This content originally appeared on Forbes.
Attending an industry convention or trade conference can be a huge turning point in an agency professional’s career, introducing them to new connections, opportunities and ways of working. With so many to choose from, though, it can be a challenge to figure out which events would be most beneficial.
Depending on the space you work in and your career and networking goals, some trade conferences in the agency world may be more in line with your interests than others. Below, members of Forbes Agency Council each share the No. 1, must-attend conference they believe all agency owners and professionals should attend and why.
1. Adobe Summit
I’ve found Adobe Summit to be especially valuable for both speakers and attendees. It merges creativity, innovation and leadership beneath the umbrella of digital evolution and provides a platform for experts in a variety of industries, so you find inspiration in unlikely places. It’s the perfect place for agency leaders to gain credibility and make connections. – Tomas Andren, UPRISE Management
2. Traffic & Conversion Summit
This has long been one of my favorite events. Typically, I leave this event with more notes and inspiration than any other. Speakers are accomplished experts who share the frameworks they have developed to drive results. Pretty much anytime Roland Frasier is speaking, I’m taking notes. – David Hall, GeniusVets
3. Sofa Summit
As someone who spent years attending massive conferences and trade shows, I personally get the most out of events that are more intimate, such as a local event with an interesting speaker or our statewide Chamber of Commerce events. I think the Sofa Summit for social advertising professionals in April is a fantastic virtual event and should be a must-attend for any agency owner. – Katie Schibler Conn, KSA Marketing
4. NAB Show
NAB Show, produced by the National Association of Broadcasters, is a must-attend trade conference. It is a very large conference, which ensures that it is possible for your agency to get Fortune 500 and 100 coverage. NAB is held in Las Vegas and is usually geared at tech and cutting-edge discoveries, but it is a great way to really get your name known. – Jon James, Ignited Results
5. Our Clients’ Trade Shows
Personally, I get the most from attending our clients’ trade shows. Their seminars, networks and new products are all on display, and it gives me a deeper understanding of the client’s industry, so I can be a more strategic thinker on their behalf. To improve our own operations, I do enjoy business-owner conferences, such as the annual conference hosted by America’s SBDC and the Build A Better Agency Summit, to sharpen financial and professional skills. – Christine Wetzler, Pietryla PR & Marketing
6. RampUp LiveRamp Summit
For our company, the RampUp LiveRamp Summit has yielded the most lasting partnerships and valuable discussions. With the increasing importance of digital advertising, the RampUp conference brings together many digital advertising industry professionals all in one place, making it easy for us to engage and connect with prospects, customers and peers. – Paula Chiocchi, Outward Media, Inc.
7. Ecom World
Ecom World is an amazing conference for direct-to-consumer brands, agencies and software to discover new opportunities and ideas, establish new partnerships and contemplate the future of e-commerce. Discussions include fulfillment and customer service, pay-per-click and SEO strategies, brand building, influencer marketing, email, SMS text marketing, and more. – Justin Buckley, ATTN Agency
8. South By Southwest
I’d have to say South by Southwest if you are looking for more of a broad sweep in terms of fit. While I do prefer more niche conferences in terms of industry, I like the vibe of SXSW, as it creates a bit of a community atmosphere that enables a more relaxed networking and relationship-building framework. Plus you can play as hard as you work—which is a bonus. – Christopher Tompkins, The Go! Agency
9. Customer Relationship Management Conference
Everything we do has to revolve around our customers and prospective customers. CRMC is one event that focuses solely on customer relationship management and customer experience. With the consumers’ buying journey continually evolving and a fiercely competitive market, learning those ways to enhance the consumer experience with your brand is paramount to success. – Lori Paikin, NaviStone®
10. Inbound Conference
HubSpot’s Inbound Conference has done a fantastic job of moving from a digital and content marketing conference to a full-scale celebration of the industry at large. The event attracts a diverse array of high-profile speakers—including Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee and Elizabeth Gilbert—while balancing practical learning formats and opportunities to make new, sometimes surprising, connections. – Chris Martin, FlexMR
11. Affiliate World Conference
Most recently, our director of paid social attended and presented at the 2022 Affiliate World Conference in Dubai. By all reports, it was an amazing experience to network with industry rock stars as well as build partnerships and industry connections. Granted, due to its location and ticket price, this may be a big ask for some brands, but the impact of this event will be felt for years in all the best ways. – Bernard May, National Positions
12. LMA Annual Conference
We happen to be in a niche market of legal marketing, so the natural fit was the Legal Marketing Association’s LMA Annual Conference. It has been great to go to local chapters’ conferences, but being able to also attend the national one opened up our business to many more firms. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design