12 Important Conferences for Fashion PR & Marketing Professionals

When working in an industry that is constantly in a state of change, keeping up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies is crucual. Attending industry can be a smart way to learn from industry experts, but to connect and network with like-minded professionals. We’ve rounded up 12 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 conference to others.

 

Simply Stylist

Simply Stylist

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

Date: Various throughout the year.

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

 

Create-Cultivate-Conference

Create + Cultivate

Create+Cultivate is a popular, one-day event held in a different cities for lovers of fashion, design, beauty, DIYing and blogging. After attending several lackluster conferences, founder of No Subject LA, Jaclyn Johnson wanted to create a conference for women that was beautiful and had tons of characters. One where women could get their hands a little dirty making stuff, drink cocktails, and most importantly leave entertained, informed, and inspired. Notable past guest speakers include Emily Weiss, Aimee Song, Whitney Port and Geri Hirsch.

Date: Multiple events throughout the year.

Takes Place: Los Angeles, Chicago, Brooklyn

 

Social Media Week

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 one of the must-attend panels was “Building Social Movements: Reigning Human Connectivity”, which highlighted how great business leaders like social activists build can build movements and mobilize a tribe of followers.

Date: Usually in September

Takes Place: New York City

 

WWD

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 fall session taking place in Los Angeles will feature Global Social Media Manager of Forever 21, Mario Moreno, and the co-founders of Stella & Dot. These events are kept small, and you must request an invite to attend.

Date: LA takes place in November, NYC in September

Takes Place: Los Angeles, New York City, London

 

Fashion Forward

 

Fashion Forward

Founded on education, innovation and leadership, Fashion Forward was a one-day event that sprouted in October, 2012 and has since become one of the “it” gatherings for thought provoking industry leaders including Brad Lande of Birchbox and Jonathan Pelosi of Google. The topic for the 2015 conference is “Industry Game Changers and Fundamentalists.”Attendance is by invitation only.

Date: November

Takes Place: New York City

 

Fashion PR Con

Fashion PR Confidential

Fashion PR Confidential, is a 2-day workshop for entry-level professionals looking for an intense, one-of-a-kind career kickstart into fashion PR. The course, which started back in 2013 has seen guest speakers like Breanna Warner of Lovers + Friends LA, Alle Fister of Bollare, Ruthie Friedlander of Elle.com, Julia Rubin of Racked, Natalie Alcala of Racked LA and more!

Date: March, October

Takes Place: New York City and L.A.

 

Fashionista

FashionistaCon

FashionistaCON is a full day event geared toward those who aspire to make it in the fashion industry— whether it’s launching your own website, starting a fashion line or climbing the ladder on your current career track. The keynote and panel sessions with famed industry personalities like Elle EIC, and DKNY’s Aliza Licht give attendees a chance to hear their personal tales of the conquests (and shortfalls!) that got them to the top. Their popular mentoring sessions are back, where you’ll get personal one-on-one meeting time with someone who has “made it” in your field. This year the event is also hosting a career fair.

Date: October

Takes Place: New York City

 

3percent

3% Conference

Focusing on the 3% of females in executive advertising and creative roles the 3% Conference builds the business case for diversity in the creative industries. For advertisers, marketers and PR pros alike, the conference launched on September 27, 2012, the 3% Conference has exploded into a 2-day, 400-person event in San Francisco, multi-city road shows throughout the year, a vibrant online community on multiple social platforms, a student scholarship fund, a creative award, and a business blog to support the crusade.

Date: October

Takes Place: New York City

 

 

Decoded

Decoded Fashion

Presented by Condé Nast and supported by the CFDA, with guest speakers like Aliza Licht of DKNY, Rebecca Minkoff and the EVP of Digital at Nordstrom, Matthew Woolsey, the 2014 Decoded Fashion event solidified itself as the premier summit series connecting fashion retail with with new technologies. The group has 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. The event has expanded to various cities around the globe.

Date: October

Takes Place: New York City (and various cities like London and Tokyo)

 

PRSA

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.

Date: November

Takes Place: Different city each year

SWstyle

SXSW

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 “How to Keep Your Social Media Game Sincere” featured former Lucky Magazine EIC, Eva Chen and Digital Beauty Pioneer, Michelle Phan.

Date: March

Takes Place: Austin, TX

Fashion Digital LA

Fashion Digital

Fashion Digital LA  targets e-commerce and digital marketing professional in the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle apparel industries. In addition to thought-leadership discussions, this past May Fashion Digital also hosted the Best of LA during Fashion Digital which highlighted the best brands online coming out of the LA area. Speakers, attendees, and celebrated brands included Nasty Gal, Revolve Clothing, Halston, BCBG, Charming Charlie, Pac Sun, JustFab and more. Expect to learn best practices and strategies for addressing the opportunities and challenges specific to fashion e-commerce and marketing.

Date: May

Takes Place: Los Angeles

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 hashtag. What would be the perfect conference for you? 

Photo Credit: Gemma Bou

About This Author

Martha Chavez is a communications professional working in the educational sector, but loves moonlighting in fashion PR for PR Couture.