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The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing World 2015

Content marketers are buzzing with excitement as the annual Content Marketing World quickly approaches. With just about a month until the big event, we here at Curata are just as excited as everyone else.  So much so that we have put together a guide to Content Marketing World to help attendees navigate through their week in Cleveland.

We’ve got you covered — from where to visit, to where to eat, to who to meet at the big event. We’ve even included a map (not to scale) of Cleveland highlighting the events, as well as a selection of restaurants, attractions and stores to visit. A number of speakers are also spread throughout the map. (Go to the bottom section to learn more about each speaker).

Keep scrolling for the complete guide or click on one of the following sections to learn more.

If you haven’t registered yet, there ‘s still time. Visit the Content Marketing World official website to get started.

If you are attending, stop by Curata’s booth (#87) to learn more about how to scale a data-driven content marketing strategy with a Content Marketing Platform (i.e. editorial calendar and content analytics engine). You can get a free copy of Jason Miller’s book, Welcome to the Funnel, if you attend a demo of our solution. Schedule an onsite demo here.



Official Content Marketing World Events

Content Marketing World
Cleveland Convention Center
September 8-11 at 8:00 a.m.

The main event features hundreds of speakers, sessions and booths showing off the latest technologies in content marketing. In addition to the main conference, there will be events around town, including:

Meet the CMI Team
Azure Sun Lounge at The Metropolitan at the 9 Hotel
Monday, September 7 from 6:30 pm-8:30 pm

If you are arriving early to the conference, and looking for some fun,  stop by and meet the CMI staff. 

Opening Night Reception
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Tuesday, September 8 from 7:00 pm-10:00 pm


Come for a night full of networking, drinks and food, as well as a chance to tour this impressive venue.

Modern Marketing Mashup at #CMWorld
House of Blues – Cambridge Room, Cleveland, OH
Wednesday, September 9
Agenda: 6:30pm Cocktails, Appetizers, Networking
7:15pm Modern Marketing Panel: “How Killer Content Boots Brand Engagement”
8:00pm More Cocktails, Appetizers, and Networking

Top industry marketers from some of the leading organizations will touch upon the topics of cross-channel marketing, content creation, social, and more.

#CMWorld Concert – Barenaked Ladies
Music Hall at the Cleveland Public Auditorium,
Wednesday, September, 9
Doors open: 8:30pm
Concert begins: 9:00pm


CMI has invited Barenaked Ladies to perform on Wednesday night. Make sure to join in on the fun! The venue is within walking distance of the hotels, and just as close to great restaurants for any pre- or post-concert happenings.

ion interactive Afterparty
Sixth Floor at the Westin Cleveland Hotel (777 St. Clair Avenue NE)
Wednesday, September 9 from 10:30 pm – 12:30 am (immediately following the BNL concert)

Immediately following the Barenaked Ladies concert, ion interactive will be hosting an Afterparty at the Westin. The Westin is right across the street from the concert, making that much easier to have some fun.

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What Else is Going On?

Will you be arriving early or staying later in the week? There’s plenty to do to fill up your free time! In addition to the CMW related events, here’s what else is going on in Cleveland during the week of the event.

Line Dancing at Thistledown Racino
ThistleDown Racino
March 2 to December 30  at 7 pm
Admission: Free

Cleveland Labor Day Oktoberfest
Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds
September 4 to September 7
Times: Fri – 4pm to midnight, Sat & Sun – Noon to midnight, Mon – Noon to 8pm.
Admission: $10 (Children Under 12 Free)

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Stan Hywet Hall & Garden
June 4 to September 20
Times: 10am-6pm, last admission at 4:30pm. Open Tues-Sun. Closed Mondays, except for Labor Day when regular hours apply.
Admission: $0-$14

Art in the Afternoon
Cleveland Museum of Art
April 8 to December 9 from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m
Admission: FREE, registration required

BAYart Farm + Art Market
July 02 to October 29
Times: 5-8pm
Admission: Free

Cleveland Indians v. Detroit Tigers
Progressive Field
September 10 & 11 at 7:05 PM

Wild Card Game - Tampa Bay Rays v Cleveland Indians

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Attractions to Visit

Steamship William G. Mather Maritime Museum – Embark on a self-guided tour of this retired ship that was once used to transport ore, coal, stone and grain to ports throughout the Great Lakes.

