conferences 2As an agency owner, it can be a battle to get out of your day-to-day operations and find other ways to improve your business. Although the tasks required to keep your agency running are imperative, there are other aspects of work that are just as important.

The opportunities to network, gain new perspective on your industry and simply get a breather from the daily grind makes attending conferences valuable. And there are plenty of conferences that should be on your radar for the second half of 2013.

Ad Age Small Agency Conference and Awards (July 24 to 25 in Portland, Ore.)

For the fifth straight year, Advertising Age presents its Small Agency Conference and Awards. This exclusive event is limited to small- and medium-sized agencies that fit into one of three categories: a staff of one to 10 people, 11 to 75 people or 76 to 150 people. Each agency must also be independently owned, with at least 51 percent of the agency privately held.

The Small Agency Conference and Awards encompass the entrepreneurial spirit by highlighting the successes of these smaller agencies, and they also highlight creative, emerging media practices through presentations by expert marketers. This conference instills a sense of community among the attendees by uniting like-minded, independent innovators under one roof.

The 4th Annual PR Summit (July 30 to 31 in San Francisco)

The 4th Annual PR Summit is a two-day-long event that unites a large range of leaders and innovators across a variety of industries. The event aims to encourage a stimulating discussion inside each agency concerning social media and branding disciplines that actually affect the bottom line. These intense debates will help any advertiser prepare for the shifts and changes of the evolving marketing landscape. At the end of each day, there will be a post-conference cocktail party to wind down.

Inbound Marketing Summit (July 30 to 31 in San Francisco and October 16 to 17 in Boston)

Another digital marketing conference hitting the Bay Area this summer is the Inbound Marketing Summit (IMS). With an expanded program, IMS hosts more than 30 of the most influential business leaders to enlighten more than 300 attendees on developments in social and content marketing, customer relationship management and mobile technologies. IMS also provides the chance for each attendee to apply his or her newly acquired knowledge with hands-on multimedia experiences, demos and case studies.

In addition to these exclusive networking opportunities, IMS will reveal a new crowdsourcing experiment before the show. If you can’t make it to the San Francisco event, then be on the lookout for the Boston event later this fall.

Inbound Marketing Conference (August 19 to 22 in Boston)

The Inbound Marketing Conference focuses on the current and future states of marketing, and it opens up discussions on how inbound techniques play a huge role in companies.

Hosted by HubSpot, the conference focuses on implementation techniques, so come prepared to take new ideas and apply them to your agency as you see fit. Because inbound marketing is a huge trend for agencies and companies right now, this conference is a must-attend in order to stay ahead of the curve.

iMedia Summit Series: (iMedia Brand Summit: September 8 to 11 in Coronado, Calif.; iMedia Breakthrough Summit: October 20 to 23 in Austin, Texas; and iMedia Agency Summit: December 8 to 11 in Scottsdale, Ariz.)

The iMedia Brand Summit could be considered a relaxing vacation, rather than a conference, because of its posh location. Attendees will have a four-night stay at the luxurious Loews Coronado Bay Resort.

Those at the conference will learn from informative keynote speakers on modern branding techniques, partner management, leveraging traditional and new distribution channels and the best practices in the world of social marketing. In addition to all of these valuable opportunities, attendees will learn techniques for developing an effective branding campaign, all while enjoying the picturesque resort.

BOLO Digital Marketing Conference (October 13 to 15 in Scottsdale, Ariz.)

BOLO (Be On the Look Out) 2013 is a must-attend for agency owners or founders who are looking for a more intimate setting. With a crowd cap of around 250 people, BOLO’s smaller group allows for more open, transparent networking and in-depth conversation. It also provides attendees with actionable ideas that can be implemented post-conference. If you’re looking for a smaller conference that results in big takeaways for you and your company, then BOLO is the right choice.

Depending on your agency’s needs, there is sure to be one conference on this list that will provide you with new content, ideas and valuable business relationships. Invest your time and money to expand your knowledge (and enjoy yourself a little) by attending one of them — you’ll be paid back tenfold.

Originally published Jun 14, 2013 1:00:30 AM, updated July 28 2017

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