The 10+1 Best Social Media Marketing Conferences You Should Attend in 2021

Neal Schaffer Speaker Headshots Social Media Marketing World #smmw18 social media conferencesNeal Schaffer Speaker Headshots Social Media Marketing World #smmw18 social media conferences

Social media conferences and the current coronavirus pandemic

As I write this post at the beginning of 2021, we are still in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic which is preventing us meeting for large conferences in-person.

That being said, when doing research, I noticed that there are some conferences that were actually planning ahead for a physical conference later this year.

Originally there were 12 conferences that I had found, but just in the course of a week, 2 of them have now pushed back their in-person plans until 2022.

Obviously things could change if the pandemic is not dealt with as we hope it is, but the beginning of a vaccine rollout could also mean that the pandemic ends earlier than we might believe and more conferences decide to meet in person later this year.

That is my disclaimer for this post, but if you still have hopes in potentially attending an in-person social media conference this year, you’ll want to check out these 10+1 social media conferences!

While there are many reputable conferences that are doing it virtually this year that could be mentioned here, I only want to blog about those that plan to meet in-person, with one very important exception which I am indicating below.

Why attend a social media conference?

It goes without saying that social media is always changing. There is no better way to tap into the collective wisdom of experts than by attending social media conferences where you can:

  • learn from subject matter experts, such as corporate practitioners, well-known bloggers, authors, and speakers, in the field
  • network with other corporate practitioners and professionals to compare notes on best practices
  • discover new social media tools that might help you do more with less
  • stay ahead of the curve!

Which are the 10+1 best social media conferences to attend in 2021?

Rather than create a comprehensive list of all of the marketing and social media conferences that exist, I provide you my annual list of conferences that I have vetted from either presenting at, attending, or knowing first-hand of the experiences from others who have attended. Social media conferences with a strong track record obviously are featured in this list, but I also went out of my way to add new and promising events to the list as well as some other major conferences that I might have omitted from pervious lists.

This year’s list I further narrowed down the social media conferences to only those that are planning to have it in-person.

If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of digital  and social media marketing, these are the must-attend social media conferences in 2021! Social media conferences are presented in chronological order for your convenience with information about the date and events venue city. 

Note that there are still many conferences where dates have been announced but speakers have not been. Make sure you bookmark this page and check back often as speakers will be added as they are announced.

March 1-11, 2021, [Online]

March 4-16, 2022, San Diego, CA

We begin this list with the “+1” event that is not going to be in person but 100% online: Social Media Marketing Workshops.

This is the only event for which I recommend you attend online because I know that Michael Stelzner and his team always deliver a quality product. Having spoken at every Social Media Marketing World, I can personally attest to the amazing speakers and content that you can learn from.

Therefore, 2021 marks the first year that Social Media Marketing World has been transformed into a series of 14 2-hour live workshops, offering a chance to engage directly with speakers and create a more personalized social media marketing conference experience. 

Confirmed Online Speakers Include: 

  • Mari Smith, the Queen of Facebook
  • AJ Wilcox, the King of LinkedIn Ads

This unique market conference opportunity is ideal for anyone looking to improve their marketing techniques for Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn, and anyone who is not able to or comfortable with attending in-person conferences.

* Affiliate link

May 4-7, 2021, New York, NY

Note: This conference is currently looking for people to register their interest in attending, so out of all of these it is the one that I am least confident will occur. Nevertheless, if you are interested, you should definitely sign up to help make it happen!

Social Media Week NYC is the New York chapter of Social Media Week, a summit devoted entirely to the world of marketing. The theme for 2021 Social Media Week is “Reinvention,” or seeking to advance and improve social media marketing after a harrowing year. 

Confirmed Speakers Include: 

Social Media Week is designed to fuse media, marketing, and technology professionals, to create a marriage of these interests and expand the scope of marketing. Professionals in each of these three areas can benefit from attending Social Media Week. 

June 7-9, 2021, Scottsdale, AZ

B2B Marketing Exchange is a large conference held every year to bring b2b marketers together to evaluate the best in up and coming business marketing solutions. B2B is unique among many of its peers, in that it focuses on creating personal connections through one on one sessions and mentorship opportunities. Attendees can also dig deeper into specific subjects through hand on education and smaller sessions, in addition to larger speaker sessions. 

Confirmed Speakers Include: 

B2B Marketing Exchange is geared toward business to business marketers, and is best for those who are looking to get a more hands-on, personal education about new marketing techniques.

This video should give you a feel for the event:

 

June 8-9, 2021, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Friends of Search is among Europe’s largest search conferences, with over 600 attendees expected each year. Friends of Search brings together businesses, marketers, and consultants together to dig deep into marketing’s most effective and up-and-coming strategies. Each year, Friends of Search accepts marketing plan submissions, and delivers awards to the individuals or businesses who present the most innovative marketing strategies. 

