Gini Dietrich

The Six PR Conferences to Attend in 2017

By: Gini Dietrich | December 13, 2016 | 
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Six PR Conferences to AttendOn the sixth day of Christmas, Spin Sucks gave to you six PR conferences, five business books, four online courses, three productivity tools, two lies told about the PR industry, and a phrase to banish forever.

Are you singing the song as you read the line above?

It almost works. There might be an extra syllable or two, but it’s pretty darn close!

Go ahead and try it. I’ll wait.

Fun, right?

To continue the trend, today we’re going to discuss the six PR conferences you must attend in 2017.

Must-attend PR Conferences

What you are about to discover is that, with the exception of one, these aren’t really PR conferences, per se.

They are marketing, content marketing, social media, and PR.

This is because communicators must be fully integrating a PESO model program, which includes all of those other disciplines (and paid media, too).

Content Jam

Content Jam is put on by the Orbit Media team and it’s held here in Chicago.

Not only do I not need to get on a plane to go learn a few new things, it’s pretty powerful when it comes to content marketing.

It’s only a day, but it’s the best day you’ll spend on your professional development all year.

And you may or may not know one of the keynote speakers in 2017 (cough, cough).

Content Marketing World

Content Marketing World is, of course, hosted by the Content Marketing Institute in Cleveland.

I have always said this is the smallest, largest conference in world.

The convention center lends itself really nicely to be able to have serendipitous meetings. I love to just sit outside of the meeting rooms and see who I happen upon.

This past year, it was someone I worked with nearly 15 years ago and seeing her was like no time had passed.

To boot, the content is top-notch as it is carefully hand-curated by the CMI team.

You also may know someone who speaks several times throughout the conference (cough, cough).

B2B Marketing Forum

As you well know, most conferences have content and speakers focused on consumer organizations.

It’s certainly easier to curate that—and lots more fun.

But the MarketingProfs team takes a different approach by curating content only for business-to-business.

And it’s amazing.

Not only is the content great, but you will almost definitely get to at least meet Ann Handley in person and, when I say that’s worth the trip to Boston, trust me…it’s worth the trip to Boston.

Oh, and you may know one of the 2017 speakers (cough, cough).

Public Relations Society of America

I’m not going to lie.

The PRSA International Conference isn’t my most favorite.

But it is the only true PR conference out there, it does have all of the top PR leaders speaking (cough, cough), and it does bring in some interesting keynote speakers.

What I’ve found that is different with them is they tend to focus more on the junior-level PR pro trying to learn it all.

Even if you’re not junior-level, if you need to learn a little bit about a lot of things, this is the PR conference to attend.

It’s very good for that.

Social Brand Forum

Social Brand Forum is the conference I was to keynote this fall, when I was hospitalized for a septic infection.

Needless to say, not even I will do a keynote from a hospital bed (Andy Crestodina stepped in for me).

Hopefully, they will have me back next year and I will see you all there.

It’s a two-day event held in Iowa City in a theater, which is a really cool space and it makes it ridiculously easy to meet almost everyone who attends.

It’s intimate enough that the networking is top-notch, but the speakers (Andy, Jay Baer, Joe Pulizzi) are among the very best.

Social Media Marketing World

And last, but certainly not least (I did these in alphabetical order), is Social Media Marketing World.

This one is held in March in San Diego and I’m willing to bet most of you would love to be in San Diego in March.

It’s gigantic so you have to be really diligent about scheduling meetings and carefully curating your schedule ahead of time.

But the Social Media Examiner team does a fantastic job of making sure you not only learn a TON, but that you get to experience some of San Diego, too.

They also do a nice job of creating networking, ice-breaker events, which are a nightmare for this introvert, but they are especially effective.

You also may know a speaker at the 2017 event (cough, cough).

So there you have it. These are the six must-attend PR conferences on our list (and strange that I am speaking at all of them, isn’t it?).

Now it’s your turn, what are your must-attends we should add to our list?

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She also has run, built, and grown an agency for the past 14 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.