Content Marketing World
Content Marketers Take Over Cleveland
If you stumbled into a room with thousands of professionals cheering from behind open laptops and tiny glowing screens, all while sporting wardrobes comprised of a lot of orange, you'd probably freak out a little. Then, you'd realize you just discovered Content Marketing World (CMWorld) in Cleveland.
The annual event, happening Sept. 8 - 11 at the FirstMerit Convention Center of Cleveland, brings together 3,500 marketing pros from 50 countries around the world for four days focused on understanding, evolving and improving content marketing strategies.
Content marketing is the marketing technique of creating, sharing and publishing valuable content for a specific audience through various channels, with the ultimate goal of growing business and keeping loyal customers.
"In order to be a leader in our industry today, we MUST develop consistent, compelling content to attract and retain customers. It's not a ‘nice to have,' it's a ‘must have.' And Content Marketing World is the event that can help transform your company to help you through this process," Joe Pulizzi, founder of CMWorld.
And, CMWorld is kind of a big deal, if we do say so ourselves.
The event is the largest content event in the world and the only major marketing event between New York and Chicago. Registered participants can choose between 11 concurrent sessions and various keynotes featuring more than 100 speakers from major companies like IBM, Lenovo, Kraft Foods and Marriott International.
New for this year, CMWorld will offer a nod to the little - albeit mighty - guys. On the final day of the convention, they'll host Content Inc., which is specifically designed for startups and small businesses.
Another one of the most anticipated activities this year is keynote speaker and funnyman John Cleese. While much of Cleese's celebrity status comes from his hilarious Monty Python fame, he also is the founder of Video Arts, the world's largest provider of business training programs.
What else is getting content marketers giddy for the event?
"Besides John Cleese, what Marriott is doing is amazing. They have a goal of becoming the leading travel media company on the planet, so attendees are super interested to hear that," Pulizzi said. "We are also bringing in best-selling authors like Ann Handley, Jay Baer and Scott Stratten, who are simply some of the best minds in marketing."
If you're impressed with the event's lineup, you're not alone. CMWorld's growth has been epic - to say the least.
The first event was held in 2011 with the goal of attracting 100 to 150 people. Much to the surprise of event planners, it brought 660 attendees to Cleveland. By 2014, CMWorld welcomed 2,600 people and is expected to grow to 3,500 in 2015.
And, as a native of Northeast Ohio, Pulizzi couldn't think of a better place to host the world-class event.
"I love everything about Cleveland," Pulizzi said. "I believe in the future of this city, and I believe it's the responsibility of Cleveland leaders to make business decisions based not only on their company growth, but what is good for our city."
According to Pulizzi, attendees often spend up to five days in Cleveland during their visit, which gives time to uncover everything from an award-winning craft beer scene to the city's dedication to rock and roll.
"I don't think most Clevelanders realize the treasures we have here that are diamonds for outsiders - the food, the art scene, the music, the entertainment (even over to Cedar Point), the architecture and, most importantly, the people," he said.
So, what's the deal with all the orange?
"Well, that's a long story...but orange is the color we are recognized by, and we ‘lean' into it...with orange carpeting at the event and orange snack tables and orange everything else. Attendees come to the event dressed in orange (to match my orange suit and orange shoes). I fully believe that orange is the color of content."
So, tell the boss, charge your laptop and get your orange garb ready! Early bird registration for CMWorld ends May 31 and regular registration ends Sept. 4. Visit www.contentmarketingworld.com for more information and follow @cmicontent on twitter.