USS Cod Submarine MemorialStop by and explore this navy vessel that was first launched during World War II.

Great Lakes Science Center – Make good use of your time by spending a free afternoon to check out some of the educational exhibits or catch a movie at the OmniMax.

FirstEnergy Stadium – You can’t miss this stadium that’s host to the Cleveland Browns home games and other college games.

Cedar Point Amusement Park – Although it is a bit out of the way, if you have an extra day, make sure to visit the World’s Best Park, voted 16 years in a row.


Horseshoe Casino – Take a break and enjoy a night out full of food, drinks, laughs, and of course, the chance of winning some extra cash!

A Christmas Story House – Fulfill a childhood dream by visiting this historic symbol of the spirit of christmas, seen in the very popular family christmas movie, A Christmas Story.


Quicken Loans Arena – Home to the 2014 NBA finalists (sorry, Cleveland Cavaliers, this arena carries a great deal of memorable basketball moments in history.

PlayhouseSquare – This is the second largest theatre district in the country, hosting more than 8,000 performances each year.

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What to Buy

West Side MarketSwing by the market for fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and much more from over 100 vendors at Cleveland’s oldest marketplace. Here are some cool vendors to visit:

  • Crepes Deluxe – Home of authentic, Parisian style crepes.
  • Paradise FlowersWant to congratulate a CMW speaker? Grab them a bouquet of flowers at this full-service florist.
  • The Cheese ShopChoose from over 175 traditional and rare cheeses at this shop that encourages sampling before purchasing!


Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Gift Shop: – Stop in the gift store to get rock and roll gear such as these two items:

Great Lakes Science Center: The Science Store: Embrace your inner nerd and buy Kinetic Sand — watch it float and be amazed.

5th Street ArcadesA one-stop destination for shopping in downtown Cleveland. Spend a few hours browsing the shops and restaurants or visit some of our favorites:

  • Chocolate76 Want to satisfy your sweet tooth or bring back a treat to the office? Check out Chocolate76 for homemade desserts and chocolates such as pecan turtles and chocolate-covered oreos.
  • Kernels by ChrissieIf you’re looking for something salty, grab a tin of regional, gourmet popcorn.
  • Colossal Cupcakes Over 50 cupcake flavors and the first-ever cupcake milkshake.

Big Fun Toy StoreThis toy store was recently named one of the “coolest stores in America” by Playboy and is a 15-minute drive from downtown Cleveland. If you have a rental car, be sure to check it out.

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Where to Eat

Blue Point GrilleThis restaurant is a 5-minute walk from the Cleveland Convention Center and features a wide range of seafood in addition to traditional fare. A Zagat survey named this “Cleveland’s most popular restaurant.”

MallorcaJust a 15-minute walk from the convention center, this restaurant offers a taste of Spain and Portugal in the middle of downtown Cleveland.

The Greenhouse TavernA hidden gem that provides a wide range of vegan and vegetarian options. Curata is hosting a dinner here on Wednesday Sept. 10 (Contact Michael Gerard if you are interested in attending!)

Melt Bar & GrilledIn the mood for a grilled cheese? Make it gourmet at this hotspot.

Lola BistroPeter Loibl of CMI says this is his favorite restaurant in all of Cleveland. It’s also the flagship restaurant of celebrity chef Michael Symon.

Little ItalyThere are over 20 Italian restaurants to choose from and several fine art galleries to peruse.

Sweet Moses – The best ice cream & handmade confections shop in Cleveland according to Tripadvisor reviews!

L’Albatros Brasserie + Bar – Get a delicious taste of France in Cleveland. Winner of the Silver Spoon Award for Best French Restaurant.

Fire – Delicious food, affordable prices, exciting atmosphere. All the necessary ingredients for a wonderful night out!

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Who to Meet — and What to Talk to Them About

There will be an estimated 3,500 people at Content Marketing World. To make it easier for you to decide who to try and meet, we have rounded up a list of speakers and the topics you might discuss.

BONUS: Look for these people in the map above.

Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute

What to talk about: Joe recently launched Content Inc., a blog and podcast specifically for startups and entrepreneurs (and he wrote an upcoming book on the subject). If you’re trying to grow an audience through content marketing, talk to Joe — he has a wealth of knowledge on the subject. He also runs the highly successful podcast, This Old Marketing, along with Chief Strategy Officer Robert Rose. Chat with Joe about podcast best practices and the latest news in content marketing – he’s always in the know.

Pawan Deshpande, CEO of Curata

What to talk about: Our very own CEO has been attending Content Marketing World since its inception, giving talks on both content curation and content operations. Having authored eBooks on content curation and content marketing metrics, Pawan is an excellent person to talk to about either of these subjects. Do you need help quantifying your content marketing efforts? Chat with Pawan, who can walk you through his Content Marketing Metrics framework.

Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs

What to talk about: Ann wrote the 2014 book “Everybody Writes,” providing marketers with hands-on tips on how to become a better writer. Chat with Ann about the struggle that is content writing — Are you going through bouts of writer’s block? Having trouble structuring your latest eBook? She can give you some killer tips and assure you that everybody, (yes even you!) writes.

Andrew Davis, Author & Podcast Host

What to talk about: Andrew keynoted at last’s year’s Content Marketing World and gave a crowd-pleasing speech about how fractured the buyer’s journey is. Talk to Andrew if you are looking for new and unique ways to attain customers (and are tired of hearing the same funnel theory over and over again).

Jay Baer, Author and President of Convince and Convert

What to talk about: Jay is the author of the bestselling book, Youtility: Why Smart Companies are Helping Not Selling, and also runs the social and content agency, Convince and Convert. He is a great person to talk to about creating non-egocentric content that will truly help your customers.

Brian Clark, Founder of CopyBlogger

What to talk about: As the CEO of CopyBlogger, Brian helps businesses use blogging and other forms of content marketing to generate revenue. He has also built three businesses using online marketing techniques, so he’s a great person to talk to if you about using content to drive growth in your own business.

Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Officer of Content Marketing Institute

What to talk about: As Chief Strategy Officer at CMI, Robert Rose advises several clients on how to form content strategy and how to implement content marketing in their organization. Chat with Robert any problems you may be facing trying to gain support for content within your organization. Robert also cohosts This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and is always interested in talking about the latest news in the content marketing industry.

Heidi Cohen, Chief Content Officer at Actionable Marketing Guide

What to talk about: As a consultant and frequent blogger, Heidi truly has her fingers on the pulse of the industry. She is known for writing in-depth posts, in which she covers topics down to a granular level, providing marketers with practical advice. Chat with Heidi about any problems you may be facing in your content operations – she will certainly give you her input and point you to a blog post diving deep on the topic.

Pam Didner, Author

What to talk about: Pam has formerly worked at Intel as a Global Integrated Marketing Strategist, so she has hands-on experience leading marketing at a large enterprise company. Talk to Pam if you are having trouble implementing content marketing at your organization. She also recently published Global Content Marketing (our review here) so she can shed knowledge about how to create content for a global audience by localizing it for individual markets.

Gini Dietrich, Author and Co-founder of Arment Dietrich

What to talk about: Gini runs Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing firm, and started marketing and public relations blog SpinSucks. If you’re a PR person feeling lost in a sea content marketers, Gini is a great person to talk to about the intersection of the two practices.

Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler

What to talk about: Scott is adept in many areas of content marketing, but you may want to specifically talk with him about globalization and localization of content and information.

Lee Odden,  CEO of TopRank Online Marketing

What to talk about: Lee has a wealth of marketing knowledge, but he is a particularly great resource to tap into to learn more about the benefits of influencer marketing.  He has several examples and case studies of influencer marketing campaigns from many of TopRank’s top notch clients, including Dell.

Ardath Albee, Marketing Interactions

What to talk about: Ardath specializes in helping clients create a seamless transition from prospect to buyer and she will be giving a talk this year on the B2B demand generation model. If you’re working at a B2B company and trying to perfect your marketing and sales funnel, Ardath is a great person to chat with.

