Agency Management

32 Must-Attend Marketing Conferences in 2020 for Agencies

by Sylvia Moses, December 6, 2019

What are the best marketing conferences in 2020 that you absolutely need to attend? We’ll share 32 such conferences in this article.

Meet new people, learn new things, spot new business opportunities - what’s not to like about marketing conferences?

The problem is that not all conferences are equally good. Nor do all of them cater to agencies and marketers.

Which is why we’ve put together this comprehensive list of the world’s top agency conferences in 2020. All the events listed here focus (either directly or indirectly) on agencies and the people who work in them - creatives, marketers, and managers.

To make it even easier to stay on top of your favorite events, we’ve also created a printable calendar. Grab your copy below and print it out so you never miss an event again.

Grab your FREE copy of our printable marketing events calendar so you never miss an important event again. Click here to download your PDF.

 

The 32 Best Marketing Conferences in 2020

The conference industry is booming.

Every month, there are a handful of marketing-focused events around the country. These can range from glitzy, 50,000 attendee-strong extravaganzas to intimate 500-people workshops.

What kind of event you choose to attend will depend on what you hope to get out of the experience. The kind of broad exposure you can get at SXSW or Adobe Summit can’t be matched by a small-scale event.

At the same time, your learning will be richer, deeper, and more intimate at smaller events.

To help you out, we’ve included both small and large scale events in this list. Everything is organized by month to make navigation easier.

Do note that in case of some conferences, the exact event dates haven’t been announced yet, so we have to go by their dates last year.

A note about prices: Unless otherwise specified, the event registration prices mentioned below are for a comprehensive pass (or all-access pass) paid at a regular (not early bird) rate. The prices are indicative only; the conference can change them at their own discretion.

 

Conferences in January

 

1. AdExchanger's Industry Preview

Location: New York City, NY

Dates: January 28-29

Website

Pricing: $2,995 for a regular ticket

Focus: Marketing technology

This two-day event focuses on marketing technology and features 50 speakers across 31 sessions. A lot of heavy hitters will have sessions in 2020’s conference, including Mark Read (CEO of WPP) and Scott Galloway (NYU Stern professor and founder of Prophet).

A great event early in the year for CMOs and agency executives.

 

2. MailCon

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Dates: January 26

Pricing: $499 for a general ticket

Focus: Email marketing

Website

As one of the few email marketing-focused events around, MailCon deserves a special mention on this list. Despite its effectiveness, email marketing is a woefully understudied practice, and MailCon hopes to change that.

A short event - it’s spread over just a single day - MailCon packs in a ton of insight and actionable advice. 2020’s lineup has sessions from some of the top email marketers around, including experts from Google, Lemonlight, and LiveIntent.

It’s not the splashiest of conferences around, but any agency marketer looking to deep dive into email marketing shouldn’t miss it.

Conferences in February

1. Owner Summit

Location: New Orleans, LA

Dates: February 6-7

Pricing: $1,499

Focus: Agency owners

Website

This intimate event in New Orleans is designed for agency owners (and would-be owners) to network, learn, and grow. Featured speakers include David C. Baker (who is also a part of our Agency Academy - sign-up here) and Kelly Campbell (host of the THRIVE podcast). Great for small agencies who need help with strategy and positioning.

 

2. Win Without Pitching Miami Workshop

Location: Miami, FL

Dates: February 11-12

Pricing: $2,495 for an all-access pass

Focus: Agency owners

Website

How exactly do you win clients without any pitching?

That’s exactly what this conference aims to answer.

Focusing exclusively on agency leaders, this event brings together successful agency owners and veterans to share strategies and insight to win new business. Highly focused and intensive, this hands-on workshop will teach you actionable tactics to start getting valuable clients without the lengthy task of pitching and RFPs.

 

3. SMX West

Location: San Jose, CA

Dates: February 19-21

Pricing: $1,495 for an all-access super early bird ticket

Focus: SEM & SEO

Website

MarketingLand’s premier west coast event, SMX West has been a fixture on the marketing conference circuit for years. The 2020 version will be spread over three days and will feature speaking sessions as well as interactive workshops.

