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

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.

Social Media Marketing World*

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

Social Media Week: New York

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: 

  • TBD

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. 

B2B Marketing Exchange

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: 

  • TBD

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:

Friends Of Search Conference

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: 

  • TBD

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!

Advanced Search Summit: Napa

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.

Podcast Movement 2021

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: 

  • TBD

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. 

Traffic And Conversion Summit

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: 

  • TBD

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. 

Content Marketing World

September 28-October 1, 2021, Cleveland, Ohio

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: 

  • TBD

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. 

MarTechFest Global

October 22nd, 2021, London, England

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: 

  • Amy McManus
  • Alex de Fursac Gash
  • Anita Brearton
  • Apoorv Durga
  • Azeem Ahmad
  • Antonia Wade

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.

Affiliate Summit West

November 1st-3rd, 2021, Las Vegas, Nevada

Affiliate Summit West will feature over 6,000 partners, 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: 

  • TBD

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:

Web Summit 

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: 

  • TBD

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!

Social Media Conferences 2021 FAQs

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 digital and social media conferences of 2021? Here's the definitive list of 38 marketing conferences to choose from around the world!
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Neal 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.
Articles: 150

100 Comments

  1. Hi Neal,

    Love this list of conferences you have here! I was wondering if you might consider adding the Social Media Strategies Summit (Est. 2009)? https://socialmediastrategiessummit.com/ We hold a number of social media marketing conferences every year, each catering to a different niche in the marketing world – ranging from enterprise to small business. Our next corporate event is happening this June 8-11, 2021 – we have speakers representing companies including Intel, AT&T, E*Trade, OceanSpray, and Google!

    • Hi Lainey, I have spoken at one of your summits and had you included but when I checked on your info when I wrote the blog post I couldn’t find any events. Sounds like you just recently added this or changed the date?

  2. Hi,

    what about adding SEO4Life – it is a beneficial live stream SEO conference. It will be online at 02 April 2020, from 14:00 – 18:00 UTC

    • Hi Tomas – thanks for the comment. There are TONS of virtual livestream summits, which is a natural byproduct of the current pandemic. However this post is only focused on conferences that are primarily in-person events. Thanks for your understanding!

  3. Obviously the USA is the only country in the world that holds social media conferences…..

  4. Thank you Neal! For Listing the Upcoming Social Media Summit.

    • My pleasure! Good luck!

      • Mojau Petrus Motsei (Nketle)
        Mojau Petrus Motsei (Nketle)

        Thanks Neal for the info. You are a true leader who always keep his followers up to date about the happenings around this delicate topic of social media platforms. I take my hat off for you. Keep it up. You are the best.

  5. Neal you might want to consider the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference on April 16-18 in St. Louis Missouri. It was listed as a “not to miss conference” by Forbes on 2018 and is very moderately priced for such a venue. http://www.bestmarketingconference.com. Best.

  6. Thanks for always including Content Marketing World, Neal! Our dates for 2019 have been set! We will be back in Cleveland, September 3-6. Would love to see you there!

  7. Hii
    Again neal i am impress with your article thank you for sharing this use full article on “The 20+ Best Social Media Conferences to Attend in 2018 and 2019” this topic

  8. Hi Neal,

    This is a great list of conferences lined up from 2018 ~ 2019. As it is, I’m looking at the “Digital Innovation Summit in UK from October 3 ~ 4. That ‘s the one that fits my schedule.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. wow…vwery nice post…thanks sir..

  10. Really appreciate you putting this list together! There’s one more integrated online marketing conference that’s worth a mention. It’s called ResponseCon, and it’s taking place in
    October in 4 different cities. [link edited by admin]

  11. Great list Neal. Thanks for including the Spredfast Smart Social Summit. The event is taking place October 16-18, 2017 but the list has the date as October 2-4, 2017.

    Appreciate any update, thank you!

  12. Thanks for the info!

  13. I attended Social Media Marketing World’s conference two years in a row while employed at my previous job which paid for all accommodations. The conference is the reason I was able to leave that job and go on my own as a marketing consultant. It’s also one of the main reasons I moved to California from NY a month ago. This conference has magic in it. ;) (And it’s hands-down the best conference I’ve attended around marketing.)

