I conference so hard. Meaning, I go to just about every single influencer conference known to humankind. I sometimes go with a client sponsor, which requires me to look at the conference with an eye to gaining ROI for the brand. Most often, I simply attend to meet and connect with influencers, many of whom we know already from our network, Everywhere Society.
I can attest that with the exception of the big YouTube and Video conferences, this is a fairly comprehensive list of all the existing blogging/influencer conferences. I’ve added in my personal take on what they have to offer. If I’m missing some amazing conference, let me know and I’ll book my tickets!
I’ve listed the conferences in alphabetical order for ease of searching – but they all take place at different times of the year.
Joanna Gaines, Stacy London, Emily Henderson. What’s not to swoon over when it comes to keynotes at ALT Summit? You’ve heard of destination weddings — ALT is a destination conference. We’re talking Palm Springs, mid-century modern, and you can always count on ALT to be held in the most Instagram-worthy hotel.
Launched by the design mom to us all, Gabrielle Blair, ALT is the place to go to meet design, style, and creative entrepreneurs and influencers.
For influencers: Prepare to be forever “alt-ered”. This is the most supportive influencer community you’ll meet, whether you’re an entrepreneur with an Etsy store or a macro-influencer on a mission to share your creative force with the world. With Gabrielle Blair at the helm, ALT is able to secure some amazing speakers. She carefully curates each aspect of the conference to make sure it’s a delight to your senses. This is not a swag heaven – ALT’ers don’t need stuff. They come here for enrichment.
For brands: ALT is the place to meet chic and fabulous home, design, décor, fashion, style, and creative influencers. Sponsors run the gamut from Home Depot to Spanx to Amazon Home. It’s apparent that ALT works really closely with sponsors to make sure their activations are fully integrated into the conference. This year, WordPress.com had a zen-like meditation space in the gardens of the oh-so-chic Parker Hotel. Attendees listened to calming music and learned about WordPress’s offerings. This is not your typical sponsor booth activation. Sponsors are woven into the ALT setting in a way that makes them part of the fabric of the conference.
When: March 1-6, 2020 | Where: Palm Springs
Blissdom is back and I couldn’t be more blissfully happy! Back in the early days of blogging, there were just a handful of conferences for inspired women creators and entrepreneurs. Blissdom was the best with awesome keynotes by Brené Brown, Scott Stratten and Jon Acuff plus performances by Rascal Flatts, Joe Jonas, and Harry Connick Jr to name a few. They took a reprieve for a few years but lucky for us, their dry spell is over because Blissdom has risen from the ashes and will be making a repeat appearance this fall. The organizers of Blissdom know their stuff and have been playing in the influencer, entertainment, and creator space since the dawn of blogging time. The vibe of the conference matches the name, “bliss,” a place for inspired happiness. Beyond happiness, serious learning and networking connections take place.
For influencers: Looking for a three-day undergraduate degree in taking your blog or your business to the next level? Book Blissdom. Not only are there serious tracks on everything from podcasting to creating killer video content, but you’ll also find a super supportive community.
For brands: I’ve never taken a sponsor to Blissdom, but I do know the organizers, Barbara Jones and Paula Bruno well and let me tell you, they GSD (get sh*t done) and deliver a top-notch experience with everything they do. Considering past sponsors have included everyone from AT&T and Microsoft to J&J and Hallmark, they are pros when it comes impactful brand partnerships. There will certainly be excitement around this year’s resurgence, so my hunch is you’ll have the perfect opportunity in Q4 to connect with 750+ macro and nano-influencers alike.
When: November 14-16, 2019 | Where: Nashville, TN
Blogalicious is the best. I have a perfect attendance record at Blogalicious, from the very first one in Atlanta in 2009 to the last one in Miami in 2018. Blogalicious is THE conference for the multi-cultural influencer and entrepreneur.
I won’t get you all hyped about Blogalicious because it’s on temporary hiatus — conference organizer, Stacey Ferguson, had to take a breather. Suffice it to say, when it does come back, I’ll shout from the rooftops!
