In March 2015, Randal Olson made a blog entry that took the United States by storm. Using an algorithm he wrote, Google Maps and some additional brainpower, Olson provided a solution to a problem that has plagued everyone from college students to middle-aged parents: “where to go on the next road trip?“Using a series of factors, Olson plotted out the optimal road trip across the continental United States. It allows those taking the trip to stop in every state and visit national monuments with minimal backtracking, Cleveland being the exception. You can go through Canada if you prefer.While the buzz has quieted a little, Olson’s map occasionally comes to mind. Most recently, it came to mind while planning for 2017 and trying to determine if there are digital marketing conferences in 2017 that should be attended by members of our team. What if someone was able to take a year off coming into the office daily and road trip the United States? And, what if along the way they attended Marketing Conferences? What route would they take?Well! I had to know. So I printed off Olson’s map and a list of digital marketing conferences and got to work mapping out the trip one would take to see all the States as well as get some conference time along the way. I hope you find this list enjoyable!
Let the Road Trip Begin!
IZEA Fest in Orlando, FL – February 10-11: Our road trip starts in Orlando. Seems like a good place to be in February. The IZEA Fest conference is geared toward education and networking. You’ll have a great story to tell!
The keynote speaker at IZEA Fest is Daymond John (entrepreneur, Shark Tank investor and writer). Olson’s landmark is the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Rumor is Disney World isn’t half bad either.NG eCommerce US Summit in Atlanta, GA – March 6-8: This one might be a little difficult as it’s an invite-only conference, but it’s on the map so worth a try! The conference is intended to help senior level executives network, collaborate and learn. Even if they don’t let you in, stop by the Okefenokee Swamp Park in Georgia.There are a few days between conferences here for the drive north. After leaving Georgia stop by several sites including Fort Sumter, Wright Brother National Memorial, Mount Vernon, the White House, and the Liberty Bell! Digital Strategy Innovation Summit in New York City, NY – March 21-22: As of this writing, speakers are still being accepted for this conference, but it promises to be a place where commercial leaders come to have candid conversations, discuss challenges and create strategic solutions. There are plenty of other things to do in NYC, but on our agenda this time is the Statue of Liberty! Enjoy the ferry trip then head north quickly because the next conference is…Media Post’s OMMA in Boston, MA – March 23: You’ll need to leave NYC quickly to get to Boston, but it is doable. OMMA (Online Media, Marketing and Advertising) will explore the consumer experience as it relates to brands and product categories. While there, visit the USS Constitution (technically in Charleston).Next10x in Boston, MA – April 5: Because of the hurry from NYC, take a few days and enjoy Boston. There is time to backtrack to the Mark Twain House and the Breakers that are on Olson’s list. After that, attend the Next10x where they will provide the opportunity to come up with “actionable ideas to help grow your brand in today’s rapidly evolving mobile digital marketing world.”Time in the Northeast is coming to a close. There is a long drive ahead, but plenty of time to make it to the next conference which is in Minnesota. There are 11 stops along the way including Abraham Lincoln’s home! Zenith Digital Marketing Conference in Duluth, MN – April 27: After all those stops coming out of the Northeast and into the Midwest is a stop in Duluth, MN. A bit off Olson’s path, but in the realm of the possible there is a “legendary social media conference [which] expands to all things digital marketing” with the goal to help attendees integrate digital channels. On the banks of the Mississippi, make sure to visit Fort Snelling just south of Minneapolis. The next conference is in San Francisco. Enjoy the drive across some of the northern states and the Rocky Mountains stopping at places like Mount Rushmore and Glacier National Park. eMetrics Summit in San Francisco, CA – May 15-18: After that trip, it is time for another conference. eMetrics conferences strive to “provide marketing professionals with practical, tactical insights on using data to optimize marketing.” Enjoy this and the city for a few days because the next conference isn’t far.Incite Summit in San Francisco, CA – May 23-24: After that long drive, it was time for a break. An extra conference in San Francisco gives time to take Olson’s suggestion and ride the cable cars. The Incite Summit will provide information to help attendants engage, track and personalize marketing to customers. Another long drive is ahead. But it will absolutely be worth it. Stop at the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone. Awe inspiring to be sure.Digital Summit in Denver, CO – June 27-28: Digital Summit hosts multiple events across the country. While there is a learning and education aspect to this conference, it is also great for looking for customers and vendors. After leaving Denver, head south for Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs.Continue south to remember the Alamo before heading north into Oklahoma.Confluence in Oklahoma City, OK – September 14-15: There is extra time to get from Denver to OKC, so no rush. After visiting the Platt Historic District you can attend Confluence which claims to be the “complete digital marketing conference.” This is also the time to catch a few Sooner football games.The home stretch is here! There is only 1 more conference and a few more locations before the trip must come to an end. Make the drive to the home of Elvis Presley, Vicksburg and then head south to New Orleans for the last conference!&Then in New Orleans, LA – October 8-11: While the conference is still calling for sponsors and speakers it does show an impressive resume from last year including Kobe Bryant and Simon Sinek. Make sure to enjoy an evening at the French Quarter while in town. As the trip comes to a close there is only 1 more place to visit before being back to the beginning. The USS Alabama is right outside of Mobile, AL and on the way to Orlando to finish the trip where it started.There are dozens more digital marketing conferences in 2017 than are listed. What do you think? Are there key conferences we missed that could fit into the road trip? Leave us a comment and let us know if there are any conferences you will be attending in 2017 and what you hope to learn!