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10 Digital Conferences you Should Attend after the Summer

It feels like we’re only halfway through our summer. But if you look at your calendar, you will see the end of it is fast approaching. Slowly businesses are getting back to work. People start preparing for the second half of the year.

That also means people start looking at what events to attend this fall and winter. Events that will provide them not just with new knowledge and insights on the latest developments, but also with networking opportunities.

For the past few years, we have provided you with an overview of many must-attend events in the digital marketing industry. We will continue to do that of course. But today I’d like to help you a little in choosing your events for the next 4 months. Here are some events that are worth visiting. And I’ll tell you why as well!

TheInbounder Jose Palazon-9916

Brighton SEO

Twice a year, Brighton SEO is the must attend event in the search industry in the UK and most of Europe. This event has grown crazy big over the last few years. From being upstairs of a bar somewhere in Brighton to a brand new venue The Brighton Centre, it is now bigger and better than ever.

When: 2nd September
Where: Brighton (UK)
Why attend: This event is a must attend because it not just brings together amazing speakers, it is the place to be for networking. One of the main attractions of Brighton is that many SEOs are there. Especially as a young SEO, this is the opportunity to learn and get to know other SEO’s, including some of the big names in the industry.

Content Marketing World

You can safely say that if you want to attend any event in content marketing, Content Marketing World is the place to be. The conference takes place in Cleveland, Ohio, USA and is the biggest in the Content Marketing industry. This has a lot to do with the founder, Joe Peluzzi, who has advocated for the topic a lot in the past few years. They also go “all out” on speakers. Keynoting last year was Kevin Spacey, this year “Luke Skywalker”, aka Mark Hamill will be the main speaker. But there is more than that, including the Global Director of Social Media & Search Marketing at the LEGO Group, Lars Silberbauer, Ann Handley, Jay Baer, Robert Rose, Marcus Sheridan, Lee Odden and our good friend Rand Fishkin.

When: September 6-9
Where: Cleveland, Ohio USA
Why attend: This conference is the place to be for content marketing, especially with the great speaker line up there. And how often is it that you get to Cleveland Ohio and see Luke Skywalker in person?


MozCon has always been one of the places people desperately want to go to. This is because of the strong sense of community Moz has created over the years. As the tagline says, this is “not your typical marketing conference”, just because of that reason. The three-day conference has a lot of diversity in it with lots of different types speakers.

When: September 12-14
Where: Seattle, WA, USA
Why attend: Content wise the diversity is a big USP here, but also because Mozcon is the place to be to get detailed tactical advice from those doing the actual work. At some conferences you just get speakers, here you get experts speaking.


One of the more general marketing conferences that take place in Europe is DMExco, which is an extremely large conference in Cologne, Germany. With over 15 stages you will have a lot to choose from. This means there will definitely be something of your liking there. At the same time, I would suggest to prepare yourself. You can’t see it all, so make a plan beforehand!

When: September 14 & 15
Where: Cologne, Germany
Why attend: So much choice, so many speakers. That has to be the reason why you should attend DMExco right? Well yes, partly. But also because it brings together different marketers, so this is the ultimate networking opportunity. But only if you plan ahead.

SMX East: New York City

“Back in the old days”, it was SMX vs SES when choosing what search conference to go to. Those days are over. Also because SES doesn’t even exist anymore. Unlike SMX, which is as vibrant as ever with shows in both US and Europe. When it comes to the US, SMX East is one you can’t miss. It’s in the big Apple, but it’s more than that: it’s a conference focused on search. Which is almost unique in these days. With speakers like Marty Weintraub, John Gagnon, Matt Van Wagner and Fili Wiese, under close supervision of Chris Sherman and Danny Sullivan, you are getting the best in the field of search.

When: September 27 – 29
Where: New York City, NY, USA
Why attend: Where most conference grab a broader scope, SMX has kept their search angle. Which makes it a great place for search marketers to go to. You will find what you need, if not in the sessions, then outside of the sessions, talking to the experts.

