Marketing Events to Attend in Atlanta in 2017
With all the great marketing resources available online for free, one could ask what’s the point in attending conferences anymore. I could put myself in that category, but stepping out of my comfort zone made me realize why marketing conferences still matter:
Networking: Looking for a job or not, networking is a great way to run into new opportunities or meet someone that opens up your world. For example, I’ve connected with some people at TechCrunch Atlanta, and even though I didn’t carry any business card, I was able to stay in touch with them via LinkedIn or my Messenger Bot.
Reviewing fundamentals: Like Tim Duncan working on his hook shot for 20 years every day, practice makes perfect. The day-to-day life of a marketer doesn’t always give you the chance to take a step back and review marketing principles that are so obvious you forget to apply them.
Learning about new trends: Keeping up with new marketing channels and innovation can be challenging. We’ve all been there, reading blogs, trying to find the next big thing. Would it be Meerkat or Periscope? Is SnapChat here to stay and how can I use it for my business? If you’re experiencing information overload and are not sure what to bet on, let other experts do the work for you. Attending events can help you sort out the weeds so you can find your next marketing eldorado.
Now let’s dive into some marketing events you should attend if you live in the Greater Atlanta area.
Digital Summit Atlanta was the best event I attended in 2016. Yes, Gary Vaynerchuck is a show man. Litmus’ Justine Jordan is the new Queen of email marketing. And Ann Handley’s presentation was so compelling I decided to read Everybody Writes.
One of thirteen events nationwide, the Atlanta edition attracts marketers from all over Georgia, but also common-border states.
Digital Summit goes beyond Marketing, and expands on topics like UX & Design, Search, Content, Mobile, and more.
Atlanta is full of young and creative talents, and this series of monthly free talks is the best illustration of the dynamism of ATL, the Silicon Valley of the East Coast. Hosted by Blake Howard, Creative Mornings Atlanta wants to inspire and challenge A-town’s creative community towards better things.
Since it’s free of charge, the talks supported by local sponsors like Mailchimp to help provide breakfast, and welcoming locations each and every month.
I went to the talk last September with a couple of my friends who are designers. The great location of Ponce City Market set the tone for a casual slightly hipster ambience, the kind of places where someone wearing a tie is the outsider.
Kevin Gillese, comedian and founder of Dad’s Garage Theatre, gave a great speech about writing, creating, and the work ethic requires to produce good work, and facing failure as part of the process. Kevin was very engaging. I expect future Creative mornings to raise the bar even higher.
Constant Contact Academy
Mailchimp or Litmus aren’t the only email marketing providers relying on events for branding. Instead of sponsoring marketing events or sending their presenters, Constant Contact chose to create its own series of free events.
If you’re an advanced marketer, those events are probably not for you. Constant Contact’s sessions are aimed at small business owners who had to get into marketing because they don’t have anyone to do it for them.
If you’re new to marketing, especially email marketing, those human sized events are full of great tips and tricks to get you started. I’ve learned a ton when attending a few years ago.
If you’re in Georgia, here’s a list of upcoming email marketing events.
Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association
AIMA events are for you experienced marketers! Far from what Constant Contact can do, these events aren’t free and tickets usually go for $40. Each session focuses on a niche topic, could it be marketing analytics or virtual reality.
Do you consider yourself a marketing newbie? You could still attend if you’re ready to deep dive into a specific topic. If networking is your main driver, you can become a member of AIMA, or volunteer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. AIMA was recently looking for 2 people to join their Celebrate ATL event team.
American Marketing Association
AMA is another active organization similar to AIMA. They have tons of different events, but here’s where to start:
Monthly Luncheon: These events are great for meeting other professionals because they’re casual. After an hour dedicated to networking, a panel of experts discusses the topic of the month during an hour long lunch/presentation, could it be how brands can create content that breaks through, or creating new visual identity standards.
AMY Awards: Over the past 60 years, AMA Atlanta has honored the marketers that have taken ordinary ideas, situations, and products and made them extraordinary. On March 9, 2017, the best marketing work Atlanta has to offer will be celebrated at the College Football Hall of Fame near Centennial Olympic Park.
If you’re interested in attending the event, or submit your entry as a contestant, visit amyawardsatl.com.
Bonus: Keep on an eye on Eventbrite!
There are plenty more events you might be interesting in that can be hard to find.
When I’m not sure where to look, I go on EventBrite and I always stumble upon interesting talks.
One of the best examples is Social Media Club Atlanta. Their mission is to connect people within their local community through their interest in and passion for social media. Members from the world of business, media, advertising, PR, design, education, non-profits, and government meet monthly to discuss how they and their community can benefit from changes and best practices brought by the Internet and new forms of communication.
Their Facebook isn’t the most up to date, but coworkers have been there in the past and were please with the content great things about those events.