B2B Marketing Conferences: what the schedules tell us about the trends

No one will contradict me if I say that to be on the cutting edge of the latest B2B marketing trends and to stay informed and connected, there is nothing better to do than to get out of the office. Not necessarily to get some fresh air, but rather to find your way to of one of the many marketing conferences, whether it’s B2B related or not, especially since the pace of changes we face in 2018 has never been faster. Lectures can be the ticket; providing the winning combination in terms of training and inspiration.

Here’s a short list of events with a brief description, both North American or European, with high-level speakers. Note that there will be no shortage of Quebec events on the subject, specifically Les Affaires and Infopresse. To those who can afford it, here is a list of places to attend and network with colleagues from all sources, which in itself, is worth almost half the value of the conference!

Surely, you’ll agree, some cities are very attractive, more so than Montreal with its slush in the winter and orange cones in the summer…

B2B Marketing Ignite 2018

The Ignite conference is organized by B2B Marketing, an organization created in 2004 as an expertise center for marketers specializing in B2B. It’s also a strong website and blog for their regularly renewed content. The conference will take place this year at the Business Design Center on July 10 in London.

Ignite is more than 1 000 marketers under one roof; a true networking experience. It ‘s also offering six content themes, seven keynote speakers and an all-around great networking opportunity: Ignite 2018 evening. The six topics will have an ABM theme or, “Account based Marketing“; leadership, commitment, customer experience, technology and glances at “insights”, but clearly, ABM will be the featured theme. At the moment, the speakers are not yet announced, but in short, a good conference in the marketing field to attend, even though it’s in London and as everyone knows, we lose out with the exchange rate and the cost of living…

At Exo, we have a weakness for the Arizona sun… and for the conference:

B2B Marketing Exchange

This is an annual conference that took place earlier this week in Scottsdale, Arizona, from February 19 to 21, under the hashtag #B2BMX. Several “stars” and influencers of B2B marketing were there, such as Laura Ramos from Forrester, Brian Solis, Lee Odden, Rebecca Lieb, Pam Didner, James Taylor, Paul Peterman from Facebook and many others. To get to know them better, take a look at some interviews on the DemandGen blog that organizes this annual gathering.

At this conference, there are also many questions about ABM, in fact, there is a lot of ‘buzz’ surrounding this topic. Here is one of the titles: “ABM Beyond The Hype: What High Growth Organizations Do differently”. It’s an overview of the agenda and here are two tweets from Laura Ramos, who is the specialist. Obviously, Forrester is very interested in the subject:

Of course, Lee Odden was on site and lectured on Millennials.

But the conference that seems to have impressed the most is that of Brian Solis.

The closing conference: “Creativity: The New Marketing Imperative in The Age Of Artificial Intelligence” by James Taylor, is another topic “trend” that will be discussed further…

Some other important conferences not to be missed this year are:

CMA Live

This conference will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland, on June 6 and 7, with lead figures Chris Brogan and Ann Handley. The programming of this conference is not yet available. Note that this conference is organized by the Content Marketing Academy.

Content Marketing World 2018

This is another of the essentials in the world of marketing, specifically dedicated to content. It will be held from September 4 to 7, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio, with many content marketing lecturers, including Joe Pulizzi, Jay Baer, Ann Handley (she’s everywhere!), Michael Brenner, Heidi Cohen, Carla Johnson, Lee Odden, Peg Miller and our very own, Mitch Joel. In fact, the list is too long! Check it out here.

The Content, again, an extensive list, includes:

The workshops :

  • Video Marketing Makeover – Transforming boring case studies and testimonials into stories that inspire action
  • How to Create a Documented Content Marketing Strategy
  • Marketing Writing Master Class
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Email Marketing: What Works and What Doesn’t
  • From 0 to 60: Building a Mature B2B Content Marketing Organization
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Sales/Marketing Alignment
  • Agency Workshop: A New Approach to New Business
  • Content Distribution Strategies
  • Analytics
  • Interactive Content
  • Testing – How to Make Smart Decisions that Lead to Conversions
  • Create a Scalable Global Content Marketing Strategy in 7 Steps
  • How to Use Artificial Intelligence to Build & Optimize Content
  • How to Optimize, Socialize and Publicize B2B Content
  • The Electric Campfire: How to Identify Engaging Stories Within Your Organization
  • How to Succeed in Blogging

What’s planned :

  • Demand Generation
  • Keynote: Big Ideas
  • Sales
  • Email/Conversion
  • Visual Storytelling
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Search & Data
  • Future Trends
  • Process & Workflow
  • Tools & Technology
  • Content Strategy
  • ROI/Measurement
  • Internal/Brand Communication
  • Social Media
  • Agency
  • Writing
  • Lead Generation
  • Content Creation
  • Analytics & Data
  • Executive Track
  • Content Distribution/Promotion
  • Teams & Culture
  • AI/Machine Learning
  • Personal Skills

And of course, CM World is recognized as one of the most important in terms of networking. You can see a list of all their activities here.

Content Marketing Conference

Either a contender or complementary to CM World, CMC takes place not far from Montreal, in Boston. The 4th edition will take place like the others before it did, at the Boston Westin Waterfront from May 2-4, 2018. The attendees will be graced by the presence of big names such as Ann Handley, Neal Schaffer, Chad Politt, and many others.

See the complete list here.

On the content side, there will be five topics and an impressive number of “keynotes”.

  • Planning
  • Creation
  • Optimization
  • Innovation
  • Strategy

Digiday AI Marketing Summit

A very important conference, in my opinion, organized by Digiday from April 11th to 13th in Santa Barbara, California. Artificial Intelligence is at the heart of all conversations and of all strategies, including those in marketing. Here is a conference that has the advantage of directly addressing marketers.

Too bad we don’t have a conference with such caliber here in Montreal, given the important hub that exists here. Yes, there are lectures on AI, but not strictly from the perspective of marketing. I invite you to view our videos with Alain Thériault and Sébastien Provencher from Element AI, which deal with the growing importance of AI on marketing.

MarketingProfs’ B2B Marketing Forum

Who doesn’t know MarketingProfs and their iconic figure Ann Handley (yes, her again!). There is little information available at the moment on the conference site that will take place, but it is expected to be at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco from November 13 to 16.

B2B Marketing Leaders

You want a good change of scenery? Then this conference is for you! I’ve been through the speaker list and I only know Carla Johnson but it that’s place on the other side of the planet, at the Doltone House Jones Bay Wharf in Sydney, Australia, from May 14 to 16, 2018.

There are literally hundreds of lectures!

However, we believe that this brief list will help you to appreciate eight of them that are among the best.

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