  14. I just attended and spoke at the Pubcon Summit in Florida. Turning in my speaker’s pitch for Pubcon in Las Vegas. Looking forward to it!

  15. Both SMSS and SMMW are invaluable…. always say I’m going to go back and watch all the videos/sessions I missed and never get to, but even the portion that I do consume is worth every penny.

  16. Here’s another good Digital Marketing event that is happening in 15 different cities around the country.
    I’ll be attending the Atlanta one in May. http://digitalsummit.com

  17. I havent had the privilege of attending a conference yet but there are always so many on my one-day list! Someone needs to plan one in the center of the country -ya know, around Nashville area… I would help coordinate!

  18. Would love to win a free pass, my friend went to this last year and said it was really informative!

  19. Hey Neal!
    Great list of conferences! I wanted to know if you could add one more. Spredfast Summit, happens in Austin, TX every October, here, 500+ social media leaders joined us from 200+ global brands, media, and agencies. Brands include American Airlines, ESPN, Target, Airbnb, etc.

    We would love to be featured on your list for 2017. Please let me know how this is possible.

  20. When will this be updated for 2017? It’s almost here!

  21. Hi Neal,

    We just wrapped up Spredfast Summit last week, where 500+ social media leaders from global brands joined us. Our dates for next year will be Oct. 2-4, 2017. [promotional link edited by admin] We would love it if you consider us for your list in 2017!

    • Thank you for your comment. Since your event is a social tools vendor event (as opposed to a true social media conference), it will be considered for that section next year. Thanks for your understanding.

  22. Hi Neal,

    Please consider putting our conference on for 2017 for New Zealand. We have just finished for 2016. I will get the dates to you for the next one which will be the forth one. We had delegates from South America, UK and Australia.

    Here is the link for you to see what we did this year. Ps feedback was excellent.
    socialmediaconference .co .nz [link edited by admin]

  23. It’s hard to add a conference without a track record without knowing more about. Please explain in more detail here. Thanks!

  24. Hi Neal – is there a conference you would recommend for B2B? I’m guessing a lot of the content at the events above will be heavily driven around consumer marketing, but I’m in need of best practices on social marketing to the enterprise.

    • Thanks for the comment! A lot of the conferences actually cover both B2B and B2C, but for B2B specific I would look at either B2B Marketing Profs, which is coming up in Boston in October, or my own Social Tools Summit, which is focused on the enterprise and will be in San Jose in October as well. Hope this helps!

  25. Hi Neal,
    I work for a State Govt in NIGERIA.We have a department that handles web and social media issues.
    I would need your advise on which of the conferences will be,of immense benefit to the work we do.
    Thank you

    • Hi Tayo, unfortunately the best social media conference for governments, the Government Social Media Conference, just finished in Reno, Nevada ;-( I would contact them so you can attend it in 2017!

  26. Not just for pet owners, or bloggers (but since pets WILL be in attendance, and lots of them), you should probably at least LIKE them.☺ The BlogPaws Social Media and Pet Bloggers conference is June 22-25, 2016 in Phoenix, AZ (Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass). Learning sessions covering every aspect of social media marketing are offered, and this year, there’s a writing track too. Day passes will be available closer to the event. http://blogpaws.com/events/2016-conference/ P.S. The food rocks!

  27. Social Media Summit 2016
    Social Media Summit 2016

    it is going to be unfair to not list Social Media Summit 2016 in Dubai. The biggest social media summit in the Middle East http://www.socialmediamiddleeast.com/

  28. Hi Neal, thanks for the great list. I am looking to attend at least one good conference this year. From the list above which do you think best lends to TV on social media? I work for a TV group and am looking to take TV on digital to the next level. Let me know, thanks.

  29. Don’t forget about “The Employee Advocacy Conference” May 11th – 12th in the Greater Boston Area! :) #amplifysocial

  30. Thank you! This one was not on my radar but now it is! Will be adding to the list.

  31. Hi – I was wondering if you could recommend a conference (western portion of the US) that might have focus on non-profits (animals particularly) ?
    Thanks for your article – very informative!

  32. Do you have an opinion about the Social Media Strategy Summit?

    • It’s a great event – I had the honor of speaking the closing keynote there in Las Vegas earlier this year. Highly recommended! Does this answer your question?