Rather than superstar speakers, SMX usually features speakers with hands-on experience. This makes it a great event for anyone who wants to master SEO & SEM, within or outside an agency setting.

 

4. B2B Marketing Exchange

Location: Scottsdale, AZ

Dates: February 24-26

Pricing: $1,495 for an all-access super early bird ticket

Focus: B2B marketing

Website

This B2B marketing-focused event is perfect for CMOs and senior marketing managers to understand demand gen better. Speakers include Danny Nail (SAP’s global head of ABM) and Todd Henry (author of Herding Tigers).

 

5. Social Media Strategies Summit

Location: San Francisco, CA

Dates: February 4-6

Pricing: NA

Focus: Social media marketing

Website

This three day conference brings together attendees and thought leaders from startups and agencies alike. The focus? Social media marketing for senior managers. 2020’s event includes insight from Amy Bishop (Strategy Director, Epilson) and Miri Rodriguez (Head of global internship program, Microsoft).

A great fit for senior marketing managers on your team.

 

Conferences in March

1. Social Media Marketing World

Location: San Diego, CA

Dates: March 1-3

Pricing: $1,697 for an all-access pass

Focus: Social media marketing

Website

Organized by Social Media Examiner, this popular conference covers, as you can expect, social media marketing. Speakers include leading experts across platforms, including Mari Smith (Facebook), Jay Baer (ConvinceAndConvert.com), and Ann Handley (MarketingProfs.com).

 

2. SXSW

Location: Austin, TX

Dates: March 13 - 22

Pricing: $1,475 for an all-access pass

Focus: Content creation and technology

Website

As an event, SXSW needs no introduction. One of the largest events of its kind, SXSW brings together musicians, filmmakers, technologists, and creatives across industries in a weeklong celebration of creativity and culture.

While not an obvious fit for agencies, attending SXSW should still be on your agenda in 2020. The networking opportunities are obviously great, but you’ll also get to know what’s happening on the cutting edge of creativity.

 

3. PubCon Florida

Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL

Dates: March 24-26

Pricing: $1,049 for an all-access pass

Focus: SEO & SEM

Website

Although PubCon Florida mostly covers SEO and PPC, it also has sessions on other aspects of digital marketing. With an audience of consultants, solopreneuers, and small agencies, this conference is perfect for growing agencies. Besides speaking events, it also features several workshops for hands-on training.

 

4. PubCon Florida

Location: San Diego, CA

Dates: March 31 - April 2

Pricing: $1,995 for an all-access pass

Focus: Digital marketers and agencies

Website

Formerly owned and operated by DigitalMarketer.com, this conference still maintains the same theme: the cutting edge of digital marketing. 2020’s edition features speaking sessions from experts from DigitalMarketer, WebSavvy, and HubSpot.

A great fit for agencies and marketers looking for hands-on, actionable training.

 

5. 4A Management Practitioners Forum

Location: Chicago, IL

Dates: March 30–31

Pricing: $1,250 for a regular pass

Focus: Agency owners and senior marketing managers

Website

Organized by 4A, this event focuses on helping agency marketers, principals and consultants hone their skills and network with a peer group. 4A dubs it a “forum”, not a conference. The agenda, consequently, fits the smaller scale with more focused discussions and insights.

 

6. Adobe Summit

Location: Chicago, IL

Dates: March 30– April 2

Pricing: $1,895 for a regular pass

Focus: Marketers, creatives, and agencies

Website

As an agency, Adobe sits at the heart of your creative operations. New entrants have tried wrangling away its crown, but Adobe’s creative suite remains the default toolkit for working with images, illustrations, and videos.

So you can imagine that Adobe’s flagship event, the Adobe Summit, would be a massive event.

