With so many social media conferences being organized for 2016, which are the “must-attend” events?
Rather than create a comprehensive list of every social media conference that exists, I provide you my annual list of social media conferences that I have vetted from either presenting at, attending, or knowing first-hand of the experiences from others who have attended. Conferences with a strong track record obviously are featured in this list, but I also went out of my way to add new and promising events to the list, especially some user conferences that aren’t specifically focused on, but will include a great deal of information about, social media.If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of social media, these are the must-attend social media conferences in 2016! Conferences are presented in chronological order for your convenience. We might go over 17 events if we find more recommendable ones!
Note: Some annual conferences have not finalized speakers or their dates and thus have incomplete descriptions and thus are noted with “Awaiting confirmation.” Also, because so many social media tools vendors are now creating their own events, with the exception of Adobe’s Summit, Hubspot’s Inbound, and Salesforce’s Dreamforce industry events, the others have been moved to the bottom of this list for reference. Either way, make sure you scroll down to the very bottom, bookmark and visit this page as these events will be added as they are announced!
Social Media Strategies Summit – Las Vegas, Nevada – February 9-11, 2016
This is a comprehensive 3-day social media marketing summit that addresses the toughest challenges marketers are facing in social media marketing, customer service, employee engagement, measuring ROI, and more.
This educational experience moves far beyond the basics of social media; you’ll leave with a fresh perspective on the digital marketing landscape, and key strategic insights on how social fits in with corporate objectives.
Top reasons to attend this event:
- Network with VPs, Directors and Managers, Communications, Digital Marketing, Branding and Business Strategy
- Harness social data & social identity to drive business value and keep your brand competitive
- Execute a powerful brand storytelling strategy that has impact
- 7 hands-on pre-summit workshops, 30 interactive learning sessions
The event will be held at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas strip. Guest speakers will include Melanie Deziel, Director of Creative Strategy for Time Inc., Joie Healy, Senior Manager at Cisco, and Lisa Perez, Barbie Global Brand Marketing and Social Media at Mattel.
Social Media Week – February 22-26, 2016 in New York, New York
Social Media Week is a worldwide conference that allows marketers and business managers to share ideas, innovations and insights into how social media is changing the face of business. The event is now in its seventh year, and it will welcome over 10,000 attendees from New York’s top advertising and media industries.
The exact location of the Social Media Week – New York 2016 has yet to be published. Furthermore, speakers have yet to be announced, although past speakers have included the likes of Martha Stewart and Reverend Jesse Jackson!
Rock the Blog 2016 – March 18, 2016 in Hannover, Germany
Rock the Blog, which first appeared during CeBit 2015 is back for its 2nd year. Having provided the open keynote at Rock the Blog 2015 (see my social media keynote here), I can say with confidence that Rock the Blog 2016 will provide a unique European networking hub for bloggers and marketing and PR specialists on the lookout for new trends and exciting new topics in the area of blogging and corporate blogging.
The agenda for 2016 is to find a balanced selection of themes from the areas of Media & Technology, Lifestyle, Automotive, Finance and Politics & Law. The speakers have yet to be announced, but 2015 featured speakers from many leading German brands and bloggers.
Summit: The Digital Marketing Conference – March 20-24, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada
Adobe’s user conference has become more than that: It is now an educational event in itself which brings together 5,000 digital marketing leaders to learn and discuss social marketing as well as marketing analytics, campaign management and email marketing, digital experience management, digital advertising, and much more. The event will feature a number of speakers, including many from Adobe itself. Even if you’re not a user of Adobe Social, you’ll learn a great deal and meet great people at this event.
The event will be at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas and feature three jam-packed days of digital marketing expertise, insights and information together with two pre-conference training days. You’ll come away with the knowledge to bring all your content and data together in one place and deliver the ideal experience to every customer.
Social Tools Summit – April 12, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts
The 2nd Social Tools Summit Boston and 3rd Social Tools Summit in total will be held on April 12 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Boston. Focusing on best practices in corporate social media from practitioners representing the leading brands, the event also features executives from leading social tool summit companies who provide their experiences in helping brands, agencies, and business owners uncover the potential for maximizing their social ROI utilizing social media tools efficiently.
