Drew McLellan is the Top Dog at McLellan Marketing Group
I'm often asked which marketing conferences I recommend and I have to say, the list is pretty short.
It seems like most conferences hire the same 8-10 speakers we've all seen over and over again or else they bring in brand managers from places like Coke or Harley.
Don't get me wrong -- I love listening to those speakers. But, they don't live in the same world as we do.
As an agency, we deal with small to mid-sized ($20 million in revenue and below) companies and they definitely do not have a Coke or Harley marketing budget.
If I'm going to spend the money and time to actually attend a conference, I want to leave with a notebook full of ideas I can think about and implement right away.
I want tangible examples that I can relate to because they're right sized for my agency and our clients.
Given that criteria, here are some of my favorite conferences:
BOLO Conference in Scottsdale, AZ in October
BOLO /boh-loh/, v. 1. Be On the Look Out. 2. Digital marketing conference in Scottsdale, AZ. BOLO brings together the thought-leaders and change-makers of the agency world. Experience authentic connections, audacious speakers, actionable ideas, and a helluva good time. BOLO 2014 is shaping up to be our best event yet. We like to keep things meaningful, so we allow just 250 of our friends to register before the doors close. Be on the lookout for additional information arriving soon!
Drew's note -- this is for agency folks, so if you're a CMO, this probably is not the right choice for you. But if you work for an agency -- you will love this one!
Content Marketing World in Cleveland, OH in September
Content Marketing World is 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.
Drew's note -- this one is packed with speakers who will talk about budgets way beyond yours like Kraft Foods and SAP but because they're still trying to figure out content too -- it's relevant, no matter the size of your budget.
Marketing Profs B2B Forum in Boston in October
Are you armed and ready to meet the marketing challenges of today, tomorrow, and beyond? With technology and the way we live changing rapidly, B2B marketers have so many options and tools that it can be overwhelming. At the 2014 B2B Marketing Forum we will have inspirational speakers presenting on the hottest, smartest topics—giving you the knowledge you need to thrive in 2014, 2015 and beyond. Get ready to bullet-proof your marketing for the future and come out a modern marketing rockstar!
Drew's note -- This is a smaller conference (unlike CMW above) so you'll have lots of access to the speakers (most of them stay for the whole conference, so they're around and accessible) and networking.
And.... one of the best of all is right here in Iowa. Yup, I said Iowa.
Social Brand 2014 in Coralville in September
The Social Brand Forum, a top 10 social media conference, again brings national social media and digital marketing thought leaders to Iowa for two days of impactful keynotes and interactive discussions. Social Brand 2014 is designed to help marketers at organizations small and large build better brands online through social media content, conversations, and community.
Drew's note -- This is a fantastic conference (created by Iowa's Nick Westergaard of Brand Driven Digital) that has been designed to give attendees incredible access to top notch speakers, built in networking opportunities and lots of tangible, use it now content.
So here is my challenge for you. Pick one and register this week. Surely you believe in lifelong learning right?
If you decide that Iowa's own Social Brand 2014 is the right one for you -- use the coupon code DREW and you can save a few bucks. (I don't get anything if you register other than the satisfaction that you're going to love it.)
Attending one of these conferences this fall is the perfect appetizer to working on your 2015 marketing budget.
Go on -- get even smarter!
~ Drew, Top Dog at McLellan Marketing Group