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The 2019 List of Best Conferences for Library Marketers

I’m a conference junkie. I find conferences to be inspiring and engaging. I love the networking. I love the expo halls. I love the swag. I love the keynotes. I love meeting new people and finding out that you face the same challenges in the workplace. I love learning.

If you have money in your budget to attend a conference, I recommend you take advantage of it. But there are so many conferences for marketers that it’s sometimes hard to choose which one will be best. I’ve been searching for conferences for myself and my staff, so I thought I’d also compile a list for you. I’ve picked these conferences based on the value for the cost, relevance to our work in the library world, and the reputation of the organizers.

An apology for my international audience: this year’s list includes only American-based conferences. That’s because I can’t vet the international offerings. But… please let me know about great conferences in  your area or country in the comments so I can add them to the list. Include the conference URL and your recommendation if you’ve attended. I’ll cite you as my source.

In addition, there are some great library marketing conferences in the works for November and December but details are not yet available yet. I’ll add them to the list later in the year, so you may want to bookmark this post.

Social Media Marketing World
March 20-22, 2019
San Diego, CA
If you have the budget and social media is a huge part of your library’s work, this is THE conference to attend in 2019. Every one of the experts in the field of social media will be there, including Jay Baer, Mari Smith, and Ann Handley. You will learn everything you ever need to know about social media and all the platforms. It’s an expensive ticket ($1537 for the All Access pass) but the Marketer pass gets you into everything you’ll need at a $997 price point. In past years, I’ve purchased the Virtual pass. It’s $697 and gets you recordings of all sessions and workshop. That’s still a great deal.

Government Social Media Conference
April 2-4, 2019
Nashville, Tennessee
#GSMCON2019 is for people who manage social media accounts for government agencies, like the library. You’ll learn strategy, video production, and the latest trends in social media. The full ticket registration is $795 and the deadline to register is Feb. 28. It includes breakfast and lunch and a virtual pass. The virtual pass by itself costs just $225, and gives you access to video or audio recordings of most sessions along with speaker slides–a great deal for budget-strapped libraries. I’m sending one of my staff members to this conference.

Vidcon
July 10-13
Anaheim, CA
My husband attends this conference every year and he works in the health care industry at a non-profit children’s hospital. Last year, when he got home, he put together a lunch and learn to share his experience with his co-workers. He raves about it. There are tons of sessions that focus on video, from production to promotion. It’s packed with YouTube stars and they’re not all teenagers (but we can learn a lot from young folks!). Tickets are cheap–the creator pass is $175 through April 1. Your major expense will be the flight. My husband stays in an AirBnB near the convention center to save on hotel costs.

IDEAL ’19: Advancing Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility in Libraries & Archives
August 6-7, 2019
Columbus, Ohio

There is a movement in the library world to add more diversity and inclusion to libraries, and this conference is the perfect place to be educated on library diversity issues. Key speakers include Kimberle Crenshaw, professor of Law at UCLA and Columbia Law School and an authority in Civil Rights, and journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones who covers racial injustice for The New York Times Magazine. Register by April 30 for $200. After that, the rate is $250 and registration closes on July 1.

Content Marketing World
Sept. 4-5, 2019
Cleveland, Ohio

You’ve heard me rave about this one before. Last year, a group of seven library marketers joined me and it was SO MUCH FUN. CMWorld has tons of sessions for marketers of all levels and interests. There are sessions on SEO, internal communications, video, social media, strategy, and artificial intelligence. The networking potential is amazing. Super early bird rates for the main conference are $1099 and end Feb. 28, then the price goes up to $1299 until May 31. I know that’s steep for most libraries. However, if you email the organizers and ask for the nonprofit discount, you can get a percentage off the Main Conference ticket. That brings the price into the affordable range, about $800. There are also all-access and special industry forums that cost extra if you have the budget.

Library Marketing and Communications Conference
Nov. 13-14, 2019
St. Louis, Missouri

Confession: I’ve never been to this one, and I’ve always wanted to go. Our library’s conference budget is tight and I’ve always had to choose between CMWorld and this one. But I might not have to this year (fingers crossed!). I’ve heard great things about this conference. There are tracks on social media, graphic design, strategy, and more. Plus, the networking capabilities are phenomenal.  The conference sold out in 2018. Registration for this year has not yet begun but make sure you sign up for the email list so you can get notifications when it opens.

Subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive an email every time I post. To do that, click on “Follow” button in the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Connect with me on Twitter, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. I talk about library marketing on all those platforms!

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The Best Advice for Library Marketing From CMWorld 2018

I wrote this post while sitting in my hotel room at the end of a week in Cleveland, Ohio at Content Marketing World. My brain is packed with ideas. My laptop battery is dead. Everywhere I look, I see orange. My iPhone says I’ve gotten about 13-15,000 steps a day and I didn’t even do my regular morning walk!

Content Marketing World was fantastic. I saw old friends and made new ones. And I’ve got plenty of new material to research and share with my fellow library marketers. But first, I want to share the quick takeaways from the presenters I saw. These are some pieces of advice that you can implement at your library right away.

Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Advisor, Content Marketing Institute: 38 percent of marketers have a documented content marketing strategy, according to the latest research from the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs. That’s up a bit from 2017 but still not very high. Write down a content marketing strategy for your library. A written strategy helps remind you every day of what you are working on. It makes you accountable for results.

Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute: It only takes three things to be successful in your career. Step one is to write what you want to do. Set specific dates for when you will achieve those goals. And make sure you are serving others in your life.

Andrew Davis, Author, Brandscaping & Town, INC.: We are always told to keep our content short because our audience has the attention of a goldfish. QUIT BLAMING THE FISH. Our audience is capable of paying attention for as long as we can grab and hold their attention.

Michael Brenner, CEO, Marketing Insider Group, and Chief Marketing Officer, CONCURED: Marketing has a marketing problem. We are the cause of that problem because we create stuff that as consumers we wouldn’t consume, stuff no one wants.

Brian Massey, Conversion Scientist at Conversion Sciences: We must be aware of the bias we have for marketing tactics that have worked in the past. Data will tell you when something isn’t working. Listen to the data!

Cassandra Jowett, Director of Content Marketing, Pathfactory: Services like Netflix, Amazon, and Uber are influencing the way our buyers interact with companies. Everyone expects to have an on-demand experience in all aspects of their lives. We need to accommodate those demands.

Courtney Cox, Manager, Digital Marketing, Children’s Health: By 2020, 30 percent of web browsing sessions will be done without a screen. Voice search will dominate the way we gain information on the internet. That means if you live in the second or third result on Google Searches, you won’t get read out on any voice-activated device. We must place a priority on getting into that first position on Google.

Rachel Schickowski, Employee Engagement Manager, Rockwell Automation: Employee engagement should be a top priority at your library. When employees are engaged, they give a better experience to customers.

Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs: The most important part of the newsletter isn’t the news. The most important part is the letter. Editorial content performs way better than straight-up promotional mailings alone.

Dewitt Jones, photographer for National Geographic and other top publications: When passion and creativity exist, discipline and commitment are not an issue. Celebrate what is right with the world.

Kathleen Diamantakis, Managing Director, Strategy, T Brand, The NY Times: Cardholders are looking for something deeper and more meaningful when we engage with brands. They are discontent with content. There is an epidemic of meaninglessness in content.

Andrew and Pete, Founders, Andrew and Pete: There are always going to be bigger marketing teams out there that have bigger audiences, and that dominate search. They have giant budgets. Statistically speaking it’s impossible for your library to be the best. But there is another way to stand out. That’s by being better or different!

Jenny Magic, Senior Digital Strategist, Springbox: When you pitch a new idea or service to your co-workers, you can agree on how to move forward if you involve everyone in the process.  Redefine resistance as a positive thing. Dissent is a source of breakthroughs.

Tim Schmoyer, Founder, Video Creators: YouTube wants you to serve the right video to the right person at the right time. If you craft video content that does that, YouTube will elevate your video and more people will see it.

Margaret Magnarelli, Vice President, Marketing, Monster: In order to really engage our cardholders and get them to be loyal to us, we need to practice empathetic listening. It’s not that we shouldn’t use data to make informed decisions. But if we don’t combine facts with feelings, we’ll sacrifice relationships.

