While being quick to acknowledge that everyone has their own, personal level of comfort with travel — or being part of any gathering, regardless of size — I’m personally looking forward to cautiously wading back into the marketing conferences circuit. Our ability to see friends and colleagues in person — and meet new ones — is a privilege no one is likely to take for granted for a long time. I’ve really missed meeting up with people in person and regretted being obliged to cancel most of my speaking engagements.
Assuming that the sales and marketing movers and shakers can safely meet up and agree to observe all reasonable COVID-19 precautions, there really is nothing like meeting new people and striking up conversations in real life. While I am deeply grateful for the video conferencing technology that has kept us connected, I think by now we all recognize its limitations when seeking to forge meaningful, long-lasting relationships.
For the remainder of this year — and perhaps for the foreseeable future — many conference organizers have committed to a hybrid model of event planning. In-person venues are set to resume with several events offering online experiences. These will allow those who are not yet comfortable attending in-person events to participate at least in some capacity. Listed below are six events I am hoping to attend or monitor from the comfort of my office.
1. Super Huddle III; Sept. 22, 1-3 p.m. Eastern; virtual only.
CMO Huddles is a membership-based organization that brings together and empowers an elite group of chief marketing officers (CMOs) to “share, care, and dare each other to greatness.” Sounds intriguing, right? Interested marketing professionals can choose either to become a member of CMO Huddles ahead of time or apply for a guest pass to this event. Membership includes access to additional marketing-themed huddles and resources, 1:1 peer matching, getting added to the CMO Huddles Slack channel, and more.
This year, this fast-paced, two-hour, virtual-only event for members will focus on the all-important CMO-CFO relationship. Featuring one-on-one interviews with three CFOs followed by breakout workshops, every B2B CMO will walk away with a budget-securing, partnership-building plan of action along with other inspirational insights from their peers.
2. eCommerce Week LA; Sept. 27 – Oct. 1; virtual only.
Hosted by Hawke Media, eCommerce Week LA is back for the second year in a row with big names, bigger programming, and some big surprises. Marketing professionals will want to join in for an action-packed, virtual-only week of growth featuring a star-studded lineup of CEOs, professional athletes, best-selling authors, and true change-makers. Listen and learn from their stories, advice, failures, and successes while networking with thousands of peers, mentors, and hopefuls.
This year you can catch Ann McFerran (Glamnetic), David Heath (Bombas), Kristen Elliot (Eddie Bauer), Rob Dyrdek (Dyrdek Machine), Sallie Krawcheck (Ellevest), and Eliza Blank (The Still), just to name a few. Register for your free access pass by visiting their website.
Content Marketing World will be back in person this year in Cleveland, Ohio, and also available as a digital experience. With four days of action-packed sessions and networking, CMWorld promises to be a content experience like no other. If you want to learn more about the future of marketing, connect with leaders from some of the most innovative brands in the world, network with your peers, and have some fun along the way, this is the event for you. At CMWorld, you’ll have the ability to exchange diverse ideas, learn about innovative technologies and services, get practical guidance for retooling your demand generation, sales enablement, social media, visual storytelling, analytics strategies, and so much more.
Take one look at this year’s agenda and you’ll see it’s shaping up to be the kind of event that makes your brain hurt…but in a good way. This year’s theme is “Connections” — community connections, business connections, customer connections, and content connections. Marketers and content creators are at their best when they are together — even virtually — sharing stories and offering advice and inspiring action.
Geek Out offers exactly what the name would lead you to believe. Seven-figure brand owners, operators, and professional marketers coming together to, well…“geek out” over the latest tactics and strategies for growing your business. From traffic to leadership, Geek Out is focused on topics that will provide ROI for your campaigns and businesses alike.
The prevailing Geek Out ethos may not be for everybody, but I personally can’t help but love their blunt approach and guiding principles: “Our mission is to cultivate and grow the army of direct response marketers responsible for generating the online revenue in the modern worldwide economy.” The folks at Geek Out are somewhat militant about not allowing glorified sales pitches masquerading as seminars, so you can be sure that presenters will be vetted for the usefulness of their presentations.
The Ascendant Network is home to two exclusive communities of the world’s most progressive marketing and retail leaders. Its members come together semi-annually for intimate, closed-door, no-press gatherings to share their expertise and build professional relationships. These meet-ups have resulted in the formation of an impressive “tribe” of CMOs, CDOs, CCOs, and marketing and retail executives who help each other succeed professionally and personally.
The Ascendant communities will gather in-person in New York City and via live stream. Retail Ascendant (Oct. 26) will focus on the omni-experience reset while Digital Ascendant (Oct. 27-28) will focus on re-designing the marketing organization to deliver innovation, performance, and growth. Either or both of these might provide a great boost for marketing professionals.