Benefits of attending an Influencer Conference

In recent years, the landscape of digital marketing has undergone a remarkable transformation, with influencer conferences emerging as pivotal hubs for industry professionals and content creators alike. At their core, influencer conferences are immersive events designed to bring together influencers, brands, marketers, and industry experts for networking, education, and collaboration. Let me assure you, there are many benefits to attending an Influencer Conference and event.

These gatherings serve as incubators of innovation, fostering connections and fostering knowledge exchange in an ever-evolving digital ecosystem. As the digital age continues to reshape traditional marketing paradigms, the prominence of influencer conferences has soared, reflecting the growing recognition of influencers as key players in shaping consumer trends and driving brand engagement. 

This article explores the many benefits of attending influencer conferences (there’s definitely more than one!). We’ll dive into the myriad opportunities Influencer Conferences offer for personal growth, professional development, and brand amplification in today’s dynamic digital landscape. I want to answer the question for you of the benefits of attending an Influencer Conference.  As The Clash  once sang, “should I stay or should I go”?

Benefits of attending an influencer conference
Benefits of attending an influencer conference

Why you should attend a conference as an Influencer

Our Influencer world is 97% online, with us working away behind a laptop or smartphone. Getting out and going to a conference means meeting people IRL, getting to know your online friends in the flesh and being in the middle of important and interesting conversations that are happening about talent management, brand collabs and negotiation. Influencer Conferences  offer you  a unique environment to engage with your peers from various niches and backgrounds, facilitating knowledge sharing and camaraderie. You might even get to fangirl over your favorite influencer!

Through shared experiences and insights, influencers can cultivate a sense of community and support, while also discovering potential synergies for future collaborations. I know of so many stories of people who met their business partner at a conference. Shared interests while working on similar projects was all discovered in a conversation, standing together at a conference. 

Moreover, influencer conferences provide a platform for building meaningful connections with industry professionals, including brand representatives, marketers, and talent managers. These interactions enable you to gain valuable insights into brand perspectives, industry trends, and emerging opportunities, fostering mutually beneficial relationships that extend beyond the confines of the conference. 

Additionally, conferences often present collaborative brand opportunities for future projects, ranging from sponsored content campaigns to joint ventures and partnerships. By networking effectively at these events, you can lay the groundwork for fruitful collaborations that enhance your reach, credibility, and revenue potential in the digital sphere. Ultimately, the networking opportunities afforded by influencer conferences serve as a catalyst for personal growth, professional development, and collective innovation within the influencer community.

Influencer talent manager Johanna Voss
My clients and I at a conference. Shaunda Necole, myself & Yvette Marquez

Why should I attend an Influencer Marketing Conference?

Networking Benefits:

a. Opportunity to connect with fellow influencers.
b. Access to industry professionals for potential collaborations.
c. Building relationships with brands and sponsors.
d. Forming alliances with like-minded individuals in your niche. Like Survivor but without the stress about having to climb a pole in shark infested waters or make your own shelter.

Educational Benefits:

a. Learning from workshops and seminars led by experts.
b. Gaining insights into the latest digital marketing trends.
c. Enhancing content creation skills and strategies.
d. Access to resources and tools for improving your influencer journey.

Brand Exposure and Recognition Benefits:

a. Showcasing your brand to a targeted audience.
b. Leveraging the conference platform for increased visibility.
c. Strengthening brand credibility within the influencer community.
d. Establishing yourself as an authority in your niche.

Access to Exclusive Resources:

a. Demonstrations of cutting-edge technologies and platforms.
b. Access to exclusive tools and software.
c. Discounts and special offers from conference sponsors and partners.
d. Insider knowledge about emerging trends and opportunities.

Inspiration and Motivation Benefits:

a. Hearing success stories from influential speakers.
b. Overcoming challenges and obstacles through shared experiences.
c. Reigniting passion and enthusiasm for your influencer journey.
d. Exposure to new ideas and perspectives that inspire creativity.

