I've attended many growth marketing conferences over the years. I've also spoken at a lot of events on community marketing. There's no doubt that today, these conferences are recognized as some of the largest growth marketing events in the world, and are considered the highlight of the year in terms of marketing star power.
Growth marketing conferences are a great way to not only get up to date on all things marketing but also make connections with industry leaders and peers.
It helps realize how the industry has changed, what new methodologies and processes have been developed, and what has worked for marketers.
For any successful growth marketer, attending growth marketing conferences can further solidify their understanding of the industry and foster the drive for better growth marketing.
On that note, I've made a list of the top 5 growth marketing conferences any marketer can attend - starting off with some personal experience.
1. Global Growth Marketing Conference
GMC was founded in 2014 and has been held at the end of each year since in San Francisco. It’s an event to look forward to if you’re a new marketer looking to get established, or an already established one looking to elevate your business through the roof.
The conference brings together various global B2B and B2C marketing experts, speakers, and thought leaders on one platform. The plan is always to share ideas, conduct workshops, and discuss actionable growth strategies.
Over the years, the event has brought on major global brands such as Adobe, LinkedIn, Google, Apple, and more. Fast-growing brands such as Spotify and Uber have also been a part of past conferences.
Growth Marketing Conference has some consistent objectives, such as the following:
- Discuss no-nonsense, cost-effective strategies to improve user experience and create user growth.
- Teach ideas to increase revenue and create sustainable growth over a shorter period of time.
- Bring together like-minded individuals from various industries to share ideas on what made their companies successful.
Be it conversion optimization, or content and/or product marketing, the Growth Marketing Conference has it all under one roof.
Speakers (Past and 2019)
Growth Marketing Conference has always had an interesting mix of experts on the speaker panel. In the past, some truly big names in marketing have spoken and shared their valuable insights.
Some of the more noteworthy names include:
- Rand Fishkin (Co-Founder/CEO of SparkToro)
- Oli Gardner (Co-Founder of Unbounce)
- Andrew Chen (Head of Growth at Uber)
- Eli Schwartz (Growth Advisor/former Director of Growth & SEO at SurveyMonkey)
- Neil Patel (Co-Founder of Crazy Egg and Neil Patel Digital)
- Sujan Patel (Co-Founder of Web Profits)
GMC always assembles a great lineup of marketing talent and real growth hackers to speak at the event.
The event has been referred to as a conference ‘for growth marketers, by growth marketers.'
GMC sponsors, throughout its inception, have been a mix of content/digital marketing agencies, brand development firms, and business growth consultancies.
Top sponsors for the event have included NorthStar (By Growth Hackers), Acquia, Brandcast, Zensoft, and many more. A number of the sponsors regularly appear in the top 5 and 10 lists for best marketing agencies in the world.
There are sponsorship tiers, namely Gold, Silver, and Diamond, with an increasing set of perks, such as social media promotion, logo displayed in the GMC app, and more.
While the conference is open to anyone with an interest in adopting marketing as a career, there are always some mainstays in the form of industry reps, in the audience.
The industries represented at Growth Marketing Conference are:
- Enterprise Technology: Software, internet, and IT companies such as Google, Adobe, and IBM.
- Marketing: Advertising, PR, marketing, and market research companies such as Unruly, Hearst, and Media Planet.
- Financial: Real estate, private equity, VC and financial management firms such as Prudential and American Express.
- Media: Online media, production, and publishing companies such as Netflix and HBO.
- E-Commerce: Retail, consumer goods, and e-commerce management companies such as Amazon and Target.
- Health: Healthcare, wellness, and medical practice firms such as Providence, American Specialty Health, and PlushCare.
All this creates a fantastic opportunity for up and coming marketers to rub shoulders and network with reps from industry-leading companies.
Growth Marketing Conference Topics
GMC covers the following topics in detail.
Customer Acquisition and Retention
This topic focuses on the overall growth process, the mindset and metrics behind growth teams, product marketing and management, onboarding and engagement, referral growth and networking, and lessons from fast-growing companies.
This topic talks about (B2B) growth channels and strategies, C-suite perspectives on growth, building enterprise growth teams, account-based marketing, and sales enablement, as well as, brand marketing and influencer strategies.
