Looking to break into the social media marketing scene? Or maybe you’re a social media manager looking to brush up your skills before taking on your next big client? Get ahead of the curve, and attend some social media conferences or events this year.
Social media conferences and events let you learn new skills, network with other social media professionals, and get your name in front of new clients and companies.
One of the best things about attending conferences is the chance to see some of the friends and contacts you’ve “met” online in a real-world setting. It’s great to build those relationships you’ve been nurturing into something more tangible.
Now that most of the world is practicing social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, many of these conferences have moved online and become even more accessible to those from out of town.
But what conferences are worth attending?
Good thing you asked, because in this article, we’ll show you all of the best North American social media conferences for 2020, and let you know how their plans have changed due to coronavirus.
Let’s check ’em out!
Table of Contents
Social Media Week: Multiple Locations
Dates: May 5-28
Locations: Virtual. The Social Media Week organizers are combining the upcoming events from multiple cities into one large online event.
Usually, Social Media Week is a global event that brings three-days of awesome keynote speakers and networking to professionals across the globe. You’ll learn a ton of great tips and insights about social media management.
According to the organizers, this virtual adaptation is a four-week virtual conference program that will feature over 100 hours of livestreamed sessions, 300 speakers, and more than 10,000 registered participants.
Check out the Social Media Week event site to find more information and updates about later potential in-person events in various cities.
Digital Summit: Multiple Locations
Dates: Next up: May 6-7, with various other dates July-December 2020
Locations: Virtual. In-person conferences are still on the books for July-December at the time of updating this blog, and updates on these cities can be found on the Digital Summit Website.
Digital Summit is a social media and digital marketing focused event that travels the United States, drawing a small army of speakers and attendees wherever they go. They touch on everything from social media marketing to data analytics. Even better, the diverse group of speakers come from well-known startups and Fortune 500 companies alike.
Digital Summit At Home is a 2-day, fully interactive online event that delivers all of the comprehensive learning and networking opportunities from our live events to your living room.
Speakers this year vary from location to location, and include well-known brands like AirBnB, Coca Cola, Instagram, Microsoft, Google, Disney, and others.
Learn all things digital at Digital Summit.
Social Media Strategies Summit
Dates: Next up April 29, with several dates in June and October
Location: Virtual and New York
Social Media Strategies Summit is a conference geared towards senior-level marketing professionals. Here, you’ll learn the nuts and bolts of social media and digital marketing, and the conference promises three jam-packed days worth of case studies, deep-dives, and how-to sessions on all things social media.
In past years, we’ve seen marketers from LinkedIn, Grubhub, WeWork, and other tech giants take the stage. This year, there are speakers from Walmart, Dollar Shave Club, AirBnB, Microsoft, and more.
Some instances in the more immediate future have been adapted for virtual events, while conferences planned from October onward are still on track to happen in-person.
For tickets and more info, check out their website!
Social Media Marketing World
Dates: March 1-2, 2020
Location: San Diego, California
Put on by one of our favorite social media blogs—Social Media Examiner—Social Media Marketing World is a social media event aimed at teaching the basics of all things social media. Those new to the scene will learn the basics of social media growth and marketing, and more experienced marketers can freshen up their skills and learn new techniques.
This year’s speaker list includes expert speakers tackling the industry’s biggest platforms.
Because this conference has already happened at the time of updating this article for Coronavirus changes, you can access a “Virtual Pass” to get recordings of the sessions from the 2020 event.
For tickets to Social Media Marketing World event, check out their website.
Midwest Digital Marketing Conference
Dates: May 20-21 and May 25-29
Entering its seventh year, the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference—or MDMC—is aiming to be the premier digital marketing and social media conference for the midwest. The conference is hosted by the University of Missouri St. Louis School of Business and has hosted some of the biggest names in social media.
The speaker list has an emphasis on academics, consultants, and entrepreneurs, so there’s a good mix of options to learn from depending on your needs.
The free live 2-day virtual summit May 20-21 will consist of live-streaming 7 breakout sessions each day led by top-tier speakers.
