Your Exclusive Guide to YMS Marketing Festivals: Everything You Can Expect

Since the inception of the Youth Marketing Strategy festival (YMS) in 2011, YMS has grown to become the world’s largest youth marketing conference, taking place in the UK and the US every year. 

YMS is an immersive digital marketing conference like none other, bringing together the biggest names making waves in the youth marketing industry today for a two-day spectacular on the latest trends, perspectives and insights from the Gen Z world.

In this blog, we’ll share everything you can expect from this disruptive and one-of-a-kind two digital marketing conference, with exclusive insight from Olivia Newman, Event Programme Manager for YMS.

YMS New York takes place on the 20th and 21st March 2024, with partners including Ologie, dcdx, The Outloud Group and Measure Studio.

 Over 97% of the US’ top 100 advertisers are represented at YMS NYC, whilst 86% of delegates will influence new partnership decisions. It is the go-to networking event for any forward thinking brand.

Whether you’ve attended before, or are attending for the first time this year, one thing is clear: YMS is not an event to miss.

Keep reading to discover what exactly sets this Gen Z marketing conference apart…

1. Unrivalled content

YMS brings together industry experts and disruptors from across the globe. At YMS New York, expect unrivalled content as we address some of the hottest and most prevalent topics shaping youth culture today. 

Day One of New York will see panellists discussing everything from staying culturally relevant, to eradicating harmful media stereotypes and top tips on staying up-to-date with Gen Z trends and insights.

Breakout sessions at The Creator Track will see panels on shaping your influencer marketing strategy, including a session from The Outloud Group and YouTube.

The Innovation Track will be hosted by Oliver Yonchev, co-founder and CEO of Flight Story. Oliver will be sitting down with senior brand execs to discuss the role AI is playing in marketing strategies.

The excitement doesn’t slow down on Day Two, with eye-opening sessions on all things higher education via the College Marketing Track and all things digital strategy via the Digital Marketing Track.

Hear exclusive insights from Gen Zers themselves in our ‘Ask Us Anything’ panel, and put your burning questions forward for discussion!

2. Diversity of speakers

YMS has a line-up of speakers like no other, with panellists at our New York event from Airbnb, Uber, YouTube, Spotify, Knit, UN Women, Pinterest, HelloFresh and Grindr (to name just a few!).

YMS London has already confirmed speakers from Monzo, Samsung, Gymbox, Heinz, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Cineworld. An enviable line-up, right?

3. Your exclusive sneak peek of the Youth Trends Report

Our Youth Trends Report will forecast and share insights into the cultural, digital and social trends to characterise the Gen Z and youth experience in 2024.

With global research on the cutting edge trends of youth culture, we’ll spotlighting leading trends at YMS New York, and delivering an in-depth session on the trends at YMS London. 

4. Networking opportunities like no other

If your team wants to network and learn from some of the biggest names in the youth marketing industry, look no further than attending YMS.

YMS is the one place where global brands and leading agencies can come together. We’ll be facilitating vibrant conversations in NYC through our Networking Cocktail Hour, held at the outdoor courtyard at BK Loft26.

YMS London will also give you the chance to meet and network with other industry leaders after Day One.

Our events are curated to facilitate conversation – enjoy access to lounges, pre-facilitated 1:1 meetings, smaller workshop sessions and of course those ever important post-event drinks!

5. Accessible and easy locations at every event

Whether it’s YMS New York or YMS London, we’ll always ensure the event locations are easy and accessible to get to.

We position our events at the hub of marketing activity: the venues are always well signposted and communicated to attendees well ahead of time.

6. Learning makes you hungry – so eat!

YMS might have quenched your thirst for Gen Z knowledge, but we know the hunger doesn’t end there.

We’re proud to have previously sourced our iconic street food trucks from food and drinks start-ups, such as Snackfully, Jimmy’s Iced Coffee, Pan-N-Ice and Gen Z Water.

Fresh roasted coffee and delicious snacks are also readily available throughout the event, so you can guarantee you’ll never go hungry at YMS!

7. Be entertained

If YMS’ all-star panel line-up and cutting-edge sessions weren’t enough, we’ve also secured an abundance of entertainment for our leading digital marketing conference.

Previous events have seen live artist performances, catwalks and even dance troops.

There’s something for everyone at YMS – and no event is the same.

YMS’ diverse and innovative energy isn’t just recognised by us – Nike’s Head of Social, described YMS as “quite simply one of the most insightful, forward thinking events I have ever attended”.

YMS’s Event Programme Manager Olivia Newman writes:

“Our mission is to help marketers at brands, agencies, nonprofits and colleges / universities keep up with fast-moving Gen Z trends.

At YMS, our unique mix of killer brand execs, inspirational youth voices and industry experts helps our audience truly understand what is going on in the lives of young people today, how we can best support and champion this generation and the platforms and channels that are connecting with them. We’re super excited to be executing a full in-person events calendar across 2024 for the first time post-pandemic. We can’t wait to bring the industry together to share ideas, insights and tactics to engage and champion young people and drive their Gen Z marketing strategy forwards at this one-of-a-kind digital marketing conference.”

Are you ready to interact with over 150 powerhouse brands shaping the future of youth marketing and hear directly from Gen Zers themselves at the world’s leading digital marketing conference?

Don’t just take Olivia’s word for it – secure your tickets for YMS NYC today – or meet us in London for our UK event. 

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