Woman on sofa and team on laptop screen talking and discussion in video conference with dog on her lap.
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Boy, we were way off with this one in January. We reported on worthy marketing conferences to consider attending in 2020. We discussed the the opportunity to mingle with like-minded marketing peers at these industry conferences. We dreamed of handshakes, cocktail hours, team dinners at downtown restaurants with our peers and new friends and lots of learning in the areas of marketing and customer experience.

We never envisioned these social interactions would be suddenly against the law. No one did. COVID-19 naturally shocked the technology conference events landscape. Canceled in-person shows went from shocking in March to simply expected now. Many went the virtual route. Others are still holding out hope for in-person events for 2021, and we don't blame them for the optimism in a world filled with a lot of doom.

Bottom line? You can still learn about the latest trends in marketing and customer experiences. There are plenty of upcoming virtual offerings in the areas of marketing and customer experience, and here are a few for you to consider adding to your calendars. Most of these represent virtual updates to the shows we discussed in January while others are new to the industry.

Engage Re/Constructing the Customer Experience (Aug. 25)

Simpler Media — which operates our websites, CMSWire and Reworked — puts on another major virtual conference in 2020. The customer experience event this week will feature discussions that help frame the processes to drive a re-envisioning of CX for the new world.

The conference will focus on earning customer trust, demonstrating how businesses apply lean frameworks to create customer-centric approaches through digital capabilities and looking ahead for opportunities to further drive CX innovation.

Digital Marketing World Forum (Sept. 16-17)

This digital marketing virtual show goes for two days and includes strategies and trends for marketers. It will focus on the challenges 2020 has presented for marketers in addition to sharing practical advice and strategies to help shape marketing campaigns now and in the future. Tracks include content and digital brand strategy, data and disruptive tech, digital experience and ecommerce strategy, digital transformation and innovation and influencer and social media strategy.

INBOUND 2020 (Sept. 22-23)

HubSpot's annual gathering of marketing and customer experience professionals has moved from Boston to the virtual world. HubSpot's known for getting big speakers — think Michelle Obama —and this year is going with Bob Iger, executive chairman of The Walt Disney Company among others. But it's also a chance to hear the latest strategies in marketing, in addition to product developments from the host marketing technology company. Its tracks includes customer service, marketing, sales, elevate & empower and HubSpot Academy.

MarTech (Oct. 6-8)

Scott Brinker's marketing technology conference went the virtual route for 2020. The first one, MarTech West, already went off virtually in April. Brinker's planning a second show in October, normally in Boston but not virtual. The show is all about the latest advancements in modern marketing. The focus will be on marketing technologies and how marketers can use them effectively, but also about the discipline of marketing itself. Brinker is the creator of the Martech Supergraphic, a yearly graphic that illustrates the number of marketing solutions.

Content Marketing World (Oct. 13-16)

The traditional Cleveland-based conference, backed by the Content Marketing Institute, goes virtual to discuss the latest trends and technology advancements in the world of content marketing. The conference's 20 tracks include demand generation, sales enablement, content strategy, analytics and data, writing/content development and search engine optimization.

Digital Experience (DX) Summit (Oct. 21)

Another one of our own virtual shows — Simpler Media's DX Summit — takes to the cloud this fall. Originally slated for a new city (Huntington Beach, Calif. was the new spot after five years in Chicago), we've traded the Californian shores for the Web. Marketers and customer experience professionals will assemble virtually to hear the latest in customer experience innovation, building a solid technology stack, customer experience design, data and analytics and how you can connect people, processes and platforms.

Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo (Dec. 1-3)

Chief marketing officers and other marketing leaders can take advantage of the research firm's early-December event, which includes customer experience and marketing insights and the latest on marketing technologies. Some of the tracks include data-driven insights, delivering customer experiences, multichannel marketing, CMO goals and sales channels.