By Frank Emanuele When you work in marketing, it's essential to stay on top of current trends and always keep an eye to the future. One of the most fulfilling and enriching ways to stay ahead of the pack is by attending conferences. They give you an opportunity to meet with like-minded thinkers, hear new perspectives on familiar issues, and engage in conversation with industry thought leaders. While world-famous conferences like SxSW and TED get bigger each year, small conferences are also thriving. Let's take a look at three conferences that can really deliver value, even if you haven't heard of them!
SMX East 2012
SMX (Search Marketing Expo) is a three-day event hosted by SearchEngineLand.com. As SEO, SEM, and social media marketing grow closer together, it's going to be increasingly essential to have a strong, integrated social / search strategy in place. Google's Search Plus Your World alone represents an enormous paradigm shift. Attending some of the sessions at SMX could give you the tools you need to succeed in social search.
If you're feeling like a world traveler and want to broaden your horizons a bit, why not consider the Global Social Business Summit? This event hosted by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus is held in Vienna. Based on the principle that, "Any individual has the power to change the world," GSBS takes a slightly higher road than many other social media conferences. Their focus is on growing businesses through social media, but also on helping social businesses to address the needs of society at large. This event is a great way to meet not only with marketing experts, but with politicians and academics as well.
When: Nov 8-10, 2012 Where: Vienna Who: Professor Muhammad Yunus & The Grameen Creative Lab Web: gsbs2012.com
The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) hosts a number of conferences each year. In the past, their School of WOM summit has been a great success. This year, they're re-introducing the concept as WOMM-U: The School of WOM and Social Studies. Featuring keynotes, breakout sessions, and speakers from world-renowned brands, this gathering is meant to deliver top-notch case studies on content strategy, engagement, brand advocacy, and so much more. In full disclosure, Likeable Media is a member of WOMMA, and representatives from Likeable and our clients will be in attendance. If you'll be in Chicago that week, be sure to stop by and say hello!
When: May 7-9, 2012 Where: Chicago Who: WOMMA Web: womma.org/womm-u
Likeable U Class of 2012
Okay, I promised you three conferences, but here's one more for the road! For the second year in a row, Likeable Media will be hosting our own conference during Internet Week here in NYC! Last year, the Class of 2011 was all about the Social Media Revolution. This year, Likeable U Class of 2012 will take a look Beyond the Buzz. We all know how imperative it is to be active on a variety of social networks and spread brand awareness. But how can brands take a step further and innovate the ways they interact and engage with consumers to drive measurable business results? That's the larger, elephant-in-the-room kind of question we'll be tackling this year. We'll also be introducing the first-ever Likeable Awards this year! We hope you'll join us!
When: May 15, 2012 Where: NYC Who: Likeable Media Web: likeableu.com
What was the best conference experience you've ever had? Have you ever been pleasantly surprised by a smaller conference? Sound off in the comments below!