The MDMC20 On-Demand Digital Experience is a full access ticket to over 80 sessions and panels lead by industry experts on-demand online for 1-year, as well as access to watch all the sessions during the 2-day virtual summit live or on-demand after the event. You will have the opportunity to network with speakers during special live Q&A sessions the week of May 25-29. Ticket purchasers will also have access to a special marketing resource center, network with other attendees virtual, chance to win prizes and connect with sponsors.
Social Media Camp
This event has been cancelled due to COVID-19. The organizers released a statement saying, “For those disappointed by the loss of our virtual event, we will be offering educational content and networking through our SMC Club, launching May 1st. SMC Club memberships will include access to monthly webinars, virtual networking opportunities, exclusive social media resources, and discounts to SMC pop up events in the future. This will be a place to hear from many of the speakers planned for SMC 2020 along with others. We have created a discounted rate for all of you, and you will have the option to transfer part of your registration to a one year SMClub Membership. We hope you will join our SMC community as we help each other through these trying times.”
The Social Shake-Up
Dates: September 16-18
Location: Boston, MA
The Social Shake-Up is one of the most well-known social media conferences, and for a good reason: the conference covers a diverse range of topics over a quick, two-day period. Each session dives deep and discusses advanced topics in social media marketing, so even the most skilled marketer will learn something new.
This year, you’ll see talks from marketing professionals at huge brands like IBM, Microsoft, Paypal, and more.
In light of social distancing, they have rescheduled their original event in Atlanta in May to now occur in Boston in September.
Get more information on The Social Shake-Up’s 2020 website.
Dates: September 9-11
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
SocialWest is going into its fifth year, and its growth shows no signs of stopping. Last year, there were tons of people from across Canada who attended the conference to see talks on advanced topics in social media, like AI and mobile video.
This year, we’re looking forward to speakers from Twitter. Facebook, LinkedIn, Article, and McDonald’s at the event.
Organizers have rescheduled the conference to occur in September instead of June to allow for Coronavirus to become manageable, but as of right now the event in September is still slated to occur in-person.
Don’t miss out—get more info about SocialWest on their website
Dates: June 9-10, 2021
Location: Chicago, IL
This event will not only cover social media marketing, but will also include talks on content marketing, SEO, and growth hacking to keep you at the top of your game.
In past years, DigiMarCon Chicago has hosted huge names in social media. We’ve seen speakers from TrackMaven, Conagra Brands, and Coudbakers take stage, so we’re excited to see what the organizers have in store for the next conference.
The 2020 session of this conference was postponed due to Coronavirus, and the sessions will resume normally in 2021 instead.
Swing by DigiMarCon Chicago’s website for tickets and more info.
Social Media Day: Halifax
Date: Postponed to Fall 2020, new date to be announced soon
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Don’t have three days to dedicate to a social media conference? Social Media Day: Halifax is a day-long event dedicated to social media and digital marketing. The event focuses on teaching social media marketers tangible skills that they can bring to the workplace, like how to better optimize Facebook Ads, legal tips, and informational sessions on how to build better marketing funnels.
Past speakers included the heads of some of Canada’s most prestigious social media marketing firms like Stratigro, Pepperit Marketing, and Twirp Communications. We’re excited to see who speaks this year!
Check out Social Media Day: Halifax’s website for more info!
ANA Digital & Social Media Conference
Date: July 7-9, 2020
Location: San Diego, CA
ANA’s annual Digital & Social Media Conference aims to keep marketers at the top of their game. Over the course of the three-day event, you can expect to cover new and emerging social media topics like chatbots, AI, and even virtual reality.
The conference isn’t until July, so there aren’t speaker details yet. However, in past years we saw social media speakers from some of the world’s most iconic brands, including Lufthansa Airlines, MasterCard, Yamaha, and even Frito-Lay.
This event is still scheduled to occur in-person on the origianl date, with increased safety and sanitizing efforts in place.
For tickets and more info, head on over to ANA’s website.
Social Fresh 2020
What conferences will you attend?
And that’s it!
Those are the top 12 must-attend social media events and conferences in 2020. In the comments, be sure to let us know what conferences you plan on attending in 2020. For bonus points, tell us what you hope to get out of the events!