The Results Are In: Must-Attend 2018 Conferences for Digital Marketers

By Tinuiti Team

As a digital marketer, although you can sign up for webinars and read countless blog articles, there’s nothing quite like having that information consolidated in a single place and hearing about it from the industry’s leading professionals.

Conferences are an important part of the ecommerce world, so we decided to ask our community: “Which Conferences Are You Planning to Attend in 2018?”

More than 500 people responded to our survey, and the results were pretty surprising. Let’s dive in.

Who took this poll?

As you can see in the graphs below, Managers and Owner/Operators make up the majority of the respondents to our survey, followed by C-levels, VPs, and Directors:


Additionally, 69.1% of our respondents told us they have an ecommerce website and 71.7% sell on Amazon:




Are Your Planning To Attend a Conference in 2018?

Overall, we found that 62% of respondents are planning to attend a conference in 2018. Considering how many respondents told us they have a website or sell on Amazon, we were surprised this number wasn’t higher.


Which Digital Marketing/Ecommerce conferences are you planning to attend in 2018?

As indicated below, IRCE (organized by Internet Retailer) was the clear favorite receiving 20% of the votes.

This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone working in Ecommerce.  IRCE is a huge event , that has been around for 13 years and boasts 10,000+ attendees. Cost to attend in 2017 was about $399 & $1399.



We also saw a rise in popularity for newer conferences such as PROSPER and Shopify Unite.

The PROSPER Show is a relatively young event at 3 years old and focused specifically on Amazon businesses. The event expects 1,300 attendees and is created/managed by Amazon vendors. Prices to attend range from $349 – $799.

Shopify Unite is a user conference for the Shopify platform. Our study shows that Owner/Operators were the most interested in this conference.

Surprisingly, more established ecommerce shows like Etail West, Shoptalk, NRF Retail’s Big Show, and did not perform nearly as well as we thought they would.

Here are some of the write-in responses we received:


Which retail/industry trade shows are you planning to attend in 2018?



CES (Consumer Electronics Show) beat out most of the other shows in this category. CES has approximately 100,000+ attendees, and a total of 180k people at the show (when you include exhibitors). CES is also open to the public and is considered a “pop-culture event”.

The event offers an educational component and brings in celebrity speakers like Deepak Chopra, Mark Cuban, and Shaquille O’Neal.

Natural Products Expo and Outdoor Retailer were the second most recognized tradeshows and are designated for industry professionals only.


Outdoor Retailer 2017


Overall, 50% of respondents said they plan to attend a trade show next year.

Here are some of the write-in responses we received:


Which aspect of a conference/trade show is the most enticing to you?

We were curious to see why people attend conferences. The results distill the real value of these types of events:



Location of the show had some pull for our respondents but ironically – happy hours/entertainment and celebrity guest speakers acquired the least amount of interest.

Normally, this is where show organizers invest the majority of their budget, so we were surprised to find out that most attendees don’t find this component of the show that enticing.

Does your company give you a budget to travel for conferences /person growth?

Approximately 35% of respondents said they will not be attending an ecommerce show and about 48% said they were not planning to attend an industry or trade show next year.

However, 59% of respondents said their company does provide them with a budget for travel/conferences/personal growth. But, of that group that is provided a budget, 45% said they were not planning on using that allowance to attend a conference.



Ecommerce shows provide personal growth and educational programs that are heavily touted in our industry, so we were definitely surprised to learn that 45% of digital marketers are simply not utilizing that budget to attend these events.

For more information on our 2018 Ecommerce Conferences Survey, email [email protected]

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