Tangible Results Benefits: (my personal favorite reason for attending conferences)

a. Increased followers and engagement on social media platforms.
b. Securing brand partnerships and collaborations.
c. Generating leads for either prospective talent for your management agency or brand collabs

4 benefits of attending an influencer conference
4 benefits of attending an influencer conference

Influencer conferences serve as invaluable platforms for influencers to expand their knowledge base, hone their skills, and stay on top of the latest trends shaping the digital marketing landscape. New tech platforms? They’re often at Influencer Marketing Conferences. Agency representatives who run Influencer Marketing Campaigns? They’re at Influencer Marketing conferences. Talent Managers? They’re also often at Influencer Marketing Conferences.  

Central to this educational experience are the workshops and presentations led by industry experts, like yours truly! These sessions provide you with unparalleled access to thought leaders and practitioners who share their expertise, insights, and best practices. From mastering the nuances of social media algorithms to refining storytelling techniques, these workshops offer practical guidance and actionable strategies to help influencers elevate their craft.

I know when I speak at conferences, a majority of time I’m speaking about something related to Talent Management. It’s an area people have so many questions about – how do Influencer Talent Mangers get paid, how can Influencers find an Influencer Talent Agent, what does an Influencer Talent Manager do. That’s what drives my conference presentations. 

PRO TIP : Go up to a conference speaker after their panel and introduce yourself. Ask them a question, tell them a story, connect with them both in person and then mention you’ll follow up online. Ask for their email and drop them a note after the event. 

Take notes when you’re at a session that’s full of knowledge & the speaker knows their stuff. Don’t be shy about asking questions or for clarification. Sit in the front and make eye contact with the presenters. Pay attention and give your undivided attention. You’ve paid to be there and are giving your time, so don’t be distracted with your phone or chatting with friends in the back. 

From keynote presentations to panel discussions and workshops, influencers have the opportunity to learn from experts who have achieved success in their respective fields. Aside from online courses, there is where you  as an Influencer get to hone your skills and rub shoulders with people who are top of their game. 

Influencer conferences also provide a fertile ground for enhancing content creation skills and strategies. Through hands-on workshops, interactive sessions, and peer-to-peer feedback, you receive practical guidance on crafting compelling content that resonates with your target audience. Whether it’s mastering the art of visual storytelling, refining photo editing techniques, or optimizing content for search engine visibility, you gain invaluable skills and tools to enhance the quality and effectiveness of your content.

Suck all the insights, information and connections you can when at a conference. Take advantage of all the speaker’s knowledge, education and expertise. Don’t be afraid to run around from session to session, making the most of your time.

Why you should attend a conference as an Influencer

Influencer conferences offer an unparalleled opportunity for you  to amplify your brand’s visibility, establish credibility, and enhance your reputation within the influencer community. One of the primary benefits is the ability to showcase your brand to a targeted audience. Attendees at influencer conferences often comprise a diverse mix of industry professionals, talent managers, brands, marketers, and fellow influencers, providing a captive audience eager to discover new products, services, and collaborations. 

By strategically positioning your brand and engaging with conference attendees, you can generate buzz, intrigue, and interest around your platform, ultimately expanding your reach and customer base. Think about it, when you attend an influencer conference or event, what’s the first thing you do when meeting someone? Find and follow on social media, right? People have that same response to meeting you or will also follow back. Attending conferences is a great way to grow your following. It’s one of my favorite reasons for going to Influencer Conferences, to expand my digital footprint. 

Don’t be shy to leverage the conference platform itself as a powerful vehicle for your own brand visibility. Many conferences offer sponsorship opportunities, speaking engagements, and exhibitor booths that enable influencers to showcase their brand in a prominent and engaging manner.

Pro tip : If you are pitching yourself to speak, think about pitching yourself with someone else to offer even more added value to your pitch and ultimately to your presentation.

