One of my all-time favorite conferences for learning and networking is Social Media Marketing World in San Diego.

It is a big conference that drew over 6,000 people last year, so there are no challenges in finding new people to network with.

But it’s the quality of the speakers that really makes the event.  But the problem is there are over 100 high quality speakers and many of them speak during the exact same times.  

So how do you pick which speakers to go see?

So out of the 100+ speakers to choose from, here are my…

5 Must-See Speakers at Social Media Marketing World This Year

Pat Flynn

Pat is super engaging, authentic and shares amazing content around blogging, podcasts, affiliate marketing and passive income. And he’s absolutely electric on-stage.  If you want to see what I mean, just check out his “Back To The Future” themed entrance at New Media Expo, complete with a hoverboard and a real Delorean car.

Resources from Pat

Book: Will It Fly?: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don’t Waste Your Time and Money LINK

Podcast: Smart Passive Income LINK

Podcast: Ask Pat 2.0 LINK

Website: LINK

Andy Crestodina

Andy may be the smartest person I have ever met when it comes to content and website conversion.  But what separates Andy from everyone else in this space is his uncanny ability to take the complex and make it simple (and actionable). Also, I appreciate that he has data behind every strategy he teaches.

Resources from Andy

Book: Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing LINK

Blog: O LINK

His Conference: Content Jam LINK

Website: Orbit Media LINK

Miri Rodriguez

Miri is probably the only speaker I’ve seen who has caused me to laugh, cry and examine my deeply held values, all in one keynote presentation. She is a globally recognized storyteller at Microsoft and author of soon-to-be-published book Brand Storytelling: Putting Your Customer at the Heart of Your Brand Story. Miri has earned several awards in digital marketing and customer experience and is ranked as a top in-demand speaker at leading industry conferences around the world.

Resources from Miri

Book: Brand Storytelling: Putting Your Customers At The Heart Of Your Brand Story LINK

LinkedIn: LINK

Andrew Pickering and Pete Gartland

“Andrew and Pete” flat out make complex marketing strategies simple, easy to understand, and always entertaining. Don’t be fooled by their cheeky, English banter, their content is ultra-valuable and definitely follow my “less, but better” mantra. They are founders of ATOMIC, the membership site that helps small businesses double their business in 6 months. They were ranked in the top 100 Digital Marketers in the world and host one of the UK’s biggest business conferences, ATOMICON.

Resources from Andrew and Pete


Website: LINK

Jay Baer

Jay is the authority on customer-centric social media and customer service.  One of the best storytellers in the industry, he’s entertaining, insightful and backs all his claims with solid data. Seriously, his sessions are so good you’ll never look down at your phone or your watch the entire time.

Resources from Jay

Book: Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Mouth LINK

Book: Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers LINK

Course: Keep Your Customers LINK

Website: LINK

Honestly, I could list another 10-15 “must-see” speakers at this year’s Social Media Marketing World, but if I had to choose five, these would be the ones.

And if you’ve never been to Social Media Marketing World or haven’t signed up yet, I highly recommend it!  I’ll be there again this year and would definitely like to meet you there.  Here is a LINK for more info on the conference and how to register.

LINK to Social Media Marketing World

Chris Rudolph is a husband, father of 3, and a Freedom Business Coach for Digital Agency Owners. He specializes in working with those who are underpaid, hustling around the clock or missing out on valuable family time build their own Freedom Agency. He helps them grow their income, scale with a team and enjoy more time with their family.

Chris Rudolph