Your Guide to the 2017 - 2018 Sales and Marketing Conference Season

August 31, 2017

Man standing outside conference

It's coming...

No, not "Winter"...

conference season!

It's time to get creatively inspired from your peers, make new connections and take your marketing results from good to great. These industry events bring thousands of like-minded sales and marketing professionals together for concentrated conversations about the future of sales, marketing, and more recently, smarketing. Conferences are where ideas get exchanged, where visions form, where mutually beneficial relationships blossom. 

There are dozens of conferences across the country to choose from. You’ll find many excellent options outside this list, but some conferences have earned a reputation for consistently delivering great speakers, educational breakout sessions, and numerous networking opportunities. As we head into conference season, here are 12 sales and marketing conferences you’ll be glad you attended.

12 Must Attend Sales and Marketing Conferences

Content Marketing World

Sept. 5-8, 2017

Cleveland, Ohio

One of the most recognizable conferences in the marketing industry, Content Marketing World is an annual conference and expo that hails itself as the largest gathering of content marketers anywhere in the world. More than 225 speakers are lined up to provide keynote speeches, breakout session leadership, and entertainment throughout the event.

This year’s featured speakers include actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Pulitzer Prize winner Colson Whitehead, and of course, Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi donning his trademark orange threads.

LinkedIn Alert: Our own Mike Weir, Vertical Director - Tech Industry, will be presenting 'The Future of B2B Marketing: Why To Think Like Disney and 6 Other Trends'. LinkedIn Content Marketing Evangelist Katrina Neal will also present 'The Rise of the Data Scientist (an ROI Session)'.

Marketing Loves Sales

Sept. 18-19, 2017

Portland, Oregon

The Marketing Loves Sales conference puts the unification of sales and marketing as its primary focus. Attendees will receive in-depth insights and thought leadership on how marketing can be used to create, nurture, and close marketing-led sales opportunities for B2B brands.

The two-day conference will feature speeches from executives at Google, Moz, Oracle, LinkedIn, and many others. This is a great conference option if your organization’s current focus is on aligning sales and marketing to raise revenues.

LinkedIn Alert: Our own Senior Demand Generation Marketer Cassandra Clark and Content Marketing Manager Alex Rynne are presenting 'The Secret Sauce: How LinkedIn uses LinkedIn for B2B Marketing'.

Sales 3.0 Conference

Sept. 18-19, 2017

Las Vegas, Nevada

The theme of Sales 3.0 events is always innovation. At its three annual conferences, Sales 3.0 attendees can soak in wisdom from the sales and marketing executives who are using creative solutions to solve the industries’ biggest challenges.

The featured speakers in Las Vegas this year include Carew International CEO Jeff Steeley and Sacramento Kings sales executive Phil Horn. Some of the top themes for the conference will cover sales team-building, strategies to overhaul your sales planning, and how to cultivate and invest in sustained relationships of value.

If you can’t make the Vegas conference, there’s another Sales 3.0 Conference Dec. 4-5 in Philadelphia.

INBOUND

Sept. 25-28, 2017

Boston, Massachusetts 

One of the biggest draws of HubSpot’s annual sales and marketing conference is the diverse backgrounds of its featured speakers. INBOUND offers an array of keynote speeches, educational breakout sessions, hands-on-training, and networking opportunities with the sales and marketing leaders of Fortune 500 companies.

This year’s highlights include a keynote speech from Michelle Obama, as well as additional speeches from HBO star Issa Rae, Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth, and celebrity chef Mario Batali. INBOUND places a premium on its networking opportunities, so plan on hobnobbing at on- and off-site events to make valuable connections throughout the conference.

Advertising Week New York

Sept. 25-29, 2017

New York, New York

During Advertising Week New York, the advertising, marketing, and media industries invade Times Square to network, to discuss their sector’s challenges, and to shape the future of the industry.

Among the speakers at the expansive event are Jessica Alba, Founder, The Honest Company; Linda Boff, CMO, General Electric; Richard Edelman, President-CEO, Edelman.; Kathleen Hall, Corporate VP for Brand, Advertising, and Research, Microsoft; and Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive, WPP.

LinkedIn Alert: LinkedIn employees, such as Jia Hyun, Head of North America, Marketing Solutions, will be appearing on many panels throughout Advertising Week. Additionally, Penry Price, LinkedIn’s VP-Global Sales, Marketing Solutions, will be moderating a panel titled “The Currency of Trust,” slated for Tuesday, Sept. 26, at 4:15pm in the PlayStation East Theater. 

