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With the coming of the age of social media, the world of marketing and PR met the opening of pandora’s box and took off on a journey of ever-increasing complexity. Communication between brands and consumers changed forever. Along with the transformation of the market, a myriad of new and exciting marketing tools and strategies emerged, which have raised the bar higher and higher through every step of their development. Now, more than ever, online marketing is both a science and an industry, and a rapidly evolving one at that. Thus, in an effort to share and gain knowledge, the steadily expanding community of professionals in the field of online marketing has come to gather at a number of summits and conferences around the world.
While some focus on single topics, or fields in the developing sector, others are holistic and invite workshop and lecture leaders from the whole spectrum of the marketing and social media field. You could call them conferences on steroids. Of course, this is where you’ll find the most benefit and the most significant number of truly knowledgeable wizards. Here, we’ll present you with Chicago’s top ten online marketing and social media gatherings to look out for in 2020. Take a seat and dive in!
10 – Healthcare Marketing Summit
Just like the title says, this is a summit specifically tailored to Healthcare professionals and their marketing counterparts. In 2019, the one day summit fell on October 10th. We have yet to hear of the date for 2020. There’s not much to be said here. If you’re in the field, this is your go-to event. It features top digital marketers and plenty of food for thought to help you raise the level and reach your customers more effectively. You can find current information on their site – Healthcare Marketing Summit.
9 – Digital Marketing for Financial Services Midwest
Having been held for the first time on September 17th and 18th of 2019, this is another curated event focused around a single, albeit far-reaching industry. According to Digital Marketing for Financial Services Midwest and our research, this is “Chicago’s only marketing event tailored to financial services.” It features 25 speakers, 15 interactive case studies, and a whole lot more. Some key topics include automated solutions, new social media tools, and blended data analytics, as well as C-Suite investment. We hope to see the return of this great conference in 2020.
8 – B2B Online
Scheduled for April 20th – 22nd, 2020, at the Chicago Marriott Downtown, B2B Online is hailed as “The world’s leading e-commerce & digital marketing conference for manufacturers and distributors. The event costs $1,299 for Manufacturers and Distributors, and $3,299 for Solution Providers (who will participate in added perks).
7 – The Future of Communications Conference
With a name fitting for its overarching range of themes, The Future of Communications Conference is referenced as “An event for forward-thinking PR, internal communications and social media pros.” In November (5th and 6th) of 2019, the topics ranged from ways to protect your organization’s reputation in an era of misinformation, to current market trends, research, and tools, and even how to tell stories across generations through video. Opening up discussion on pertinent, yet somewhat frightening potentials, the conference even touched on how to handle viral crises. Provocative, insightful, and utterly useful, we’re excited for the announcement of the 2020 date and Chicago location.
6 – Digital Summit
At the number five slot, we have the Digital Summit, scheduled for September 30th – October 1st, 2020, in Chicago. With passes in the more accessible range of $245 to $995, as opposed to the thousands of certain other conferences, you get access to two days, more than 55 speakers and sessions, and an event boasting over 1,700 attendees. Though the price is lower than other similar events, the Digital Summit certainly doesn’t cut any corners. The sessions are led by speakers from Google, Oracle, Evernote, Reddit, LinkedIn, Lonely Planet, Nike, SAP, and a mouthful of other top dogs. To top it all off, your ticket gives you access to presentation slides and recordings for reference!
5 – Digital and Social Media Marketing Summit
If you’re on the go and taking multi-day side-journeys from your job isn’t your cup of tea, the Digital and Social Media Marketing Summit may be just what the doctor ordered. Formatted as a one-day gathering, it’s focus is on strategies for getting the most out of the digital and social media potential, thereby increasing brand presence. Some key topics here are Chatbots, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, and State of the Art tools. The dates for 2020 aren’t announced yet, so stay tuned on their site, especially if you’re a marketing strategist.
4 – Future Festival Chicago
We know this isn’t strictly an online marketing conference, but Future Festival Chicago may be one of the most exciting events out there. As the #1 innovation conference, it’s packed with a line-up of top companies, sharing new products and research from their respective fields. Netflix, Starbucks, Samsung, Red Bull, Lego, and Google, to name a few, will be your hosts and narrators. Tickets range from $1299 to $20,000, depending on the level of perks you want to receive. The dates for 2019 is December 3rd, so it’ll be a bit before they announce the event for 2020.
3 – Digimarcon
At the number three spot, we have Digimarcon. No, this isn’t the name of the new Transformers movie. It stands for Digital Marketing Conference and Exhibition, and it’s a multi-day full-range event. Last year, it was held at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago from June 20th to the 21st. 2020 date and place are still not announced. Topics here include Content Strategy, Web Experience Management, Usability and design, mobile marketing, customer engagement, social media, targeting & optimization, marketing automation, and way too much more to list here. This is one of the top places to find business partners and get new ideas, plus for 2019, there were “Super Saver” Registration rates, which lowered the cost considerably.
2 – Influencer Marketing Strategies Summit (One track of The Social Media Strategies Summit)
As Influencer Marketing begins its ascent into the mainstream stratosphere of marketing, many companies are investing heavily in the field. Of course, as with any newish field, it’s good to get acquainted with the basics, as well as the deeper level knowledge on how to utilize Influencer marketing effectively. The Influencer Marketing Strategies Summit is “Dedicated to helping marketers launch, scale, and measure their influencer programs.” At the event, professionals get a chance to meet top brand practitioners and agencies utilizing influencer marketing at a high level. 40+ sessions, over 50 speakers, and three full days of jam-packed activity make this event a next-level experience. Save the dates April 28th – 30th, and make sure you’re in Chicago. You can find information about this one, through the site of our #1 event, so read on.
1 – Social Media Strategies Summit
At last, at number one, we have an event rated as the “#1 event chosen year after year by senior-level marketing professionals”! Yes, the Social Media Strategies Summit. Already announced, the summit will be held on April 28th-30th, 2020, at the Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront. As the most educational, social, and thought-provoking of our list, this is definitely the one to attend if you can swing it. Over 500 delegates, nearly 50 exhibitors and plenty of applicable knowledge for you and your business, land this one the top spot on our list.
We hope this list has been helpful, pointing you in the right direction. Now it’s your turn to step up and visit a few of the conferences. After all, peer to peer learning and community gatherings are some of the biggest boosters to inspiration, brainstorming, and knowledge acquisition. Go forth and conquer!