Social Media Marketing World 2020 Review: Is It Worth Attending?

November 30, 2020

Social Media Marketing World helps marketers, influencers, and business owners improve their social media strategies. This conference aims to help marketers master their social media content. Social Media Marketing World also facilitates networking opportunities for all attendees. However, those with All-Access passes have more networking opportunities. Here’s what Social Media Marketing World is and what to expect at the end of February 2021.

Table of Contents

  • What is Social Media Marketing World
  • Who Should Attend
  • Sessions and Speakers
  • Day-by-Day Breakdown of the Agenda
  • Example Cost Breakdown
  • How to Sponsor Social Media Marketing World
  • How to Become a Speaker at Social Media Marketing World
  • Final Note
  • Key Highlights: What to Expect in 2021

What is Social Media Marketing World?

Social Media Marketing World is an annual conference where professionals gain confidence in their social media skills. Michael Stelzner founded the conference in 2013, but he started with Social Media Examiner in 2009. The 2021 event will be the eighth conference. At the time of this article, sessions for the 2021 conference have not been posted, but attendees should expect a similar layout to the 2020 conference.

The primary objective of this conference is to educate people on proven strategies that work in social media. Thousands of professionals have attended hundreds of sessions over the last seven years, and each time they leave with improved skills and greater confidence. In 2020, there were four keynote presentations, 16 session tracks, and multiple networking opportunities.

Some speakers of 2020 were Michael Stelzner, Jasmine Star, Christopher Penn, Jay Baer, Mari Smith, Jon Loomer, and Ann Handley. Sponsored speakers included Mike Yan, Harris Beber, and Suze Kaufman. The 2021 conference takes place in San Diego, California from March 14-26 2021. Be sure to check the conference website as dates could continue to change.

Who Should Attend?

Attendees who are interested to learn more about social media marketing should consider this conference. Most attendees are business owners, influencers, or professional marketers, and former attendees have lots of positive things to say. Participants will want to keep informed on available sessions, so they know what to expect from the speakers and decide early on which sessions to attend. The SMMW20 Facebook group helps attendees stay connected.

Sessions and Speakers

#SMMW20 had over 100 speakers and sessions. There were dozens of sessions on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest, and speakers shared their knowledge on content marketing, local business marketing, social strategy, analytics, messenger bots, and customer advocacy. They also discussed video creation and video marketing more broadly.

Founder Michael Strizner delivered one of the four keynote presentations. Other keynote speakers were:

  • Jasmine Star, an internationally-recognized photographer.
  • Ann Handley, a Wall Street Journal best-selling author.
  • Marcus Sheridan, owner of IMPACT, a digital sales and marketing agency.

Day-by-Day Breakdown of the Agenda

The schedule for 2021's Social Media Marketing World isn't determined, but 2021 will be similar to 2020. Virtual ticket holders have access to all recorded sessions and workshops. Community and Marketer tickets include access to all keynote presentations, four video tracks, and the Networking Plaza. These tickets don't grant access to the recorded sessions like the Virtual ticket does. Marketer ticket holders also have access to all sessions.

All-Access ticket holders are allowed the same access as other ticket holders, allowed to review all recordings for 18 months. They're also invited to networking parties and given more time for workshops. All-Access ticket holders settle in on Sunday, and other ticket holders join on the second day of the conference.

Day 1

On Sunday, March 1, 2020, Social Media Marketing World offered an early check-in at 9:00 in the morning. Attendees were provided food for purchase until 4:00. There were 15 workshops in total, and the first round started at noon:

  • Robert Rose on creating scalable, measurable, and profitable content.
  • Cliff Ravenscraft on developing an empowering mindset.
  • Miri Rodriguez on storytelling techniques.
  • Chris Ducker on building your personal brand.
  • Rich Brooks on building a digital marketing plan.

At 2:00, five workshops were available:

  • Michael Port and Amy Port on public speaking.
  • Mike Kim on writing persuasive copy.
  • Ilana Wechsler on Google ads.
  • Rory Vaden on turning reputation into revenue.
  • Chris Dayley on converting site visitors into customers.