Attending an influencer event is more than just a networking opportunity; it’s a transformative experience that can ignite a spark of inspiration and motivation within influencers. Meeting with peers and industry professionals at these events creates a dynamic environment where creativity flourishes, ideas are exchanged, and new collaborations are born.

Beyond the structured sessions, the informal networking opportunities at influencer events can be equally inspiring. Whether it’s striking up a conversation with a fellow attendee during a coffee break or exchanging business cards at a networking reception, these casual interactions can lead to unexpected connections and collaborations. The diversity of backgrounds and perspectives represented at influencer events fosters a rich tapestry of ideas and insights, inspiring influencers to think outside the box and push the boundaries of their creativity.

I love to believe in the magic of divine meetings and connections when at an Influencer event. That seemingly chance interaction with someone while refilling your coffee mug in between sessions leads to awesome campaign opportunities. Or joining a conversation in progress between a friend of yours & someone you don’t know. You walk up, get an introduction and voila! That someone you don’t know then invites you to be on their podcast. True story, this happened to me at Creator Economy Live in Vegas. 

Benefits of attending an influencer conference
At Creator Economy Live with my clients Shaunda Necole, Lorraine Ladish & Jessica Serna

The unsung benefits of attending conferences

By attending Influencer conferences, you often get the opportunity to gain access to exclusive tools and software designed to streamline and optimize various aspects of content creation, marketing, and audience engagement. Many conferences partner with leading technology companies and software providers to offer attendees special access or discounted rates on premium tools and platforms. 

The additional access to exclusive tools and software, insights into emerging technologies and platforms, and discounts and special offers available at influencer conferences empower attendees to stay at the forefront of innovation, optimize their strategies, and unlock new opportunities for growth and success in the ever-evolving landscape of influencer marketing.

From discounted brand collaborations and sponsored content opportunities to complimentary products and services, attendees can leverage these offers to maximize their return on investment, stretch their budgets, and forge valuable partnerships that drive mutual success.

Attending influencer conferences can also significantly strengthen your credibility within the influencer community. By participating in panel discussions, sharing success stories, and engaging in meaningful conversations with industry peers, influencers can position themselves as authoritative voices within their niche. 

This enhanced credibility not only fosters trust and loyalty among existing followers but also attracts the attention of potential brand partners and collaborators seeking reputable influencers to align with their marketing initiatives.

At a conference geared towards influencers, there will obviously be a lot of influencers. But if you attend a show that has more of an audience of brands, you’ll stand out as one of a smaller group of influencers who is in attendance. 

I love to call this my “see and be seen campaign”. Brands and agency representatives LOVE to meet the people to pitch and present to their clients for different campaigns. A great in person interaction and subsequent follow up never hurts to the case to hire you down the road. 

One of the most inspiring aspects of attending an influencer event is the chance to connect with like-minded peers who share similar passions and ambitions. Whether it’s bonding over shared campaigns, discussing common challenges with negotiation, or celebrating each other’s successes, these interactions foster a sense of camaraderie and support within the influencer community. 

Benefits of attending an influencer conference
Meeting my online amiga, Nycole Hampton IRL at Creator Economy Live

Meeting peers who understand the intricacies of the influencer lifestyle can be incredibly empowering, providing validation and encouragement to pursue one’s goals with renewed vigor.

We’re all craving real human interaction, anything to get us out from behind our laptops and small screens. And let’s be honest, aren’t you wondering if your favorite online content creator is the same in real life vs their online persona? I know I think about these things! Who isn’t curious about that?

Are influencer events worth it?

I do believe influencer events are worth it, providing that you are super clear why you’re attending. Do your research ahead of time to make sure you’re aligned with the event. There’s definitely a few, important details to consider before paying for that influencer conference ticket. 

First important thing to consider is the conference audience. What I mean is, there are some conferences that are geared towards brands such as the Influencer Marketing Show, where I spoke at in 2023. The majority of the audience & attendees are brand representatives, tech platform people & maybe some agency repcs, not influencers nor creators. 

