If you’ll only attend one industry event this spring, choose wisely!
One of the most frequent questions clients ask me is which conferences I think are the best. By “best,” they mean the ones that truly deliver exclusive, actionable insights.
I’ve spoken at and attended many B2B conferences in my career, but there’s a short list of those that truly stand out! I published a list about a year ago, but since then the quality of quantity of B2B events has risen dramatically. Therefore, I thought I’d provide some insights to help guide your research and decision-making process for spring 2012. (In a few months, I’ll be sure to publish a list that covers fall 2012/winter 2013).
My recommendations below are in chronological order, starting in April 2012, but top two recommendations have been noted.**
April 18-20, 2012 (Los Angeles, CA)
I have yet to attend this event, but I am very impressed by Forrester’s contributions to B2B marketing insights and best practices. Please note that the event is not 100% focused on B2B, but there will be several B2B-specific sessions available (as well as a robust offering of other interesting and insightful sessions).
The speaker I am most looking forward to is Jeff Ernst, Principal Analyst at Forrester in his session titled “B2B Marketers Must Turn Social Media From An Awareness Tool To A Driver Of Demand.” Follow him on Twitter, @JeffErnst, if you’re not following him already. Jeff publishes on a variety of B2B relevant topics – including thought leadership, social media and content marketing.
2. **SiriusDecisions Summit:
May 22-24, 2012 (Scottsdale, AZ)
This is my #1 recommendation for any B2B marketer. The SiriusDecisions Summit combines strategy and consultation with real-life case studies from great companies, and promises that: “Delegates will leave knowing how to create systematic demand, increase sales productivity and drive revenue in a more predictable, integrated fashion..”
This conference has never let me down. (I’ve attended for the past, three years and will be attending again this year). Bonus: it’s in beautiful Arizona.
The summit is coming up, so take a look at the agenda now.
Even if you’re reading this post after the 2012 conference, you’ll get a very good idea of what SiriusDecisions can offer B2B demand generation marketers year-round.
If you attend one conference this spring – this should be it.
May 30 – June 1, 2012 (Chicago, IL)
Themed GROW, this year’s BMA conference will zero in on what it takes to grow profitable, enduring and ever-deeper B2B customer relationships.
I will be moderating a panel at this year’s event titled: “Ignite the B2B Pipeline with Account Based Marketing.” During this session, an esteemed group of B2B marketers will be sharing their successes (and insights) for how to leverage an account-based marketing approach to engage customers and prospects in a way that’s truly relevant to them, their business challenges and their organization.
June 12-13, 2012 (Napa, CA)
Marketing Transformation in 2012: Rethinking, Reskilling, and Reinventing the Organization.
This event is a great resource for research and insights relevant to B2B technology marketers. I attended both the Marketing Leadership Forum and ITSMA’s annual event in the fall last year and found both to offer a wonderful depth and breadth of content. There was a great combination of studies/data vs. real-world best practices, along with an extensive variety of speakers!
If you’re looking for an intimate setting, great research and deep insights (most appropriate for senior-level marketing professionals; must be at a director level or above to attend), then this is a MUST ATTEND event!
Julie Schwartz, Senior Vice President of Research & Thought Leadership at ITSMA is an amazing presenter – and is always a highlight of these events for me.
August 27-30, 2012 (Orlando, FL)
This B2B event is a classic, and it has been a tried-and-true event for in-the-trenches marketers. I’m sure you know Sherpa for their benchmark data research, how-to guidance and case studies. The summit is similarly evidence-driven, and it delivers the kind of meaningful, practical ideas you can start employing right away.
I’ve spoken at this conference several times, and I always come away energized by the content, topics and take-aways.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on these events – or other upcoming B2B events that are “must attend”.