  33. Is there a good conference for learning about the best ways to document social media contacts? For example, something to learn more about Facebook analytics and the best ways to keep track of data when it comes to social media? Thanks!

    • Hi Christina, unfortunately there isn’t – but I will soon be launching a community that will have live events that will answer questions like that. Please sign up to my email list to be informed when we launch!

    • Christina, Neal, hi! What about engage2016.com social media summit, which is organised by Socialbakers, the biggest social analytics company? They have speakers from the likes of NASA, Universal and L’Oreal, and it’s a very big event. I’ve been there last year and it was over 1000 social media marketers there. I think it’s worth adding to your list.

  34. Hi Neal,

    I would like to know if these conference focus on the US market only?

    If so is there any conference in Australia you could recommend?

    • Hey Melissa, nope, I try to find information on the larger conferences … unfortunately none from Australia have popped up on my radar yet, although I do believe Content Marketing World does an event in Australia. Hope that helps!

  35. Also PR News’ Big 4 Social Media Conference in San Francisco! http://www.big4conference.com/

  36. Hey Neal! I am a college student trying to look into media conferences that I could attend that would help broaden my horizons. Are there any conferences that a college student could attend?

    • Skyler, I have seen college students at conferences like Social Media Marketing World. Don’t be shy – come on out to ones on this list that make sense! To further answer your question, unfortunately I have not seen an event specifically for college students vis a vis social media…

  37. You might consider adding Marketing Festival to this list. It takes place on 26th – 28th November 2015 in Brno, Czech Republic.

    We provide no-bullshit content, world-class speakers, focused workshops, innovational case studies and to top it all of, a proper festival atmosphere with countless parties, solid networking and live gigs.

    Check out our website @ http://www.marketingfestival.cz/en

    Hope to see you there!

    Jan

  38. Thanks for the input Carolyn!

  39. Heather Dopson (@heatherdopson)
    Heather Dopson (@heatherdopson)

    Social Shakeup recently announced London dates for this year! http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-business/2015-03-24/social-shake-coming-london

  40. I see lots of conferences for marketers and entrepreneurs; are there any you can recommend that are specific to “how to” — like using WordPress, HootSuite, etc — for posting blogs……

    • Hi Wanda, some of these conferences actually do have workshops that go through how to use tools. But rather than a social media conference, you might want to Google for local workshops or even use online classes from Lynda, Udemy, etc.

  41. Thanks for the list. We’ll be attending Victoria’s Social Media Camp as well as #CIMC2015 in Squamish, BC.

  42. Michael A. Stelzner (@Mike_Stelzner)
    Michael A. Stelzner (@Mike_Stelzner)

    Neal – Thanks so much for recommending Social Media Marketing World!

  43. Tony Woodall (@TonyWCMB)
    Tony Woodall (@TonyWCMB)

    Hi Neal, Thanks for the great list. I would love to attend one of these conferences. I will have to look into them and choose the best for me.

  44. Great list here, Neal. I don’t know if this would go along with social media, but the second annual Podcast Movement that is scheduled to be held in Ft. Worth, Texas from July 31st-August 2.

    I am thinking about attending one of the conferences you mentioned here as well.

  45. Rahul Dasgupta (@acseelerator)
    Rahul Dasgupta (@acseelerator)

    Thanks Neal ! Was wondering if there is any in Asia, specifically India.

  46. Denny McCorkle (@DennyMcCorkle)
    Denny McCorkle (@DennyMcCorkle)

    Thanks Neal. I have registered for Social Media Marketing World in March. I hope to meet you there.

  47. Darian Kovacs (@dariankovacs)
    Darian Kovacs (@dariankovacs)

    Be sure to also check out the Canadian Internet Marketing Conference, Canada’s largest Internet Marketing conference. http://www.digitalbuzz.ca has all the details. The who’s who of digital strategy will be there.

    • Thanks for letting me know Darian! As you know this is a list of social media conferences – how much social media will be covered at this Internet Marketing conference?

  48. Social Media Camp (@SocMediaCamp)
    Social Media Camp (@SocMediaCamp)

    Thanks for the shout out. However the correct dates for Social Media Camp in Victoria BC are May 21-23, 2015.

    We hope to see you there.

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