Organic and Performance Marketing
Outbound and inbound optimization, the future of PPC, SEO, and content marketing, machine learning and AI, video marketing and social advertising, A/B testing and data-driven marketing, as well as, the top trends of the year (Blockchain, GDPR, etc.).
The Agenda for Growth Marketing Conference
The name of the conference itself is self-explanatory in terms of the agenda. Still, there have been some unique topics of discussion in the past.
The latest (2019) conference saw topics such as mobile applications and e-commerce growth find greater focus.
As always, the conference includes growth marketing thought leadership sessions and actual case studies of successful companies. There are a number of hands-on workshops, as well.
The following are some of the highlights.
From demand-generation, lifecycle and funnel optimization, and user acquisition to user psychology, storytelling, and growth experiments - GMC workshops are full of insightful discussions. The learning opportunities came straight from some great modern examples of business growth.
The workshops are also a great way to deliver hands-on learning on growth marketing.
Attendees learn how to create and optimize an end-to-end conversion funnel, something that has proven problematic for a number of new and established companies. There are lessons for B2B marketers on how to acquire customers through a unique (non-B2C) approach. There are also lessons on building ABM programs, forming the perfect team, getting the right resources, and setting attainable expectations.
The workshops conclude with practical growth experiments carried out by the speakers. We learn all about top-of-the-funnel user acquisition, breaking even in a problematic business atmosphere, and the perfect growth and SEO tool stacks for the year.
The Global Growth Marketing Conference starts with either hands-on workshops or an event intro of what to expect in the two coming days. This generally leads to a session on how to stay focused and drive productivity – a good starter.
Some consistent discussions are on how innovation is more important than numbers and metrics, which perfectly highlights a flaw in the modern marketer. The role of technology (AI and machine learning) in marketing has also been a mainstay discussion throughout the years.
Since day one, the keynotes have included a session dedicated to discussing the marketing trends of the years past and projections for the future.
Growth Marketing Conference Reviews
Growth Marketing Conference has been lauded by major marketers and media publications alike.
The conference has also been featured in major media and marketing publications such as Forbes, Inc., CMO.com, CMSWiRE, and HuffPost.
In addition, the event has earned testimonials from prominent marketing experts, such as:
Matt Hodges (Head of Marketing at Loom): “At the Growth Marketing Conference, there’s a lot of energy and people moving around. Ultimately, I think everyone is here to learn. The audience has been engaged, active, and ask great questions”.
Zack Onisko (CEO of Dribble): “The B2B landscape has changed dramatically. 5 years ago, there were only 200 or so SaaS products in the MarTech space; today, your prospects have over 5,000 to choose from. It's more important than ever to stand out from the crowd, and B2B Growth Day is the type of event that can teach you how to do that."
2. Traction Conference
The first Traction Conference was held in Vancouver in 2015, in San Francisco in 2016, and then Vancouver again every year since.
Traction Conf is one of the fastest-growing growth marketing conferences.
Traction Conference aims to provide people with actionable tactics and strategies that can help them grow their companies and businesses exponentially.
The advice, methodologies, and insights come directly from the leaders and founders of some of the fastest-growing companies in the world such as Google, Shopify, Netflix, Slack, LinkedIn, HubSpot, Grammarly, Reddit, and more.
The conference also lets you network with several world-class Fortune 500 leaders, major media, known investors, and successful startup founders.
Over the years, the conference has seen many thought leader speakers, B2C growth marketers, workshop instructors, and people from big enterprises.
Leaders of the industry like Sarah Bird (CEO of Moz), Ryan Holmes (CEO of Hootsuite), Max Lytvyn (Founder of Grammarly), and Justin Kan (Co-founder of Twitch.tv) are just some of the speakers in past Traction conferences.
This year, some of the most notable names are Jason Lemkin (Founder and CEO of SaaStr), Sridhar Vembu (Founder and CEO of Zoho), Jeff Lawson (CEO of Twilio), and Kathryn Petralia (President and Cofounder of Kabbage).
The sponsors of Traction Conf are usually seen as thought leaders of the industry and receive corporate branding in all conference-related communications, signage, and programs.
