Attending conferences is a great way to learn what is currently going on in the digital media industry as well as what’s coming up. It’s also a good way to interact, network and meet your fellow industry experts. The tough part is deciding which ones to attend.

In an effort to focus the search, we’ve put together a list (in no particular order) of the top 14 digital media and publishing conferences to attend in 2018.

We hope to see you at one of these events.

IAB Annual Leadership Meeting

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is one of the advertising industry’s leading organizations to develop industry standards, conduct research and provide legal support. The 2018 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting, held early in the year, helps to uncover marketing, data and organizational strategies to assist brands, publishers and vendors. Expect more than 1,000 digital decision-makers to attend and get business done.

Digiday Publishing Conference

Digiday is hosting three Publishing Summits in 2018 in Japan, Europe and the U.S. The summits are typically well attended by digital publishing leaders, including those from The Washington Post, Time, Hearst, DailyMail, Forbes and more. There are numerous ways to listen, learn, network and socialize with your publisher peers over the three-day conference.

AdMonsters

As their title states, they are “monsters” when it comes to figuring out the ever-changing digital world. They host a series of events throughout the year and in different venues across the country focused on ad operations and revenue management, including a large Publisher Forum in California and its NYC OPS Conference in the summer. AdMonsters is great for connecting with peers, while understanding and tackling common issues. Topics are typically focused around areas like maximizing revenue and solving technical problems. You’re left with tangible learnings and action items to take back to your firm.

Programmatic I/O

AdExchanger hosts two Programmatic I/O conferences in 2018 — San Francisco in April and New York in October. Both events focus on the evolving nature of programmatic media and marketing. Expect more than 1,000 attendees and 80 expert speakers over 50 informative sessions.  In fact, our own Erik Requidan, VP of Sales will be hosting an Ops Talk workshop in San Francisco in April.

Digital Summit

This event, hosted in nearly 20 cities across the U.S., is a broader-based digital marketing conference covering a variety of topics. One of the great benefits of these conferences is that you have the ability to connect and network with more local digital media experts.

Email Insider Summit

Email continues to be one of the leading ways publishers and marketers continue to interact with their readers. The three-day summit includes a great mix of speakers, sessions and vendors. It is more focused toward brands; however, strong publishers would also benefit from the kind of quality insights and information that is being offered.

Social Media Marketing World

While this social media conference is geared slightly more toward businesses, there are more than enough overlapping sessions for publishers. If you want to keep up with everything social, this a great conference to attend.

Moz Con

This event is hosted by Rand Fishkin, the founder and former CEO of Moz.com (known sometimes as the Wizard of Moz), and is full of sessions focused around SEO and understanding the dynamics of search and growing website traffic.

SMX

According to their website, the Search Marketing Expo is for those who are obsessed with SEO and SEM. It features over 60 sessions across SEO, SEM and retail. In 2018, they’ll be hosting five shows in both the U.S. and Europe. Their multi-track approach allows you to pick and choose the sessions that are most relevant to you and what your focus is.

Publishing Insider Summit

This three-day summit includes a wide ranging list of topics relevant to publishers. The agenda includes presentations, roundtables and group panels as well as ample time to network with publishing peers and vendors. Previous publishers have included such names as Conde Nast, Vox Media, News Corp and Christian Science Monitor.

OMMA Conferences

MediaPost hosts this event in both Los Angeles and New York in 2018. The event is focused around the future of interactive media, marketing and advertising. Its agenda ranges in topics, but has a multitude of interesting sessions for digital publishers. These are well-attended and offer many opportunities to network.

Digital Publishing Innovation Summit

This summit includes two days of interactive and informative presentations from leading publishers, including USA Today, Facebook, Reddit, Economist and more.  Innovation Enterprise, which hosts the two-day event, puts on a few publishing innovation summits in San Francisco and London, in addition to a variety of other events.

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We had a great time kicking off 2018 attending these events already, and look forward to returning in 2019:

Consumer Electronics Show

More commonly known as CES, this Las Vegas “event” is packed with a who’s who in tech, digital media, marketing, advertising and more. With over 4,000 exhibitors and 180,000 industry professionals covering more than 2.6 million square feet, you better be organized for the chaos. The show continues to grow – over the last few years it has attracted more and more digital media, publishing, advertising and marketing experts. CES C-Space is a dedicated conference for innovators, marketers and creatives discussing the next disruptive trend. The sites and networking are unparalleled.

AdExchanger Industry Preview

This two-day conference held in January is a great way to kick-start the year. It’s an opportunity to hear from industry leaders, data gurus and industry pundits of what is expected to happen in the year ahead. The agenda typically includes a wide range of industry trends and insight; it’s a great networking opportunity as well.

By Vipul Mistry

The industry is reflecting on the past year and trying to predict what changes will come in the new year. Publishers will continue to build on the momentum of the past year, while returning to their roots, with an increased value placed on things like user experience and e-newsletters.

Here are 5 of the many publishing trends that we are bound to see in 2018:

Focus will return to user experience

A publisher’s objective is to keep readers engaged so they consume more content and spend more time on the site. The question is, how do publishers accomplish this? They do it by improving the website experience. This process starts with quicker page load speed and a cleaner ad experience. Publishers also need to eliminate pop-ups, remove excess content recommendations and turn off audio on videos so that readers are less overwhelmed. To continue improving the user experience in 2018, you should expect to see more ad experiences that are natively integrated into the content to create a more seamless effect. When publishers improve the user experience, ad blocking declines and revenues improve.

Video will stay hot

Video was big in 2017, and it will continue to be a large investment for publishers in 2018 as well. Social media powerhouses Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram continued to be at the forefront of video creation in 2017 with live streams and quick snippets being captured. In 2018, publishers will take a more strategic approach to creating video content. Longer form, higher quality video will be essential to capture a reader’s attention as people become accustomed to watching more video for a longer period of time.

The old is new again

Marketers are becoming more interactive in email, adding new and unique features to capture a reader’s attention, especially when it comes to mobile. The email newsletter is no longer a static document, but, instead, it is a living, breathing entity that can be easily updated as news develops and stories change.

A refined programmatic approach

AppNexus’ CEO Brian O’Kelley coined the phrase “supply-path optimization (SPO),” referring to the ways advertisers optimize the path to the advertising inventory they want. On the other side, publishers are taking a more streamlined and refined approach to working with buying partners. Publishers need to provide additional insights and analysis to optimize performance for the right buyers. This process helps reveal which partners best connect publishers directly with buyers. Offering customers greater transparency and trust across the buying process will yield long-term success.

Moving beyond digital ads

More and more publishers are thinking of ways to increase revenue beyond digital ads. I continuously see publishers thinking about subscriptions or micropayments to access unique content. Commerce is also a huge opportunity for certain publishers. With online shopping continuing to grow, a well detailed path to buying products can, and should, be created by publishers.

As featured in AdExchanger’s The Sell Sider, this graphic provides an illustrative example of the critical importance of having humans in the programmatic flow. Check out the full article on AdExchanger to hear from Erik Requidan and learn about the role humans play in optimizing demand path optimization for publisher and buyer success.