MarketingProfs B2B Forum

Oct. 3-6, 2017

Boston, Massachusetts  

For sales and marketing pros who list “good time” at the top of their conference evaluation criteria, the MarketingProfs B2B Forum is a great option. This four-day event places a premium on high energy and career inspiration. But it isn’t just a vacation. Hosted by Ann Handley, this event is packed with strong speakers, constructive breakout sessions, and no shortage of off-the-clock networking events.

This year’s attendees will want to mark their calendars for headlining speeches by Alison Levine, who captained the first American women’s Mount Everest expedition, as well as Derreck Kayongo, who currently serves as the CEO of the Center for Civil and Human Rights.

LinkedIn Alert: Our own Content Marketing Manager Alex Rynne is presenting 'Your LinkedIn Content Marketing Tactical Plan' alongside Digital Marketing Consultant Chris Wilson of HubSpot. 

CEB Sales and Marketing Summit

Oct. 17-19, 2017

Las Vegas, Nevada

Where some sales and marketing conferences lean heavily on big names, flashy events, and the entertainment factor, CEB’s Sales and Marketing Summit is more utilitarian by intent. The list of speakers and events is designed to provide substantive B2B thought leadership while equipping its attendees with the skills and ideas needed to prosper in today’s digital climate.

This year’s headlining speakers include entrepreneur and author Dan Heath, CEB Principal Executive Advisor Brent Adamson, and more of CEB’s executive leaders. In most cases, a speaker list so dominated by the employees of one company might be a turnoff, but CEB’s strong reputation as a leader in sales and marketing makes it an industry conference that offers value to anyone in the profession.

Content Jam by Orbit Media

Nov. 1-2, 2017

Chicago, Illinois

Before Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s command our attention, Orbit Media’s Content Jam presents one last opportunity for marketers to sharpen their content marketing, SEO, and measurement skills. The event kicks off with a series of workshops, including Jill Pollack’s “Stop Writing Content; Start Telling Stories” session.

Keynote speakers include Gini Dietrich (“How to Shapeshift Into Your Ideal Life”) and Michael Aagaard (“Your Brain Is Lying to You: How to Become a Better Marketer by Overcoming Confirmation Bias”.) The workhorse of Content Jam is Andy Crestodina, Orbit Media’s Co-Founder, who will conduct a workshop as well as two sessions — one on SEO and another on analytics. 

Dreamforce

Nov. 6-9, 2017

San Francisco, California

Dreamforce positions itself as one of the most educational conferences a sales and marketing professional can attend. In addition to its keynote speeches and main events, this year’s conference offers 2,700 breakout sessions, some of which offer trainings and certifications in various sales and marketing specialties. If you’re looking to update your skills for the modern age, this is a great conference to attend.

This year’s highlights include speeches from Michelle Obama, Ashton Kutcher, and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. The conference is expected to sell out, so plan ahead.

Social Media Marketing World

Feb. 28-Mar.2, 2018

San Diego, California

Social Media Marketing World has everything marketers need to come home with ideas that level-up their company’s social game.

This year’s speakers include author and tech evangelist Guy Kawasaki, MarketingProfs’ Ann Handley, and Facebook marketing guru Mari Smith. Even for seasoned social media marketers, this conference offers enlightening sessions that will boost social proficiency.

MozCon

July 9-11, 2018

Seattle, Washington

“Exceptional speakers. Actionable tactics. Fist bumps for all.” As you might’ve gathered from the event’s tagline, there’s always a good vibe surrounding marketers as they prep for the future at MozCon. MozCon brings in experts to share tips and insights on just about every aspect of the marketing industry.

The conference covers SEO (of course), CRO, analytics, brand development, content marketing, social strategy, the customer experience, and more. Speakers at this year’s conference include executives from HubSpot, Etsy, Unbound, Google, Microsoft, and dozens more brands you know.

Microsoft Inspire

July 15-19, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

With an emphasis on pushing the world forward through the adoption of new, innovative technologies, Microsoft Inspire is a weeklong convention that brings together marketers and business leaders for challenging, thought-provoking conversations on driving change.

While next year’s conference speakers and agenda haven’t been released, it will no doubt feature leaders from Microsoft and the business innovation community at large. You’ll see how businesses of all shapes and sizes are using technology to solve global problems. 

When it comes to enterprise innovation, inspiration is pretty much a pre-requisite, and that’s exactly what this conference aims to deliver.

With so many options to choose from, you will have no problem finding a conference that offers the educational resources you need in the environment you prefer.

Can’t make it to an event this year? Don’t fret. We’ll bring the event highlights to you when you subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog.

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