Welcome to the future! Just kidding, it’s only 2018, but it feels like the future. Between AI, personalization, wearables, augmented reality, and machine learning, the world as we know it is changing. Websites are no longer static, one-dimensional landing pages. They’re dynamic, unique, and a beautiful example of how seamlessly technology is evolving. As digital pioneers in our field, it’s our job to keep up. One of the ways to accomplish that is by adding these top digital and WordPress events to your 2018 calendar, which I have listed out and described below.
Working at a WordPress agency requires us to be on top of the trends happening in our direct space as well as be cognizant of the direction the web as a whole is going. I try to keep our team ahead of the curve by taking advantage of in-person events that provide opportunities to obtain new knowledge, putting us on the cutting edge, as well as make key relationships that could help us grow the business.
I consider these to be the top digital and WordPress events for 2018 because either I’ve attended them myself in the past and/or our team is planning on attending this year. Think I missed one of your must-attend events? Comment below!
Dates and locations vary.
Considered the pinnacle of WordPress events, WordCamps are community organized, allowing each local WordPress community to make their event unique and tailored toward their specific city and culture. For example, if you work in the music industry or media industry (or your target clients do), WordCamp Los Angeles might be a prime one for you to check out in order to connect with that type of experience. At these events, you’ll find freelancers, agencies, marketers, IT professionals, and a whole range of other experts—all of whom have questions to ask or a desire to share their expertise with others. You can learn more about WordCamps and see their full schedule of events at Central.WordCamp.org.
Pro Tip: Attending WordCamp Europe or US is like attending the mega version of local WordCamps. They are the main annual events, respectively.
Both date and location are TBD.
This event is dedicated solely to WooCommerce, one of the top eCommerce platforms on the market today, and the one that integrates seamlessly with WordPress (whose parent company Automattic acquired in 2015). At this event, expect to hear from their team about new features, as well as hear success stories from top developers and store owners using the platform. Generally, agencies that do a lot of eCommerce business, as well as their development teams, will be in attendance. Store owners who operate their stores or would like to operate WooCommerce stores should check it out. And for brands, it’s a great place to find developers or an agency to work with on their next eCommerce project.
Social Media Marketing World
February 28-March 2, San Diego, CA
Social media is no longer just a buzz word, and out of all the events that touch on social media, none quite compare to the greatness of Social Media Marketing World. You’ll hear from leading experts like Gary Vaynerchuk and Guy Kawasaki, experience workshops, and walk away with actionable results that you can apply to your business immediately. Social media isn’t going away anytime soon, and if you’re marketing your business at any level, leveraging social media correctly can unlock a wealth of opportunities for your business. Out of all the social media events, this is the one to attend if you want to hone in and learn as much as you can, plus have the opportunity to connect with leaders in the social media space.
March 9-18, Austin, TX
What started out as a humble music festival has now expanded to cover technology, health and wellness, education, film, as well as music. SXSW has been responsible for helping boost many notable brands today like Twitter, Foursquare, and Meerkat, which opened up live streaming on social media platforms. The who’s who of the music and film industries show up. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a secret show somewhere amazing. And in total, over 150,000+ attendees descend upon Austin from all over the world. Yes, it can be chaos to manage, but lots of major brands attend, making it prime for the networking.
June 5-8, Chicago, IL
Internet Retailers Conference & Exhibition (IRCE) is a premier eCommerce event. Depending on what you’re doing with eCommerce, IRCE could be invaluable for you. Expect to find vendors with whom you could partner, as well as brands who operate successful eCommerce and retail stores to be in attendance, sharing tips and tricks. With over 130 sessions, there is bound to be something for everyone who is in the eCommerce space.
Adobe Conferences (Summit and Max)
Adobe Summit: March 25-29, Las Vegas, NV; Adobe Max: October 15-17, Los Angeles, CA
Adobe offers two events: Adobe Summit, which is targeted at digital marketing, and Adobe Max which is targeted at creatives. What makes these events stand out is the production element. Every single detail of the event is thought out and you truly feel inspired and creative while you’re there. The exhibition hall isn’t overcrowded. The talks are high-quality, and the type of attendees it attracts is pretty targeted. Thinking how accessible and respected Adobe products are, the brands that leverage these tools end up sending their teams to these events, which makes for a great opportunity to network with brands like Coca-Cola, Disney, and Canon. It’s truly an event aimed at digital creatives and I think lives up to its expectation.
July 9-11, Seattle, WA
Operated by Moz, the company who creates smart marketing tools for SEO, this brand knows a thing or two about creating great content. MozCon has become known for providing state of the art information as well as experiences for conference attendees that make connecting in person super easy. You’ll hear from leading brands as well as digital marketing experts. Because of the brand that Moz has built, their conference is usually one not to miss.
September 4-7, Boston, MA
Geared for the sales and marketing side of the house, Inbound is operated by Hubspot. The event’s purpose is to provide the inspiration, education, and connections you need to grow and transform your business. I’ve followed along with Hubspot’s growth as a company and think that their expertise shines when it comes to Inbound. They gather all the right people who are at the top of their game to share insight and inspiration, and sometimes that’s the magic you need to take your business to the next level.
Content Marketing World
September 4-7, Cleveland, OH
They say content is king, and as such, Content Marketing World always provides juicy insight into the world of content. As the largest event of its kind, this event aims to inspire you to do your own epic content marketing and network with some of the brightest in the business! In a world where pretty much everything is at your fingertips thanks to the internet, creating engaging content that resonates with your audience and grows your business is on everybody’s mind as an imperative element to be considered.
Exact day in August TBD, New York City, NY
BlogHer is often described as a movement to empower women to find their voices digitally. It’s the type of event that content creators can use to connect with brands, but also for brands to really learn from and connect with the content creators. They have a main event, but also will host smaller niche events focused on health or food, so depending on your industry, it might make sense for you to look into one of those. The type of attendee ranges anywhere from someone interested in starting a blog to seasoned six figure making bloggers. If you’re a brand looking to connect with that audience, it’s a great event to participate as a sponsor. Sponsors get a lot of great face-time with the attendees, versus having a presence in a huge exhibit hall where you’re just one of many booths.
September 19-21, Dallas, TX
This event is geared for designers, tech junkies, and makers. I always find that events centered around design usually net out to be the most beautiful, but aside from the amazing graphics and presentation of the event, Circles Conference actually draws together visionaries from the design world. While it’s a relatively new conference, only founded in 2014, it still attracts an inspiring group of attendees and speakers who only have highly positive things to say about the conference. It’s one that’s on my radar for this year to finally attend.