Social Media Marketing World—Is it Worth it? [Complete Review]
With social media changing at a fast pace, marketers have no other option than to stay up to date with the latest hacks and trends (actually, they can also stay ignorant—but not you, right?). Social Media Marketing World is the biggest gathering of marketing professionals, held yearly in San Diego and organized by Social Media Examiner.
Here’s their 2020’s pitch:
“Experience three phenomenal days with the best social marketers, discover the latest tactics, and master social media in 2020.”
In this post, we’ll explore everything about Social Media Marketing World: what it is, who can attend, what to expect and what people think about it to help you decide if it’s worth attending.
Without further mentions, let’s dig in.
Social Media Marketing World: What to Expect
Social Media Marketing World gathers every year about 100 of the world’s top pros who specialize in Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat marketing and more. They do presentations and workshops where they deliver actionable tips designed for marketing professionals. Think about it like it’s a tribe: people who speak the same language and understand the daily struggles.
Here’s what to expect:
✅Highly relevant, pitch-free content—they don’t allow speakers to sell from the stage.
✅Great location—sunny San Diego is an excellent spot to meet up (btw, people join from all over the world).
✅Access to recordings—those who miss a session can watch playbacks from any device.
✅Top conference experience—from arrival till departure, participants are being taken care of.
Is Social Media Marketing World for Me?
It depends on what you’re looking to gain from participating. Consider the following ideas taken from the Social Media Marketing World website:
- Imagine keeping up with important trends and knowing exactly how to successfully implement the latest techniques
- Getting 10X ROI every time you launch a campaign, create an ad, or start working on a new platform
- Having all the wisdom you need to support every marketing decision you make
- Forming relationships with people who become like family—who you can ask any question or present any new idea to
- Having complete confidence with every strategy and tactic you present to your boss, colleagues, or clients
- Connecting with people who speak your language, understand your challenges, and get you
- Knowing you are up-to-date with everything that matters, and never having to worry about missing crucial information.
Sounds like you? Fantastic. Not sure yet? Check out the Social Media Marketing World 2019 trailer:
There are two big benefits Social Media Marketing World brings to the table. Let’s dig deeper.
The Networking Advantage
“Many attendees say it’s worth coming to Social Media Marketing World just for the networking alone—they have had such amazing opportunities arise from the event,” says Donna Moritz, Visual Social Media Strategist and SMMW speaker.
“Speakers often miss lunch because they are talking to people so please…. if you’re chatting with one, offer to walk them to the lunch table hehe,” she adds.
The ability to personally connect with top authorities in the marketing world is a nice perk. There’s always room for networking at the Social Media Marketing World—at parties, during workshops and breaks or in the chill out zone where you can stay away from big crowds (if that’s your thing).
Whether you leave the event with well-set relationships or not (it’s social media, we’re all friends on Facebook here), at least you gain some new, fresh knowledge on how professionals work and achieve goals.
Here’s what I mean.
The Knowledge Advantage
If you’re struggling to keep up with the ever-changing nature of social media marketing, don’t worry—we all are.
Social Media Marketing World speakers are highly experienced, which increases the quality of their presentations. The topics they tackle are pretty diverse as well, from sessions on blogging, social media platforms, content strategy, live streaming, podcasting, video and more. Getting bored doesn’t seem like an option.
Here are some speaker names from the 2019‘s event:
Many Social Media Marketing World speakers talk about their professional experiences, wins and failures. These are stories from people who’ve walked the same path, so for someone looking for more guidance, joining can be helpful. Actually, we could all use some direction, right?
A Recap from Social Media Marketing World 2019
There are several blog posts out there about the 2019 edition. Josh White from Knackmap describes his experience, speaking about three keywords: networking, learning and fun.
In terms of networking, “There is NO shortage of networking events available at this event,” says Josh. “If the topic tables, networking breakout room, nightly parties and speaker events aren’t enough, participants madly were making their own events which ended up being in the 100’s. Freelancers meetups, agency meetups, tourism meetups, mums in marketing meetups, young under 30 entrepreneur meetups…you name it. If you had a niche topic you wanted to talk about or learn more about, there was a meetup for you.”
Learning is the core of the event. “The learning opportunity of Social Media Marketing World is a large part of what I go to the event for,” adds Josh. Here’s a glimpse of 2019’s Keynotes:
Fun seems to be an important element of the Social Media Marketing World. Their photo gallery shows people having a blast, and the event balanced a playful yet educational experience. The opening-night party ended with a bang, not to mention the Midway Aircraft Carrier was a winner.