At 3:50, five workshops were available:

  • Ray Edwards on selling without being “salesy.”
  • Park Howell on amplifying the impact of brands.
  • Donna Moritz on visual design.
  • Paul Roetzer on the role of AI in transforming marketing.
  • Paul Colligan on podcasting.

The night ended with a two-hour long Networking Party for All-Access ticket holders.

Day 2

Monday, March 2, 2020, began at 6:00 with a networking walk. Check-in opened at 6:30, and a yoga session followed at 7:00. The event kicked off at 8:00 with a keynote presentation by Michael Stelzner from Social Media Examiner entitled “Social Media Marketing in 2020: What the Newest Research Reveals.” Then there was a networking break until 10:30. Food was made available for purchase from 10:30 to 2:00.

The first group of sessions were at 10:30:

  • Viveka von Rosen on LinkedIn content strategy.
  • Christopher Penn on ROI and social media marketing.
  • Lou Mongello on using Facebook Live to grow.
  • Kim Garst on repurposing video content.
  • Tim Schmoyer on getting discovered on YouTube.
  • Sue B. Zimmerman on techniques to create engaging Instagram Stories.
  • Rick Mulready on leads and sales with ads on Facebook and Instagram.

Speakers at 11:35 were:

  • Ben Amos on designing organic video strategies.
  • Ralph Burns on using ad amplifiers on Facebook.
  • Brett Curry on YouTube ad tactics.
  • Alex Beadon on creating unforgettable Instagram Stories.
  • Stacy Tuschl on effective organic social strategies.
  • Andy Crestodina on using analytics to draw in the right people.
  • Duncan Wardle on creating magical customer experiences.
  • Mike Yan on using chat marketing to grow business.

At 12:40, Table Talks networking sessions happened during lunch. Four sessions were also offered:

  • Jenn Herman on creating Instagram content.
  • Nick Nimmin on creating watchable videos.
  • Evan Carmichael on YouTube thumbnail split testing strategies.
  • Bruce Irving on effective marketing.

Speakers at 2:15 were:

  • Ian Cleary on developing a content strategy.
  • Daniel Harmon on video ads that get sales.
  • Bella Vasta on engaging with Facebook groups.
  • Azriel Ratz on marketing funnels that scale Facebook ad results.
  • Susan Wenograd on making optimal Instagram story ads.
  • Scott McKain on creating distinguished social media platforms.
  • Steve Dotto on creating videos that grow communities.
  • Chris Strub on getting tweets from the audience.

Speakers at 3:20 were:

  • Holly Homer on driving organic traffic.
  • Derral Eves with marketing strategies for YouTube.
  • John Nemo on generating leads on LinkedIn.
  • Paul Ramondo on Facebook ad targeting.
  • Harris Beber and Suze Kaufman on making impactful, quality videos.
  • Tyler Anderson on turning customers into content creators.
  • Natasha Takahashi on multiplying webinar conversions with bots.

Speakers at 4:25 were:

  • Brian Fanzo on building social media communities.
  • Dan Gingiss on social media marketing by customers.
  • Dennis Yu on Facebook ads that drive leads, traffic, and revenue.
  • Steve Chou on using Facebook Messenger to grow.
  • Michaela Alexis on lead-generation with LinkedIn.
  • Sean Cannell on growing YouTube audiences and profits.
  • Rachel Pedersen on leveraging attention spans with TikTok.

At 5:30, Ann Handley delivered a keynote presentation on sustainable social media success. The day ended with a second Networking Party for All-Access ticket holders.

Day 3

Tuesday, March 3, 2020, started with a networking walk at 6:00 and a yoga session at 7:00. At 8:30, Jasmine Star delivered the day's first keynote presentation on building a brand on Instagram that thrives. There was a networking break at 9:30, and food was made available at 10:15.

The first sessions started at 10:15:

  • Mari Smith on using organic Facebook content to deliver results.
  • Shep Hyken on amazing customer service.
  • Justin Brown with audio, lighting, and filming tips.
  • Dan Knowlton on marketing tactics for Twitter.
  • Chalene Johnson on growing an Instagram following.
  • Andrea Vahl with a deep dive into Facebook ad analytics.
  • Melanie Deziel on creatively repurposing content for maximum impact.