2020’s edition promises to be no different. With sessions from heavy hitters like Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Best Buy’s CEO Hubert Joly, it’s the go-to event for agencies and creatives looking to play in the big leagues.

 

Conferences in April

 

1. Digital Sales & Marketing World

Location: Hartford, CT

Dates: April 5-7

Pricing: $799 early bird pricing for an all-access pass

Focus: Marketing and sales

Website

Marketing and sales don’t often talk to each other. You can see even see it in the way conferences are shaped. Marketing conferences seem to exist in an isolated sphere, focusing entirely on demand generation and ignoring sales altogether.

This conference seeks to change that.

As the name implies, this conference brings together leaders from sales and marketing for deeply focused sessions on growing and working together. Sales will learn how to get marketing to create the right content, while marketing will learn how to align the entire organization around its marketing initiatives.

A great fit for agencies looking to blend their sales and marketing operations together, or work better with sales/marketing teams on their client’s side.

 

2. MarTech

Location: San Jose, CA

Dates: April 15 - 17

Pricing: $1,995 for an early bird all-access + workshops pass

Focus: Marketing technology

Website

MarTech, as the name suggests, focuses on marketing technology. Organized by the folks behind ChiefMartec.com, this conference does a deep dive into the latest and greatest in marketing technology. It eschews star speakers in favor of immersive workshops and sessions with subject matter experts.

A great event for connecting with other agency principals and marketers using marketing technology.

 

3. ContentTECH Summit

Location: San Diego, CA

Dates: April 20 - 22

Pricing: $1,995 for an early bird all-access + workshops pass

Focus: Content marketing

Website

If MarTech focuses on marketing technology, this conference focuses on content marketing and the technology that powers it. Its target audience is senior managers, VPs and C-suite execs at agencies and brands alike. The agenda includes speaking sessions from content marketing luminaries such as Robert Rose (Chief Strategy Advisor at CMI) and Val Swisher (CEO, ContentRules.com).

 

Conferences in May

1. SiriusDecisions Summit

Location: Austin, TX

Dates: May 3 - 6

Pricing: $2,450 early bird rate for non-clients

Focus: B2B marketers and marketing technology

Website

SiriusDecisions, a marketing insights software company, runs this marketing technology-focused summit in Austin. Learn about marketing on the enterprise side with immersive sessions on tech implementation, analytics, and automation. There are also dedicated networking events and a marketplace to connect agencies, service providers, and brands.

 

2. IBM THINK

Location: San Francisco, CA

Dates: May 4 - 7

Pricing: $2,495 standard rate for a full-access pass

Focus: Technology

Website

IBM’s annual conference is, as you can imagine, an extravagant affair. While it doesn’t focus exclusively on marketing or the agency business, its sheer scale has lots to offer for agency principals and marketers. Besides the obvious networking opportunities, the 2020 edition also has lots of focus on topics that should interest any future-ready agency, such as the cloud, blockchain, and automation.

 

3. Confab – The Content Strategy Conference

Location: Minneapolis, MN

Dates: May 17-20

Pricing: $2,495 standard rate for a full-access, four-day pass

Focus: Content marketing

Website

The name says it all: Confab is all about content strategy. Spread over four days, the conference includes both hands-on training workshops and speaking sessions. Featuring guest speakers from HubSpot, Adobe, and Harvard University, it’s a great fit for agencies and marketers looking to deep dive into content strategy.

 

4. AMI Build a Better Agency Summit

Location: Chicago, IL

Dates: May 18 - 20

Pricing: $1,895 standard rate

Focus: Agency owners

Website

The Agency Management Institute, founded by Drew McLellan (who is a fixture in our Agency Academy), organizes this annual summit for agency leaders. Unlike some of the extravagant conferences above, this one features more intimate sessions with a deeper focus on agency growth, leadership, and strategy. Speakers this year include Jay Baer (ConvinceAndConvert), Joe Pulizzi (Content Marketing Institute), and Paul Roetzer (PR2020).

