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The 20 best B2B marketing conferences in 2018

#B2B, #Conferences

The pace of change has never been greater in B2B marketing. From account-based marketing to predictive, personalization to artificial intelligence, there’s a lot to be excited about. And a lot to keep up with.

Conferences offer a great way to stay sharp, inspired and connected. But there are a lot of them to choose from. Here’s our curated list of the B2B events on our radar in 2018, in chronological order. And because we’ve been to many of them, you’ll also find hints at what to expect from each.

B2B Marketing Exchange

When: February 19–21, 2018
Where: Scottsdale, AZ
Hashtag: #B2BMX

We know. We had you at “Scottsdale in February”! Great location/weather aside, this event has earned its place in our minds as a must-attend B2B event in North America. Now in its 7th year, B2B Marketing Exchange brings together the top thought leaders and practitioners in content, demand generation and sales. We especially like this event for its ‘Goldilocks’ size (not too big, not too small) and its great multi-track format. This year, our very own ambassador for ABM, Meredith Fuller, is co-presenting with our friends from Windstream Enterprise, sharing tips from their ramp-up with account-based marketing.

SiriusDecisions Summit Canada

When: March 1, 2018
Where: Toronto, ON
Hashtag: #SDSUMMIT

If you’re a Canadian B2B marketer that follows SiriusDecisions research and models, 2018 is the year Summit comes to you. A one-day version of their massive annual stateside Summit held in May, the inaugural Summit Canada will cover how leading Canadian companies address growth, innovation and operational challenges.

Oracle’s Modern Customer Experience

When: April 10–12, 2018
Where: Chicago, IL
Hashtag: #ModernCX

If you are an Oracle Marketing Cloud customer—or agency partner, as Quarry is—then Modern CX is an annual pilgrimage not to be missed. This year, Modern CX moves to Chicago, and promises dozens of keynote and breakout sessions and the opportunity to learn 1:1 with Oracle experts, not to mention “CX Fest,” featuring Weezer!

The ABM Innovation Summit

When: April 11–12, 2018
Where: San Francisco, CA
Hashtag: #ABMSUMMIT

Is account-based marketing on your 2018 to-do list? (Spoiler: It should be. According to a recent DemandGen Report study, 74% of marketers say their ABM efforts are meeting or exceeding their organizational expectations.) If the answer is ‘yes,’ the ABM Innovation Summit by Demandbase is worth the (low!) price of admission. Join hundreds of your peers to learn the ‘how’ of ABM from real people who are practicing it every day.

MarTech

When: April 23–25, 2018
Where: San Jose, CA
Hashtag: #MARTECHCONF

A tech conference for marketers and a marketing conference for technologists, this vendor-independent event aims to cross-pollinate the best ideas and latest innovations across marketing, technology and management. Can’t make it to San Jose in April? This event also runs in Boston October 1-3.

Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit

When: April 29–May 2, 2018
Where: San Francisco, CA
Hashtag: #MKTGNATION

Hosted by Marketo, this event offers the chance to network with and learn from thousands of like-minded marketing automation peers and be inspired by high-caliber keynote speakers. A-list personalities speaking at past Marketing Nation conferences have included Hillary Clinton, Will Smith and Arianna Huffington. (Hint: Check out these videos from last year’s top sessions to get a sense of what to expect.)

SiriusDecisions Summit

When: May 8–10, 2018
Where: Las Vegas, NV
Hashtag: #SDSummit

If you’re a SiriusDecisions subscriber, then Summit is a great opportunity to help you get the most out of your investment. (Warning: There will be an overwhelming amount of great content, frameworks and advice shared—so much so, you simply won’t get to every session you’ll want to. But trust us, it’s worth trying!)

B2B Marketing Leaders Forum APAC

When: May 14–16, 2018
Where: Sydney, Australia
Hashtag: #B2BMktgAPAC

Now in its 3rd year, this Australian conference features an impressive list of client-side keynote speakers from a cross-section of industries. If you’re a B2B marketer Down Under, this event should be top of the list for learning and networking in 2018. (Hint: Book your ticket early to snag one of just 40 spots available for Carlos Hidalgo’s B2B Journey Mapping workshop on Day 3!)

ITSMA Marketing Leadership Forum

When: May 15–16, 2018
Where: Napa, CA
Hashtag: TBD

For nearly two decades, ITSMA’s annual Marketing Leadership Forum has brought together a select group of senior marketing leaders to explore the latest trends, best practices, and thinking on marketing strategy and tactics. But this exclusive two-day event is not for everyone. (And we mean that quite literally. You’ll need to make sure you’re eligible before registering!)

