Once again, it’s that season when the temperature cools, leaves turn, pumpkins show up out of nowhere, and professional marketers sit back and think, “Which SaaS conferences should I go to next year?” It’s not an easy question to answer. With the world-wide cloud market jumping 17.3% to $206.2 billion next year, you have to find the conferences that help you compete in this booming market.
Whether that means high-octane speakers and fast-paced networking or hands-on education and mentorship, you can find the perfect fit in the list below. Each description includes event size, speaker examples, content areas and cost, so you can plan the optimal 2019 schedule.
SaaStr (San Jose, CA)
February 5 – 7, 2019 (3 days)
# Attendees: 15,000+
# Exhibitors: 200
Attendee Cost: $899 – $1799
Claiming to be the largest SaaS conference in the world and featuring 300 speakers, SaaStr reigns as the go-to conference for the industry. With high attendance numbers, they emphasize sharing ideas between those who’ve made it and those on their way.
Speakers include Eric Yuan, Founder and CEO of Zoom, Jeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio, and Elisa Steele, CEO of Namely. Topics from 2018 included “How to Build Customer Loyalty with Subject Matter Expertise,” “Wildly Profitable Events With Splash, MovableInk, Apptus, Appboy & Saleforce Marketing Cloud” and “How to Sell and Market to 10,000 SMBs – On Two Continents at the Same Time.”
While it’s a big event, they facilitate in-depth conversations with over 1000 small group discussions, 1-1 meetings, and ask-me-anything sessions with SaaS-experienced VPs.
Quality speakers and topics attract industry leaders; 43% of Pulse attendees are C-level executives. So if you’re looking to be the next unicorn and want to find out how the current unicorns did it, this is the place for you.
Mobile Growth Summit (San Francisco, CA)
February 13-14, 2019 (2 days)
# Attendees: 1500+
# Exhibitors: 100+
Attendee Cost: $395-$1995
For marketers that support a mobile product, the Mobile Growth Summit specializes in user acquisition, monetization, retention, engagement, and data analytics. Speakers include Andreas Gross, Director of Product at Reddit, Michael Brooks, SVP of Revenue at WeatherBug, and Melissa Lertsmitivanta, Senior Manager of Mobile at Realtor.com.
Speakers will be sharing hard data to help you create and refine mobile strategy. Plus, you can attend workshops to expand your skillset.
70% of the attendees come from non-gaming industries so there’s plenty of content for all flavors of mobile apps.
DX3 (Toronto, Canada)
March 6-7, 2019 (2 days)
# Attendees: 13800+
# Exhibitors: 50+
Attendee Cost: $495 – $1145
DX3 brings digital marketers and retailers together in Toronto for networking, great speakers and education. Speakers include Alok Gupta, Director of Data Science at Lyft, Drew Green, CEO of Indochino, and Jennie Baik, CEO and co-founder of Orchard Mile.
It offers a wide selection of events including key notes, deep dive sessions, workshops and lab demonstrations on topics. Past speakers have addressed maximizing the impact of marketing, demystifying AI and building better campaigns on Twitter.
As Matt Di Paola with Sid Lee puts it, “There’s a lot of conferences that talk about innovations, or talk about what’s happening in the space, but they don’t show it. That’s what I’ve always loved about Dx3, is that it’s applied innovations.”
SXSW (Austin, TX)
March 9-17, 2019 (9 days)
# Attendees: 75,000+
# Exhibitors: 735
Attendee Cost: $395 – $1250
South by Southwest (SXSW) already has the reputation as the biggest marketing and technology party in the country, but there’s no better way to find your inspiration and kick networking into high gear.
While the top industry represented is marketing and advertising, people from tech, music and film also attend, encouraging cross-pollination between industries and helping creative people find new avenues to explore. Session tracks address brands and marketing, design, intelligence future and virtual reality/augmented reality, among many others.
Speakers include Joanna Shields, CEO of BenevolentAI, Bjarke Ingels, designer and founder of the Bjarke Ingels Group, and Eli Pariser, co-founder of Upworthy.
The event is known for stand-out parties, concerts and group yoga, but if you want a quiet place for brainstorming and conversation with new connections, the conference provides topic-focused Meet Ups and attendee lounges.