 

Conferences in June

1. Social Media Week

Location: Santa Monica, CA

Dates: June 17 - 18

Pricing: NA

Focus: Social media marketers

Website

This popular social media focused conference dubs itself “LA’s premier marketing and media event” and has the numbers to back it up: 1,500 attendees and 200 speakers spread across 60+ sessions.

The 2020 edition will feature sessions from Evan Jones (CMO of Fender), Will Cady (Strategy Director, Reddit), and Maycie Timpon (Executive Director of Video, Buzzfeed). All in all, a great fit for agencies and marketers looking to dig into the nitty-gritty of social media.

 

2. DigiMarCon Midwest

Location: Chicago, IL

Dates: June 17 - 18

Pricing: $897 for a standard ticket

Focus: Digital marketing

Website

This two-day event features a mix of networking, speaking, and masterclass sessions that focus entirely on digital marketing. One of the more popular events in the midwest, the 2020 edition features experts from some of the world’s top brands, including Microsoft, Adobe, and Facebook.

 

3. VidCon

Location: Anaheim, CA

Dates: June 17 – 20

Pricing: Passes start at $500

Focus: Video marketing

Website

With its focus on video marketing and speaker lineup filled with YouTubers, this might not be the usual marketing conference. However, if you want to understand video, YouTube, and its Millennial and Gen-Z audience, this is a great event to attend. You might not walk away with the latest in video marketing technology, but you’ll get a better appreciation for content creation, especially in the video domain.

 

Conferences in July

1. MozCon

Location: Seattle, WA

Dates: July 6 - 8

Pricing: $1,499 for an early bird, all-access pass

Focus: Search marketing

Website

This popular annual conference by Moz focuses on search marketing. Over three days, you’ll get to deep dive into SEO and SEM, picking apart advanced organic search tactics and learning from the industry’s top thought leaders, thanks to Moz’s reputation in the SEO world. Star speakers this year include Andy Crestodina (CMO, Orbit Media Studios) and Sarah Bird (CEO, Moz).

 

2. Marketing AI Conference (MAICON)

Location: Cleveland, OH

Dates: July 14 - 16

Pricing: $1,499 for a regular, all-access pass

Focus: Marketing technology and artificial intelligence

Website

This relatively new entrant to the marketing conference circuit focuses exclusively on artificial intelligence (AI) and its many applications in marketing technology. This is an entirely new domain but offers substantial benefits for early adopters. As an agency, it would be worth a stop just to understand what’s happening on the cutting edge of marketing technology.

 

Conferences in August

1. INBOUND

Location: Boston, MA

Dates: August 18-21

Pricing: $1,699 for regular, undiscounted pass

Focus: Inbound marketing

Website

Organized by HubSpot, INBOUND is one of the biggest marketing conferences around, and certainly the largest when it comes to inbound marketing. While 2020’s lineup of speakers hasn’t been announced yet, the 2019 edition saw insights from Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love), Alexis Ohanian (co-founder, Reddit), Katie Couric, Jennifer Garner, and Chelsea Handler.

If you work in inbound marketing, this is about as close as you can get to a “must-attend” conference in 2020.

 

Conferences in September

1. Digital Summit: DC

Location: Washington DC

Dates: September 1-2

Pricing: $995 for an early bird platinum pass

Focus: Digital marketing

Website

DigitalSummit.com runs some of the best-attended conferences on digital marketing in the US. The DC edition, held in early September, brings together some of the best marketing brains from around the country.

The 2020 edition doesn’t have its lineup out yet. But just to give you an idea, the 2019 edition had speakers from Randi Zuckerberg (Zuckerberg Media), Kim Price (Facebook), Paul Plumeri (WSJ), Geoffrey Colon (Microsoft), among others.

 

Conferences in October

1. AdWeek

Location: New York City, NY

Dates: October 5-8

Pricing: Passes starting at $599.00

Focus: Creative agencies

Website

If you’re in the agency business, you can’t really miss Ad Week.

