Are marketing SEO conferences in 2020 worth your time, money, and attention?
SEO conferences in 2020 can help you learn why search engine optimization (SEO) is important. But also how to implement SEO strategies that work.
We’ve all heard those horror stories from SEO practitioners who paid a lot to get their spot at a big-name conference… and learned nothing at all.
But then again, attendees at serious conferences also share positive experiences. They learn about the trends in search engine optimization, and they make valuable connections with industry experts.
Let’s be clear about something: each conference holds its value. Learning about the upcoming SEO and digital marketing trends in your niche gives you a powerful advantage. The only problem is that you’ll learn about these things anyway since people will share them after the conference.
Still, connecting with collaborators and even competitors is essential! You can talk to the speakers, ask questions, and get real answers. You’ll get into productive discussions about practices that work and those that no longer work.
Sure, each SEO conference comes with a fee attached. But listening to an industry authority telling you about the best SEO practices will justify it.
Here’s what Matrix Marketing Group learned from SEO conferences in 2019, and putting those learnings into action resulted in the following rankings.
Just open up to the opportunities. The fees are not that big, and the experience can be a huge one. Every career requires an investment.
Does this mean that you should book your spot at every conference available? No! You should be smart with your choices. Time is money, after all.
We’ll give you a list of the best digital marketing conferences for 2020. These are not the most popular conferences that every SEO practitioner knows about. We’ll focus on events for experienced insiders, which deliver great value for your money.
Top 3 Digital Marketing Conferences 2020
Digital marketers love conferences, conventions, and summits. We’re an overly competitive bunch, obsessed with trends, addicted to the internet, and avid self-starters. Put thousands of internet marketers in a single room and watch the collaboration and innovation take place.
Unless you have an unlimited budget, you probably can’t attend them all. But with a wide range of host cities, prices, speakers, and agendas, it’s easy to find a conference that’s right for you.
Engage Marketing Conference 2020 – Portland, OR
This event is promoted as “not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill marketing conference.” If you explore the hashtag #EngagePDX on Twitter, you’ll see there’s quite some interest going on. This year’s Engage Conference features several notable speakers:
- Stephen Williams (Executive Director – Digital Marketing and CRM Operations at Fox Networks Group)
- Ashley Ward (Director of Marketing at Madhouse Matters)
- Marty Weintraub (founder of Aimclear Marketing Agency)
- James Svoboda (CEO of Webranking.com)
- Marcus Tober (founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Searchmetrics)
- Alexis Sanders (Senior SEO Manager at Merkle)
- Eli Schwartz (Director of Growth & SEO at SurveyMonkey)
Engage emphasizes experience and education. It’s a non-profit organization that supports the digital marketing community in every way possible. For business owners and marketing agencies that aim to grow revenue, it’s a great learning opportunity.
Yes, you can still make a website with a good focus on SEO if you don’t attend Engage. Not every business owner attends conferences, but they even educate themselves through user guides and online courses.
What will you learn at the SEO conference?
This conference offers highly informative panel sessions and learning tracks for business owners and practitioners in digital marketing, search engine optimization, UX design, content marketing, social media, paid media, and more.
- You’ll attend panels with leading experts from the marketing industry. Their speeches offer deeper insights from what you’d usually read in various online guides.
- Workshops enable you to ask questions and get practical answers. Engage is known as a conference that triggers productive discussions among participants. If you’re wondering about practices you still haven’t implemented, or you want tips on the ones you currently rely on, you’ll benefit from the workshops.
- You’re getting scalable and actionable tips that you can immediately implement in your practices. This is an excellent opportunity for business owners that are just starting to develop their marketing strategies. However, it’s also beneficial for seasoned SEO practitioners who want to keep track of the trends.
- The networking opportunities are fantastic! Marketing experts connect with potential clients, as well as with collaborators and competitors. Business owners have a chance to communicate with several marketing agencies.
What’s the date of the marketing conference?
The conference is scheduled for March 12th and 13th, 2020. It will take place in Sentinel Hotel, Portland. The conference starts at 7:30 AM on March 12th and ends at 7:00 PM on March 14th.
What’s the price?
If you buy your ticket early, you’ll only pay $249. For a two-day conference packed with events, that’s a very reasonable price. However, it’s only available for the first registrants, so you have to hurry up.
