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18 Reasons to Attend the Content Marketing Event of the Year

content-marketing-world-2013If you are a regular reader of the CMI blog, you know that we rarely promote our products and services within the content itself — we take the art and science of content marketing seriously, and do our best to practice what we preach.

That said, I am incredibly jazzed about Content Marketing World 2013, and I truly believe it will be the single greatest in-person event in content marketing history. Yes, I’m biased… but we’ve put so much of our hearts and souls into this event, it’s hard to hide my enthusiasm.

Whether you’re already planning to hit Cleveland on September 9–12 for the big show or have yet to register, here are 18 things (listed in no particular order) that I’m particularly excited to share about this year’s event. If we’re missing anything you would like to see at the event, please let me know — we are always looking to make #cmworld bigger and better in every possible way.

1. The closing keynote: I’m more excited about this one than any other speaker we’ve ever had at Content Marketing World. I wish I could tell you who it is (that will be announced in a few days), but it will be worth the visit all by itself. UPDATE: We’re thrilled to announce William Shatner will be joining us!

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

2. Our opening reception at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (sponsored by Skyword): It’s the perfect place to throw an opening party. Plus, the current exhibit is… wait for it… the Rolling Stones.

3. The venue: The new Cleveland Convention Center just opened this month. Content Marketing World 2013 will be the largest business event ever (up to that point in time) to exhibit in the space. You’ll be shocked at how beautiful the facility is, and all of our events are in close proximity.

4. Coca-Cola’s Jonathan Mildenhall: I’m a huge fan of Jonathan and his Content 2020 program at Coca-Cola, not to mention he is a fantastic speaker. I, for one, am eager to hear more about how the Coke brand is moving from creative inspiration to content excellence.

5. The B2C sessions: Probably our best agenda yet. We’re bringing together some amazing consumer brands, such as Hershey, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, and REI (presenting on content and eCommerce).

6. New technology: Well over 30 of the latest and most amazing content marketing technologies will be on hand for you to play with — from marketing automation solutions to content syndication, content production, content discovery, and content execution tools.

The Mega 80’s

7. We’re rolling back the clock: Our Tuesday night entertainment (sponsored by Compendium) will be courtesy of the amazing band, Mega 80’s. I have to be honest: I wasn’t sure about this band at first, but then I checked them out and was seriously blown away. It’s going to be a blast (I’m still trying to find my piano-key leather tie to get in the spirit). Where will this fine event be taking place? The House of Blues, of course (7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 10).

8. The presentation by UNC Knight Chair JoAnn Sciarrino: I’ve known JoAnn since she was running the research department at AT&T. Her latest research on brand storytelling and measurement is truly compelling, and I can’t wait to hear more of the results.

9. The inaugural Content Marketing Awards: Throughout the general sessions, we’ll be announcing the winners of the 2013 Content Marketing Awards, including the best projects and the recipients of the Content Marketer of the Year and Agency of the Year awards.

10. The B2B sessions: They’re just too good. Our agenda this year includes presentations from Cisco Systems, MasterControl, PTC, Kelly Services, SAP, Intel, IBM, National Instruments, Tellabs, Coyote Logistics, Kinvey, and many more.

11. LinkedIn’s photo booth: I need to update my LinkedIn photo — perhaps you do, too? Well, line up and get it done in this fun, easy, and professional-quality way.

12. Randall Lane from Forbes: Randall’s take on content marketing was so intriguing to me, we created a mini-keynote out of it. This is a presentation you shouldn’t miss.

13. Our six pre-conference workshops: I’ve never seen demand like we are experiencing for our pre-conference workshops. This year’s roundup includes dedicated sessions on growing your content agency, creating a powerful email database, content marketing for nonprofits, building buyer personas, enabling sales and, of course, content marketing 101. See the full descriptions here.

14. It’s the year of “Youtility”: Now a New York Times best-selling author, Jay Baer (our #1 rated speaker from last year’s event) will talk about how being useful is the new marketing imperative.

15. LinkedIn’s take on content marketing: Have you noticed the changes in LinkedIn’s platform around publishing. Don’t miss LinkedIn’s keynote presentation on Wednesday, September 11, where the media powerhouse will explain why it has decided to go “all-in” with content marketing.

16. We have 40 breakout sessions: There is something here for everyone (but if you think we’ve missed something, let us know!), and I can honestly say we’ve booked some of the best speakers and content marketing practitioners on the planet. You won’t be disappointed (I promise).

17. The Summits: On September 12, we’ve added an extra day of Summit Sessions dedicated to Financial (in conjunction with the Financial Communciations Society), Health (with MedCity Media), Tech (with LinkedIn), Manufacturing (with ThomasNet), and Small Business (with Copyblogger). I’m already excited about the response to these events — it looks like about half of our attendees are planning to stay on for a Summit.

18. Cleveland: It’s been wonderful seeing the city of Cleveland get behind this event (if this event was taking place in Chicago or New York, you’d probably never see the same enthusiastic response). Events like Content Marketing World are important to cities the size of Cleveland. If you’ve never been here, you’ll really enjoy yourself. The airport is just 15 minutes from downtown, with easy access via taxi or subway. The hotels are reasonably priced, and the Convention Center is just a few blocks away from Lake Erie. I think you’ll come away understanding why Cleveland is the headquarter city for the Content Marketing Institute.

On a closing note, I talked to a marketer this week who specifically called to tell me why they chose to come to Content Marketing World over two other events planned for this fall. Their biggest reason: They said that no other show could provide them with both the educational and networking opportunities in and around content marketing that Content Marketing World can. That meant a lot to me, and I believe it’s true — and it’s likely why 99 percent of last year’s attendees said they’d be back (don’t worry, I had a nice chat with the one who didn’t want to come back — I think he’ll come around ;).

I hope to see you in September, so I can shake your hand and personally thank you for coming. I hope to show you that you are part of the content marketing revolution — and that what’s going on is pretty special.

Don’t just take our word for it: Experience the excitement and opportunities of Content Marketing World 2013 for yourself. Register today!