Professional development: opt for quality over quantity when making a list of must-attend events for the coming year. Summer is a perfect time to make the list of just what events are on your team’s radar for the coming year. One high quality event that fits your client needs or your in-house strategic development needs pays results than tons of events that offer up name tag and recycled speakers. Look for events that meet not just your budget but your brand profile: hipper, younger, more retail and less business or maybe more B2B and less consumer? There’s a content event for everyone, especially if you’re willing to travel. Digital and virtual ‘only’ events are also popping up for those with reduced travel budgets or a corporate preference to stay close to home and work.
Located in Austin, Texas each year, typically in March, SXSW brings together music, film and interactive storytellers (including digital marketers, content curators and in-house photographic and web teams)
alongside the worlds leading brands. Subway, Chevrolet, Monster Energy and Miller Lite top the lengthy sponsorship list and a trendy tradeshow adds value to the entire Austin, Texas sunny, warm and inspiring experience.
Why: It’s south and very west of our Atlantic Canadian home but the travel is worth the chance to see the latest trends and brands activated live in engaging sessions and events. The interactive side of this event really shows how big brands activate their brand story.
Who: Anyone that wants to connect to how hip, modern and audience relevant brands talk to consumers fits with the SXSW crowd. (Hip, youthful brands have an additional reason to attend: many of the attendees work for the coolest global brands.)
When: Register early! Although it is in March of each year, registration opens in the late Fall.
Bonus: Celebrities often show up for the music session and the social, networking side of the event is as impressive as the session and speakers.
Check it out here: http://sxsw.com/interactive/sessions/workshops
Alt for Everyone
Can’t travel but want to talk about content strategy and storytelling, especially for blogs and design? The Altitude Summit events began as an event for bloggers from across the United States to connect in person in Salt Lake City each year; now the event
has added a digital option, true to its blogger roots, with an affordable package for companies and individuals from around the world. (Keep watching their site: last year, the Alt folks partnered with Martha Stewart Media to hold an event in New York City. It sold out in a few days after the initial announcement.)
Who: You’re a manager or director that wants to gain insight into the blogging world firsthand and hear about the up and coming design trends from independent content curators. This event also works for consultants, PR folks and media managers wanting to learn tips from the successful
photographers, artists and others utilizing blogging for business success.
Why: This event is perfect for those with a lower budget and it’s travel free, reducing your costs. Bonus: 7 online sessions, 1 online keynote and networking fulfilled through a virtual meet-up.
When: Alt has events all year; the virtual event is offered in Spring. Register many months in advance as passes go quickly, often within days.
Find out more here: http://altitudesummit.com/alt-for-everyone/
Content Marketing Conference
Stay close to home with an event that draws a crowd of marketers and executives from around Canada at Canada’s Content Marketing Conference.
Who: The benefit of sending team members to an event closer to home means you just might send more of your team; this event brings together staff, managers and executive team members with guest speakers that represent the best in Canadian content.
Why: The speaker list for this event is always worth nothing with leaders, users and generators of content from both the media and brand world in attendance.
When: This year’s event is September 24, 2014.
Bonus: If you’re an Atlantic Canadian business looking to find new industry partners or clients, this event offers the added perk of a perfect business development event.
Keep connected to the latest news here: http://www.marketingmag.ca/events/events-calendar
Call to Action Conference
A conference that focuses exclusively on conversion, this event keeps attendees connected to the user experience of their online identity through workshops on topics ranging from optimization to design to user experience.
Who: Add your web team to the list, along with digital marketers and sales team members, for an education session that benefits all. (Attend workshops that seem a little out of your scope to heighten the learning experience – delegates often say this event changed
the way they approached the conversion conversation with clients, staff and industry partners.)
Why: Quality speakers with fellow Canadian delegates in beautiful Vancouver. Worth it to hear CEO, CFO and CEOs from start-ups and grown-up start-ups too.
When: Fall is really conference season – this event is in September too. (Clearly, we can’t attend them all.)
BlogHer is a conference that has evolved into a series of branded conferences, events and related blogs focused on women. There are events in incredible cities around North America, including an event closer to home in Toronto.
Who: This is the event to attend if your customer demographic focuses heavily on women.
Why: This isn’t a new, pop-up conference but rather a decade-old event known in the digital industry as the must for women marketers, brands and content.
When: Often in Fall or Winter, check the website for lists of dates for cities of interest to your team. The Canadian events host many well known Canadian speakers, bloggers, media and brands. A worthy event for start-up staffers too.
Bonus: The swag is impressive and not your typical trade show pen and paper; connecting to the blogging industry, particularly the mommy blogging segment, is tough and this event provides somewhat of an easier pass backstage to the growing demographic of women online.
Register or just learn more about the brand and find a great example of evolving, relevant content here:http://www.blogher.com
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