Working out which digital events to attend next year? Here’s our top twelve.
As we head into the last 2 months of the year, many of us who haven’t yet bolted down our conference calendars for 2019 are beginning to scramble to ensure we get approval for must-attend events before budget gets signed away.
Picking the right events is always a challenge – the European digital marketing community swells to new proportions every year and new workshops, exhibitions and speaker-led events pop up alongside tried-and-tested favourites.
The best events are informative, future-facing, offer valuable networking opportunities and – if you’re lucky – are a lot of fun.
From our own experience and based on hours of networking with Europe’s top digital marketing professionals, here’s our top-twelve recommendation for European digital marketing conferences coming up next year.
Cologne, September 11-12
Centred around a main stage with seating for over 1,600 people, DMEXCO offers more than 500 expert speakers across a wide array of digital marketing and e-retail subjects.
Previous conferences have featured presentations from marketing leaders representing companies including Expedia, Contently, Sony Music and Microsoft and the event’s gold sponsor is Salesforce.
2019 topics include blockchain, deep learning, voice and image search as well as a host of sessions tackling various facets of the impending AI revolution.
Brighton, April 11-12
One of the largest and most respected natural search conferences in Europe, BrightonSEO has grown from humble origins into a staple event attracting over 3,000 attendees annually.
“This isn’t an event that just tells you ‘content is king’ or ‘don’t translate your site, localise it’ and all those other conference cliches. It’s hands on. It’s detailed and it’s practical.”
On the agenda for 2019 are forecasting potential ROI for organic search, Black Friday SEO, optimising search for Amazon, Walmart, eBay and non-Google native search engines and tools, tactics and algorithms for ‘game changing content.’
London, June 18-19 / Berlin, March 7-8
Attended by brands including Amazon, Coca Cola, Adidas, Disney, IKEA, Virgin and BMW, eTail is one of Europe’s premier and longest-running events focused on omni-channel e-commerce. With topics on the agenda including personalization, delivery models and emerging disruptive technology, the conference examines the current and future state of online retail from the brand, distributor and tech angle.
In their own words, “no commercials or egos: just hundreds of strategic takeaways on how to cut through the noise and deliver a seamless and personalised online shopping experience.”
London, March 27-28
Also known as MTEX, the event brings together over 700 exhibitors and offers 500+ seminars centred on the deployment of technology to improve marketing effectiveness and improve the customer experience.
Featuring keynote speakers from Microsoft, G2 Crowd, Google, LinkedIn, Salesforce, Amazon and IBM, the agenda is packed with deep-dive workshops and seminars covering marketing automation, inbound marketing, real-time personalisation, and cloud-based customer contact centres.
Munich, April 2-3 / London, May 21-22
With the Munich event opened by keynote speaker Rand Fishkin of Moz fame, SMX focuses exclusively on search marketing and the place search occupies within the marketing mix. Workshops include advanced AdWords, user research for SEO, PPC and conversion optimisation, and building a chatbot. The event closes with a showdown on the main stage to decide the awards for SEO and SEA campaigns of the year from among nominated brands and agencies.
London, February 6-9 (Stockholm, March 27-28 / Amsterdam, 17-20 July / Lisbon, October 16-19)
With an anticipated 5,000 attendees participating in the 4-day event, the London Affiliate Conference is a leading event focused on affiliate marketing strategies, tactics and technologies. With a concentration on the iGaming sector, the conference is a who’s-who of experts from the casino, poker, sports betting, fantasy sports and lottery niches, with sponsorship let by bet365.
London, February 14-17
“For people who love and make online video” – VidCon is billed as the world’s largest event for fans, creators, executives and brands who are passionate about online video. The conference has three ‘tracks’ (with three pricing levels), separated into ‘community’ (fans), ‘creator’ (content creators) and ‘industry’ (corporations, brands and technology companies).
Attendees feature representatives of BBC Studios, MTV, Paramount Networks and Nickelodeon.
London, March 7
With speakers from Google, Yandex and Vodafone, Voice Search focuses on the challenges and opportunities created by the shift in the way people interact with web-connected devices to look for information. The event takes a detailed look at the current state of voice search as well as offering sessions on digital assistants, optimising for voice search and how to build voice into business and marketing strategy.
London, April 1-3
“Honest discussion. Actionable tactics. No Cameras. No BS. If you’re done with the tired cliches told over and over again at SEO Conferences, then you’re ready to experience UnGagged – an UnConventional SEO and Digital Marketing conference that delivers real-world results.”
UnGagged is an SEO and digital marketing event with a different vibe, built around a ‘No fluff and no sales pitches policy’ and promising to get down to business with ‘methods that can be implemented the next day’.
Taking the format of a 2-day conference and a 1-day intensive masterclass to close, the event covers topics including technical SEO, local SEO, link building, reputation management and content marketing,
London, May 1-3
SocialDay – as the name suggests – is all about social media marketing. Along with plenty of socialising and networking, themes include marketing to generation Z, social media and virtual reality, artificial intelligence and emerging technologies.
Aimed at both agency employees and brands, SocialDay emerged from frustration with the surface-level workshops on social included at generic digital marketing conferences, and promises to provide a social-focused deep dive solution.
Brands in attendance at past events have included McDonalds, Coca Cola and McVities.
Edinburgh, June 5-6
With a focus on content marketing and social media, CMA Live covers a broad range of topics including video-first marketing, copywriting and content creation, Facebook ads and viral campaigns.
The emphasis is on harnessing content and technology to accelerate business growth and the event is popular not only with agency marketers and content creators but with entrepreneurs and business owners, collaborating on ideas and tactics to tell their stories to a broader, more engaged audience.
Berlin, February 20
E-commerce Berlin Expo is a B2B trade fair for e-commerce service providers, making it a more targeted event than other wider-reaching e-comm conference options. Entering its fourth year and with 20 hours of content spread across 4 stages, the expo deals with products and services which enhance online retail performance.
2018’s speaker line-up included representatives from Hewlett Packard, Zalando, Google, Capgemini, L’Oreal and Facebook.
(Got any US travel booked in for 2019? Check out our US-focused conference guide from Adaptive Digital’s New York office).
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