Gartner Digital Marketing Conference

When: May 15–17, 2018
Where: San Diego, CA
Hashtag: #GartnerDMC

This year’s Gartner Digital Marketing Conference promises to help senior marketing leaders cut through the hype and get unbiased, actionable advice on the trends, tools, technologies and techniques they need to master their craft. It’s not touted as a B2B-only conference, but, based on the great experience we had last year, we think this one’s going to be worth checking out.

2018 Masters of B2B Marketing

When: June 6–8, 2018
Where: Chicago, IL
Hashtag: #ANAB2B

With speakers confirmed from Vonage, Cisco, LinkedIn, GE Power and more, we’re looking forward to seeing the ANA put a bright B2B spotlight on their theme for his year, “Growth: Driving Results and Marketing Value.” In the past, we’ve liked the single-track format of this annual conference, with everyone sharing the same experience. To get a sense of the big ideas shared at this high-caliber event, here’s our recap of seven of the hottest talks from #ANAB2B 2017.

Ignite 2018

When: July 10, 2018
Where: London, UK
Hashtag: #IGNITEB2B

Now one of Europe’s biggest B2B marketing events, this conference offers a melting pot of engaging speakers and content streams and promises to inspire every B2B marketer that attends. You can customize your own agenda, choosing from more than 50 sessions and seven keynotes, all in this one-day gathering at the Business Design Centre in London.

Content Experience by Uberflip

When: August 21-22, 2018
Where: Toronto, ON
Hashtag: #CONEX

Only a few years in, this event by content experience platform Uberflip is already one of our must-attend B2B events of the year. The format is fast-paced keynotes and presentations over the course of 2 days, as well as session panels. Marketers from the U.S. should consider taking advantage of a strong exchange rate to come up to Toronto. (It’s like getting a built-in discount.) Want to see what you’re in for first? You can re-live last year’s event on-demand.

Content Marketing World

When: September 4–7, 2018
Where: Cleveland, OH
Hashtag: #CMWorld

With 4000 attendees taking in over 120 sessions and workshops presented by the leading brand marketers, this is the biggest event around to learn and network with the best and brightest in content marketing. You’ll come home with more content marketing ideas than you can shake an orange stick at!

INBOUND by HubSpot

When: September 4–7, 2018
Where: Boston, MA
Hashtag: #INBOUND18

If you’re all in on Hubspot, then this event is for you. But if you don’t like big crowds, be warned. (Just how big is this conference? Last year, more than 20,000 people gathered for more than 300 sessions!) This high-profile event weaves work with play, from workshops on inbound strategy and sales to high-octane keynotes from the likes of Michelle Obama, Seth Godin, Rand Fishkin and Martha Stewart.

SpiceWorld 2018

When: October 8–10, 2018
Where: Austin, TX
Hashtag: #SpiceWorld2018

We have a sweet spot for working with technology brands. That’s why we have our eye on “the most happenin’ tech conference around”—SpiceWorld. This event brings together thousands of IT pros and vendors and hundreds of tech marketers for 3 jam-packed days of learning and networking. You’ll find us in the dedicated tech marketer track.

CEB Sales and Marketing Summit

When: October 9–11, 2018
Where: Las Vegas, NV
Hashtag: #CEBSummit

This conference promises—and always delivers—a fresh understanding of changes underway in B2B buying and how the best B2B brands are responding. If, like us, you share a passion for Challenger and disrupting the status quo, then this event is for you. Here are our top takeaways from last year’s event.

Forrester B2B Marketing 2018

When: October 25–26, 2018
Where: Austin, TX
Hashtag: TBD

The team of analysts at Forrester are whip-smart, so our expectations for this event, our first time attending, are high. This year’s B2B Marketing 2018 event promises to equip marketers to look past the hype and fads to make the right decisions on people, processes and technologies that will drive client acquisition, retention and delight. And the good news? You don’t need to be a Forrester client to get access to this event and learn from their expert analysts.

SiriusDecisions TechX

When: November 7–9, 2018
Where: New Orleans, LA
Hashtag: #SDTechX

The B2B martech landscape is constantly growing and changing. This (smaller) SiriusDecisions event offers a way to keep pace, with 3 days of data-driven best practices, cutting-edge research and insights on emerging categories across the technology landscape. And this year, TechX is headed to New Orleans—fun!

B2B Marketing Forum by MarketingProfs

When: November 13–16, 2018
Where: San Francisco, CA
Hashtag: #MPB2B

Self-described as a “quirky (not so little) conference,” this MarketingProfs event promises belly laughs and shenanigans in addition to loads of fresh thought leadership and workshops. And Ann Handley. (Full disclosure: We love Ann Handley. And shenanigans, for that matter.) It’s worth noting that #MPB2B is on the move, heading to the West Coast for the first time in 2018. Lucky you, San Francisco!