Are you a marketer, a content writer, a designer or a webmaster? If your answer is yes, then you already know how important it is to stay up to date with everything that happens in your industry.
Knowledge is power. That’s why every professional stays on top only as long as he or she is inclined to learn and develop.
We learn with every success we have and also, we learn from all our mistakes. We learn from experts, and from others’ experiences and mistakes as well. The Internet has given us the ability to acquire experience and to better ourselves without leaving the comfort of our homes and offices. However, what you can learn by yourself may not always be enough.
You need contact with peers, to share your experiences face to face, to listen and learn from the best professionals in your domain of activity.
Get out of your comfort zone
We live in a social media-crazed world and sometimes we forget how important it is to meet with peers and professionals face-to-face. We’re all preoccupied with numbers, deadlines and statistics, but there are times when we should leave our comfort zones and attend real life social gatherings and conferences.
We’ll broaden our horizons and get up to date with information that otherwise would have been impossible to find.
Benefits of attending a live conference or seminar
There are small business owners, marketers, designers or webmasters who think that it would be a waste of time to attend a conference just to be around their competitors. But not all your peers are competitors. And even if they are, you have a lot to learn from their experiences (not just trade secrets).
There are a lot of benefits that arise from participating in relevnat conferences. Let’s talk about some of those:
1. Educational opportunities
Just try to think about all the people you will be meeting at these events, the professionals who’ll be speaking and so on. No matter how experienced you are, there will always be room for more.
These encounters will allow you to learn more about your field, and maybe even a few things about related domains which will be applicable to your future work.
2. Meet new people, make new contacts, socialize with peers
Sure, you hope to learn from a conference. But at the same time, it offers you a great chance to meet some of the most influencing professionals from your industry and connect with people you didn’t know they exist until now.
Up to a point, you can run a business or a website from your office, without even leaving your desk. If you want to grow your business and be successful on the long run, you need contacts.
You need to know people, to share some of your experiences with them, to get out of your office and collect valuable information and data from direct sources. Some of these contacts are already in your Facebook list of friends. Meeting with them and talking face to face will lead to a new type of a more solid relationship. It is a relationship that will prove to be more profitable for you.
3. Consolidate your position as an expert. Being active in your field doesn’t just mean online work and some basic communication on social media platforms. Activity also means making contacts and discussing with your peers face to face.
Plus, marketing conferences give you an opportunity to build your reputation as an expert. Try to make contact with other professionals from the same industry, and there’s a chance you’ll be invited to speak at future events.
In the long run, you may find out that the invested time and money were worth it.
4. Meet new suppliers, vendors, clients and business partners. If your business relies on sales, conferences give you the opportunity to meet new suppliers and vendors. This will help you grow in your specific market and solidify your brand as an important name in your industry.
Also, think about the suppliers that are present at such venues. They usually have lower prices, are more inclined to make discounts and overall, they may offer you better deals that what you have already signed for with your own suppliers.
The deals you sign at a conference or a convention may prove to be better than everything you had until now.
5. Have fun. You’re getting out of your comfort zone but at the same time, you meet people with whom you share similar experiences. You may be competitors but you still share some interests with them.
6. Learn how to organize your own event. Attending conferences and seminars gives you a great opportunity to learn how these events are organized and maybe, in the future, you’ll be able to host your own. All the contacts you will make will help you in the future.
You’ll need a budget, some great speakers to invite to your conference, a great visual presence online and of course, the “know how.” But overall, attending events is the best learning experience you can have if you’re thinking about hosting events in the future.
The marketing conferences you should attend this year
More than half of this year has already passed. However, there are still a couple of conferences you can attend to.
Here are the two most important:
This is the event every professional from the business sector should attend. The conference takes place from October 23-25, 2017.
What’s it all about? Nextcon is an annual business conference hosted by Nextiva which was attended last year by no less than 1500 professionals. While the 2016 seminars were held by business icons such as Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, and Guy Kawasaki, Apple’s original Evangelist, this year’s speakers will definitely take us even further with their professional guides and advices.
Some of this year’s most important speakers:
Tomas Gorny: He is co-founder at Nextiva, a cloud communications company that continually redefines how businesses communicate.
Carol Roth: She’s the bestselling author of “The Entrepreneur Equation” and creator of the legacy planning system Future File. She speaks about small businesses and the economy, current events, and pop culture.
Brian Solis: He’s been called one of the best digital analysts of our times. Currently, he works as a principal analyst at Altimeter and Prophet. He’s also a world renowned keynote speaker and futurist.
He studies and speaks about disruptive technologies and their impact on society, current innovation, experience design and culture 2.0.
Neil Patel: He’s the co-founder of Hello Bar and Crazy Egg. Recognized as one of the most successful entrepreneurs of his age, he’s a top influencer on the web by some of the most important media sources such as Forbes and Wall Street Journal. He’s also been awarded the Congressional Recognition from the United States House of Representatives.
This event takes place September 5-8, 2017 at Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland, Ohio. It will encompass over 120 sessions and workshops presented by some of the most important and influential brand marketers from around the world covering strategy, integration and measurement.
Some of this year’s most important speakers:
Linda Boff: She was recognized as AdWeek’s hottest digital marketer, but that’s not how she built her influence. She’s now GE’s Chief Marketing Officer, leading all customer experience, sponsorship, digital content and global marketing for the company.
Joseph Gordon Levitt: Technology enthusiasts may recognize Joseph for playing Edward Snowden, the famous computer specialist who fled to Russia after revealing classified CIA documents. Apart from his acting career however, Joseph Gordon Levitt is the founder of hitRecord, an open collaborative specialized in creating and developing art in media through a website where anybody can upload records or download and remix others’ records.
Casey Neistat: He’s an american film director, developer and producer of popular YouTube videos. He has ten years experience in creating TV commercials, and currently he is building a digital network along with CNN. Apart from his popular YouTube channel, Neistat is also popular on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.
He’s somebody worth listening to whatever your industry may be, as long you own a website for your business and you are in need of content marketing.
The events you should attend in 2018
Book a ticket for next year’s Call to Action Conference taking place in May 2018 in Vancouver. There will be three days of training for marketers where “world class marketing experts will be covering a wide array of topics, such as conversion optimization, email marketing, copywriting, landing pages, PPC, analytics, content marketing.”
I don’t know yet who will actually be invited to speak, but looking at the 2017 recap I’m sure that next year’s conference won’t be a waste of time. Some of this year’s speakers were: Oli Gardner, founder at Unbounce, Joel Klettke, conversion writer and owner of Business Casual Copywriting, Scott Stratten, author and president at UnMarketing and Wil Reynolds, founder of Seer Interactive.
The conference takes place in Seattle in July 2018. It will encompass three days of actionable sessions in SEO, marketing and customer experience. Among their speakers are some of the most successful and digital marketers including Matthew Barby from Hubspot, Stephanie Chang from Etsy, Oli Gardner from Unbounce, Kane Jamison from Content Harmony, and many others.
It’s essential to stay up to date with trends and practices in your industry. You may be able to learn everything you need to know from the Internet, but at some point, the contacts you make by meeting your peers face to face will prove to be even more useful than the actual knowledge acquired through intense study.
Have you attended a marketing conference recently? Tell us what you thought of it, and your biggest takeaways from the experience.