Other conferences such as Tastemaker Conference and Mom 2.0 are designed for creators and Influencers. Sitting next to you as you listen to industry leaders will be other Influencers. The program will be geared towards you, addressing topics such as affiliate marketing, food photography & building your email list. 

It’s important to know the audience that will be there. If you’re wanting to connect with a lot of brands or agency reps, don’t go to a conference geared towards creators. Conversely if you’re looking to get some creator inspo, connect with online friends IRL & chat with other food influencers for example, make sure you’re at a conference geared towards you!

Secondly, it’s important to study the conference programming and keynote speaker lineup. I look through the program page and google every single speaker that looks mildly of interest to me. I look at their socials, their website, even their linkedin page. Why? Because I want to know a couple things. I want to know their background and level of expertise. Do they actually know what they’re talking about? I want to know if they will be providing value to me. I’ve been an entrepreneur since January of 2011. That’s a long, long time. 

I by no means know all the things but I know a lot of things about entrepreneurship and influencer marketing (have been in this industry since about 2015). If I’m attending an event to learn from the speakers, it’s important for me to do research ahead of time and figure out if the program is more for people just getting started in this industry  or for those of us further along in their journey. 

A great way to tell this is by reading the titles of each speaker’s session. A session called “how to get started building your website or newsletter list” or “how to work with brands” or “What is affiliate marketing” designed for beginners in this space. 

Goals for attending a conference

That being said, it’s okay to attend a conference designed for creators just starting out even if that’s not you and here’s why. 

Ask yourself what you’re hoping to get out of attending the influencer conference.  

  • Is it to learn how to improve your Influencer business?
  • Is it to make connections with brands?
  • Is it to meet online friends IRL?
  • Is it to expand your digital footprint and grow our following?
Reasons to attend an influencer conference
Reasons to attend an influencer conference

There’s no right answer to the above. Only what the right answer is to you! Once you figure out why you’re going to this conference, get super duper clear on what you want to get out of it. THEN figure out what conferences are a good fit for you. 

I’ll take myself as an example. I’m a talent manager, which I hope you know (!). I don’t attend conferences to listen to the speakers. Chances are, I’m one of the speakers if I’m attending a conference. This gives me an opportunity to establish my thought leadership in this space. 

Attending & speaking gets my name as an Influencer Talent Manager in front of more people – either creators who are looking for a manager or brands that are looking for talent for their upcoming influencer collaborations. I pick up social media followers and new newsletter subscribers.

Conference attendance best practices

Before you attend, here are things to make the most of your time at the event. 

  1. Scroll on social media to see who is posting about attending. Engage on their posts, follow and if it makes sense, get their contact information to connect at the event
  2. Follow all the speakers ahead of time. Scroll their content and familiarize yourself with them. Bonus points if you reach out and tell them you’re excited to hear them speak
  3. If you get a guest pass, invite a fellow Influencer to join you
  4. Join the event Facebook page if there is one. 
  5. Download the app and figure out your schedule. Which sessions do you want to attend? 
  6. Get in a day early so you aren’t rushed. Take advantage of any pre-event meet ups. Create one if there isn’t one!
  7. Make a QR code that takes people directly to your website and socials. Make it easy for them to follow and engage with you.
best practices for attending an influencer conference
Best practices for attending an influencer conference

