What topics do you want to see covered at conferences this year?
For me, the Public Library Association conference marked the official return of in-person conferences for the library world.
This sounds silly but the chance to see library staffers face-to-face was extraordinary. I really did not realize how incredible in-person events were until the pandemic. And my experience at PLA made me realize it was time to compile my annual list of conferences for my readers.
I used three main factors to determine which conferences were included in this list.
- The conference must have a robust selection of sessions specifically centered around marketing and promotions. That means there are some conferences on this list that are not specifically designed for libraries. Marketing is essential to library service and should be part of every library conference.
- The conference must offer high value for the cost.
- The conference must get positive reviews from past attendees.
I know that there will be readers who do not yet feel comfortable attending an in-person event, even masked and vaccinated. And not every staffer has the budget or time to travel for an in-person conference. That’s why I’ve tried to include conferences that offer an in-person and virtual option. (One silver lining from the pandemic is that conference organizers realized the continued benefit of online sessions.)
I’m also including a few state conferences on my list for the first time. If you are hesitant about traveling far in a pandemic, a smaller in-person state conference is a great option.
However, most state conferences have not yet posted their programs. That’s why I’ve included a link to an incredible website at the bottom of this post. It lists all kinds of library conferences, including many state events, as well as library conferences in other parts of the world for my international readers.
Finally, I noted the current COVID protocols for each event.
The Best Conferences for Library Promotions and Marketing
Texas Library Association Conference
In-person event, April 25-28 in Fort Worth, TX
Price: $485 for TLA members, $750 for non-members.
This conference features a huge lineup of sessions across a wide range of library topics. There are ten sessions in the marketing track alone, mostly led by staff doing real-world library work. If you’re not a Texas librarian, you’ll still get a ton of value from attending this conference. Attendees must be vaccinated or bring a negative COVID test to the event to be admitted. Masks are not required.
Connecticut Library Association Conference
In-person event, May 3-4 in Hartford, CT
Price: $260 for CLA members, $290 for non-members.
This conference lineup includes lots of sessions on a variety of informative library topics, including some marketing-specific sessions on advocacy and promotions. The price is affordable as well. Masks are required for all attendees.
Digital Summit Series
In-person events between May-December 2022 in 17 U.S. cities as well as two virtual conference options
Price: $395 for in-person events, and $325 for the virtual conferences.
Libraries can learn a lot from brands about how to create engaging experiences in the digital space. This conference covers content, social media, email, SEO, analytics, and strategy. And an expanded roster of cities for 2022 means most of you won’t have to travel far to attend if you choose the in-person conference experience. According to their website, their COVID protocols vary by location. Overall, they do not currently require attendees to be vaccinated or wear masks.
Digital Marketing Conference Series
In-person and virtual events between May-December 2022 across the U.S. and around the world
Price: Varies by location. In general, you’ll pay $597 for an all-access pass but there are early bird discounts of $200-$300. Dates and discounts also vary by location.
This series includes sessions on customer engagement, social media marketing, video marketing, web analytics, email marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization, geo-targeting, and much more. Each event has its own website and agenda so be sure to pick the one you want to attend before buying a pass. In addition, each conference has in-person and virtual options. In-person attendees must be vaccinated but are not required to wear a mask.
In-person and virtual conference, September 6-9 in Boston, MA
Price: $69-$99 for the virtual conference pass, $799-$1099 for the in-person pass.
Inbound bills itself as “the community that delivers.” The conference, put on by HubSpot, is an “immersive, three-day experience.” The agenda and speaker lineup are not yet listed on their website, but I have friends in library marketing who have attended in the past and found this conference to be valuable. The price is certainly within budget for most libraries. They currently will not require masks or vaccinations to attend in person.
Content Marketing World
In-person and virtual conference, September 13-16, 2022 in Cleveland, OH
Price: Virtual pass is $649, in-person main conference pass is $1299 (prices end June 24). Special note: If you email the organizers (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask for the nonprofit discount, you can get a percentage off the Main Conference ticket. That brings the price into an affordable range. It’s worth the money to attend. The networking is incredible, the speakers are inspiring, and I always come home with a head full of ideas. You’ll learn how to create great content on all platforms. Right now, their COVID protocols do not include vaccinations or mandatory mask-wearing. They do offer a refund until July 29.
Nonprofit Storytelling Conference
In-person conference, October 27-29, 2022 in San Antonio, TX
Price: $795 for in-person or $695 for lifetime access to sessions on video if you’re not comfortable attending in-person. These prices go up by $400 after July 15. You can also apply for a scholarship.
This year’s program is divided into three themes: raise money today, get it done, and need to know. This conference is essential if you are responsible for fundraising or advocacy for your library. It covers lots of promotional topics including storytelling, email, newsletters, and strategy. They do not have any COVID protocols currently listed on their website.
Library Marketing and Communications Conference
In-person conference, November 2-3, 2022 in Indianapolis, IN
Price: not yet available
If you do anything in library promotions or marketing, and you have to pick one conference to attend this year, make it this one. This is an amazing opportunity to learn so much about marketing, communication, public relations, social media, and outreach in academic, public, and special libraries. The sessions explore issues that are important for this niche of library work. The conference includes time for attendees to network and discuss mutual challenges. Registration opens later this year. Sign up for their mailing list on the website to get more information. Join their Facebook group to start networking right now. COVID protocols are not yet available.
Virtual conference, November 2-3, 2022
I’m adding this to my list this year because it’s free and it’s all about email, my favorite subject! The program is not yet set but when you register, you’ll get a chance to suggest topics. I think it’s a great option for libraries, especially if you want to take your email tactics to the next level.
For more library conferences across the US and abroad, visit Information Today.
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