Organized by its namesake magazine, this is one of the biggest events for agencies and the people who work in them. With a speaker list that’s virtually the Who’s Who of the agency world, it’s a fantastic place to network and learn.

The 2020 speaker lineup hasn’t been finalized yet. But just to give you an idea, here are some people who spoke at the 2019 edition:

  • Marc S. Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer at P&G
  • John Patroulis, Worldwide Chief Creative Officer, Grey
  • Colleen DeCourcy, President, Wieden+Kennedy

 

2. Content Marketing World Conference and Expo

Location: Cleveland, OH

Dates: October 13 - 16

Pricing: All-day passes at $2,399

Focus: Content marketing

Website

Content Marketing Institute’s annual conference is one of the top gatherings of the best brains in content marketing. Content creators, agencies, marketers flock to it each year to discover the latest in content and marketing.

The 2020 lineup hasn’t been announced yet, but if the 2019 lineup is anything to go by - it had Mindy Kaling, Henry Rollins, and Brian Fanzo (iSocialFranz) - the 2020 edition will be a blockbuster show as well.

 

Conferences in November

1. MarketingProfs B2B Forum

Location: Washington DC

Dates: November 4-6

Pricing: All-access early bird passes at $1,995

Focus: B2B marketing

Website

As a B2B marketer, you’re likely already familiar with MarketingProfs.

This forum is MarketingProfs’ flagship B2B-focused event. It covers every aspect of demand generation, from social media and personalization to inbound marketing and content. The 2019 edition featured keynotes from Jay Baer (Convince & Convert), Ann Handley (MarketingProfs), and Kara Swisher (Recode).

The 2020 lineup hasn’t been announced yet, but you can expect it to be filled with B2B marketing’s Who’s Who as well.

 

2. ONWARD20

Location: New York City, NY

Dates: November 16 – 18

Pricing: NA

Focus: Search engine marketing

Website

Yext is one of the oldest, and certainly one of the biggest search engine marketing companies. ONWARD is their flagship annual event, attracting the best and the brightest from the world of brand management, SEO, and SEM. Given the scale of the event, you can also expect more than a fair share of celebrities - the 2019 edition had Seth Myers and Magic Johnson in attendance.

If you work in the field of search engine marketing, this is a must-attend event. The 2019 edition had keynotes from Seth Godin and Seth Myers. You can expect a similar star-studded lineup in 2020.

 

3. Dreamforce

Location: San Francisco, CA

Dates: November 9–12

Pricing: NA

Focus: Sales, marketing, and leadership

Website

At this point, it’s safe to say that Dreamforce is the biggest business event in the world. It’s grown bigger than its original sales-focused roots and now attracts interest from top leaders across the globe.

The 2019 edition was massive - it had a keynote from Pres. Barack Obama. Among top CEOs, it had sessions from Tim Cook (Apple), Marco Bizzarri (Gucci), Barbara Humpton (Siemens), and Oscar Munoz (United Airlines). The list of celebrities in attendance included Emilia Clarke, Steph Curry, Robin Wright, Eddie Vedder, and David Beckham, among others.

You can expect the 2020 edition to be similarly impressive. Even though it’s not agency-focused, anyone looking for insight and top-shelf networking should attend Dreamforce.

 

Over to You

There are few better ways to immerse yourself in a topic, pick up a new skill, or learn from the very best in the world than a conference, summit, or workshop. The networking opportunities aren’t half bad either!

Use this list to plan your 2020 conference schedule in advance. Check back here regularly to see new conferences for agencies (some late 2020 events haven’t been announced yet).

Grab your FREE copy of our printable marketing events calendar so you never miss an important event again. Click here to download your PDF.

 

About The Author

Sylvia Moses

Sylvia joined the Workamajig marketing team in ‘17 & with her background in graphic design & business, she’s an awesome addition. At just under 5 feet, Sylvia is a living testament to the adage that good things come in small packages. You can reach her by sending an email to sylviam@workamajig.com.

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