Not so long ago, online communities and social media platforms were seen as tools for increasing brand awareness and broadening reach. They were nice-to-have outlets for amplifying your message. Today, they bring a much greater value to businesses (calculated here).

Online communities and social media platforms are being strategically used to generate leads and convert new customers — to grow revenue. They make a global audience and their influencers around any topic accessible to brands and individuals alike.

Community professionals are being challenged to find new and effective ways to communicate and engage with these audiences. They’re faced with the opportunity to add value to these audiences, with the idea that this value-add will lead to a conversion.

We can all read the latest articles and blog posts on these topics to keep up with trends in social and community, and we should as they can be very insightful. But there’s nothing quite as valuable or effective as getting together and having a conversation around these topics, as well as hearing and learning from the insights of those on the frontline executing.

Without further ado, here’s the 11 innovation, community, and marketing conferences every community professional today should attend.

1) Unbounce’s The Conversion Roadtrip

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Unbounce is hitting the road to train marketers of all types how to do conversion better. Try to catch a day of learning and networking in your city! According to the site, “the insights will be personal, the conversations will be real, and there will probably be lots of Facebook friends and hugging by the end of the night.”

When: June 1-8, 2015

Where: New York, Chicago, Toronto and Boston

How much: $299

2) UserConf

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UserConf is a one-day conference about keeping your users happy, therefore it’s perfect for those at the frontline communicating with your customers. That is, community, support and social media folks. Speakers come from companies who’ve reached success by putting their users first, including Dollar Shave Company, Intercom, Tumblr, The Omni Group, and more.

When: June 26, 2015

Where: Portland, OR

How much: $249-$349

3) Mozcon

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“Not your typical marketing conference,” Mozcon covers all things marketing, SEO, social media, community building, and beyond. Their speaker lineup includes thought leaders from Google, Buffer, Optimizely, Unbounce, and the like. The advice given is tactical, actionable, and even touches on entertaining.

When: July 13-15, 2015

Where: Seattle, WA

How much: $1,500 for general admission; $1,000 for pro subscribers

4) Inbound

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Organized by Hubspot, Inbound goes beyond discussing just content marketing, blogging, and social to challenge you to think about topics such as women in leadership, customer happiness, collaboration, culture and beyond. Speakers include Brene Brown, Seth Godin, Daniel Pink and more.

When: September 8-11, 2015

Where: Boston, MA

How much: $1,099 for early bird; $1,499 for regular admission

5) Content Marketing World

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As the lines between social and content marketing continue to blur, it only makes sense that community professionals know the trends in content marketing, and visa versa. After all, in smaller companies and startups, one person probably wears both hats. Hosted by the Content Marketing Institute, CMW is the content marketing event featuring big-name speakers and the quiet ninjas leading trends in the industry.

When: September 8-11, 2015

Where: Cleveland, OH

How much: Early bird is $1,965; regular admission is $2,235

6) XOXO Fest

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Sometimes getting inspired requires moving out of our comfort zones and hanging out with peeps from other industries. XOXO Fest brings together creatives from all lines of work — entrepreneurship, design, engineering, marketing, community and more. It celebrates the challenges life and work faces us with and all things around creativity and problem solving. They always have a stellar line up of speakers with a range of experience and music and fun activities to boot.

When: fall, September 11-13, 2015

Where: Portland, OR

How much: TBD

7) Social Fresh

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The Social Fresh conference packs in actionable content into several 30-minute presentations from leading social media and digital marketing experts including Jay Baer, Chris Brogan, Sarah Evans and more!

When: September 23-25, 2015

Where: Tampa, FL

How much: $797 for early bird; $1197 for regular ticket

8) CMX Summit

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Naturally, the value of CMX extends beyond the events themselves to the community they’ve built around them. Not only will you hear from a diverse array of speakers (past speakers have been from the FBI,, Vimeo, Reddit, Buzzfeed, and more), you’ll be rubbing elbows with the emerging thought leaders in the community space among fellow attendees. You’ll also learn how community touches all areas of business from marketing to product; from social media to leadership.

When: spring and fall (stay tuned for the fall announcement)

Where: New York in the spring; San Francisco in the fall

How much: $249 for pre-sale

10) Feverbee SPRINT: San Francisco

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Community thought leaders Feverbee host an annual conference in San Francisco and Europe digging deep into all things relevant to today’s community professionals. SPRINT is a bit different from most community conferences — rather than focusing on traditional strategies, you’ll walk away knowing how to use tactical psychology to build powerful communities. So far, speakers include folks from Pinterest, Stack Exchange, and the author of Brainfluence.

When: November 11-12, 2015

Where: San Francisco, CA

How much: Early bird is $750

10) SMX (Social Media Marketing Summit)

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An oldie but goodie, SMX has been around for a while for a reason. You’ll hear from big names, but have an idea of who you want to meet and schedule meetings in advance, or else you’ll be lost in the crowd.

When: November 18-19, 2015

Where: Las Vegas, NV

How much: The 2014 event was $845 for a one-day pass; $1595 for an all-access pass

11) SXSW Interactive


We know, we know, SXSW has changed and isn’t as cool as it once was, says the veteran attendees. But, it’s a pretty great place to meet people and learn what the most innovative startups and brands are doing to grow their businesses now and in the future, from a product, technology and marketing perspective.

When: March 11-20, 2016

Where: Austin, TX

How much: $825 – $1295, depending on when you buy it

More coming!

Keep an eye out, as we’ll also be sharing ongoing local events and digital events for community and marketing professionals.

Have an event to add? Leave it in the comments below!

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Shannon Byrne

Shannon Byrne

Content Chief at CloudPeeps
As CloudPeeps' content lead, Shannon crafts words, creates strategies and engages our audience through content contributions, newsletters and more.