2016 Marketing Events That Will Shine as Bright as Gold

Event Marketing


Last year I decided to take a leap of faith and move from Boston to San Francisco, not knowing anyone. Nearly 25, I thought to myself, when would there be a better time to disrupt my life and explore a new adventure? So, I packed up my bags and went for it.

I am happy to say that leaving my home in Beantown and venturing out to the unknown West coast has been the best decision I’ve made for both my personal life and professional career. I’ve landed my dream job managing events at Marketo, checked things off my bucket list (think: traveling internationally and running a multi-activation event at SXSW), and I have forced myself outside of my comfort zone on numerous occasions. (It’s when we really get uncomfortable that we grow, right?).

For instance, this past weekend I went camping, and for those of you who know me, you know that the whole sleeping-in-a-tent-and-singing-songs-around-the-campfire routine isn’t my cup of tea…well, unless this is all taking place under the roof of the Four Seasons. But, I packed up my (new) sleeping bag and (new) hiking boots anyways (thank you, helpful folks at REI), told myself I was going to have a good time, and set out to actually make that happen! My friends and I headed up to the Yuba River and set up camp. When we got there, I expected that I would spend the day floating on a tube and maybe doing some fishing (but, of course, secretly hoping that I wouldn’t have to). But instead, to my surprise, one of my friends suggested that we pan for gold—just like the Gold Rushers did! I shrugged my shoulders and thought, “When in Rome….”

I loved it. Gold panning is an interesting activity and takes dedicated time and patience as well as some creativity. When you’re panning for gold, you find a spot near the bedrock and start digging. You then use a sifter to get rid of the big rocks in order to get down to just sand. You then go through about three more steps (that I won’t bore you with here), and eventually you may find a speck or two of gold (cha-ching!). However, even after all that work, you may not find any at all (whomp, whomp). You then move onto another spot and try again.

Pan for Marketing Gold

So, how does my gold panning experience relate to you, my fellow marketers? I’m glad you asked. I encourage you to think about your marketing programs—and specifically in this case, your marketing events program—in the same way that one would pan for gold. In recent times, our industry has seen more and more events pop up right and left—it seems like every company and organization is putting on a show now. But with this volume, how do you weed through the haystack and pinpoint the ones that your company should actually have a presence at? Some of these new events may be a good fit for your company, however with others, you may not find the gold you were looking for.

If you’re like me, you’ve already begun planning your event roadmap for 2016. As a starting point, make sure that you review event data that has accumulated over the past two years. Run that analytics report! This is the foundation of determining how you can be successful going forward. Assessing your year-over-year return on an event will tell you if the events that you are consistently participating in are truly working…or if they’re not. Determine the ROI. If you’re a B2B marketer, evaluate how many opportunities were created. Are these events generating pipeline better than other events? Then conclude whether they are really “must-attends.” If not, scratch them off the list and start digging somewhere else. With enough research and assessment, I’m sure you’ll find that gold you’ve been looking for.

Choose the Right Events to Attend

Need some golden event ideas that shine bright? Here are my suggestions of where to dig your shovel for the remainder of 2015 and for all of 2016:

October 2015

November 2015

December 2015

January 2016

February 2016

  • B2B Content2Convergence – February 15th – 17th  – Scottsdale, AZ | Pairing killer content with a demand generation program that delivers results.
  • Marketing Sherpa Email Summit – February 22nd – 24th – Las Vegas, NV
  • SAASTR – February 22nd – 25th – San Francisco, CA

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

 June 2016

July 2016

  • Marketo Marketing Nation Roadshow (cities/dates coming in early 2016)

August 2016

  • Marketo Marketing Nation Roadshow (cities/dates coming in early 2016)

September 2016

  • Content Marketing World – September 8th – 11th – Cleveland, OH | Build an innovative and exciting content marketing program for your company. Learn how to differentiate your company from your competitors through your content.
  • AdWeek – TBD – New York, NY
  • SM2 Innovation Summit – TBD – New York, NY

October 2016

November 2016

Are there any golden opportunities missing from this list? Let me know in the comments below!