The brother to Mom 2.0, Dad 2.0 is equally awesome as its sister conference. Spoiler alert: Dad 2.0 is not a man-cave conference with dudes smoking cigars. It’s truly an inspiration summit for hyper-involved Dads who deserve to be taken seriously for their role in parenting. Dad 2.0 is a super tight knit community, out there to dispel the myth of dads as fumbling idiots who occasionally babysit. Like Mom 2.0, you can anticipate a plethora of amazing sponsor brands and some of the leading dad influencers in town.
For influencers: So, I’m not a dad so hard for me to relate. The tribe here is pretty tight and very dad focused. This conference is best for the demographic.
For brands: The place to go if you want to connect with dads. Be prepared to have deep conversations and don’t bring your assumptions of dads as dudes to the conference. We attended Dad 2.0 with a sponsor and had the opportunity to form some real connections with the dads in residence.
When: February 21-23, 2019 | Where: San Antonio, TX
Flock is a series of single-day micro-conferences for influencers that focus on specific topics. Learnings are intense and the crowd is tight-knit. Influencer birds of a feather flock together to gain knowledge, skills and help them grow their brand. Think micro-everything: 30 to 60 influencers max in one day, in one location. Flockers are passionate and since they host these around the country, look for a Flock near you.
For influencers: Think intimate. Think hands-on learning. Think amazing industry leaders like Jeannette Kaplun of Hispana Global or Alice Chase of Thrill of the Chases. We found Flock such a value add to our network of influencers that our own Kelly Dye spoke at Flock about brand influencer partnerships.
For brands: With micro-events in places like Phoenix, Charleston, Memphis and Orlando, Flock is perfect for brands looking to reach a hyper-local audience. Since many of these influencers are looking to grow their brands, ideal sponsors would be products and services for the emerging influencer – whether that be web hosting services or entrepreneurial products.
Flock 2019 dates and locations:
- May 18, 2019 – Phoenix
- June 24, 2019 – Charleston
- August 24, 2019 – Memphis
- September 21, 2019 – Disneyland, Anaheim
- October 10, 2019 – Disney World, Orlando
You know what makes for a fabulous conference? A fabulous conference organizer. Haven has that in Kristin Stockdale, an event coordinator and DIY’er extraordinaire. She’s poured her heart and soul into this conference and you feel it the minute you arrive. Why Haven? Because there’s no place like home. Haven is the conference for DIY, design, home, and lifestyle influencers. Reupholstering your own furniture? Head to Haven. Love decorating and redecorating your house and sharing it all over Instagram? Head to Haven. Have an Airstream you’re going to convert into an AirBNB and want to tell the tale on your blog? Head to Haven.
For influencers: You don’t have to be a hardcore DIY’er to love Haven but you do have to have a love of home, redecorating, and/or refurbishing. You also won’t be intimidated by this crowd because there’s a good mix of nano, micro, and macro influencers. Bring a large notebook because you’ll learn as much from the sponsor brands (I learned how to wield a hammer drill from sponsor RYOBI Power Tools) as you will the sessions. Oh, and sign up for mine! I always do a session on “brand + influencer, a match made in Haven”.
For brands: Home Depot is all over this conference and has been for several years. And you know if Home Depot is happy, everybody is happy. Sponsor packages are far less expensive than some of the long-standing conferences and every single attendee will visit your activation. This is an engaged crowd.
When: July 18-20, 2019 | Where: Atlanta, GA
Mom 2.0 pulls out all the stops. Literally. Amazing keynotes? Check. (Pop quiz: How many times has Brene Brown been a keynote speaker? Three!) Amazing programming? Check. Location, location, location? Always, always, always a gorgeous hotel, often a Ritz Carlton.
All the OG mom bloggers, many of whom have gone on to fame and acclaim, still come back to Mom 2.0. In fact, some of the top big-name influencers found their mojo, their tribe, and their inspiration at Mom 2.0. How much do I love Mom 2.0? I’d find a reason to go even if I didn’t work in influencer marketing. Watch out, though — tickets sell out in a skinny minute. If you’re thinking of going, don’t delay! Plunk down the coins and go.
For influencers: This is the most welcoming crowd of influencers who lift one another up. I love the fact that every year, Mom 2.0, gives an award to the break-out influencer – their way of showing pride for the newest blogger on the block. The organizers of Mom 2.0 are conference pros and clearly put time, attention, and detail into every aspect of the conference. Expect three days of inspiration and solid learning. Then there’s the amazing keynotes.
