by April 24, 2013 at 8:30 am 0

From Nick Barron. Follow him on Twitter @nbarron; email him at nick[AT]

"What's Next DC"

What’s Next DC kicks off May 5. (Courtesy What’s Next DC)

What has arguably become DC’s biggest marketing conference is coming soon, and its sights are set for neighborhoods in Borderstan.

What’s Next DC, a two-and-a-half day conference kicking off May 5, hosts speakers such as Blackboard founder Michael Chasen, Zac Moffatt, digital director of Romney for President and Pandora’s senior vice president of strategic solutions, Heidi Browning Pearson.

The first full day, May 6, will take place downtown at The Hamilton Live, while Studio Theatre on 14th Street in Logan Circle will host day two.

This marks the third year for What’s Next DC, having started in Jan. 2011 at George Washington University with about 300 attendees. This year at least 800 people are expected.

The number of people attending isn’t the only thing separating What’s Next DC 2013 from its predecessors.

“During the previous two years the conference took place over the course of one day with one venue for the conference and one venue for the party,” organizer Tod Plotkin said. “This year it takes place over three days at five venues, including some spaces that are truly unique to the DC scene, like the British and Austrian Embassies.”

Yes, there will be events at embassies, but the conference isn’t just about partying.

The conference’s programming includes keynotes, panels and case studies. The intent, according to Plotkin, is to give each attendee something they can gain by attending.

“I want attendees to stay engaged with the content all day and not get bored,” Plotkin said. “We design the conference to make sure a ton of networking and individualized strategy takes place.”

Part of this focus comes in who Plotkin recruits to speak at What’s Next DC.

“We focus on showcasing speakers who are actual marketers themselves, and not just professional speakers who tour the conference circuit around the country,” Plotkin said.

You can register here to attend What’s Next DC 2013.

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