Content Marketing World Sydney is fast approaching. It’s an event like no other in Australia – one that stands above any other conference I’ve ever attended. I’ve been asking everyone I speak with if they’re going and, surprisingly, a lot of content marketers and social media and marketing professionals don’t realise the opportunity available. So why does nearly everyone who goes to Content Marketing World say they would return?

Content Marketing World is an annual event run by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) in the USA, Australia and Singapore. The three-day Australian event takes place in Sydney from 16-18 March.  If CMWorld Sydney 2015 is half as good as the last two years, it will still be worth every penny of the registration fee. Here’s why:

Education is the goal

Content Marketing World delivers three days of high-quality education from the best practitioners in the world. The Content Marketing Institute is on a mission to advance the practice of content marketing through education. This is not one of those events where the primary benefit is networking with the other attendees and you endure the presentations in between socialising. You will come away with more practical advice and inspiration than you can imagine.

The speakers are instructed to give away their ‘secret sauce’. CMI doesn’t want any coy references on how to succeed. They insist speakers give explicit information on how the audience can achieve success.

Every speaker is rigorously vetted

Not only does the CMI pay close attention to who goes on stage, Joe Pulizzi, the founder of CMI, personally vets each speaker. Every speaker makes a pitch, regardless of whether they’ve spoken at CMWorld before. CMI requests a video from each speaker to ensure they have stage presence and can hold the attention of a crowd.

Having a successful presentation in a previous year is no guarantee you’ll get back on stage. Why? CMI’s intention is that every presentation and topic will be relevant and interesting and inspire you to become a better content marketer. Lastly, you can’t pay your way on stage. Sponsors are not guaranteed speaking slots.

Each presentation goes through multiple approval processes

Once you’ve been approved to be a speaker, your topic comes under scrutiny. Again, Joe Pulizzi is heavily involved in the content of each presentation and it’s not unusual for him to ask for a different angle than you originally pitched. He takes a ‘whole conference’ approach and views each presentation as a piece of a larger puzzle.

Presentations must be submitted for review several weeks before the actual event. It’s been my experience that every slide is examined and, where needed, fine-tuning is requested. This is particularly good for conference delegates because you’re assured every presentation is well planned, contains useful information and is prepared far enough in advance the presenters have plenty of time to practice.

CMI brings top speakers from USA, Europe and Australia

To ensure continual improvement, the audience is surveyed about every presentation. The people who receive the highest rankings at CMWorld in the USA are invited to keynote at the next event in Ohio and these same people are invited to Sydney. This means Australian content marketers get to hear from the best people in the world. In past years, international content marketing heavyweights like Jay Baer, Mark Schaefer, Julie Fleischer, Tim Washer, Nenad Senic and Colleen Jones have travelled to Australia to present. The best content marketing and social media professionals from Australia are there, too, making sure the conference is relevant to Australia and Australian businesses.

This year Andrew Davis, author of Brandscaping, is making a keynote presentation on the first day. (I attended a workshop presented by Davis in 2013. Believe me when I say he’s a force of nature and talent you won’t soon forget.)  In addition, Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose will both share their wisdom as will Jeff Bullas, Geraint Holliman, Arnie Kuenn, Jonathan Crossfield and James Lush.  And it wouldn’t be Content Marketing World without Todd Wheatland, the only speaker not employed by the Content Marketing Institute who has been on stage at every Content Marketing World event.

No selling from the stage

If there’s a cardinal rule at Content Marketing World, it’s no selling from the stage. CMI makes this expectation very clear to presenters. In fact, the most desired presenters are from brands working hard in the content marketing space. If an agency puts in a request to speak, they’re strongly counselled that the best way to achieve this is to share the session with a client and present a case study. You won’t be pitched to all day from the stage. There is an exhibition area and sponsors are very welcome to sell their products and services during the breaks, but you’re not going to have to sit through a sales pitch if you don’t choose to.

What are you waiting for?

If you’re working in content marketing, social media or marketing communications, this is the premiere event. The biggest brands will be in attendance along with the best content marketing practitioners, and you’ll be in an environment where everything is open and shared. The event price is at the high end for Australian conferences but the value for money is phenomenal. You won’t need to buy any food or drinks during the event – even breakfast is supplied and the evening functions are loaded with food. Register now for Content Marketing World Sydney to lock in the lowest rate.

If you have any questions about Content Marketing World and what to expect, give me a shout. (Or, you can drop me a line on Twitter: @globalcopywrite.) I’ve been to these events in Australia and the USA and they’re unmatched in education, networking opportunities and overall value. Lush Digital Media is sending a team of people; so should you.

- Sarah Mitchell