Tina Fey, Actress, Producer, Writer: Trust your gut. It’s always better to put it out there!

Subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive an email every time I post. To do that, click on “Follow” button in the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Connect with me on Twitter, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. I talk about library marketing on all those platforms!

How Do You Decide What and How to Promote?

Last week, my boss and I were honored to present at the OrangeBoy Ideas Exchange, a small conference and gathering of OrangeBoy users. Presenters talk about all kinds of issues related to library marketing including email, customer privacy, and analytics. It is valuable, particularly because the small group of attendees leads to big discussions and the sharing of ideas. It’s also a great networking opportunity. There’s nothing like being in a room with other library marketers to make you understand that you are not alone in your struggles. If you’re an OrangeBoy client, you should definitely go!

My boss is Chris Rice, Marketing Team Manager for the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. We spoke about choosing the right channel for your marketing efforts. And let’s face it, that’s not always an easy choice. There are so many ways to market your library! But that also opens the potential for your team to work themselves to death trying to check off all the boxes. So Chris and I tried to explain the framework we use at our library. It guides us to make decisions about exactly how we promote events, services, and collection items. It gives us the freedom to say “no” and keep ourselves sane.

I have taken my portion of the presentation and turned it into two blog posts. This week, I’ll explain the process I use before I actually start programming my editorial calendar. I run through a series of three exercises to help me get ready to make those big decisions. These exercises give me a clear idea of who I’m marketing to. They also force me to define how I’ll use assets and tactics to achieve the library’s goals. I do this about once every six months. It sounds tedious but it is really valuable. I always feel more confident about the decisions I make afterward. I think you will too!

QUESTION ONE: What are your library’s three main overall goals? What are the three big things your library wants to accomplish in the next 12 months? Write those big goals on paper and stick them up everywhere in your marketing office. Repeat them. Eat, breathe, and sleep them. Those are your goalposts for the year. Those are your big concerns. Whatever your director or your board wants to accomplish is what you want to accomplish. Everything you do needs to be in service of reaching these goals. Every decision you make about promotion is going to be laser-focused on making sure those goals are reached. They are the reason you come to work every morning.

QUESTION TWO: What do you know about your current cardholders and the people who live in your community? This is a classic marketing situation analysis. It’s a tedious exercise. But it will help you to clearly imagine the person who will consume your marketing messages. That will help you to do a better job of marketing to them. Where do these cardholders live? How do they engage with your competitors like Amazon and other bookstores? Where do they get their news? Do they have access to Wi-Fi? Do they have children? What is their living situation like? Do they work? What is their transportation situation? Every piece of data you can get about your cardholders is a guidepost that will help you make the best decisions.

QUESTION THREE: What promotional assets do you have at your disposal? Write down all the stuff you use to promote your library. It should include every social media platform you use, every website your library owns, every print publication you send out, emails, in-person events, press releases, podcasts, and videos… every single thing you do to communicate with cardholders. Then, create a description of how you’ll use each asset to bring your library’s overall strategic vision to life.

For example, my library produces a quarterly content marketing publication called Library Links. One of our overall library goals this year is to help job seekers find a new, more lucrative, more fulfilling career. I think Links can help us achieve that goal. So, I wrote a description of how that would work. “We will use our quarterly print publication to emphasize the role of the library in helping job seekers find a new, more lucrative, more fulfilling career. We will do this by featuring a cardholder in each issue who used our library’s services to advance their own career, such as by taking our GED course or using our online job resume builder. Every quarter, we’ll highlight a service or program that will help our cardholders reach their career goals.” This keeps me accountable and reminds me, every time I go to put Links together, that I need to include these kinds of stories in each issue.

If you start this process and you realize there is an asset that just doesn’t seem to work for your overall marketing goals, drop it. I don’t care if you’ve done it for 20 years. Use only the things that can help you to achieve your goals and cut the rest.