Easy ways to maximize attending a conference 

  1. I try to avoid making confirmed meeting times. If there’s a set time for networking & scheduling 1:1 meeting times, I don’t do it. I’d much rather go with the flow of the day and connect with who I connect with. I hate the idea of having to be pinned down in one location while another organic convo is happening elsewhere that I can’t join, even if a friend is texting me to track me down.
  2. I say no to a lot of meeting requests. You have to have a good filter to understand people’s intentions of why they want to meet with you. Are they trying to meet with & pitch to as many people as possible? Did they even read your bio before reaching out? I have zero hesitation to say no without any guilty obligation to suffer through someone’s pitch for a platform I’m not going to use or sign up for.
  3. I commit to putting energy into meeting 2-3 quality people and that’s it. I don’t run around trying to meet everyone. My time always fills in with connections, that’s the nature of an influencer marketing conference. Anyone else is a bonus!
  4. I pick one or two (or sometimes no) sessions to attend and that’s it. I always walk away for both fresh air, some Vitamin D and to give my brain a break.  I do NOT stay at the conference from sun up to sun down.
  5. I rarely attend the evening networking events. It’s mostly because I’m not my best in the evenings, even with people I know and love, let alone with strangers. My ability to make small talk and honestly, invest in what people are saying is very very low. And truthfully, I’m pretty tired at that point. Evening events are often in dimly lit places that are loud and with booze – not my jam. Sharing this so you know it’s okay to skip that event.
  6. I drink a lot of water. Drink green juice & get plenty of sleep.
  7. I look cute but wear comfy clothes & shoes. I’m often on my feet for hours.
  8. I bring a phone charger. NOTHING is more stressful than running out of juice on my phone right when I need it the most. 

The benefits of attending conferences as an Influencer Talent Manager

  1. Invite talent of mine to join me at the conference. Best case scenario, they’re able to join me on stage and speak as well.  If I’m at the event with talent, my priority is to spend QT with them. And yes, get some great photos of course!
  2. Make plans to meet up with my online amigas, especially ones I’ve never met IRL. Love building my network!
  3. Spend time after my presentation to speak with whomever wants to chat with me. This gives me great insight into more content to create.
  4. Post on social media about attending the event both ahead of time and after it happened. Always fun to see what conversations unfold AND it expands my following and reach.
what are the benefits of attending a digital marketing conference
What are the benefits of attending a digital marketing conference

Sharing your conference experience on social media

Absolutely do it! It’s a great way to easily meet people ahead of time so that you’re not walking in without knowing a single soul on day 1. It’s fun to be active on social media for the event, to engage in the conversations that are happening. I find it’s a great way to get some intel and be a bit more in the know ahead of time.  

It’s also a fantastic opportunity to pop onto brands, agencies & speakers’ radars before they are swamped at the event with people wanting to get to know them. You can say “Hi Lindsey, I’m Johanna – we were chatting on LinkedIn. I wanted to introduce myself” as an easy opening for a conversation.  Yes, have a social media presence that you’re at this event, excited about it and can’t wait to connect with others. 

Ways to use LinkedIn for your next conference or event

Don’t overlook engaging on LinkedIn about the Influencer Marketing event, especially if the audience will be heavy on brands and agencies in attendance. It’s a fantastic way to connect before everyone arrives, not just to meet people but to be a part of the conversation. 

When I see others post about attending an event, I like to join the conversation and introduce myself. I’ll then shoot off a connections request and slide into their DMs with my phone number. This way we can meet up at the event. It’s an easy way to get you our of your comfort zone if you’re not extroverted. 

Attending online is better than not attending at all 

IMHO, online events aren’t always as fun as attending a conference in person. But there are some definite upsides to attending online.

  • You can ensure you’re in a comfortable environment and outfit
  • You don’t have the stress of travel or large groups if that’s not your thing
  • They could be more financially accessible
  • Food, snacks & water are always within reach
  • If having the conference held online is what gets you there, that alone is reason enough.
  • You can absolutely still make connections and set up times to chat with people

Attending an influencer conference is not merely a professional obligation but a transformative experience that offers a wealth of opportunities for growth and development. From networking with peers and industry experts to gaining insights into emerging trends and technologies, these events provide influencers with the tools, inspiration, and connections needed to thrive in the competitive landscape of digital marketing. 

Whether it’s refining your skills, expanding your network, or enhancing your  brand visibility, influencers stand to benefit immensely from the valuable experiences and opportunities afforded by attending conferences. By seizing the moment, embracing the learning opportunities, and forging meaningful connections, you can chart a course for continued success and fulfillment in your influencer journey. 

So, what conference will I see you at next?