What Do You Look For in a Quality Industry Event?

28 Feb What Do You Look For in a Quality Industry Event?

calendar1-resized-600.jpegBudget is usually the first determining factor when deciding on industry events and conferences.  But let’s just pretend budget isn’t an issue.  What’s next on the list of criteria? Do you consider location? Maybe the speaker line up or ROI potential is most important?

Every industry is chalked full of events that are “must-attend” or “biggest show of the year,” so how do you decide?  What is your goal? Are you a new company looking to simply network and get your name on the tips of tongues? Have you cut your budget over the last year and need to be very strategic about what you can attend? Are you planning to launch services in a new market and need to learn as much as you can about their industry?

I took a small poll on Twitter and amongst friends and co-workers to see what everyone thought.  About 80% of those polled stated that networking was their primary goal and the quality of connections they could make with clients or potential clients was most important.  An article by Leni Chauvin, “Top Ten Reasons to Attend Networking Events,” says the number one reason to consider networking events is for visibility.  “One of the most important elements—and one of the most overlooked—to getting the biggest bang for your networking buck is to make sure your face and your message get in front of the same—and the right—people on an ongoing basis.”

What can you gain from networking?

  • Recruiting – you should always be on the lookout for amazing talent that will help your business grow
  • Collecting competitive intelligence – keep your friends close and your competitors closer
  • Prospecting for new customers –usually ranks high on reasons for networking, your clients/customers/members are your bread and butter


The third reason on Chauvin’s list falls into the number two purpose for those I polled – content.  Chavin says it’s important to stay current on industry trends and learn what’s coming up – it could give you a leg up on the competition.  Content has a lot of value for a few reasons.

First – it makes you smarter.  If you are able to take the time and attend sessions, you will find pertinent information on new movements within the industry.  You can also gain valuable insight from the speaker or presentation.  Is the audience captivated? Are they taking notes? Do they really understand the knowledge being handed to them?

Second – content is king.  Take the new information and make it your own. Use social media to present your findings.  Live tweeting, blogging, and instagraming are great way to share what you are learning with your network (coming full circle with the first reason).  Bring it back to the office and share with your team/company on how they can benefit from everything you just learned.

Why do you attend industry events or conferences? What ranks most important when you are deciding where to send yourself or your team to represent your company?

Here are few conferences in the Marketing/PR/Social Media space that hit on one or more of the above categories:

Conversion Conference Boston, MA. CRO
BlogWell New York New York, NY. Blogging
Event Marketing Summit Salt Lake City, UT. Event Marketing
Brand ManageCamp Las Vegas, NV. Branding
Social Media Tulsa Conference Tulsa, OK. Social Media
Social Media Marketing World  San Diego, CA.  Social Media
AMA: Rethinking Customer Experience San Francisco, CA. Customer Engagement
AMA: Analytics with Purpose Coronado, CA. Analytics
Adobe Digital Marketing Summit  Salt Lake City, UT.  Full Digital Marketing
BlogWell Chicago Chicago, IL. Blogging
Incite Summit: West San Francisco, CA. CMO Marketing Innovations
B2B Marketing Forum Boston, MA. B2B Marketing
SMX Advanced Seattle, WA. Advanced SEO
The Market Research Event Boca Raton, FL. Market Research
MozCon Seattle, WA. SEO & Inbound Marketing
BOLO 2014 Scottsdale, AZ. Marketing Agency’s Conference
Search Insider Summit Deer Valley, UT. SEO, SEM
SearchLove Conference Boston, MA. Search and Digital Marketing
Content Marketing World Cleveland, OH. Content Marketing
SMX West San Jose, CA. SEO, PPC, Social Media
SXSW Interactive Austin, TX. Digital Interactive
Inbound Marketing Summit New York, NY. Inbound Marketing
Social Media Strategies Summit Chicago, IL. Social Media
Inbound 2014 Boston, MA. Inbound Marketing
Digital East Herndon, VA Digital Marketing
Jessica Lindberg
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