For example, for a while, my library was all in on Slideshare. We had an editorial calendar and we were churning out Slideshares every six weeks to promote services. It took a considerable amount of time to create the graphics. But we weren’t getting the results we wanted. When I do any marketing, I am looking for action. I want consumers of our message to click on a link and use something at the library.  But our Slideshares were not producing action, or at least not in any number that I could be proud of. So, in mid-2017, we decided to drop Slideshare. It’s okay to drop something that’s not working for you. Don’t waste your energy!

Now that you’ve laid out all the stuff available to you, it’s time to decide what to promote, how to promote, and when to promote. That’s the fun part! Next week, I’ll share tips on how to manage that part of your job.

Subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive an email every time I post. To do that, click on “Follow” button in the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Connect with me on Twitter, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. I talk about library marketing on all those platforms!

Best Conferences For Library Marketers in 2018

(Read time: 3 minutes, 50 seconds)

School is almost out and summer reading is underway. I hope your workload is lighter during this time of year! It’s now time to start thinking about your personal and professional growth. And it’s time for my annual list of the best conferences for library marketers!

A good conference experience can be a life changer. It can energize you, give you new ideas, and make you fall in love with your chosen career again. If you have money in your budget to attend a conference, I recommend you chose one of the following selections. I’ve picked them based value for the cost, relevance of the topic, and reputation of the lead organizers.

 

VidCon

June 20-23 in Anaheim, CA

My husband works for a non-profit hospital as a videographer and he attends this conference. He learns about social media, video, and other marketing tactics from some of the top content creators in the marketing industry. If you are want to bring young people into your library or connect with them (I’m talking to you, university and school librarians!) then this conference is for you. And tickets are pretty cheap–the creator pass is $200 through June 8.

American Library Association

June 21-26 in New Orleans, LA

ALA continues to improve the marketing track at their premier conference. Topics this year include branding, marketing to teenagers, serving the immigrant population, creating a marketing plan and strategy, best practices for video marketing, and much more. This year’s keynote speakers include Viola Davis and Doris Kearns Goodwin. I also have it on high authority that Emilio Estevez will appear at the conference to hold screenings of his new movie, the public, shot in my very own library–which means that attendees will get to see it before I do! ALA members pay $350 and non-members pay $460 through June 15.

Nonprofit Marketing Conference

July 16-18 in Washington, DC

With sessions from the leaders of Google Ad Grants and Caring Bridge, this conference is informative and inspiring. It’s run the American Marketing Association. It will teach you how to use your small budget and limited resources to create a brand strategy. You’ll also learn how to improve your social media game and show the true value of your library in your marketing. After the conference, you’ll get an eBook with key takeaways to refer to the rest of the year. Registration is $949 but if you register before June 18, you save $100.

Social Media All Day Conference

July 19-20 in Charleston, South Carolina

Forbes calls this “the most collaborative social media conference.” The speaker list includes experts from food, fashion, journalism, and tech. Sessions promise to teach you how to engage audiences and create lasting connections with people. You’ll also learn how to build your brand on social, both for your library and for yourself! I recommend getting the Industry Badge, which is still a steal at $300. That gets you access to all the conference areas as well workshops and networking sessions.

Content Marketing World and Expo

September 4-7 in Cleveland, Ohio

Regular readers know how much I love this conference. I’ll be attending for the fifth time this year. CMWorld is a jam-packed series of events for marketers of all levels and interests. I come home with pages of notes and new ideas. This conference focuses on the art of storytelling and how to use content to build trust with your customers. But they also have sessions on video marketing, social media, strategy, and public speaking. You’ll learn a full range of new skills. Tina Fey is the keynote speaker this year, as are Andrew and Pete, my favorite marketing video creators from the UK. Early bird registration ends May 31 but if you email the conference, they can give you a 40 percent non-profit discount, which makes the ticket around $800. I know that’s a lot of money for libraries but it is so worth it.

Nonprofit Storytelling Conference

Oct. 16-17 in Orlando, FL

This conference is jam-packed with sessions that will help you turn your library’s story into a marketing strategy. You’ll learn how to write a compelling headline for your email newsletter and how to use Facebook live to raising the profile of your library. All the sessions are recorded, so if you can’t actually travel to Florida you can still “attend” the conference via video. Registration ranges in price from $995 to $1595 depending on which option you choose (video or no video) but if you register before July 13, you save $400, which puts it into the affordable range for many libraries.