For SEMpdx members who book their place early, the price is $349. Non-members pay $379 and get an annual membership included in the price.
The prices will increase as the dates get closer, so it’s best to book a spot as soon as possible. Non-profit organizations and students get a discount of $100.
Keep in mind that you’re only paying for the tickets. Since it’s a two-day conference, you’ll also need accommodation in Portland.
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Pubcon Austin 2020 – SEO Conference
Pubcon is not the kind of conference that shows up and disappears after taking people’s money. This is the 19th year of Pubcon. The themes are focused on digital marketing. There’s a lot to learn from real experts featured as keynote speakers. These are the ones that will share their wisdom in Austin:
- Nagendran Rangan (Senior Program Manager at Microsoft)
- Roger Dooley (author of Friction and Brainfluence)
- Gary Illyes (Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google)
If you don’t make it for the Austin Pubcon conference, you might be interested in Pubcon Florida 2020, which will take place in spring. Gary Illyes will be featured as a keynote speaker again. However, you’ll also get a chance to hear Annie Cushing (author of Making Data Sexy), Carolyn Shelby (SEO Manager at ESPN), Daniel Waisbert (Search Advocate at Google), Purna Virji (Senior Manager of Global Engagement at Microsoft Bing), and Susan Wenograd (Vice President of Marketing Strategy at Aimclear).
However, we singled out the Austin conference because it’s more compact. It takes only one day of your life, and it’s more affordable than the more extended conference in Florida.
What will you learn?
The agenda is highly relevant to SEO practitioners. The speeches and workshops will focus on the latest trends and strategies in search engine optimization, social media marketing, pay-per-click marketing, content marketing, and overall digital marketing strategies.
Pubcon conferences bring a lot of value in the industry because they are focused on helping businesses to achieve their goals in marketing.
Forbes labeled Pubcon as the top conference for growing your business. Yet, it’s strange how many business owners and SEO practitioners aren’t aware of the opportunities it offers.
A dedicated conference, however, offers multiple opportunities that are worthy of attention:
- If you’re an SEO practitioner, you should know that many potential clients will attend Pubcon Austin 2020. If you’re a business owner, you’ll connect with marketing experts, who can help your business grow. Networking is the main reason to attend a conference like this one.
- Pubcon includes an exhibition, where businesses from the marketing industry showcase their services. This is a great way to learn about your competitors and potential collaborators.
- When you spend time with experts from your niche, you figure out where you stand with your skills. If you’re realistic, you’ll identify your weak spots and you’ll work on them. You’ll also acknowledge your strengths and you’ll reinforce them.
- Pubcon conferences are known for their practical takeaways, which you can immediately implement in your digital marketing practices.
- The networking potential is enormous. You’ll talk to different people and connect on LinkedIn and other platforms.
What’s the date?
It’s close. Pubcon Austin is scheduled for February 6th, 2020.
It’s a one-day conference, so you don’t have the “I’m too busy” excuse. Everyone can dedicate a day of their life to professional growth.
The schedule is pretty packed; you’ll listen to the keynote speakers and attend several concurrent conference sessions. The agenda starts at 7:30 in the morning and wraps up at 6:30 in the afternoon.
The Pubcon website gives clear instructions on how to handle the busy traffic in Austin and make it at the spot on time.
What’s the price?
Since it’s a one-day conference, it won’t set you back for a tremendous amount of money. If you book your spot by December 5th, you’ll pay $349. From December 6th to December 31st, the price is $449, and it’s $499 after January 1st. It’s possible to pay on-site, but the price is higher: $599.
There aren’t any discounts for students and non-profit organizations.
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Conductor C3 Conference, New York
This is one of the most notable events in the digital marketing industry. It’s known as “The Global Organic Marketing Conference.”
Currently, the agenda is still in development. Registration is not open, and the keynote speakers aren’t defined. However, based on the experience from previous years, C3 2020 certainly deserves your attention. Those who sign up for event updates will get a special discount code that they can use once registrations become available.