Jason Miller, LinkedIn

What to talk about: Currently leading global content marketing at LinkedIn, Jason also has several years of experience working in content and social at Marketo. He also recently published the Amazon #1 Bestseller, Welcome to the Funnel (which you can get a free, signed copy of if you stop by the Curata booth for a demo of our solutions —schedule an onsite demo here.). Chat with Jason if you need any tips about using social media to promote your content. He also has some killer tips about using your company’s LinkedIn page to its highest potential. If you want to tap into his insight before the event, do register for our upcoming webinar, where you will be able to ask him questions and hear his thoughts on content strategy.

Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion

What to talk about: Marcus became an industry leader in perhaps one of the most unique ways: he used content marketing to drive growth in his outdoor pool business. If you’re trying to get your business off the ground using inbound methods, Marcus is a great guy to swap stories with.

Kristina Halvorson, CEO of Brain Traffic

What to talk about: If you’re struggling with putting together your company’s content strategy, you’ll want to pick Kristina’s brain. She is a trusted authority in content strategy and has even launched the Confab content strategy events.

Scott Brinker, Co-founder of ion interactive

What to talk about: As head of ion interactive, Scott has a lot of knowledge surrounding interactive content. If you haven’t yet brought interactive into your content formats, talk with Scott about best practices. He’s also a trusted authority on marketing technology and is a great person to talk to about the ever-expanding technology universe.

Rand Fishkin, Moz

What to talk about: Having cofounded Moz and (among other ventures), Rand is a great guy to talk to if you want to learn more about how the intricacies of your SEO strategy (If you need any more convincing, he also wrote a book called The Art of SEO). Rand also stars in a popular video series “Whiteboard Fridays” where he maps out complex topics on a whiteboard. If you see Rand near a whiteboard, he may just sketch something out for you.

Bernie Borges, Chief Find Officer of Find and Convert

What to talk about: Bernie is an expert on all things digital marketing, but one specific talk to chat with him about is podcasting. Bernie has been podcasting long before the recent podcasting boom, so he’s a great person to ask about the evolution of the practice and how to best use audio for content marketing.

Ian Cleary, Founder of RazorSocial

What to talk about:  Tools, tools and more tools. Ian helps companies improve their social media strategy with a specific focus on tools and technology. If you need a recommendation for a tool to fit your specific business need, Ian can provide you with top-notch advice.

Andy Crestodina, Co-founder of Orbit Media

What to talk about:  Andy is the co-founder of Orbit Media, a web design firm. He is particularly knowledgeable in SEO and linkback strategies. He also conducts an annual research study where he surveys 1000+ of marketers to produce a report on the topic of blogging. Chat with Andy to get some pointers about including primary research in your content marketing strategy. He may also be able to let you on in the secret to getting so many survey respondents!

Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing

What to talk about: Matt runs the B2B marketing agency, Heinz Marketing, so do chat with him about any struggles you have getting creative in the B2B space.

Barry Feldman, Feldman Creative

What to talk about: Barry is a consultant and owner of the blog, The Point, where he regularly blogs about marketing, content strategy and influencer relations. Barry is particularly adept at helping marketers set up a plan for their content marketing strategy (he did author an eBook called The Plan). If you are just starting to form your content plan — or you would like to perfect it — Barry is a great resource to tap into.

Mike Stelzner, CEO of Social Media Examiner

What to talk about: All things social. Mike runs the Social Media Examiner blog, Social Media Marketing Podcast and Social Media Marketing World. If you’ve got a question about how to best promote your content on social media, Mike can answer it.

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See you in Cleveland!

Once again, feel free to stop by the Curata booth (#87). We’d love to meet you. In the meantime, we’d like to offer you a checklist that helps you scale your content operations. Download this free checklist to learn how to:

  • Define content marketing and build internal support
  • Develop a content marketing supply chain
  • Consolidate and integrate marketing applications


Pawan Deshpande

Pawan Deshpande is the founder and CEO of Curata, a Boston-based company offering content marketing software used by thousands of marketers around the world. He spearheaded the first-ever panel at SxSW on Content Marketing in 2011, and was a 2014 Finalist for MarketingProfs B2B Marketer of the Year. Pawan was an engineer at Microsoft and Google where he was awarded patents in social networking and machine learning. He previously attended MIT where his graduate thesis won top departmental and international awards.

Pawan is also a blogger for The Huffington Post, the Content Marketing Institute,, Forbes, Marketing Profs, and other technology and marketing publications.

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