Note: this post is aimed at library marketers in the United States because 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!
The American Library Association conference is just wrapping up and I’m super jealous of anyone who got to go. It looks like a great time! I know many of my library marketing friends were in attendance and I hope you brought back all kinds of feasible information that you’re willing to share with me!
But I think library marketers can find value by immersing themselves in the world of marketing in a conference setting–not in the world on libraries. I’m speaking from experience. For two years I’ve chosen to spend my conference budget allotment in Cleveland, Ohio, surrounded by some of the best minds in the business. (Here’s what I learned in 2014 and the biggest takeaway from the 2015 conference.)
At Content Marketing World, I talked to marketers working with budgets, talent, and executive-level commitment that I can only dream of. I admit that, at first, I was a little intimidated and jealous. But the conference gave me a whole new perspective on marketing and some great, creative ideas for fixing problems in my 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 for 2016!
Content Marketing World in Cleveland, Ohio: With a Main Conference Pass, you’ll have access to two days of non-stop learning with 4000 of the best marketing minds in the business. There are more than 20 tracks to choose from with lots of relevance to libraries, including a back-to-basics track, social media, email, and content strategy. The speakers are engaging and inspiring. You set your own pace, so attend as many or as few sessions as you please. Plus they have an ever-flowing river of coffee, lots of great swag, networking opportunities, a concert by Cheap Trick, and all the orange food you can possibly eat. And, maybe most exciting of all, this year’s keynote is none other than Mark Hamill–Luke Skywalker himself. I expect the place will go bonkers when he walks out on stage! The conference price is about $1300 for the main pass, but it’s worth every penny and if you listen to the This Old Marketing or Content Inc. podcasts, or if you follow CMWorld on Twitter, you can get discount codes or ask for one of the limited non-profit passes, which cost about $800. I’ll be there again this year–join me! The Main Conference runs Sept. 7 and 8, 2016.
Social Media Interactive in Dayton, OH: This is a relatively inexpensive conference focused on social media, with speakers and panels for library marketers of all expertise levels. There are breakout sessions and keynote speakers. Tickets cost just $190 and include breakfast, lunch, and parking. The conference happens Oct. 4, 2016.
Swivel Marketing Conference in Bend, OR: A smaller, more intimate crowd packs this two-day event but Swivel’s organizers promise to inspire and connect you with the latest in cutting-edge marketing. It’s a great place to see what’s coming down the pike for marketers and to begin to think about how you can use the tools at your disposal in a more innovative way. Sessions are focused on Facebook, storytelling, and SEO… all things library marketers can use in their institutions. Use the code SWIVEL before Aug. 31 and get an all-access pass for just $325 (regularly $499). The conference runs Oct. 10 and 11, 2016.
Library Marketing and Communications Conference in Dallas, TX: This is the second year for this conference, aimed exclusively at library marketers and I’m kind of sad that I can’t attend but my boss will be there, presenting with OrangeBoy about targeted email messaging for libraries. There are sessions on communications, social media, public relations, 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-$299 if you register by July 13 and $369 after that. This conference happens Nov. 16 and 17, 2016.
I’ll update this post with great new conferences coming up so be sure to bookmark and check it often!
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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