To understand why this conference is so valuable for a digital marketing practitioner, you should take a look at the sessions from previous years. These are only a few of the speakers from last year’s conference:
- Gary Vaynerchuk (CEO and co-founder of VaynerMedia)
- Julie Rice (co-founder of SoulCycle)
- Leland Melvin (former NASA astronaut and NFL player)
- Rand Fishkin (founder of SparkToro)
- Vanessa Boutwell (Director of Consumer Engagement Marketing at Logitech)
- Jon Chang (Head of Consumer Growth at IBM)
- Seth Besmertnik (CEO and founder of Conductor)
- Valarie Bastek (Senior Director at Wyndham)
- Garth O’Brien (Director and Global Head of SEO at GoDaddy)
Those are some big names in the marketing industry, and they weren’t the only speakers that the attendees had a chance to learn from.
What will you learn?
This conference puts you in direct contact with experts in SEO and overall digital marketing. Each session gives you valuable insights that you can directly implement in your strategies.
On the official website, you can read testimonials by people who attended the conference over the previous years. Here’s one that caught our attention: “I walked away from C3 understanding how to create the right message for the right customer at the right time, and how to be quantifiably accountable for that.” This is a testimonial shared by a senior content marketing manager. If someone with such an experience has something to learn, it’s clear that marketing practitioners at all levels will benefit from C3.
How else will you benefit from C3?
- It’s one of the most popular conferences for marketers from leading brands. Last year, 49% of the companies that attended were B2C companies, and 38% were B2B companies. 30% of the attendees were on the director level, and another 30% were managers at their companies. That says enough about the networking potential of C3.
- Last year, the participants had a chance to learn valuable SEO tricks. They also learned about the customer-first revolution, quantum content theory, mindfulness practices related to marketing, advanced SEO automation, evergreen content, and much, much more. It’s one of the most resourceful events that a marketer could attend.
What’s the date?
The agenda is still in the process of development. We don’t know the precise dates, but this conference is usually scheduled in May. It’s a two-day conference with a packed schedule that starts at 8:00 AM on the first and wraps up at 5 PM on the second day.
What’s the price?
It’s one of the more expensive conferences for digital marketers, but it also offers impressive value. The price for 2020 is still not defined. Last year, the ticket was set at $1,199. If you plan to attend, sign up for notifications, and you’ll get a special discount code once they open the registration process.
Other SEO conferences
SEMrush Webinars 2020
Take part in educational webinars conducted by the best digital marketing experts. SEMrush hosts multiple webinars each week with topics such as: Drive Profitable Growth at Scale with Google Shopping, Take Content Marketing to the Next Level, Winning with Best-in-class WordPress Plug-ins, Advanced PPC, Top 10 Facebook Advertisement Hacks of 2020.
|Date & Location||Online|
Pubcon Austin 2020 – SEO Conference
Pubcon Austin 2020 will provide four educational tracks each hour and each session will include industry-leading speakers offering the latest strategies in SEO, PPC, social media, content, digital marketing strategies and more. We have been told repeatedly how valuable Pubcon can be to a business, consultant or agency. The reason why — we provide tactical resources and insights that can help businesses reach their marketing goals.
|Date & Location||February 16, 2020. Austin, Texas.|
|Cost||Starting at $349|
SMX: Search Marketing Expo
We’re bringing a newly redesigned program to SMX West. Join us February 19-21, 2020, in San Jose for two days of expert-led, tactic-rich SEO and SEM sessions, more intimate networking, and an opportunity to learn from leading marketing solution providers.
You’ll get the same high-quality content and actionable takeaways SMX is known for – all at a lower cost and with less time away from the office.
|Date & Location||February 19-21, 2020. San Jose, California.|
Fit Those SEO Conferences in Your Schedule!
There’s still enough time for you to do your research and decide what conference you’d benefit from the most.
You have plenty of options. Search for an SEO conference that’s close to your location, so your travel expenses won’t be too high. Book your ticket in advance, so you’ll get a good discount.
Each conference has its advantages. What exactly do you want to learn? Check out the keynote speakers and topics covered, so you’ll choose a conference that helps you brush up your skills and develop new ones.
Have something to say about your thoughts on the SEO conference in 2020?
Natalie Fia is a digital marketer, graphic designer, and content developer. She’s currently developing a beginners’ digital marketing course that aims to provide a comprehensive online marketing methodology. In her free time, Natalie is contributing to various social causes through various non-profit movements.
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