The event will focus on session panels representing those issues at the heart of social business: Employee advocacy, social selling, influencer marketing, content marketing, social media ROI, visual social, listening, and social analytics.
The event will be held at the Hyatt Regency Boston. Guest speakers will include John Murphy, Head of Social Listening Center for Cigna, Ami Chitwood, Senior Manager – Social Media Team for Deloitte, Kate Hutchinson, Senior Project Manager – Social Media for EMC, and Tanya Donnelly Global Social Media Director for Schneider Electric.
Social Media Marketing World – April 17-19, 2016 in San Diego, California
Social Media Marketing World is hosted by Social Media Examiner and is probably the world’s largest social media marketing conference. Along with 3,000 budding social media marketers, the guest list will include over 100 of the world’s top social media marketing professionals such as Guy Kawasaki, Mari Smith, Chris Brogan, Jay Baer, and many more. I am honored to be speaking for the fourth year in a row as well.
Social Media Strategies Summit – April 26-28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois
Social Media Strategies Summit occur annually at several American locations and are great events for coporate social media marketing professionals. At this event, you will be able to fuel your social media strategy through compelling content, customer experience, brand storytelling, advocacy and technology. I have been confirmed as a keynote speaker at this event and am honored to join the ranks of speakers from McDonalds, Facebook, Clorox, Hyatt, and more.
Social Media Camp – May 5-7, 2016 in Victoria, British Colombia, Canada
Social Media Camp is Canada’s largest social media conference which will have its 7th event in 2016. Having spoken there in 2015, I can say that it is a great three-day conference that covers all the key issues for getting the most out of social media marketing. The speakers and sessions have yet to be announced, so make sure you check back here for updates!
Mobile X Festival – May 11-12, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia
For those looking for a mobile-focused conference, I’m proud to announce that my good friend (and mobile marketing expert) Jamie Turner has launched an amazing “un-conference” for businesses that want to use mobile to grow their sales and revenues. From Virtual Reality pods to “Shark Tank”-like Mobile Accelerators to world-class speakers from Google, Coca-Cola, CNN and more, this is going to be the one event to attend if you want to up your mobile game.
Our readers can use code MYS16 at checkout to give you access to the best discount possible.
Content Marketing Conference – May 17-19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada
The Content Marketing Conference is the newest event focused on content marketing for those that can’t wait for the annual Content Marketing World in the fall. In its 2nd year, the Content Marketing Conference prides itself on being focused on actionable content marketing tactics, tools, and techniques and “serving up the recipe for content marketing mastery.”
This event is also unique in that it is purposely capped at 300 to energize sessions, maximize learning and power-up networking to make sure you win big. I will be speaking at this year’s Content Marketing Conference and I am excited to be there – hope you can join me! My session will be on Tactics to Amplify Content Marketing with Social Media.
Social Shake-Up – May 24-25, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia
Due to recent changes at Social Media Today, this event has been at least temporarily cancelled.
Leveraging Social Media for Communications & PR – June 1-3, 2016 in New York, New York
Hear from leading organizations who have found a way to successfully communicate with stakeholders, employees, and consumers by using social media. Discover how to leverage social media to drive results in your organization from a Public Relations and Corporate Communications perspective. Check back here for updates as the speakers are announced!
Social Media Strategies Summit – New York, New York – June 1-3, 2016
This is a comprehensive 3-day social media marketing summit that addresses the toughest challenges marketers are facing in social media marketing, customer service, employee engagement, measuring ROI, and more. It is similar to the previous events held this year in Las Vegas and Chicago.
The New York event will be held at the Wyndham New Yorker and will feature speakers such as Lyndsay Signor, Senior Director, Social Media Marketing at NBC Sports and Olympics, Derek Hubbard, Social Business Specialist at Southwest Airlines, Geoffrey Colon, Communication Designer at Microsoft, and Shawnee Brown, Social Media Director at Merck.
Digital PR & Marketing Conference – Miami, Florida – June 6-8, 2016
This three day event is put on PR News so while it is not social media-centric, it still will offer plenty of social media education. It is pitched as a training event for marketers and communicators and as an annual gathering of communicators and digital ideas, strategies, and tactics. If you are in Public Relations or Corporate Communications, you might be particularly interested in this event.
