Conferences

The Top 10 Digital Conferences for Entrepreneurs in 2018

There's something for every digital entrepreneur on this conference list, curated by a guy who's been to a whole lot of them.
Contributor
Founder of FE International
6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

More than ever, digital entrepreneurs are tapping into the power of conferences to grow their businesses. In my experience, I've found that attending a conference you've mapped out beforehand can be one of the best ways to form meaningful business relationships and learn how to grow your company. That even goes for online companies!

Related: Conferences: Are They Worth Your Precious Startup Time?

However, selecting the right conference for you and your business can feel overwhelming. And, since I rack up tens of thousands of frequent flyer miles traveling to conferences around the globe each year, I'm happy to lend my experience by selecting from among dozens of digital conferences to help make your choice easy.

Here is my list of the top 10 conferences for digital entrepreneurs in 2018:

1. LTV Conference

The LTV Conference, London / May 10-11 

This event, at the Grange Hotel, St. Paul’s, offers a unique opportunity for attendees with no sales pitches, no suits and no ties, to come together in an intimate group to share their ideas and best practices and to learn from some of the industry's experts.

This industry-leading conference will span two days with sessions across many different areas of SaaS, with leaders in the industry as well as networking events. Speakers include programmer-turned-consultant Brennan Dunn of Double Your Freelancing, innovative SaaS developer and serial entrepreneur Patrick McKenzie and several other leading entrepreneurs in the digital space. 

Related: The Best SEO Conferences You Didn't Know Existed

2. SaaStock

SaaStock, Dublin // Oct. 15-17

This is another SaaS conference, along with SaaStr Annual, which occured recently (a great option for next year). SaaStock takes place in Dublin, Ireland. This year’s SaaStock plays host to over3,000  attendees and features over 40 hours of content. Speakers include David Skok of pioneering venture capital firm Matrix Partners, David Cancel of conversational marketing platform Drift and Meagen Eisenberg, CMO of distributed database giant MongoDB.

With representatives of over 200 venture capital funds and 100-plus exhibitors, SaaStock is a must-attend event for SaaS owners looking to mingle with other founders and investors.

3. Microconf

Microconf, Las Vegas // Growth edition: April 29 - May 1; Starter edition: May 1-3

Organized by Rob Walling and Mike Taber, hosts of the popular blog Startups for the Rest of UsMicroconf comes in two sizes: Starter edition and Growth edition. The Growth edition is for companies whose founders are already making a full-time living from their software business and are looking to spur further growth. The Starter edition is for entrepreneurs currently consulting or engaged in some other employment who wish to develop or grow their software product to the point it can provide a full-time income and beyond.

4. Affiliate Summit East

Affiliate Summit East, New York // July 29-31

Affiliate marketing is big business -- so big that Affiliate Summit, the largest affiliate marketing conference, now produces three conferences a year. 2018’s Affiliate Summit in New York will be one of the biggest affiliate events to come. Join thousands of performance marketers from over 70 countries for three days of exhibitions, educational sessions and networking.

U.S.-based businesses spent over $5 billion on affiliate marketing in 2017. See if Affiliate Summit East can help you grow your business to earn a bigger piece of that pie.

5. Retail Global

Retail Global, Las Vegas // Oct. 9-11

Calling all ecommerce entrepreneurs! All the ecommerce heavy hitters, from Amazon to Walmart, will be in Las Vegas in October for Retail Global. Given the solution-oriented workshops, speaker presentations and plenty of opportunities to network, it's no wonder that 89 percent of last year’s attendees said they go back. For the ecommerce store owner, a conference as comprehensive as Retail Global is one of the smarter moves you can make for the growth of your business.

6. Imagine 

Imagine // Las Vegas, April 23-25

Imagine is the undisputed champion of Magento conferences. If your ecommerce store is powered by Magento, attending Imagine to learn about the latest updates in the industry is a great way for your to fortify your business with the latest intel. Past speakers include a consistent “who’s who” of Magento luminaries and big names like tennis superstar Serena Williams, author Malcolm Gladwell and economist Steven Levitt of Freakonomics fame.

Imagine is the perfect place to acquire fresh tools, hear success stories from fellow Magento merchants and network among the 3,000 ecommerce professionals attending.

7. Content Marketing Conference

Content Marketing Conference, Boston // May 2-4

In today’s age of media saturation, it’s harder than ever to separate signal from noise. Creating memorable content is still the number one way to do just that. From content creation to conversion rate optimization (CRO), if you’re in the business of producing content, you owe it to yourself to check out the Content Marketing conference.

Always innovative, the Content Marketing Conference this year features a special Comedy and Content track that aims to show how infusing humor into your content makes it more engaging. It’s not all about the laughs, though. There are plenty of nuts-and-bolts sessions to help supercharge your content marketing strategy.

8. LeadsCon

LeadsCon, Las Vegas // March 5-7

When it comes right down to it, we all need to convert more. Billing itself as the world’s leading conference on acquisition and conversion strategies, LeadsCon will teach you cutting-edge methods for making the most of every lead. Over 3,000 delegates will attend for workshops on subjects like "Create and Amplify Content That Converts" and "Win, Win, Win With Strategic Partnerships." As with most conferences, there will be ample opportunity to network with like-minded individuals in a friendly but professional atmosphere.

9. eTail West

eTail West, Palm Springs, Calif. // Feb. 26 - March 1

ETail brings venerable names such as Gap, JCPenney, and Birkenstock together with disruptive innovators like Bonobos and Uber for a symposium looking toward the future of ecommerce. Speaker topics include “Shaping Loyal Online Communities” and “Customizing User Experience.” If you’re an online retailer, etail West is the event for you.

If you can’t make it to eTail West, don’t fret: eTail will also host events in 2018 in Boston, Europe and Asia.  

10. DCBKK

DCBKK, Bangkok, Thailand // Oct. 18-22

What better destination in which to celebrate the benefits and joys of remote work than Bangkok? Founded by the hosts of the popular podcast The Tropical MBA, DCBKK is an intimate event in an exotic location. It gathers together 250-plus location independent entrepreneurs for five days of workshops, panel discussions and meetups focused on building successful online businesses.

Related: Conferences Are Good for Networking but Great for Marketing

Final thoughts

Chosen from a variety of channels, these are among the best conferences I have personally experienced in my years of attending. There should be something on this list for every digital entrepreneur. Have you had a great experience at one of these conferences, or have one to add to the list? Comment below -- I may just see you there!

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