Should You Attend a 2020 PPC Conference? And Which One?

We’re big fans of PPC Conferences here at Clix! Some of us love to attend them and some to speak at them. Here’s an outline of conference benefits and ones you should try to attend.

Why You Should Attend a Conference

There are many reasons out there, but here are a few:

  1. To learn: You can read up on every topic out there, but you get insider insights and perspectives at a conference, sometimes about topics you didn’t even realize you should know more about!
  2. Networking: Conferences are a great place to get to know other industry peers and experts. They give you a way to connect to real people behind blog posts, tweets, podcasts, etc.
  3. To go straight to the source: many of the authors of articles you read on the internet are also the speakers at shows. If you attend their session, you’ll get direct insights into their strategies and be able to ask them questions afterward.
  4. To broaden your scope: If you’ve switched careers or are looking to expand into another field of interest, a conference is a great tool to hope you get started or learn if the move is right for you.
  5. For inspiration: conferences spark a whole new work of ideas and ways to improve your current efforts.
  6. For a break: sometimes getting away from the daily office grind can be a huge help. Conferences are often jam-packed with sessions, breakout, social events, etc, but all that can be a great work-related retreat from your regular activities.
  7. Location: You might want to purposefully get away, to turn a conference trip into an extended vacation or to stay local if one happens to be close-by.

Which Conference Should You Attend?

There are a lot of conferences out there (see link below) and this list is just a small list of the most well-known ones in the US. The asterisk (*) denotes that one or more Clix Team members will be attending and/or speaking at the event (based on what we know when this is publishes). So if you go, make sure you find us there!


Pubcon Austin* – February 6

This one day event covers SEO, PPC, social media, content and digital marketing strategies.

Pubcon Florida* – March 25-26

You’ll find more sessions and options at this conference vs the Austin one, but still the same wide range of topics and channels covered for  SEO and SEM.

Pubcon Pro Las Vegas – October 12-15

This is the largest of the three Pubcon events so depending what you’re looking for, might be a great pick.


SMX West San Jose* – Feb. 19

SMX East New York City* – November 11-12

You’ll find a wide range of SEO and SEM training options with 3 breakout options per session, including an all-new digital commerce marketing focus.

SMX Advanced Seattle – June 8-10

This conference has in-depth sessions about SEO and SEM that assume you already have a decent working knowledge of these subjects.

Other Marketing Conferences

SMM World San Diego -March 1-3

This is a large conference that will not disappoint. Check out the wide range of sessions to see what I mean.

SEM/PDX Engage – March 12-13

This conference is run by a nonprofit that focuses on supporting the digital marketing community. It’s smaller but still packed with great speakers and content.

HeroConf Austin* – April 8-9

This the only conference that only features all things PPC-related. There are four breakout sessions at a time for you to pick from, covering multiple channels, skill sets and topics.

MarTech San Jose – April 15-17 & MarTech Boston – October 6-8

These conferences cover a wide variety of marketing tactics (from email to video), how to use them and execute them.

MnSearch Summit* – June 19

Don’t let the regional nature of this conference keep you away. It attracts top speakers covering search + digital topics.

Inbound Boston – August 18-21

This one is huge with over 26k+ attendees and 250+ speakers (including some big name celebrities). This conference is more well-rounded and less PPC oriented by focusing more on higher level marketing and brand inspiration themes.

Utah DMC Annual Conference – August 28

Covers a wide range of topics geared towards helping you improve your online marketing results.

If Cost is An Issue

If your company didn’t budget for training for you this year and you’d still like to go to a conference, consider applying to be a moderator.  We have a fabulous post to help you know the ins and outs of the moderator role. You don’t get to see all the sessions that might’ve been your first choice, but it’ll still get in the door for free. Contact the conference for more details on this.

Other Conference Resources

Here are a few other posts we’ve written about conferences that might help you get a better feel for if you really want to attend one in the future.

How to Justify Your Conference Trip – This includes a sample letter for whoever needs to approve your trip!

7 Tips for Attending Marketing Conferences – Great tips to help you walk in the door, totally prepared.

2020 Digital Marketing Conferences – 400+ Events Yearly – A massive list of all the conferences.

If you’ve gone to conferences in the past, which do you recommend? Have any tips or suggestions? Comment below to share!