If there’s one lesson I learned in 2019, it’s that getting outdoors works. As a freelancer who openly types from the comfort of her own bed, it’s easy to feel isolated. This year, I’ve taken a look at the best content marketing events* all over the UK – some of which I’ve attended previously, some not.
Strictly speaking, they’re not all just content. There’s everything digital from SEO to branding, PR and much more. Whatever you want to get out of them, I speak from experience when I say they’re a great way to meet people. What’s more, you might just walk away with some new skills…or even new clients.
*Disclaimer: at the time of writing, not all agendas/timings were listed. I will update these when new information becomes available.
Digital City Festival
If you’re looking for the Marketing Show North, you’ll now find it under the umbrella of Manchester’s inaugural Digital City Festival. Look out for events such as the Marketing Show North, eCommerce Show North and Tech Show North.
Monday 9th-Friday 13th March 2020, Manchester Central, Manchester.
CMA Content Summit
The Content Marketing Association is back for its 2020 Content Summit event in London. This year promises to be even bigger, with speakers from some of the UK’s largest companies, plus refreshments and networking.
Thursday 19th March 2020, The Curzon Theatre, Bloomsbury, London. Agenda TBC.
Price: Members £149, non-members £249.
B2B Marketing Expo
“Europe’s leading marketing event” features seminars, keynote speakers, awards and networking opportunities at London’s ExCel. Expect to rub shoulders with thousands of experts from the likes of LinkedIn, Shutterstock and Adzooma.
Wednesday 25th-Thursday 26th March 2020, ExCel London, London. Agenda TBC.
Price: FOC to non-exhibitors.
The first of this biannual event takes place in April at the Brighton Centre – a long way from a room above a pub, as they say! I attended in September 2019 and learned many invaluable content/SEO lessons from their seminars. There’s also a full training day before the main conference.
Thursday 16th-Friday 17th April 2020, Brighton Centre, Brighton.
Price: from £150-£600+VAT – rising soon, so get in there quick!
Leeds Digital Festival
The Leeds Digital Festival will celebrate its fifth birthday with a number of events, attracting some 25,000 visitors. Learn all about digital marketing at multiple gatherings throughout the city – or even host your own. I attended the SEO Mixer in 2019 and learned a lot about CRO, SEO and PR.
Monday 20th April-Friday 1st May 2020, various locations in Leeds. Full agenda TBC.
Price: priced per individual event – follow #LeedsDigi2020.
Led by the world’s top digital marketers, this quirky event is aimed at small businesses looking to grow in 2020. They pride themselves on having “fun” speakers, addressing content, Facebook marketing and much more.
Monday 27th-Tuesday 28th April 2020, The Sage, Gateshead.
Price: from £650.
Search Engine Land’s SMX London caters for those “obsessed with SEO and SEM”. Expect workshops on martech and international search, plus keynote speakers on what’s new in search engine marketing. Sign up for the newsletter to get the full agenda.
Tuesday 19th-Wednesday 20th May 2020, etc. venues 155 Bishopsgate, London.
Price: from £395+VAT before price increase on Friday 7th February.
Digital Marketing World Forum
Designed for the “new age marketer”, the Digital Marketing World Forum is one of many international events. May’s conference takes place in London with insights into influencer marketing, digital experiences, content strategy and digital transformation.
Thursday 28th-Friday 29th May, Business Design Centre, London.
Price: from £299 before price increase on Friday 31st January.
Wear high heels to the first direct arena at your peril! This huge event tackles some of the biggest topics in digital marketing, from the latest Google updates to PPC and CRO. I attended in June 2019 to brush up on technical skills, as well as watch panel discussions on personal confidence.
Date TBC – usually June at first direct arena, Leeds. Follow @searchleeds.
Brand Marketing Summit
As the name suggests, the Brand Marketing Summit is attended by the likes of some of the world’s biggest names, from Burger King to Harrods. This year’s event will look at innovation-based growth, thought leadership, customer journeys and much more, with networking opportunities.
Monday 1st-Tuesday 2nd June 2020, Hilton Canary Wharf, London.
Price: from £959 + VAT.
MarketEd.Live focuses on getting the best ROI from your marketing, with key insights based on the latest data from industry experts. It culminates in an awards ceremony followed by an after-party in Nottingham city centre.
Monday 21st September 2020, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham.
Price: from £200.50 early bird before February.
It’s back again for October, slightly later than the usual September dates. It may just be warm enough to hit the log flumes, but if not, there are always the speakers and networking opportunities, plus the awesome games room.
Thursday 1st– Friday 2nd October 2020, Brighton Centre, Brighton.
Price: free if you make the ballot, otherwise from £150-£600+VAT, increasing closer to the event.
Festival of Marketing
This year, the Festival of Marketing has merged with Marketing Week Live, which used to take place in March. This promises an even bigger event in London, with celebrity speakers, insights from top marketers and networking opportunities.
Wednesday 7th-Thursday 8th October 2020, Tobacco Dock, London.
Price: from £495+VAT. Group discounts available.
CopyCon (Copywriting Conference)
Since joining ProCopywriters last year, I’ve really wanted to check this out. If you’re a content writer, join the training sessions or just visit for the conference, where experts will share their tips. They’re also looking for speakers.
Thursday 8th-Friday 9th October 2020, De Vere West One (Thursday training) and The Royal Institution (Friday conference), London.
Price: from £265 early bird. Discounts available for ProCopywriters members.
This “anti-conference” certainly has a ring to it. The event’s goals are to make martech simple, helping attendees to leverage technology and meet their objectives. Expect to network with big brands like Pepsi, Amazon and Twitter.
Monday 19th-Friday 23rd October 2020, venue TBC. Agenda TBC.
York Business Week
A personal favourite of mine, York Business Week has something for every sector. Look out for individual events from creatives, like networking and seminars on branding, marketing and more. The week kicks off with the York Business Conference – ideal for meeting new contacts.
Dates TBC (usually November), various venues around York.
Price: priced per individual event – seminars usually around £15 each/York Business Conference £45.
The Martech Summit takes place all over the world. You can catch the London event in November, focusing on digital transformation, content strategy, data and customer experience. They’re also looking for speakers. You have the whole year to perfect your speech.
Wednesday 4th-Thursday 5th November 2020.
Price: from £640.
Looking for something more exotic? Check out these international events:
- Digital Marketing World Forum Asia – Singapore, February
- International Search Summit – Munich, Boston and Barcelona, from March onwards
- Retail and Brand Experience – Barcelona, May
- Digimarcon East 2020 – New York, August
What do you think?
Which of these events are you looking forward to most? Have I missed any off? Let me know in the comments below.