The conference has been sponsored by companies like Microsoft for Startups, Prezi, Zendesk, and ActiveCampaign.
This year, it's sponsored by Launch Academy, Boast.AI, RBC, and Pendo, among others.
Attending the Traction Conference in 2020
The conference will be held from the 5th to the 6th of August in Westin Bayshore, Vancouver. You can get the general admission ticket for $612 and register here.
You can get to the conference from the airport in just 20 minutes and you can find several accommodation opportunities with special rates for conference attendees.
3. Growth Marketing Stage
The Growth Marketing Stage is a renowned digital marketing and growth marketing conference. It will be held on October 1st and 2nd in Kyiv, Ukraine.
The conference is currently the biggest of its kind in Europe.
It has had several high-profile speakers over the years including Satish Mohan (Director of Retention at Adobe), Simon Boqvist (Growth Insights at Spotify), and Bella Valentini (Acquisition Manager at HubSpot) among others.
This year's speakers include Olga Andrienko (Head of Global Marketing at SEMrush), Tim Soulo (CMO & Product Advisor at Ahrefs.com), and Bill King (SEO & Paid Acquisition at Drift) among others.
The conference brings some of the most well-known industry leaders from around the globe. It provides a good opportunity to not only learn but also connect with industry experts.
4. Growth Hackers Conference
The Growth Hackers Conference is one of the biggest growth hacking conferences in the United States. It will be held on September 1st in San Francisco, CA.
The conference is mostly focused on business growth and tries to gather the world's leading experts in business growth and growth hacking.
The conference was founded by Erin Turner and Gagan Biyani and, with the help of Sean Ellis, is now one of the leading conferences that provide insights into how the fastest-growing companies have achieved their success.
In the past, the conference had speakers like Mayur Gupta (VP of Growth & Marketing at Spotify), Guillaume Cabane (VP of Growth at Segment), and Joanna Lord (Chief Marketing Officer at ClassPass), among others.
This year, the speakers include Sean Ellis himself, Nancy Hensley (Chief Digital Officer at IBM), Chris More (Product & Growth Lead at Mozilla), and Simon Dahla (Premium Conversion Lead at Spotify), among others.
The conference provides insights from industry leaders who have scaled companies and businesses exponentially. It's a great way to learn how to utilize effective growth marketing for substantial growth.
MozCon is hosted by Moz and is designed to be an all-in-one marketing conference. With a deep focus on growth marketing, it delves into social media marketing, email marketing, and other strategies designed to help companies achieve sustainable revenues and growth.
MozCon will be held from July 6th to 8th in Seattle, Washington. It's a three-day conference that lets you gain insights and tactical advice from industry leaders in growth marketing, SEO, conversion optimization, and local search, among others.
Previously, the conference has had speakers like Rand Fishkin (Co-founder of Moz), Matthew Barby (Global Head of Growth & SEO at HubSpot), Oli Gardner (Co-founder of Unbounce), and Stephanie Chang (Director of Performance Marketing at Etsy) among others.
This year, there will be industry experts such as Andy Crestodina (Co-founder and CMO at Orbit Media Studios), Brian Dean (Founder of Backlinko), Britney Muller (Senior Search Scientist at Moz), Cyrus Shepard (Marketing & SEO Consultant at Moz), and Dr. Pete Meyers (Marketing Scientist at Moz), among others.
MozCon is a great opportunity for marketers to learn more about everything from growth marketing to SEO, CRO, brand development, analytics, and content marketing.
Which Growth Marketing Conference Should You Attend?
Technically, there is no right or wrong option when it comes to these growth marketing conferences. Each conference provides value in a different, yet similar way.
It mostly depends on what's convenient for you. For example, if you're based in Europe, it might be better and cheaper to attend the Growth Marketing Stage conference. However, if you're in the US, you can attend multiple growth marketing conferences, especially if you're based in a city like San Francisco.
Furthermore, the speaker list also makes a huge difference. Depending on what subject you want to learn more about, which company you want to learn from, and which industry leader you want to network with, you can decide on a conference.
All in all, 2020 is a great year to attend growth marketing conferences as a lot has changed in the last year. Attend as many conferences as you can, grow your network, and keep learning.