The world of digital is so heavily saturated with events and conferences that it can be hard to know which are worth your while – and your cash.
While your decision will always be dependent on factors such as the area of expertise you want to hear from, how much budget you have and where you’re based, there are still so many to choose from, it’s difficult to know where to start.
So, we’ve picked out our 5 top digital marketing conferences for 2023: attend one of these and you certainly won’t walk away short of juicy insights and impressive networking relationships.
brightonSEO has become one of the most popular and respected search conferences in the world. The event sees thousands of people flock to Brighton in search of (get it?) industry insights.
It’s one of our favourite digital marketing events because of its fun crowd and varied agenda, plus it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Every year they provide training workshops and conferences on niche topics, along with social events after each day of the conference to push networking opportunities and just to make sure you’re having a good time.
As the name gives away, it’s hosted in Brighton, providing the perfect mix of SEO and the sea. (Note from editor: S-sea-o? No? Ok.)
They’re now running 2 events a year, with the first on the 20th and 21st April, and the second on the 14th and 15th September, both being held at the Brighton Centre.
There’s an online version for those who can’t attend – you can also access the talks for free after attending, and if you didn’t attend but still want to access them later, you can for a charge of around £200.
You can find a range of different ticket types on their website starting at £270 + VAT. Extra conferences, like the Paid Social Show, Online PR and Search Advertising Show cost slightly more at £390.
One of the great perks of brightonSEO, and unlike any other marketing conference, is that there’s always a chance to go for free each year. Despite the conference growing larger every year, the organisers run a free ticket ballot with a 20% chance of nabbing one – the idea stays in line with their original vision of making coming together as an industry as accessible as possible.
2. SMX Advanced
SMX Advanced is a Europe-based conference designed exclusively for advanced search marketers – it’s the place to be for learning some impressive SEO and PPC tactics.
Just like brightonSEO, they like to cut through the BS, with no clichés and sales pitches, always making sure every talk is Q&A-packed and informative.
It’s the only industry event that’s 100% search marketing. With talks focusing on both SEO and PPC, they also include roundtable discussions led by experts that explore specific topics within SEO and PPC, and provide attendees with the chance to discuss the issues they might be facing in small intimate groups, always planning for Q&A time to help you get the most out of it.
Expert speakers from SEO and PPC backgrounds show up each year without fail, all with the underpinning aim to arm you with expert tactics, tips, and techniques that can immediately be implemented into your strategy.
13th and 14th September 2023
This year’s conference will be held in Berlin at the Pullman Berlin Schweizerhof. Unfortunately there’s no virtual event, so if you’re a PPC or SEO professional, it’s time to start making a business case for those flights!
Super early bird tickets are available now at €995 – translating to £885 GBP. No denying the price is steep, but if you do want the most exclusive PPC and SEO insights, it’s definitely the conference for you.
3. Ecomm Live
Ecomm Live is Ireland’s leading ecommerce conference and is certainly the event of the year if you’re looking to grow in ecommerce.
Some of the talk-topics include social ecommerce, B2B ecommerce, customer experience, omnichannel engagement and more. You can expect to see workshops, talks and panels from a range of online retail experts from renowned companies like Ryanair, Pinterest and TikTok.
There’s also the option of technical ecommerce training for any marketers who are looking to upskill and grow their knowledge in a more focused way – training typically takes place the day before the conference. Training topics usually include SEO and email marketing for eCommerce, as well as visual merchandising, web development, UX and GA4.
26th April & 27th April 2023.
The Assembly Buildings Conference Centre in Belfast.
There’s currently no virtual attendance option, but the event will be recorded and accessible at a later date.
Super early bird tickets are now on sale starting at £199 and include an opening party and closing party.
There are also plenty of other super early bird tickets at the minute for training sessions too on a range of topics listed above, all starting at £499.
4. Nottingham Digital Summit
The Nottingham Digital Summit is the Midlands’ biggest digital marketing event, bringing together more than 700 delegates from across the marketing community. Expanding to welcome speakers across three stages rather than two this year, it also offers free one-to-one clinics for discussing issues you may be facing in aspects of digital from SEO, CRO, UX to PPC, content marketing and social media.
The event covers all aspects of digital marketing – perfect whether you’re in-house or at an agency – but also appeals to specialists with the range of focused talks available to attend.
Another unique element of the Nottingham Digital Summit is that all profits go to charity. Each year a different local charity is chosen to receive all the donations raised from the event – so not only do you get the chance to grow and learn in your industry, but you do so with the knowledge that you’re making a positive difference to others in the wider community. This year, Emmanuel House will be receiving the donations and will be taking the stage at the beginning of the day so you know exactly what kind of difference your contributions will make.
This year’s first wave of speakers have recently been announced and include specialists in SEO, insights and performance, PPC and content, from a range of renowned brands like Channel 4, Morrisons and Google.
It’s the only summer event on our list, taking place on the 29th June 2023 from 9am until 7pm.
It will be held at The Nottingham Playhouse this year.
Unfortunately there’s no hybrid session available yet, but talks will be recorded and become accessible once the event has passed.
Coming in as the cheapest conference on this list (unless you score a free ballot ticket for brightonSEO), prices for the early bird ticket release are currently £45 but once the last of these are sold they’ll be hiking up to £75. The ticket cost also includes an afterparty and the chance to attend one-to-one clinics (which are free to book).
5. Festival of Marketing
Marketing Week’s Festival of Marketing, is, as the name suggests, all about marketing and all of its sectors, featuring talks and workshops each year that aim to make marketers feel more confident and inspired.
The event is sponsored by some of the most renowned names in the industry, including: Marketing Week, Mini MBA, Creative Review, Econsultancy and Oystercatchers, making it a pretty authoritative event, one which you can pretty much guarantee will be beneficial in terms of both insights and networking opportunities.
Previous years have featured world-renowned speakers like Mark Ritson, as well as speakers from some of the biggest companies in the world such as Dr Martens, LinkedIn, Tesco, Unilever, Pepsico.
Due to its popularity, Festival of Marketing started hosting 2 events a year, holding one in late March and the other in late October. The exact date is yet to be confirmed.
Both events are held within fairly close proximity in the centre of London. The first event of last year took place at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in London, while the second was held at The Brewery in London.
This is one of the few events on our list that offers both virtual and hybrid passes for the events on the day, too.
Prices for 2023 are still TBC, but they tend to be upwards of £495 + VAT for an in-person conference ticket. We’d recommend registering your interest on their site to find out the exact costs when tickets go on sale.
What are you waiting for?
Now is the time to get your budgets in order and start deciding where to attend this year – the cheaper early bird release tickets won’t be available for much longer!
Hopefully this overview has helped you to realise which conference suits you and what you’re looking to get out of it best. While there are many marketing events out there, these certainly have the most to offer (in our humble opinion).
If you’d like to continue the conversation or ask any digital marketing related questions, get in touch.