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15 Industry Conferences for Fashion Publicists and Marketing Professionals

Working in an industry that is constantly in a state of change, keeping up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies are an indispensable investment for any PR professional. Attending a handful of conferences (even more so if you can get your employer to pony up the cash for professional development), is a smart way to not only hear the conversations and insights from industry experts, but to connect and network with like-minded professionals. We've rounded up fifteen industry conferences that would fill our dance card if we had a suitcase of money and nothing but time to soak up some learning. If you have attended any of the below, we'd love to hear your thoughts on the experience and if you recommend the experience to others.

Fashion PR Confidential LA

And we of course couldn't resist a plug for Fashion PR Confidential, a 2-day workshop for entry-level professionals looking for an intense, one-of-a-kind career kickstart into fashion PR. Sign up for the event, in partnership with Danika Daly PR, that will take place June 1-2 at Beachwood Studios in Los Angeles.

Decoded Fashion

Presented by Condé Nast and supported by the CFDA, the 2013 Decoded Fashion event took place in connection with New York Fashion Week, with Zac Poes as keynote. The group quickly gained attention for the Fashion Hackathon, in which developers, industry insiders and entrepreneurs connected to create an app based on the CFDA mission to support American Fashion as a global industry.

Date: TBD, February 2014

Takes Place:  New York City

Cost: Unknown

Fashion 2.0

Fashion 2.0 Meetups, presented by Yuli Ziv's Style Coalition, gives NYC attendees access to the people leading the fashion revolution online - fashion bloggers, new media publishers, entrepreneurs, industry insiders and tastemakers, fashion PR reps, and web savvy trendsetters. Each year, Fashion 2.0 hosts the Fashion 2.0 Awards, a not-to-be-missed red-carpet evening where those working behind-the-scenes come out for the cameras.

Date: Multiple events throughout the year

Takes Place: New York City

Cost: Most events are free

 

Fashion Digital

This conference is dedicated exclusively to apparel and fashion e-commerce. The upcoming May Fashion Digital event features co-founders of Modcloth, Eric and Susan Koger, and Chief Creative Officer of BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP, Lubov Azria as keynotes. At the New York event, 63% of attendees at were online apparel and accessories retailers, 16% were e-commerce professionals, and 21% were online fashion publishers. Expect to learn best practices and strategies for addressing the opportunities and challenges specific to fashion e-commerce and marketing.

Date: May 16, 2013

Takes Place: Los Angeles, New York

Cost: $$$


Fashion Forward

Founded on education, innovation and leadership, Fashion Forward was a one-day event that took place in October, 2012.  Attendance is by invitation only.  Previous notable speakers include Mallory Andrews, SVP of Marketing and PR at Bergdorf Goodman and Eddie Mullon, founder of Fashion GPS.

Date: TBD, October 2013

Takes Place: New York City

Cost: Unknown

 

#IFBCON

The world’s most prolific fashion bloggers (like Man Repeller Leandra Medine and Susie Bubble) and industry leaders (like Iman!) come together to discuss the current state of the state when it comes to the business side of blogging. The Independent Fashion Bloggers conference takes place just before New York Fashion Week each season, and is a great space for brands to cultivate working relationships with bloggers.

Takes Place: Near NYFW in February, September

Where: New York City

Cost: $

Lucky FABB

Lucky Magazine's Lucky FABB conferences, held in New York and Los Angeles, bring the access only a Condé Nast title can command, bringing together the top voices in worlds of fashion and beauty to discuss industry trends and best practices for brands and bloggers. Lucky FABB West, which took place this past April, brought in the big guns in the form of Drew Barrymore, Betsey Johnson and Kelly Osbourne, as well as crowd favorites Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere and Hillary Kerr's Who What Wear (who announced Domaine Home, which launched yesterday).

Takes Place: Los Angeles, April; New York, September

Date: September 2013

Cost: $$

 

Magic Market Week

Attendance at Magic Market Week also includes the ability to attend multiple panels and seminars covering all aspects of the fashion business. Just be sure to bring comfortable shoes, you'll be walking. A lot.

Date: February, August

Takes Place: Las Vegas, NV

Cost: $$$

Mashable Media Summit

One of the most anticipated summits of the year, the Mashable Media Summit explores the impact that technology is having on media, and how digital media is affecting how we work. If you can't attend the big event, don't miss local fun during Social Media Day, set for June 30, 2013.

Date: TBD, October 2013

Takes Place: New York City

Cost: $$$

 

PRSA/PRSSA Annual Conference

The Public Relations Society of America offers two annual conferences, one for PR professionals and another for PR students. Industry experts convene to discuss practical insights and best practices, in order to help public relations practitioners respond to "real-time" opportunities and challenges, while also addressing trends and new technologies around the world. For those in the digital space, check out The Digital Impact Conference, which takes place in June in NYC.