Library Marketing and Communications Conference

November 14-15 in St. Louis, Missouri

The premier conference for library marketing moves to a new location this year and the organizers are energized! This is the fourth year for this conference specifically created to talk about marketing in the library space and the range of topics now includes all areas of the field, including fundraising, governmental advocacy, graphic design, workflow, and so much more. Plus networking with other library marketing professionals is invaluable! Registration begins this month (May). If you register before Friday, July 13, you’ll only pay $375. The full conference rate will be $450. They’re also taking calls for proposals through May 25. Sign up for the newsletter on the conference website to stay up to date with all the details.

Subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive an email every time I post. To do that, click on “Follow” button on the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Connect with me on Twitter and Snapchat–it’s where I talk about library marketing! I’m @Webmastergirl. I’m also on LinkedInInstagram and Pinterest. Views in this post are my own and do not represent those of my employer.

Secrets For Library Videos People Will Actually Watch

 

Amy Schmittauer Landino is an expert on video and video blogging. Not surprisingly, she is all in on video marketing. She’s the Founder of SavvySexySocial.com, Vlog Boss Studios, and author of Vlog Like a Boss. I’ve watched her channel for more than a year and so I was super excited to be in the same room with her for 45 minutes at Content Marketing World, where I attended her session on how to create and repurpose video content to get more attention for my library.

And by the way, Amy led this session mere days after her wedding in Vegas. She’s a true pro and is committed to helping others.

Video marketing will be a large focus for my library in the next year, and honestly, I hope it is for you too. It’s not as intimidating as it seems. You don’t need fancy equipment to market with video successfully. In fact, what Amy says you need to focus on the parts of video marketing that don’t even involve the camera. She told us that anyone can become a talented video marketer–all you have to do is start making videos and then keep practicing. All of the technical stuff–lighting, shots, background, audio–can be perfected through practice. But there are non-technical things you can do to improve the chances your video will be watched and shared and they are just as important as having a beautiful finished product. Here are her tips.

Plan and be consistent. Plan your programming ahead of time. Think of the videos you produce as you would if you were running a station. What are you going to do for the next several months? How much time do you need to shoot, edit, and get approvals? Planning will ease stress for you and will help you to secure the interviews and shots you need. Post your videos on a consistent basis, on the same day and time if you can. Your audience will begin to expect your videos!

Make videos about things your customer wants to know–not what YOU THINK they want to know. Amy says this is mandatory for creating videos that are watched and shared. Stop focusing on what your library thinks it needs to communicate and start thinking about what your cardholders need to know.  What do they think about? What are they Googling? What questions are they asking at the reference desk or at the front door or in programs? I went to our chat service and asked them for a list of the top ten questions asked by our cardholders. That’s my video plan for next year!

Keywords are so very important. When you post your video, make sure you do your keyword research ahead of time so your audience will be able to find your video! Posting your video with whatever keywords come to mind is not consistent or helpful. You have to plan and use the relevant keywords in captions, the title, and the description. Amy recommends doing your keyword research on Tubebuddy.

Post, then wait. Amy posts her videos first on YouTube and then waits 48 hours so YouTube can categorize and rank her video. Once that happens she does a Facebook post and points people where she wants them to watch it–whether it’s on her YouTube channel or on her website. It’s an interesting concept if your library decides you want your cardholders to mostly watch your videos on YouTube. Right now, my library is posting our videos on our website, on Facebook, and on YouTube. I want to be convenient to my cardholders. Amy says that might not be the best strategy, as you run the risk of oversaturating your viewers with the same piece of video. If she’s right, we’ll adjust our process. Don’t be afraid to experiment and react according to the results.

Make sure your video passes the share test. Amy says you must ask yourself if your video passes the share test. Will your audience say to themselves, “I have to share this because it is that good!” If your stuff doesn’t pass that test, don’t even shoot it. Focus your energy on videos that people will share.