Searchlove London

Distilled was one of the first agencies in the UK to start their own conference. And for quite a few years now, they’ve made it a big success. Every year people are excited about the Searchlove conference in London. Where Distilled brings together high-quality speakers. This year is no exception that. I am proud to be on stage with names like Rand Fishkin, Larry Kim, Lisa Myers, Wil Reynolds, Will Critchlow and many others.

When: London, UK
Where: October 17 & 18
Why attend: One of the good things of Searchlove is that you don’t just buy a ticket to a conference, you buy a ticket to an experience. And on top of that, you get video material after and the opportunity to mingle with the speakers. All this in a great environment. I can’t think of a reason not to attend, to be honest…

Learn Inbound

Last year I spoke at Learn Inbound Dublin together with Gianluca Fiorelli, Rand Fishkin and Wil Reynolds. I had an amazing time. If only because of the Irish people being so bloody nice! Back then the event was only a few hours long. This year, they go all out. With a day-long event. And again with some great speakers, like our own Barry Adams and Laura Crimmons for example.

When: 19th October
Where: Dublin, Ireland
Why attend: Being in Dublin is a reason on its own to attend, but rest assured: there is much more. You will be pleasantly surprised about how the event is organised and how much you can do. You will learn a lot and have fun at the same time!

SMX Milan

In Europe, SMX is ‘limited’ to a few places: London, Munich and Milan. Pick anyone you want, but start thinking about the Milan one first. Not only is it organised in an amazing city. It has much to offer content wise as well. Avinash Kaushik will be there for example. And Kristjan Mar Hauksson. And Aleyda Solis! You will be able to learn a lot there. And why not do that in a great place like Milan?

When: Milan, Italy
Where: November 7th
Why attend: There will be many great speakers there (yes, me too!), which will make the trip to Milan worth it. But the setup of the conference is one that could get you there as well. The way it’s set up makes the speakers very approachable and networking easy!

UnGagged Vegas

It’s Vegas baby! Last year UnGagged opened its doors in Las Vegas for the first time. And with a blast. This conference takes also place in London. But hey, Vegas! The Vegas conference has a somewhat different lineup than London. It’s also slightly bigger. That means you’ll be able to take a gamble and find the right speakers there for you ;-).

When: November 14 – 16
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada, US
Why attend: UnGagged London was around the Brexit decision. UnGagged Vegas is a week after the US elections. What a time to be there right? But that’s not why you should attend UnGagged. Why you should attend UnGagged Vegas is because it is a place where the speakers share just a bit more of their secrets than elsewhere. Get the extra information there!

Conversion Hotel

One that might seem like the odd one out in this list is Conversion Hotel 2016. Not because it’s about Conversion, but because some of you might have never heard about it. Maybe because it is held on an island in The Netherlands. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth looking at. It definitely is. The line up (Oli Gardner, Greg Shapiro to name a few) and the content are great.

When: 18/19/20 November
Where: Texel, the Netherlands
Why attend: It’s different. It’s conversion, they have some great speakers. And it’s in a location you will not easily forget. Former attendees will tell you this conference is a must attend!



Bas van den Beld is an award winning Digital Marketing consultant, trainer and speaker. He is the founder of State of Digital and helps companies develop solid marketing strategies.
  • Haych PhoenixStones

    Great list! thanks for taking the time 🙂 Added a couple more to the diary as it’s always good to stay up to date with peers and experts alike.

  • Hah. I only just caught up on my reading and saw this after our call this morning – Thanks Bas 🙂

  • Ingrid Haug

    How about ‘Design Matters’ – in Copenhagen? http://www.designmatters16.dk One of the themes is “fun and casual design” which I think is a big thing these days!

  • Thanks for the list Bas. Which ones will you be attending?

    BTW, there’s a cool conference in Prague on September 23 & 24 called the WebExpo (https://webexpo.net/prague2016/) – worth checking out as well. Especially since I’m going to be speaking there 😉