For brands: I’ve been to Mom 2.0 more than once with client/sponsors. Mom 2.0 is a well-oiled machine and runs this conference ship with marine precision. They get really involved with sponsors to help formulate the right kind of activation for their audience. They know their attendees well and know what resonates so they guide sponsors through the process of developing a successful activation. Yes sponsor booths exist, but at Mom 2.0, it’s much more experiential. Depending on the level of sponsorship, some have an opportunity to participate in the main-stage moments.
When: May 6-8, 2020 | Where: Los Angeles, CA
In the early days, Type A was as much a community of influencers as it was a conference. Type A was recently purchased by Rachel Honoway, a transformation guru and affiliate marketing expert. The new Type A is still getting its sea legs, but I have no doubt it’ll continue to thrive and morph into a conference that will own a place as a destination for bloggers looking to monetize.
For influencers: Chicago 2018 was the first year under new leadership, so the programming was a little light. However, there’s a real focus here on monetization and affiliate marketing. Type A also is a conference that programs year-round on their Facebook page. Joining the Type A community is like getting a degree in monetizing your blog.
For brands: Truth? there are not a lot of sponsors at this one and most fall in the affiliate marketing category. This is more a traditional sponsor booth activation.
When: September 26 – 28, 2019 | Where: Washington D.C.
There’s been a shift at ShiftCon and it’s in the leadership team. Leah Segedie, the founder of ShiftCon built this amazing, fierce community of influencers devoted to eco-wellness, health, sustainability, and the environment. Long-time shifter, Ari Adams took over the conference this year and is bringing it to Atlanta. ShiftCon really prides itself on being a welcoming conference for all shades of green and anyone on a healthy journey. Meaning, you don’t have to be a devoted vegan composter who makes their own wheat grass shots to attend. It’s perfect for influencers who are devoted to some level of an eco-wellness journey.
For influencers: It’s not easy being green and Shiftcon is the place to go and find your tribe. As an added bonus, the conference organizers always find a location willing to go organic in their meal offerings and address the entire gamut of food needs. This conference is great for growing your blog and influence, but does not stop there. Influencers who attend get a crash course in eco-wellness and everyday environmental dangers. I love their tag line. “Shift happens. Be part of it.”
For brands: Holy moly does ShiftCon bring in the sponsors. When I was there, the sponsor suite was filled with over 50 different brands. This is a devoted audience who want to learn about your products. If you are going to go, don’t send the booth babes. Bring the people who really can talk about your products. These folks are curious and want to learn from the experts.
When: October 3-5, 2019 | Where: Atlanta, GA
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: an influencer conference is only as good as it’s organizers. When you have a craft conference headed up by someone who bills herself as Girl With a Glue Gun (Kim West) and mom of four and super crafter, Mandy Beyeler, you know that all the glitter will land in the right place. This is the conference for serious crafters. You know the type who faints for felt, wields an exacto knife like they’re Edward Scissorhands, hoards fabric scraps, and crochets their own pocket book. These are the folks who treat a trip to Joann Fabrics like a visit to the spa. Real crafters. The thing about crafters is they love to come together and share tips about everything from applique to applying best practices to their blog.
For influencers: Crafters are one fun bunch, and creative! Not only will you get to geek out with fellow crafters, but you’ll also attend workshops on SEO and working with brands. We love SNAP conference so much, we signed up as media sponsors.
For brands: Truth, we’ve never attended SNAP with any of our brands, simply because we’ve never had a brand fit. Ideal brands for this conference are anyone in the maker, doer, DIY space. I’m surprised that Michael’s or JoAnn Fabrics have not sponsored. Maybe this year?
When: TBD, 2020 | Where: Salt Lake City, UT
Why haven’t I been to TBEX, the largest conference and networking event for travel bloggers, travel writers and journalists, social media marketers, and content creators? You tell me. I started in this industry as a travel blogger at my now defunct site BeirutorBust.com. I still blog peripatetically about my travel adventures over at my personal site. This year TBEX is being held in Billings so I may just have to mosey on over to Montana.