Does your library produce videos? Please comment or send me an email at ahursh@yahoo.com. I’ll be featuring great library marketing videos in an upcoming post and I’d love to include your library!

Subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive an email every time I post. To do that, click on “Follow” button on the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Connect with me on Twitter and Snapchat–it’s where I talk about library marketing! I’m @Webmastergirl. I’m also on LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. Views in this post are my own and do not represent those of my employer.

The Most Exciting Library Marketing Lessons from Content Marketing World

The future of content marketing at your library is stories, videos, and making personal connections between your cardholders and your libraries. That’s the big takeaway for me from the year’s Content Marketing World, a giant marketing conference in Cleveland. I’ve just returned with a head full of ideas and heart full of energy. Rubbing elbows with 4,000 marketers bursting with love for the profession will do that to you.

At #CMWorld, I attended 15 sessions and learned a ton of new information which I will flesh out here over the course of the next several months. Some tips can be put into action immediately and some will need time for processing in my brain, as I work to figure out how to make them doable for libraries of all sizes, shapes, and missions.

Here are the main takeaways I received from 15 sessions with links so you can check out more of the speaker’s work and get started on transforming your own library marketing.

Linda Boff, Chief Marketing Officer at General Electric:  Stories are everywhere, right under your nose. Find and embrace them.

Jay Acunzo, host of the podcast Unthinkable:  Content marketing is about inspiring your true believers, not coercing the skeptics. (This was an ah-ha moment for me!)

Drew Davis, a former marketer, best-selling author, and speaker:  Audience retention is the true definition of video engagement. Stop trying to just get views and get audiences to watch your whole video!

Doug Kessler, creative director and co-founder of Velocity Partners: It’s our job as marketers to expose the hidden marketing conventions and turn them on their heads. In other words, conventional thinking will get you nowhere. Now is the time to be creative.

Ian Cleary, founder of Razorsocial: Be smart when you publish your content because if no one sees it, what’s the point? Use smart keywords, collaborate with influencers, and promote yourself. During this session, I realized I know nothing about web optimization!

Amanda Todorovich, Content Marketing Director at the Cleveland Clinic: Never be content. Measure and test and test again. Ask “what if” all the time.

Casey Neistat, YouTube star: Do what you can’t. Make it count. Follow your gut. Cut through the bullshit. Yes, I put that all in bold because IT’S IMPORTANT.

Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad and a bunch of other books, Pulitzer Price Winner, National Book Award Winner, etc., etc., etc. You know him, you work at a library: If you have ideas and you’re not sure you can pull them off, it’s ok to wait until you are actually ready. I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I agree with this but I’m going to think about it for a while.

Amy Schmittauer Landino, vlogger, author, and speaker: The secret to great video is asking yourself…would you share it?? Really?? Not just because you think everything you do is fantastic, but because what you do is actually fantastic.

Arnie Kuen, CEO of Vertical Measures: There is only a two percent chance your followers will see your organic post. (YIKES!)

Scott Stratten, author, speaker, blogger, podcaster, promoter of unconventional marketing. This was a session on public speaking: Tell a personal story but only if it makes a point. Respect the audience’s time.

Tamsen Webster, speaker, and producer of TEDx Cambridge, during the same session on public speaking: Go ask for the stage you deserve. The way to speak more is… to speak more.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, actor and creator of hitRECord, an online collaboration and creation website for video, graphics, music, and more: Community, fair compensation, and collaboration are the future of content creation.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Jonathan Stanley, Executive Producer for Lowe’s: Test all the time on YouTube. Fail fast and learn fast. Don’t spend years scripting.

Michelle Park Lazette, Content Marketer for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland: Deliver different! Try your best to produce the “okra breakfasts” of content. Okra breakfasts are content that is unexpected but delicious and filling!

Subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive an email every time I post. To do that, click on “Follow” button on the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Connect with me on Twitter and Snapchat–it’s where I talk about library marketing! I’m @Webmastergirl. I’m also on LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. Views in this post are my own and do not represent those of my employer.

 

Best Conferences for Library Marketers in 2017

Confession: I am a conference geek. Having moved from a profession (journalism) where conferences are considered a waste of time and money to a profession (library marketing) where training and personal growth are core job competencies, I am a huge fan of the conference.

