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This article was published on September 29, 2015

9 must-attend conferences for entrepreneurs this fall

9 must-attend conferences for entrepreneurs this fall
Scott Gerber
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Scott Gerber

Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at

Conferences and trade shows are great for learning new tricks, staying up to date on industry trends and rubbing shoulders with the best in your industry. But the cost – in terms of time and travel – makes it impossible to attend every “must-do” event. With the proliferation of choices, how do you know where to spend your time?

To find out, I asked 11 entrepreneurs from YEC the following:

What’s the best conference or trade show to attend this fall and why?

Their favorite fall conferences and events are below.

1. Pubcon

Mark DaoustPubcon is one of the largest digital conferences in the world, and will be held from October 5 – 8th in Las Vegas. Forbes recently recognized it as a “must attendconference and Inc. Magazine agreed by naming it as one of its top conferences. As a friend told me when they first attended Pubcon, this is the conference you attend to hear the smartest people in the industry speak. While the number of sessions can be a bit overwhelming, it helps ensure that you always have topics that will give you actionable information for your business. – Mark DaoustQuiet Light Brokerage, Inc.

2. Summit at Sea

Stephen GillFor entrepreneursSummit at Sea is an event that truly fosters innovation. Summit gathers the most amazing people from around the world – with visionary speakers, performers and artists – on a cruise to an uninhabited island, where you make friends, learn, unplug and unwind for four days. Without the distractions of everyday life, everyone is engaged and ideas flow freely. It’s invite only, and a must go if you manage to snag a ticket. I’ve had great experiences on previous retreats and expect nothing less this year. – Stephen Gill

3. SMX East

Jonathan LongSMX East is taking place in New York September 29 – October 1, and gives you over 50 sessions, keynotes and clinics to choose from, all related to search marketing. This is a great conference that business owners, freelancers and in-house marketing teams can all learn from. All the latest SEO and SEM tactics will be discussed. Aside from the actual sessions and keynotes, the networking opportunities are plentiful, and you can leave with new valuable relationships. – Jonathan LongMarket Domination Media

4. Failcon

Aaron SchwartzFailcon is my favorite annual conference, as it provides a great view into startup mistakes and the lessons we can learn. The purpose is to talk about the failures that people have had at startups. It’s an important conference because it demystifies the startup world’s focus on bigger, better and faster innovation. Instead, you get to hear about the trials and tribulations of wildly successful people. The honest discussion creates a positive atmosphere and amazing networking. – Aaron SchwartzModify Watches

5. Visualized

Mattan GriffelVisualized is an incredible conference on data visualization and the future of information communication. The presentations aren’t dry or boring like manyconferences; instead, they’re designed to be educational as well as inspirational and entertaining. In the past, they’ve covered topics like “Investigating Selfies Using a Mix of Theoretic, Artistic and Quantitative Methods,” and “Media Visualization: How to See 1 Million Images.” You should attend if your role includes data-driven visual storytelling of any kind, like data visualization, data science, UX design or business intelligence. – Mattan GriffelOne Month

6. Adobe MAX

Andrew HowlettFor years I had attended Adobe MAX when it was a mix of development and creativity. Now, Adobe MAX is focused almost exclusively on creativity, and it’s really become a fantastic creative conference. If you’re looking for both creative inspiration as well as “how to” instruction, it’s a great place to be. – Andrew HowlettRain

7. Martech

Marcela DeVivoMartech is a marketing technology conference for organizations to learn about new technologies and how to integrate them into their operations. With the rapid growth of digital strategies and the challenges of keeping abreast of the changes, this conference is a great forum to connect with other executives and vendors. The Martech conference this fall will take place in London, UK on October 20 and 21.   – Marcela DeVivoNational Debt Relief

8. Internet Summit

Matthew CapalaTaking place in Raleigh, NC, Internet Summit is the Fall’s premier conference to attend for top-level trends, cutting-edge technologies, best practices and hands-on tips in sessions designed to insure you excel in the quickly evolving digital space. What I particularly like about this conference is that it covers not only social media and digital advertising, but also dives deep into UX, design, analytics and SEO. The conference is divided into pre-conference advanced workshops and the main conference with keynotes from popular speakers, such as Chris Brogan and Rand Fishkin. – Matthew CapalaSearch Decoder


9. Future of Storytelling

Mona PatelFoST is a highly engaging and immersive event that blew my mind last year. The mission is to showcase the power of stories, and you’ll leave with ideas and friends. The breakouts and options to deep-dive into specific stories about creation, curation and presentation allow you to personalize what you learn, while the larger events bring the community together so that you can meet a pretty creative, awesome set of people. It’s invite only, but I’d strongly recommend trying to join. – Mona PatelMotivate Design

The Next Web’s USA conference is also taking place this fall. Featuring 20 curated keynote talks and 100 hand-picked early stage startups, get your ticket, before they’re all gone!  

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