Confirmed speakers include: 

Friends of Search is designed for individuals and businesses who are experienced in the realm of marketing—particularly SEO and search engine marketing. The event is best suited to people who are least partly familiar with search engine marketing, and is not designed for beginners. 

I have many European fans who always ask me about the best social media conferences in Europe, so here’s one that I recommend!

June 9-11, 2021, Napa Valley, CA

Advanced Search Summit is an intimate gathering, with a limit of 250 guests, held at a resort. During the course of the summit, you can expect workshops, networking opportunities, and even a masquerade, all of which allow you to engage with peers and industry leaders in the field of marketing. 

Confirmed Speakers Include: 

  • Joe Sinkwitz, CEO, Intellifluence
  • Ivonne Kinser, Head of Digital Marketing, Avocados From Mexico
  • Dennis Goedegebuure, Head of Global B2C Growth Marketing, PayPal
  • Jacqueline Urick, Head of SEO, North America, Wayfair
  • Paige Ford, SEO and Content Strategy Manager, Netflix

Advanced Search Summit is designed to be a highly inclusive event, and is geared toward large businesses, individual marketing professionals, marketing analysts, and more. It is among the more lavish summits available to marketing professionals.

August 3-6, 2021, Nashville, TN

Podcast Movement is a conference specifically designed for podcasting professionals who are looking to improve their own podcast and network with others in the podcast arena. Podcast Movement is the largest podcasting convention in existence, and each year, strives to bring together people from all backgrounds and interests to improve marketing strategies, podcast content, and podcasting equipment to diversity, expand, and support the global podcasting community.  

Confirmed Speakers Include: 

This event is geared toward podcast creators of all experience levels. If you haven ot yet started, or have had a podcast for years, you can find a place at Podcast Movement, and benefit from the vast number of industry professionals available to offer panels, networking opportunities, and workshops. 

September 13-15, 2021, San Diego, CA

The Traffic and Conversion Summit is designed to be an intensive summit, absolutely filled with  actionable content that can readily take your marketing strategies from sub par to consistent, effective, and explosive. 

Confirmed speakers include: 

With affiliate marketing more frequently being identified as part of influencer marketing, I expect this to be a great conference for brands wanting to engage with influencers who are also affiliates.

Check out a recap of the 2019 event for a feel for the experience:

November 1-4, 2021, Lisbon Portugal

Web Summit is a large-scale web-related summit that offers six different themes from which to learn. These include commerce, marketing and media, society, developers and data, lifestyle, and business development. Within these themes are professional keynote speakers, workshops, and panels, all of which are designed to deliver innovative ideas for improving business practices across all aspects of marketing, creation, and management. Web Summit has been identified as the world’s best technology conference, and strives to live up to its reputation. 

Confirmed Speakers Include: 

Due to the nature of Web Summit’s focus on technology, professionals and amateurs in all areas of technology and web-based business are encouraged to attend. Attendees will learn more effective marketing strategy, the impact business has on society and the world at large, and the responsibilities businesses and entrepreneurs take on. 

Are there any must attend 2021 social media conferences which are missing from the list? Please contact me and let me know!

How do conferences use social media?

Social media can help in the success of a conference. It allows an organizer to reach out to potential attendees and create engagement with conference-goers. Nowadays, you can easily find a conference or an event by searching a hashtag, checking the speaker’s website, and even social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

How do you market Social Media 2021?

Here are 5 marketing tips for an effective social media strategy: First, determine your target audience. Second, select the social media platform that works best for your brand/business. Third, produce quality content related to your strategy. Fourth, utilize marketing tools, and lastly, connect with fellow influencers within your niche.

What is a marketing conference?

Marketing conferences are one of the best ways to acquire new knowledge and expand your network. Attending marketing conferences allows you to gather wisdom from experts in your niche. Most marketing conferences are joined by professionals, subject matter experts, well-known bloggers, authors, and speakers.

What is Digital Summit?

Digital Summit is a series of marketing conferences including virtual, in-person, and hybrid events of digital marketing and strategies. It aims to educate, engage, and promote the growth of the digital marketing perspective among U.S regions. Every year, thousands of digital marketers, innovators, and entrepreneurs attend the summit.

Is Social Media Marketing Dead?

No, social media marketing isn’t dead and it won’t be dead even in the next years. As of the recent statistics, 3.6 billion people worldwide use social media. That is almost 50% of the world’s population. It is also forecasted that it may increase to 4.41 billion in 2025. As long as the number increases, social media marketing will be relevant.

Which are the best social media conferences of 2019? Here's 4 including Content Marketing World, INBOUND, Social Fresh & more!Which are the best social media conferences of 2019? Here's 4 including Content Marketing World, INBOUND, Social Fresh & more!

Traffic and Conversion Summit is best for those who are looking for simple, straightforward, and powerful steps to increase marketing leads and take their business to the next level. Networking is also a large feature of Traffic and Conversion Summit, and is valuable for anyone seeking to make connections in marketing. 