Check out this photo of a live karaoke show held this year:
To make sure we have the real pulse of the event, I gathered some of the most popular reviews.
What Attendees Have to Say About Social Media Marketing World
We did a lot of asking around.
We found out that most attendees work for (or own) small and medium businesses (with less than 100 employees). They’re either social media marketers, consultants, solopreneurs, agency owners, network marketers, or corporate marketers. Let’s just call them success driven individuals who want to connect with others, and get better at what they do.
For Donna Moritz, 2019 was the 7th year she joined Social Media Marketing World as a speaker, and here’s what she has to say about the event:
“I couldn’t be more impressed with the quality of the event, the speakers, event staff and attendees at this conference.”
Donna comes all the way from Australia every year. “It’s worth it for the 120+ sessions and access to the world’s smartest marketers and brands,” she adds.
Monique Muro wrote an entire post on 2019’s event. Here’s how she describes her experience:
“My second year at Social Media Marketing World was better than my first. This time, I knew what to expect and where to go. I got to hang out with the folks from both Teachable and Thinkific, and I met a ton of people from B-School and Amy Porterfield’s Digital Course Academy.”
Networking came in pretty handy for Monique.
“At the conference, […] I was talking to a girl who was also in the online education space. We were geeking out about grammar, since she’d done some content editing in the past, and she gave me some great intel from an online student’s perspective.”
People are also the reason why Monique is a Social Media Marketing World returning client.
“What keeps me coming back to Social Media Marketing World year after year, is the people. […] When you put your feet on the ground and meet people face-to-face, and put a face to a profile you’ve seen over and over on Facebook or Instagram, it’s a feeling like no other. It almost puts you on another level in your relationships with people in your industry, because you’ve made the effort to connect in person.
Dustin W. Stout has a similar story he wrote about on his website.
“My first ever Social Media Marketing World, I went there with the sole purpose of seeing the people I look up to in the social media world, live, in person.”
He ended up knowing, on a personal level, some of the people he has looked up to for years.
“So, for me, the most compelling reason to go to Social Media Marketing World year after year has been to be amongst and meet your heroes.”
Dustin also shared a photo of one of the speakers, Guy Kawasaki, a marketing specialist, author, and Silicon Valley venture capitalist:
For Josh White, 2019 was the 5th year he attended Social Media Marketing World. He wrote all about his experience in this post. Here’s a summary:
“Once again I attended the 2019 Social Media Marketing World event. […] this event is by far the best event for learning about what is really going on in the commercial world of social media. I’ve been going for the last 5 years or so and it’s helped us stay ahead of the curve in many areas, and validating that we are on the right path for our very early adoptions of innovative best practice.”
Social Media Marketing World: How to Join
#1. Get an All Access Pass
This is how attendees experience everything at Social Media Marketing World live. They get unrestricted access to all of the sessions, workshops, recording, and parties. Suitable for any marketer, business owner, or influencer who wants to enjoy the whole event experience.
#2. Grab a Marketer Pass
If the All Access Pass is out of your budget, you have limited time, or you simply don’t want to attend parties, the Marketer Pass is a good alternative. It’s perfect for those who want to focus on sessions and gives full access to all of the Social Media Marketing World sessions, tracks, keynotes, and the Networking Plaza.
#3. Join With a Community Pass
This is the most economical option, ideal for those who want to experience a limited set of sessions. They get access to the Networking Plaza, tracks on live video and video creation, and four keynote sessions at a reduced price.
By the way, if video is your thing, Lumen5 is a video creation platform powered by A.I. that enables anyone without training or experience to easily create engaging video content within minutes.
#4. Attend Online with A Virtual Pass
For those who can’t travel to San Diego but still want to catch all the sessions, the Virtual Pass is the next best option. It offers full access to recordings (keynotes, workshops—you name it) at an economical price.
Check out below the pricing options for Social Media Marketing World 2020:
Over to You
By reading the reviews, it looks like Social Media Marketing World only gets bigger and better from one year to another. Plus, from what we’ve seen, the organization is committed to making this conference outstanding.
If social media is part of your career or business and you can afford it, I can’t see any reason why you shouldn’t join.
Alex helps businesses create content that converts users into customers. She flips over wording challenges while keeping her zen. When she’s away from her desk, you’ll probably find her doing yoga, surfing, reading, camping, or walking her dog on the beach.