Adobe Summit (Las Vegas, NV)
March 26-28, 2019 (3 days)
# Attendees: 12,000
# Exhibitors: 100+
Attendee Cost: $1495 – $1895
Adobe Summit is the perfect event for learning how to create branded customer experiences from global leaders like Virgin and Coca-Cola. Past speakers include Sir Richard Branson, David Godsman of Coca-Cola and Melissa Selcher of LinkedIn.
Nine tracks and over 300 sessions cover analytics, customer experience design, content management, omnichannel marketing, personalization and more. Past sessions included “Key Trends in Digital Experience Innovations” and “Manage a Sophisticated Multilingual Campaign with a Content-First Approach.”
As expected there’s plenty of content around Adobe products, but speakers emphasize company success stories and practical takeaways. Technical experts also lead 90 minute labs to get hands-on with experience marketing tools.
CXL Live (Austin, TX)
March 27-29, 2019 (3 days)
# Attendees: 400+
# Exhibitors: None
Attendee Cost: TBD
CXL live focuses on innovation and experimentation in growth marketing and customer conversion. It addresses topics like conversion optimization, online experimentation, digital psychology and analytics.
It’s a very small conference held at Horseshoe Bay Resort, a remote location where attendees can unplug, relax and find new ways to grow business. Past session topics include “What Works in Email Marketing Right Now,” “How to 10X Growth by Optimizing Customer Marketing & Retention” and “Demystifying AI for Marketers.”
They carefully select speakers with hands-on experience, including Lukas Vermeer, Experiments at Booking.com, Nina Bayatti, Conversion Lead at ClassPath, and Eric Allen, Director of Onsite marketing at Ancestry.com. Speakers stay all three days so you can connect and learn from them 1-1.
CMC: Content Marketing Conference (Boston, MA)
April 16-19, 2019 (4 days)
# Attendees: 1000
# Exhibitors: 20
Attendee Cost: $649 – $1649
SaaS marketers are always looking for ways to make content more effective and CMC focuses on how to do it. The sessions cover trendy topics such as personalization, artificial intelligence, and creating content that matters. CMC also provides several speakers and sessions demonstrating how to market successfully with humor.
As a smaller conference, there’s more chance to connect with experts in the creative world. Speakers planned for 2019 include Ann Handley of MarketingProfs, Nadya Khoja of Venngage, and Margaret Magnarelli of Monster.
CMC also offers workshop sessions on topics like video marketing, content that gets your point across fast, brand-driven messages and CRO.
Pulse (San Francisco, CA)
May 20-23, 2019 (3 days)
# Attendees: 5000+
# Exhibitors: 100+
Attendee Cost: $308 – $922
Presented by Gainsight, Pulse focuses on making people successful with your product across the entire customer journey. In 2018, speakers included key SaaS industry leaders, such as Lincoln Murphy, a leading SaaS consultant, John Jester, VP of Worldwide Customer Success at Microsoft, and Jessica Lin, co-founder of Work-Bench.
Past session topics included driving adoption of customer success (CS) tools, case studies from companies like VMware and Tanium, and scaling for customer growth.
If you’re looking to learn, they also offer the Pulse Academy, in depth courses on everything from CS fundamentals to an advanced roundtable for brainstorming and sharing key insights.
Moz Con (Seattle, WA)
July 15 – 17, 2019 (3 days)
# Attendees: 1000+
# Exhibitors: 200
Attendee Cost: $799 – $1299
Organized by the marketing innovators at Moz.com, Moz Con tackles SEO, brand development, conversion rate optimization (CRO), mobile, analytics, customer experience, content marketing and more. Session topics include “The Problem with Content and How We Fix It,” “Machine Learning for SEO” and “Lies, Damned Lies and Analytics.”
This conference targets experienced marketers, and it’s full of actionable advice for increasing conversion and customer retention. Speakers include Ashley Greene, CEO of Instratify, Dana DiTomaso, President and Partner at Kick Point, and Michael King, managing director of iPullRank.
As one of the industry’s best innovators, Moz uses the conference to share inside information about the online marketing world and coming trends. It’s a medium-sized event, but they plan a pub crawl and bowling/karaoke party to stir up some fun networking opportunities.