Clients and colleagues always ask us:

What conferences are we attending during the year and which ones we think they should attend?

It’s a great question, so we put together a list of conferences for 2012 worth checking out. The overall agenda and objectives differs at each conference, but here’s the inside scoop on why we go and why you may want to attend.

Social Media Club 

Who: Marketing Professionals, Community Managers, Digital Strategists and Analyst , Brands

What: Social Media Club Dallas (and other Chapter

s)

Where: Monthly – Check out SMCDallas.org for more info or SocialMediaClub.org for other local chapters in your area.

Why: Social Media Dallas although not a true conference, is a recurring monthly meetup that provides brands and agencies some great insights, strategies, and tactics from key industry speakers and leaders.

Social Media Week – Worldwide 

Who: If you’re reading this post, this event is for you.

What: Social Media Week

When: February 13-17th – 21 Cities

Why: Reflecting the global impact of social media – and its role as a catalyst in driving cultural, economic, political and social change in developed and emerging markets – Social Media Week is one of the world’s most unique global platforms, offering a series of interconnected activities and conversations around the world on emerging trends in social and mobile media across all major industries.

SXSW Interactive 2012

Who: Marketing Professionals, Brands, Agencies, Community Managers, Investors, Startups, Anyone on the internet.

What: An incubator of cutting-edge technologies, SXSW Interactive features five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders and an unbeatable line up of special programs showcasing the best new websites, video games and startup ideas the community has to offer.

When: Austin March 9-13, 2012

Why: From hands-on training to big-picture analysis of the future, SXSW Interactive has become the place to experience a preview of what is unfolding in the world of technology. Check out the panels, the parties, the 15th Annual Interactive Awards, Startup Village, ScreenBurn at SXSW, the SXSW Trade Show where you can pick up tons of swag.

The 99% Conference 2012 

Who: Creative professionals

What: The 99% Conference is Behance’s flagship event on executing ideas. Behance empowers creative professionals to make ideas happen. With this goal in mind, the 99% Conference was launched in 2009 to share best practices that help creatives move beyond idea generation into idea execution.

When: NYC May 3-4, 2012

Why: As Thomas Edison famously said, “Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration.” The goal of the 99% Conference is to shift the focus from idea generation to idea execution – providing road-tested insights on how to make your ideas happen.

Cause Marketing Forum Conference

Who: Cause Marketers of various levels of experience, Marketing Professionals

What: The Cause Marketing Forum Annual Conference highlights practical lessons learned from cause marketing professionals, powerful discussions, skill-buliding sessions,and  workshops.

When: Chicago May 30-31, 2012

Why: Cause Marketing Forum is designed to help business and nonprofits succeed together with practical information and connections. One of the highlights of the conference is Halo Spotlights – short but powerful presentations from several Cause Marketing Halo Award Winners sharing lessons learned from their award winning campaigns.

Big (D)esign Conference

Who: Students, Professionals and Executives interested in design and usability.

What: Three intense days of learning within the scope of Strategy, User Experience, and Code Development. The Big D Conference features career development, design, development, multimedia, usability and strategy sessions as well as exciting workshops.

When: Dallas May 31 – June 2, 2012

Why: The Big Design Conference is an opportunity to bring an array of industry-changing, design and usability thinking from all over the nation to Texas.

Blogworld and New Media Expo 2012 – NYC 

Who: Bloggers, Podcasters, Web TV & Radio Broadcasters and all types of New Media Content Creators

What: BlogWorld is a must-attend social media event, hosting thousands of attendees from 50+ countries, with more than 200 speakers. BlogWorld boasts 3 days of cutting-edge conference sessions and eye-opening keynotes.

When: NYC  June 5 – 7, 2012

Why: This is the only industry-wide event bringing the global community of content creators and publishers together all under one roof. It’s not just the conference content that BlogWorld attendees boast about, 2012 attendees will also find a thriving tradeshow and great evening networking mixers.

HOW Design Conference

Who: Designers, Freelancers, Creative Team Managers, Creative Professionals

What: HOW Design Conference’s speakers, workshops, and studio tours act as a refresher course in resisting the daily grind to make your design, your work and your life extraordinary.

When: Boston June 21-25, 2012

Why: Ignite your creativity, make your design skills unstoppable, sharpen your tech savvy and forge powerful connections with designers from around the globe. You’ll rethink your approach to work and life, connect with like-minded allies, hear from creative visionaries, and discover new tools to make your job more satisfying and productive than ever before.

BlogHer 2012 – NYC

Who: Anyone interested in blogging and social media networks through blogging

What: Three thousand attendees come together from all over the world to share hands-on learning, rich discussions, opportunities to meet with the brands that support them and plentiful networking opportunities. Most topics are women-centered but can be enriching for anyone in attendance.

When: NYC August 2 – 4, 2012

Why: Women and men from around the world attend to discuss, inspire and connect with each other.

Content Marketing World

Who: Marketing Professionals, Large and Small Brands

What: The largest gathering of content marketing professionals in the world. The conference is divided in two tracts: the first are keynotes dedicated to marketing and strategy insights and the second are workshops meant to help you achieve content marketing success.

When: Columbus September 4 – 6, 2012

Why: Content Marketing World provides marketing inspiration in how leading BtoB, BtoC companies and non-profits are transforming themselves into media companies.

 

Search Engine Strategies 2012 – SES San Francisco 

Who: Marketers and SEO professionals

What: The conference offers 70+ sessions, intensive training workshops, and an expo floor packed with companies that can help you grow your business.

When: San Francisco August 13 – 17, 2012

Why: Network and learn about topics such as PPC management, keyword research, SEO, social media, local, mobile, link building, duplicate content, multiple site issues, video optimization, site optimization, usability and more. While you’re at it, network with peers and leading industry vendors in the areas of SEO.

Dreamforce 2012

Who: Anyone interested in implementing cloud computing and social networking with business applications.

What: Dreamforce features outstanding keynotes, interactive demos, in-depth discussions, technical training, all focused on utilizing the cloud.

When: San Francisco September 18 – 21, 2012

Why: Dreamforce brings together all the leaders in cloud computing to collaborate, connect, and inspire. Every year attendees feel the excitement as they learn how the next wave of cloud computing can help their businesses grow.

 

Pivot Conference 2012

Who: Marketing Professionals, Large Brands, Digital Strategists and Analysts, Community Managers

What: Pivot is an exclusive two-day event for top brand managers who seek to bridge the gap between their brand and the rising Social Consumer.

When: NYC October 15 – 16, 2012

Why: The Pivot Conference delivers the context and understanding you need to redirect marketing dollars, create authentic interactions, and map a strategy of successful engagement with this powerful new market.