September 28-October 1, 2021, Cleveland, OH

The Content Marketing World convention is part convention and part expo, designed to bring the best content marketing professionals together to create a dynamic and informative convention. Convention features include sessions, workshops, and forums tailored to content creators and marketers. Large brands, individual marketers, and everyone in between are expected to attend Content Marketing World’s convention, each of them in search of more effective tools to generate a larger audience and support business growth.  

Confirmed Speakers Include: 

Content Marketing World is an open-call event, created to welcome marketing, public relations, and communications professionals. Attendees will learn how to more effectively communicate with target audiences, deliver compelling marketing materials, and create engaging, actionable marketing plans of action. 

October 22, 2021, London, United Kingdom

Coining itself the “anti-conference,” MarTechFest Global is a self-described festival that focuses on all things marketing technology. MarTechFest Global prides itself on creating a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere, and wasting no time in getting down to the nitty gritty of the latest in marketing technology. 

Confirmed Speakers Include: 

  • Marco Bertozzi, VP, EMEA Sale and Multi-Market Global Sales, Spotify
  • Alex de Fursac Gash, Senior Director, Advisor, Gartner
  • Mark Adams, Senior Vice President and Head of Innovation, Vice
  • Edmundo Nava, Global Director of Digital Marketing, The Adecco Group
  • Antonia Wade, Chief Marketing Officer, Capita

MarTechFest is ideal for marketers who are seeking a laid-back atmosphere, with no frills or workshops. This particular summit is a single day, making it a great choice for anyone with a limited amount of time and a vested interest in marketing technology.

November 1-3, 2021, Las Vegas, NV

Affiliate Summit West will feature over 6,000 digital marketers and is geared toward learning how to adapt in an ever-changing market. Speakers will focus on how to create affiliate marketing strategies that are capable of shifting as customer needs and wants change, and how to take radical changes in your customer base and business head on and not only survive changes, but thrive. 

Confirmed speakers include: 

Affiliate Summit West is best suited for affiliate marketers who are eager to learn how to create a working model that is able to shift, adapt, and change to suit any market. The conference is designed to encourage networking through partner matching, round tables, and direct connections with other attendees. 

With affiliate marketing more frequently being identified as part of influencer marketing, I expect this to be a great conference for brands wanting to engage with influencers who are also affiliates.

Check out a recap of the 2019 event for a feel for the experience:

November 1-4, 2021, Lisbon Portugal

Web Summit is a large-scale web-related summit that offers six different themes from which to learn. These include commerce, marketing and media, society, developers and data, lifestyle, and business development. Within these themes are professional keynote speakers, workshops, and panels, all of which are designed to deliver innovative ideas for improving business practices across all aspects of marketing, creation, and management. Web Summit has been identified as the world’s best technology conference, and strives to live up to its reputation. 

Confirmed Speakers Include: 

Due to the nature of Web Summit’s focus on technology, professionals and amateurs in all areas of technology and web-based business are encouraged to attend. Attendees will learn more effective marketing strategy, the impact business has on society and the world at large, and the responsibilities businesses and entrepreneurs take on. 

Are there any must attend 2021 social media conferences which are missing from the list? Please contact me and let me know!

How do conferences use social media?

Social media can help in the success of a conference. It allows an organizer to reach out to potential attendees and create engagement with conference-goers. Nowadays, you can easily find a conference or an event by searching a hashtag, checking the speaker’s website, and even social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

How do you market Social Media 2021?

Here are 5 marketing tips for an effective social media strategy: First, determine your target audience. Second, select the social media platform that works best for your brand/business. Third, produce quality content related to your strategy. Fourth, utilize marketing tools, and lastly, connect with fellow influencers within your niche.

What is a marketing conference?

Marketing conferences are one of the best ways to acquire new knowledge and expand your network. Attending marketing conferences allows you to gather wisdom from experts in your niche. Most marketing conferences are joined by professionals, subject matter experts, well-known bloggers, authors, and speakers.

What is Digital Summit?

Digital Summit is a series of marketing conferences including virtual, in-person, and hybrid events of digital marketing and strategies. It aims to educate, engage, and promote the growth of the digital marketing perspective among U.S regions. Every year, thousands of digital marketers, innovators, and entrepreneurs attend the summit.

Is Social Media Marketing Dead?

No, social media marketing isn’t dead and it won’t be dead even in the next years. As of the recent statistics, 3.6 billion people worldwide use social media. That is almost 50% of the world’s population. It is also forecasted that it may increase to 4.41 billion in 2025. As long as the number increases, social media marketing will be relevant.

Which are the best social media conferences of 2019? Here's 4 including Content Marketing World, INBOUND, Social Fresh & more!Which are the best social media conferences of 2019? Here's 4 including Content Marketing World, INBOUND, Social Fresh & more!
Neal SchafferNeal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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