2C leaders to learn from the professional analysts at Gartner, this marketing event is scheduled for May 17-19 in San Diego. 2016 Hot Topics for the Marketing Conference include content marketing, customer experience design, omnichannel marketing, social media marketing, emerging tech, mobile marketing, and best practices for B2B and B2C. Keynote speakers include Gartner managing vice president Julie Hopkins, and Gartner research directors Jennifer Polk and Jake Sorofman. Gartner recommends this digital marketing expo for marketing leaders, multichannel marketing leaders, marketing analytics leaders, and customer experience and commerce leaders. 

10. IRCE (Internet Retailer Conference + Exhibition) - Scheduled for June 7-10 in Chicago, IRCE is a premier marketing expo for the e-commerce industry. Curated by the staff at Internet Retailer magazine, IRCE offers in-depth, timely insights on digital marketing, e-commerce, and online retail. 2016 IRCE speakers include Forrester Research analyst Peter Hoar, FitForCommerce CEO Bernadine Wu, Zazzle social media manager Kelli Agnich, and Gartner VP Gene Alvarez. Businesses across niches who compete in the online retail space will glean actionable insights from IRCE. 

11. Dreamforce - This Salesforce expo is scheduled for September 15-18 in San Francisco. A must for Salesforce power users, the marketing event offers cutting edge insights from a major industry disrupter. Innovative keynotes include panels on entrepreneurship and gender, omnichannel customer service, and building apps in the cloud. Technology businesses will want to leave room to attend this conference both for the valuable sessions and the chance to mingle with thought leaders and talented peers in marketing, finance, healthcare, government, IT, and other sectors. 

12. Shop.Org Digital Summit - One retail marketing expo not to miss is the Shop.Org Digital Summit, which will be held in Dallas September 26-28. While details for this year's event are still forthcoming, it is safe to say that the Digital Summit should not be missed by retailers who want to discuss novel approaches to making sales and connecting with consumers, receive critiques and coaching from the pros, and get actionable insights on how to apply disruptive tech trends to stay relevant within their niche. 

13. New York Business Expo & Conference - One of the best business events on the East Coast, the 2016 New York Business Expo & Conference is scheduled for November 10, 2016. Part conference, part networking event, and part trade show, the New York Business Expo & Conference brings together multi niche executives for a day of learning and engagement. The event is suitable for small and medium business professionals looking to get high-level business growth ideas and customer engagement strategies. Guests can browse over 150 trade show booth displays, get hands-on lessons in the social media lab, and take advantage of more than 30 small business seminars designed to educate and inspire. 

Do you have a favorite marketing trade show or other event that we did not mention here? Tell us which event you look forward to attending in the comments, and how it delivered lasting ROI or helped you to grow your business. 

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