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Content Marketing World – Why Cleveland?

Content marketing is changing how business is built and products are sold around the planet. It is, quite literally, changing our business world. The exciting — and disruptive — nature of content marketing is the fact that it works whether you are part of a massive corporation or a one-person micro-enterprise. You’ll witness this as you talk to fellow attendees at Content Marketing World.

Why Cleveland?

Cleveland SkylinePeople ask me, “Why Cleveland?” Why not meet in New York City? After all, aren’t businesses supposed to be thinking as publishers? Why not meet in Los Angeles? After all, isn’t it clear we must all embrace good storytelling? Did you simply select Cleveland because it’s your own backyard?

Yes, Cleveland is my backyard, and, it’s a city I love. While you’re here I hope you explore and discover some of the amazing people here. But, that’s not why I selected Cleveland as the location for Content Marketing World.

I selected Cleveland because Cleveland represents a power shift.

This shift is mirrored in Cleveland’s history. Cleveland made a name for itself in trade publishing in the 1880s, and, as a result the city grew. Thousands of publishing brands call CTOWN home, including major operations for Penton Media, Advanstar, GIE Media, Questex, Great Lakes, Smart Business and many, many more.

And, did you know, we were the first city in the world to install the now-ubiquitous electrified traffic light?

We Are All “On the Map”

Not so long ago consumers had limited choices and no voice. Communication was top-down, and you, the consumer, were at the bottom. If you wanted to compete in your field you had to live in the city in which your industry dominated. To some, places like Cleveland were considered “off the map”.

Today we’re witnessing a radical shift. Everyone, everywhere, is “on the map”.

Consumers now have unlimited choices and public voices. Specific cities are no longer the bastion of specific industries because so much of work today is virtual, asynchronous, and geo-collaborative. Today, if you want to compete in your field, you simply start. If you leverage content marketing to start or grow your business, you’re already ahead of many competitors.

Back to that first traffic light. It was installed on Euclid Avenue…the very same street you’ll find our after-party Wednesday night. We think content marketing is a lot like that first traffic light: the signal of a larger shift. Content marketing represents the shift in consumer power. It represents new opportunities for business, and for publishing.

If you think content marketing is my passion you are only partly right: my real passion is asking how this democratization of opportunity will benefit consumers and business alike. These are exciting times. I look forward to sharing my thoughts further in “The Power of Story” Opener on Wednesday morning.


The 2022 session lineup is now available!
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