Note: this post is aimed at library marketers in the United States, because so far in my career, my knowledge about conferences is limited to those boundaries. If you are a reader from outside the U.S., please let us know about great marketing conferences around the world in the comments. Thank you!

Four of the best Marketing Conferences

The American Library Association conference is a great conference. The lineup includes five days of author talks, big-name speakers, and informative sessions on all kinds of interesting topics like working with the LBGTQ community, providing programs for entrepreneurs, and website development, plus a rocking exhibit hall and, from what I’ve seen on Twitter, great book nerd swag. It’s also really inexpensive. It looks like a great time and I’d like to go someday.

But I think library marketers also need to go immerse themselves in the world of marketing in a conference setting. I’m speaking from experience. Last year, I spent two days in Cleveland surrounded by some of the best minds in the business. (Here’s what I learned!) These were people working with bigger budgets and more of an executive suit leash. I was a little intimidated and jealous, admittedly! But I also left with a whole new perspective on marketing and some great, innovative ideas for fixing problems in my own department. I went back to my library with a new zeal and enthusiasm, a desire to push the boundaries a little. I think that’s a good thing. I want you to have that experience too!

You need to go to a marketing conference.  There are lots of great offerings and they are all within a reasonable budget. Here are four of the best to choose from!

Content Marketing World in Cleveland, Ohio: With a Main Conference Pass, you’ll have access to two days of non-stop learning with 2500 of the best marketing minds in the business. There are tons of tracks, speakers, and panels to choose from. The keynote speakers are engaging and inspiring. I’ve heard that this year’s conference is going to be really focused on measurement. The pace is as fast or slow as you want. Plus they have an ever-flowing river of coffee, lots of great swag, networking opportunities, a concert by the Barenaked Ladies, and all the orange food you can possibly eat.  I went last year and it was worth every penny. Monty Python star John Cleese is keynoting.   I’ll be there again this year-join me! The Main Conference runs Sept. 9 and 10, 2015.

Inbound in Boston, MA: An alternative to CMWorld, this conference is organized by the awesome and wonderfully helpful Hubspot.  Held in Boston during the same time as CMWorld, this conference is much bigger in terms of attendee population (10,000 attendees) and includes 170 sessions. Speakers include best-selling author Seth Godin; Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, the co-founders of Hubspot; and Jonah Peretti, the Co-founder and CEO of Buzzfeed. Register before May 31 to get a full access pass for $1099.  You’ll also get unlimited beverages and free lunch from nearly two dozen food trucks! The Main Conference runs Sept. 9 and 10, 2015.

PR Week in New York City, NY: This one-day conference is packed with information about how to succeed in a rapidly changing marketing landscape. There’s an emphasis this year on marketing to the growing Hispanic population and ways to amplify your content during a talk by NBC Today host Al Roker. Breakfast, lunch and breaks are included as well as an open bar networking cocktail reception. Cost is $850 or $550 for a government or educational institution! The conference is happening on September 16, 2015.

Brand ManageCamp in Las Vegas, NV: This is one-track conference with a host of really intelligent marketers on  the speaking agenda, including Scott Stratten from Unmarketing (he’s hilarious) and Content Marketing Institute’s own Joe Pulizzi. It focuses on all aspects of brand marketing, including strategy, innovation, insights, customers behavior, metrics… you name it.  The cost is a little steep-$2199 for a full pass if you register by June 30, but qualified government and non-profit or academic professionals may get a 25% discount by calling to ask. The conference happens Oct. 1-2, 2015

UPDATE: Thanks to Kathy Dempsey for letting me know about a new addition!

Library Marketing and Communications Conference in Dallas, TX: This conference is designed for library employees of any level who are involved in marketing, communication, public relations, social media, and outreach in academic, public, and special libraries. The sessions will explore issues that are important for this niche of library work, and the conference will include time for attendees to network and to discuss mutual challenges. All sessions are applicable to academic, special and public libraries and the cost can’t be beat-$275 if you register by July 31 and $299 after that. This conference happens Nov. 3-4, 2015.

I’ll update this post with great new conferences coming up so be sure to bookmark and check it frequently!

Have you attended a great marketing conference or ALA? Please share your experiences in the comments section! And if you plan to attend CM World, contact me-I’d love to meet you.

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Views in this post are my own and do not represent those of my employer.

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