Top MarTech Events Every Marketing Agency Should Attend
With digital marketing and technology constantly evolving, it’s hard to keep abreast of all the changes happening in the industry. Marketing technology events are an opportunity to hear from leaders at the forefront of emerging trends. Which new platforms will revolutionize sales? What do shifting demographics mean for your marketing strategy? How are other marketing professionals dealing with the same challenges as your organization? Marketing agencies of all sizes and specialties have something to gain from attending conferences. But how do you know which are worth your while?
OnSpot Social has done some of the legwork for you. We searched for the most engaging keynotes, actionable workshops, and networking events in the field. As you put together your travel budgets and business calendar, be sure to add these MarTech events for marketing agencies to your must-see list.
Marketing Technology Events
The three-day MarTech Conference is offered twice a year. One conference takes place on the East coast, and the second takes place on the West coast. This martech event combines the disciplines of marketing, technology, and management to revolutionize how marketing professionals engage with customers. Examples of workshops from the 2019 West coast conference include titles such as “The Right Way to Buy Marketing Technology,” “Creating Connected Experiences” and “Using CDP to Make the Most of Your Customer Data.” For agencies on a tight budget or those with limited time to explore the conference, sign up for the free MarTech Expo+ pass. It includes access to the expo floor, select track sessions, speaker presentations, and a networking reception. Workshop attendance requires a special conference pass which can be purchased in advance or on site.
Oracle is one of the major players in the martech events space. This leading SaaS company hosts the Modern Customer Experience conference every year to promote the latest strategies and best practices for improving–you guessed it–the customer experience. The conference tracks are built around the four pillars of marketing, service, sales, and commerce. The 2018 conference hosted speakers from Oracle itself, as well as Intel Corporation, Ovum, and LinkedIn. This conference also hosts the annual Markie Awards to recognize luminaries who “push the boundaries of innovation to create truly remarkable customer experiences.” The conference lasts for three days. Attendees who work for the public sector are eligible for a reduced rate.
SXSW needs no introduction. The creme-de-la-creme of conferences, SXSW is synonymous with innovation. Every year, speakers come from fields as diverse as tech, blockchain, sports, media, health, and politics. This diversity of experience means SXSW is one of the best MarTech events for marketing agencies. In addition, you can hop between tracks and hear from influencers in the spaces most relevant to you. Unlike many other conferences, you are not limited to only talks and workshops in “brands and marketing” or “tech industry & enterprise.” For example, if you work in a marketing agency specializing in healthcare, you can attend workshops in the “health” track, too. With so many industries and companies represented, SXSW also offers significant opportunities to expand your professional network and break out of silos.
Billing itself as the “anti-conference,” #MarTechFest shies away from the traditional convention center or hotel conference room. Instead, this marketing technology event is held in a venue that features bars, street food, games, and more. Even though the atmosphere is fun, the talks and workshops are still all about how to improve your business. This MarTech event gives new insight into strategies including automation, social selling, compliance with new regulations like GDPR, data & analytics, and emerging tech like AI and blockchain. MarTech Festival is the premier destination for marketers based in Europe or who work extensively within the European market. Speakers from the 2018 conference included marketing and technology leaders from Amazon, Forrester, and dotmailer.
Sponsored by LiveRamp, the two-day RampUp conference boasts 50+ sessions in tracks including brand building, data and technology trends, and accountability. According to the conference blog, of RampUp’s 2,400+ attendees, about 500 of those are at the VP, EVP, or SVP level, while more than 450 are at the director level and more than 360 are in the C-suite. Talk about reaching top decision-makers! About a third of attendees are brands and agencies, while other attendees include data owners, technology providers, and B2B marketers. In addition to the typical networking happy hours and expo floor, RampUp offers a pre-conference targeted at each of these audiences and intended for anyone interested in learning more about LiveRamp’s identity resolution product.
This three-day summit is a must for any marketer that uses Adobe products (which, let’s be honest, is most). This annual martech event offers more than 300 sessions and labs across content tracks such as advertising, analytics & data management, marketing innovations, and platforms, machine learning & ecosystems. The conference offers a diverse mix of technological know-how and strategy to help your agency engage customers more effectively. In recent years, the conference has featured speakers from Adobe and other industry leaders such as Microsoft. Similar to RampUp, you can also arrange one-on-one meetings with Adobe account representatives to determine how best to leverage Adobe products to achieve your organization’s goals.
Located in Boston, HubSpot’s four-day Inbound conference takes its name from the inbound marketers who engage with their potential customers through content-oriented–and human-centered–strategies. As one of the largest MarTech events on this list, the 2018 Inbound conference had more than 24,000 attendees across the industry. Previous conferences have hosted speakers ranging from Deepak Chopra to Michelle Obama. Artificial intelligence, diversity and inclusion, game-changing apps for business, and data-driven insights are some of the hot topics in the conference’s 300+ sessions. Inbound is also famous for its top-notch networking and entertainment events, which have included world-class comedians and musicians. Not sure if you’re ready to attend? You can watch select sessions from previous events here.
Last but not least, the Growth Marketing Conference is Silicon Valley’s largest digital and growth marketing event. Sessions are offered in topics such as Acquisition, Activation & Retention and Organic & Performance Marketing. Additionally, specific “growth workshops” provide on-the-ground training for data-driven marketers, entrepreneurs, and more. If you are unable to attend the conference in person, you can also sign up for a virtual pass to gain access to the keynotes, case studies, workshops, and more after the conference is over.
Optimizing Your Presence at MarTech Events
Attending MarTech events is usually not enough to expand your business on its own. In addition to the insights you gain from keynote speakers and other industry professionals, be prepared to represent your agency. Exchange contact information with others in your field and with potential clients. You can use the old tried-and-true business cards, a physical list, or a handy app that you can access from your phone.
Is your agency sponsoring an event or reserving a dedicated table on the expo floor? In that case, use OnSpot Social for event lead capture. Hand your device with the OnSpot Social app to customers to collect contact information. At the end of the conference, export data to Microsoft Excel or forward to your email marketing software or CRM to keep the conversation going. Use this information for follow up, sending coupons, and more. Because OnSpot Social is an app, company representatives attending the conference can also use it during networking events to collect contact information in a less formal setting.
Which MarTech events are on your calendar for this year? Let us know in the comments below.