A good conference can be a great opportunity to network with other marketers, both in libraries and in companies. You can learn from each other, commiserate, complain, laugh, and share ideas. The best conferences have a varied agenda, so you have a chance to learn about trends in marketing and changes in other jobs within the library system and the world at large. You’ll come away inspired, energized, and ready to take on the world.

I’ve done a lot of research for the 2017 edition of the Best Conferences for Library Marketers. I looked for conferences featuring speakers I am familiar with, run by organizations I trust, with an agenda of topics that I think will be of interest to my readers, and at a price that’s not prohibitive. Most of these conferences will offer you a discount if you contact them and ask… they all love libraries and they love the idea of library marketers mingling with brands. Just be sure to email early! Dates are based on main conference attendances only. Some conferences have labs or special classes before or after the main conference, which I left out because they add to the price of the ticket.

This list is all based in the U.S. again. I apologize to my international readers but I can’t confidently recommend conferences abroad. Please give me your recommendations for non-U.S. conferences in the comments, won’t you?

Confab Central

June 8-9 in Minneapolis, MN

This two-day conference in June covers a lot of topics that apply to library marketing, including measurement, working in silos(!!), and coaching your staff. Also, actor and literacy advocate Levar Burton is a keynote speaker!! A conference pass is $1400 without a discount.

Marketing track at The American Library Association Conference

June 24-25 in Chicago, IL

So we all love attending the American Library Conference. All the librarians! All the swag! All the free books! Their marketing track is pretty extensive and touches on a range of topics like planning library promotional videos, effectively marketing system-wide programs, and crisis communication. Registration fees for ALA members run from $175-$300 and registration for non-ALA members is $400 if you register by June 16.

Digipalooza

August 2-4 in Cleveland, OH

I have a colleague who regularly attends this conference put together by Overdrive and she always comes back with great insight into the digital platform used by many libraries. This year, the conference includes ideas on promoting books on social media, using their reports to gain insights about your users, and a first look at their product road map. Plus there is a marketing exchange! Tickets are affordable at $200.

Content Marketing World

September 6-8 in Cleveland, OH

2017 will mark the fourth year that I’ve attended CM World and I couldn’t recommend it more. It’s huge, with dozens of top-notch speakers and tracks on every subject you can think of. New this year, there are breakout sessions on Friday included in the price of a main pass so you get even more bang for your buck. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know how much I learn at this conference. I swear I mention it in a half of my posts. They usually have an exciting keynote speaker. The 2017 headliner hasn’t been announced yet but last year we heard from Mark Hammill and the year before that was Kevin Spacey. A main conference pass is $1100 until June 2, and they will give you the non-profit discount if you ask, which amounts to about 40 percent off the price.

Inbound

September 25-28 in Boston, MA

Authors Elizabeth Gilbert and Adam Grant are the headliners at the 2017 Inbound, put together by Hubspot (I love their free online marketing courses.) This event is enormous… they had 19,000 attendees in 2016.There are 250 sessions and literally every marketing thought-leader attends and leads at least one session. Hubspot believes in the mapped customer journey, a concept that some of the most forward-thinking libraries are embracing. I always find it helpful to hear how business marketers are working. An all-access pass is about $1100 until mid-May, but be sure to ask for a discount.

Internet Summit

November 15-16 in Raleigh, NC

A huge lineup of marketing experts headlines this conference (if you go, be sure to see Ann Handley, Rand Fishkin, and Neil Patel.) This conference hits all the topics that affect library marketers, including email marketing, design, and user experience. The best part is that an all-access pass is only about $345 if you book now.

Library Marketing and Communications Conference

November 16-17 in Addison, TX

This conference targeted specifically to library marketers is now in its third year and addresses many of the challenges you face in your daily work within the context of a library. I have not attended, but my supervisor has and says it covers a range of topics including social media and PR. If you’re new to the library or marketing world, this is the place to be. Plus there is plenty of time to network with other library marketers who share your unique job! Registration is not yet open for this event, but you can sign up for updates and you’ll be the first to know when tickets are available.

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