This conference will be held at the Ritz-Carlton Miami and will feature speakers such as Konstanze Alex-Brown, Corporate Social Influencer Relations Manager at Dell, Jeremy K. Balkin, Head of Communications—Retail Banking & Wealth Management at HSBC USA, Brandi Boatner, Digital Experience Manager for IBM Global Technology Services, and Lauren Cochran, Director, Interactive Marketing and New Media for the Miami Heat.
Corporate Social Media Summit – June 20-21, 2016 in New York, New York
The Corporate Social Media Summit is a corporate-focused social media conference, similar to the Social Media Strategies Summit and Social Tools Summit, which gives you a unique opportunity to learn from, and network with, senior leaders from the biggest brands in the world. Featured speakers at the upcoming event include Alicia Tillman – Chief Marketing Officer, SAP, Will Botinick – Senior Vice-President, Social Insights, Citi, Gary Davis – VP Consumer Marketing, Intel, Steve Sommers – Vice-President, Global Brand Marketing, Under Armour, and Jonathan Pierce – Director, Social Media and Content Services, American Airlines.
Social Media Strategies Summit – Dallas, Texas – August 17-18, 2016
Social Media Strategies Summit is back in Dallas to fuel your social media strategy through compelling content, customer experience, brand storytelling, advocacy and technology. This event will feature corporate social media and marketing leaders from Denny’s, Walmart, Cisco, AT&T and more.
Social Fresh – Orlando, Florida – August 18-21, 2016
Social Fresh 2016 is a 4-day conference packed with actionable presentations and case studies. They are dedicated to helping you deliver results through rich session topics and dynamic networking with industry leaders, innovative brands, agencies, and software companies.
The event will be held at the Wyndham Grand and will feature speakers such as Josh Karpf, Global Director, Social Marketing at Spotify, Jennifer Watson, Social Media Strategist at The Weather Channel, Amy Greber, Director of Social Engagement at Red Cross, and Heather Taylor, Director of Content Strategy at The Economist.
Content Marketing World 2016 – September 6-9, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio
Content Marketing World continues to be the largest content marketing event on the planet. It’s the one event where you can learn and network with the best and the brightest in the content marketing industry.
You will leave with all the materials you need to take a content marketing strategy back to your team – and – to implement a content marketing plan that will grow your business and inspire your audience.
The speakers for 2016 have yet to be announced, so make sure to check back here often for updates!
Dreamforce 2016 – October 4-7, 2016 in San Francisco, California
While the details have yet to be announced at the time of writing this blog post, based on past events Dreamforce 2016 will include over 1,400 breakout sessions focusing on practically every social media marketing role imaginable, over 350 partners in the Cloud Expo and a list of esteemed keynote speakers. Check back here for updates as speakers are announced!
Social Media Success Summit – October, 2016 Virtually
MarketingProfs’ B2B Marketing Forum 2016 – October 18-21, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts
Social Tools Summit – October 26, 2016 in San Jose, California
Details to be announced soon.
INBOUND 2016 – November 8-11, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts
Speakers for INBOUND 2016 have not been announced yet at the time of writing this, but past speakers have included such celebrities such as Martha Stewart, Malcolm Gladwell, and Guy Kawasaki. Needless to say that this event will be BIG!
Social Media Tools Vendors Conferences
Below is a separate list of those social media conferences that are primarily organized by social media tools vendors themselves. Although these are public conferences, they are centered around the tools, solutions, and customers that the tools companies themselves support. Those that I am speaking at will be listed above, but others will be listed below for your reference and consideration.
Advocamp – March 7-9, 2016 in San Francisco, California (Organizer: Influitive)
AMPlify: The Employee Advocacy Conference – May 11-12, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts (Organizer: GaggleAMP)
Engage Prague – May 11-15, 2016 in Prague, Czech Republic (Organizer: Socialbakers)
Which of these 2016 social media conferences will you attend? Which have you been to in the past? Which are missing from the list? Please share your experiences with us!