Date: PRSA: October 26-29, 2013, PRSSA: October 25-29

Takes Place : Philadelphia, PA

Cost: $$$

Simply Stylist

A mix of shopping and education, Simply Stylist brings hand-selected stylists (like Mr. Brad Goreski), bloggers, editors, and designers together to several cities around the country to satisfy the needs of women who are tech savvy, fashion forward and ready to shop.

Date: Various throughout the year

Takes Place: Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Chicago

Cost: $$

Social Media Week

Twice a year, Social Media Week puts the focus on, you guessed it, the latest social media news, strategies and tools. This past February, Third Wave Fashion's panel "Fashion + Social Media How Brands Drive Sales," was a must-attend, if only for the voracious debate that ensued about the proper use of hash tags.

Date: September 23-27, 2013

Takes Place: New York City

Cost: Most events are free

State of Style Summit

StyleCaster's answer to the digital fashion community, State of Style took place in October 2012 and featured Aliza Licht and Joe Zee, Creative Director at ELLE Magazine. The goal: to unlock the marketing, communication and design potential of new media to help make style and fashion accessible and relatable to everyone.

Date: TBD, October 2013

Takes Place: New York City

Cost: Unknown

 

SXSW Interactive

Technology influencers and experts from around the world meet once a year in the indie heart of Texas to share ideas and tech trends at SXSW. Increasingly, the fashion industry has been making itself known at SXSWi- this past March the panel "Listening and Leveraging the Fashion Community," featured Canon Hodge, Aliza Licht, DKNY, and John Jannuzzi, Lucky Magazine (you can listen to the panel). Bonus, if you attend, be sure to check out The Neighborhood (formerly StyleX), a series of free fashion panels and shopping, put on by Joah Spearman.

Date: March, 2014

Takes Place: Austin, TX

Cost: $$$

Women in PR Summit

The Women in PR Summit is put on by Women in PR, an organization "dedicated to the education of female publicists." Last year marked their first annual conference, which will take place again this September.

Date: September 26-29, 2013

Takes Place: Houston, TX

Cost: $$

WWD Digital Summit

Hosted by WWD editors, the WWD Digital Forum occurs each season to address every aspect of business in the digital space—from mobile technology to social media marketing strategies to  e-commerce. The Spring session taking place in Los Angeles will feature Global Director of Digital & Social Media at Gap Inc, Rachel Tipograph, and the co-founders of BeachMint. These events are kept small, and you must request an invite to attend.

Date: LA takes place June 11, NYC is September 18, 2013

Takes Place: Los Angeles, New York City, London

Cost: $$$$

Of course, part of the great thing about digital technology is that many of these conferences are available as a live-stream and of course, it's possible to get a good sense of the discussion just by following along with the appropriate hash tag. What other events would you add to this list?

 

About the author: Martha


Martha Chavez is a communications professional working in the nonprofit sector, but loves moonlighting in fashion PR as Managing Editor at PR Couture.

7 Comments

  • Posted May 1, 2013 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Incredible list of amazing conferences for publicists and communications professionals! I have attended Fashion 2.0 meetups and Social Media Day events and I would highly recommend both! I would definitely add the Association for Women in Communications (www.womcom.org) National Conference to this list.

  • Posted May 1, 2013 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Amazing list! Looking forward to going to a lot of these events listed. Women in PR is a great organization and I hope I can make arrangements to go to their summit. Heard great things about the last one!

  • Posted May 1, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Thanks for gathering this list together! Hope to meet some of you at these events!

  • Posted May 1, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Great list! I hadn’t heard of a few of these. I’ll be sure to check them out. Thanks!

  • Posted May 1, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Thanks Crosby for including Simply Stylist!!! xxx

  • Lucia Sawh
    Posted May 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I attended Fashion PR Confidential, and I highly recommend it! I gained so much valuable knowledge about the Fashion PR industry, as well as practical knowledge on how to become a well-rounded fashion publicist. What you’ll learn from this workshop, you can’t learn in a classroom.

  • Eboni
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Great suggestions! I please let me know when there are conferences in the St.Louis,Mo area! I have a passion for fashion and want to learn more within the PR industry.

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Meet Crosby Noricks

Hi. I'm Crosby, the founder of PR Couture and a fashion brand strategist. I care about supporting and celebrating fashion publicists as well as helping rad companies connect with their audiences in more meaningful ways. Recently, iMedia included me in their annual list of 25 Internet Marketing Leaders and Innovators, along with people from Starbucks, Twitter and Volkswagon, which I think is pretty neat. Like Elle Woods, I am a Gemini-vegetarian (that's about where the similarities end). Let's connect: Check out my full bio, Brand Elixer sessions or shoot me an electronic communiqué.