When: September 11-13, 2019 | Where: Salt Lake City, UT
Let me put it this way, I’m a serial attendee of We All Grow Summit and according to my 23andme profile, I have little in the way of Latina DNA. We All Grow is the go-to professional conference for Latinas in the digital space. The organizers intentionally host a conference where brands can connect on a powerful level with some of the leading Latina influencers around. They intentionally keep the crowd intimate but not small. Named We All Grow by powerhouse founder, Ana Flores, everything about this conference is about elevating voices and making connections. Act rapido when they open this conference up for tickets — it sells out in a matter of a few hours. #Verdad (truth).
For influencers: I’m not even Latina and I’m hugely inspired by this conference. Ana Flores and her team hand select and curate three days of incredible programming. They’re true connectors and therefore book some mega-speakers. Every year, they host it at the Hotel Maya, a perfect back-drop off the Long Beach wharf. Everything about this conference is Instagrammable. That said, it’s so much more than an Instagram gathering, it’s truly a community of Latina content creators devoted to supporting one another.
For brands: I’ve been a repeat sponsor with a few different brands at the We All Grow Summit. The organizers not only have their act together, they will work with you to develop a customized experience that resonates with the audience. For the inaugural year, we brought a tech brand, Domain.Me, which is the unique Domain name provider. With no real product to show on site, the We All Grow organizers helped us develop a killer activation which provided value and engagement at the summit.
One sponsorship activation that is coveted is called StoryTellers. StoryTellers closes the conference with a main stage activation where a few select influencers are chosen to tell one personal, impactful tale. Think part “The Moth” and “Ted Talk,” — get out your handkerchief and get prepared to be inspired. This year, WordPress.com is the sponsor.
When: May 30-June 1, 2019 | Where: Long Beach, CA
We’ve mentioned a few DIY, crafty conferences — Haven and SNAP respectively. This is THE conference for the hard-core maker. By makers, we mean furniture builders, wood-workers, welders, and carpenters. These are the types of influencers who might decide to build a deck off their house and custom build the outdoor furniture to boot. It’s usually held in a large warehouse style space to accommodate for all the build-y type sponsors who attend. This is where you go when you want to learn how to fabricate things. One year, I tried my hand at wood carving and found out I’m actually pretty good at it. Welding? Not so much.
For influencers: Move over fashion influencers, there’s a new game in town and they’re called makers and they all collide at WorkBench. This conference is well organized to allow time to visit and try out products at the sponsor booth activations and get serious learnings in session. We always bring a few of our clients to WorkBench.con for a session on how to work with brands.
For brands: Home Depot is all over this conference which tells you something. Other sponsors include the likes of Rustoleum, Gorilla Glue, and Bessey Tools. If you plan to sponsor, consider this an educational opportunity. These makers want to try your products and understand how they work. When you do reach out, don’t be surprised to hear back from Kristin Stockdale, the same conference maven of Haven Conference. She owns and runs both conferences.
When: TBD, 2020 | Where: Atlanta, GA
Got wanderlust? Get to WITS (Women In Travel Summit) It’s the premiere conference for women travel influencers and creators and the brands who want to work with them. WITS grew out of a group called WANDERFUL which is an international sisterhood of 40,000 women who meet online and in person to help one another travel the world.
The influencers who come to WITS have a love of travel, plain and simple. Many aren’t even on the sponsored post train and instead love sharing their adventures with their community.
For influencers: WITS is a community of influencers where you’ll never be judged by your following and always be accepted for your love of adventure. WITS always works closely with the host city (next year it’s in Kansas) to make sure conference goers get amazing experiences along with the conference programming.
For brands: Consider this, women make 80% of travel decisions and two out of three travelers are women. If you’re a travel brand, why wouldn’t you want to cozy up to this group? Conference organizer, Beth Santos, is a super-traveler and wonder woman. She has a degree from Kellogg School of Management, the White House named her one of the top 100 travel bloggers in the US and she has a background in international development and community building. She’s built an amazing community in WITS.
This year they launched the Bessie Awards to honor women making an impact in the travel space. The Bessies are named after Bessie Coleman, the first woman of African-American descent to hold a pilot’s license. That kind of commitment to honoring unique women is really what WITS is all about.
When: May 1-3, 2020 | Where: Kansas City, KS
Phew! Better start packing your bags! But before you go, tell us: what’s your favorite influencer and blogger conference?