There were seven sessions at 11:20:

  • Michael Stelzner on becoming a recognized expert.
  • David Meerman Scott on turning fans into customers.
  • Allie Bloyd on the ROI of Facebook and Instagram ads.
  • Peg Fitzpatrick on Pinterest pins that appear on search engines.
  • Tyler J. McCall with secrets to a profitable Instagram account.
  • Jon Loomer with Facebook ad techniques.
  • Roberto Blake on attracting ideal audiences with YouTube videos.
  • Alex Khan on live videos on Facebook and Instagram.

Table Talks
networking sessions during lunch started at 12:25. Speakers at 12:25 were:

  • Dana Malstaff on selling to Facebook communities.
  • Goldie Chan on leveraging LinkedIn videos.
  • Jessika Phillips on capturing attention and amplifying messages.

Speakers at 2:00 were:

  • Neal Schaffer on influencer marketing strategies.
  • Ken Moskowitz on getting conversions with Facebook ads.
  • Jay Baer with three types of scalable social content.
  • Mary Kathryn Johnson on building bots that get subscribers to buy.
  • AJ Wilcox on creating conversions with LinkedIn ads.
  • Travis Chambers on mastering video ad funnels.
  • Andrew Hubbard on generating leads with Instagram ads.
  • Molly Mahoney with secrets for speaking on camera.

Speakers at 3:05 were:

  • Charlie Lawrance on building Facebook ad funnels.
  • Carlos Gil on turning fans into brand advocates.
  • Jennifer Priest on driving traffic with Pinterest videos.
  • Chris Mercer on designing marketing dashboards.
  • Ian Anderson Gray with tips, tools, and techniques to creating live shows.
  • Shaun Ayala on creating engaging videos.
  • Andrew Pickering and Pete Gartland on creating sales-generated content.

Speakers at 4:10 were:

  • Molly Pittman on writing Facebook ads.
  • Owen Video on making videos that get customers.
  • Mark Schaefer on attracting attention.
  • Pat Flynn on converting visitors into subscribers and fans.
  • Stephanie Liu on being irresistible on camera.
  • Jeff Sieh with visual marketing tips and tricks.
  • Kelly Noble Mirabella with tools, rules, and resources to get quality leads with messenger bots.

There were 16 different session tracks, each session with a different focus. The event's final keynote presentation on timeless storytelling was delivered at 5:15 by Marcus Sheridan, and the conference came to an end at 6:30.

Example Cost Breakdown

Virtual tickets were the best value option at $697 and would be free of travel costs. Virtual tickets and the $497 Community tickets are not currently available. Marketer tickets cost $1097, and ticket holders, like Community and All-access ticket holders, would also need to pay for airfare, hotels, transportation, and food. The estimated costs for everything, including an All-Access ticket, are listed below.

  • $1,697.00 All-Access ticket price
  • $300.00 Airfare
  • $100.00 Transportation
  • $550.00 Hotel
  • $150.00 Food and drink

Are there ways to get discounts?

Social Media Examiner does not currently offer any coupons or discounts for 2021 event tickets. Attendees may be able to find coupons for this event on CouponBirds and

How to Sponsor Social Media Marketing World

Sponsors can use the conference as an opportunity to increase brand awareness, develop stronger relationships, generate leads, and meet customers in person. Sponsors can network at the Networking Plaza and during networking parties. Sponsors have opportunities to advertise their brands in the conference guide and mobile app. Social Media Marketing World also drives traffic to booths for special offers and demos, and they can also sponsor content. Hopeful sponsors for the conference should complete the appropriate form.

How to Become a Speaker at Social Media Marketing World

Speakers are hand-picked marketing experts, thought leaders, and influencers. Speakers have the opportunity to share what they know and increase awareness about their brands, though they are not permitted to advertise their brands in their sessions.

Final Note

All the information provided is based on the 2020 Social Media Marketing World conference. The next event starts on the last day of February 2021.

Key Highlights: What to Expect in 2021

The 2021 conference will have a similar format to 2020. Attendees will learn about the latest trends and biggest changes in the world of social media. Speakers will review basic and advanced information about social media platforms and marketing strategies.

In November 2020, Social Media Marketing World updated with a banner with a new conference date of March 14-16, 2021.


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