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Zak joined Vervaunt in December 2020, having previously worked as an Account Manager for a large media agency. Also previously worked in-house for a games retailer. Specialises in technical marketing.
Over the last 12 months, we’ve attended a range of large and small conferences, and seen many talented people talk passionately about some fascinating topics. Where is the main value in attending conferences and how should you be prioritising your time? What are the most interesting conferences you should be attending?
The value and opportunity to network with other professionals in the industry is a huge benefit to attending conferences. There will always be a range of people you can meet at events, including:
Brainstorming, problem-solving and skill sharing with people who are in the same industry but may have a different outlook than you.
Meeting ‘competitor’ agencies and brands and understanding your shared problems, goals and war stories.
Meeting tech providers in-person to maximise any relationships, but also to see any hands-on demos.
These events bring together professionals from all over the world, providing attendees with the chance to connect with other marketers, share ideas, and even form partnerships or collaborations. This fosters an opportunity to learn about new technologies, tools and trends that are shaping the industry.
Listening to people in the industries adjacent to you can be highly valuable when you want to expand your skill set and offer added value to any teams you work with.
While managing a CRM strategy may not be a part of our paid media team’s day-to-day, it can't be understated how important it is to know what the CRM industry is doing. As an example, this tells us what data we have access to, along with bigger changes that may affect our campaigns.
Similarly, an SEO update can have an impact on the paid industry if brands lose valuable organic traffic. This may mean they are forced to push budgets into paid, which can increase competition on some keywords or products. Therefore, understanding the wider SEO industry is vital for our paid media team’s success.
Another key benefit is to hear from inspirational speakers, especially when covering softer skills such as management, planning, team building, inclusivity etc.
Whilst subject matter is important, getting the speakers and panellists right at a conference can be the difference between a good event and a great event.
Walking away with not only a list of actionable recommendations, but an inspiration to transform processes, teams and strategies can be game changing for any company.
PPC Live UK is a regular event hosted in London with a fantastic range of speakers and regular events. Hosted by the amazing Anu Adegbola, there’s a wide range of topics covered alongside a very relaxed atmosphere.
One of the bigger PPC events hosted in London and Austin last year was Hero Conf. The absolute standout speaker for me was Arianne Donoghue on ‘Unlocking the Potential of Neurodiversity in Your Business’. Sadly, they are not running any events in 2023 but we hope to see them return in 2024!
Our very own Pulse Ecommerce Summit ‘22 was a highly rated event from last year (and is returning for 2023). Attendees rated the event 9/10, and 90% said they would return next year. Covering a range of topics from new customer acquisition, internationalisation and Web 3.0, panels also featured speakers from Google and Meta to cover some of the latest trends in paid media.
While not all lineups are out at the moment, here are some of the events we are looking at this year to help expand our network and catch the brightest talkers discussing some of the most challenging and interesting subjects in performance marketing.
One of the most well known events in the marketing industry, Brighton SEO offers a wide range of talks on topics relevant to all marketing roles including performance media and ecommerce.
While speakers are not as prominent here and the event acts as an exhibition too, there are still some strong speakers and subject matter experts speaking on very interesting topics.
Affiliate World Conference is the biggest conference focusing exclusively on influencer marketing and has over 10,000 visitors a year across three different conferences. Each one offers slightly different talks but with speakers from places like Shopify, TikTok and Amazon, it’s a great place to see what the industry is doing.
Friends of Search is the biggest search engine marketing conference since PPC Hero Conf. Whilst they have not announced any 2023 dates, they typically cover a good mix of paid media and SEO and provide good insights into what both industries are doing.
DMWF Is a vendor based show focusing on all areas of digital marketing, where you can connect with existing tech partners and explore new solutions on the market. There is also a large suite of speakers speaking on a vast variety of digital marketing topics.
In conclusion, it is worth making sure that people at every level of experience get to go to conferences throughout the year, as listening to industry leaders talking about various subjects can spark ideas and help promote growth at all levels.
It’s also worth attending events outside of your specific field, to see how the rest of the industry is dealing with problems that you may also be encountering. How the SEO industry is dealing with ChatGPT and BingAI are going to be big talks this year I suspect, while the PPC industry is pushing for GA4.
If you want to discuss any upcoming events I’ve mentioned or have any ideas for extra events to feature here, don’t hesitate to contact me on LinkedIn.