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7 tips for first-timers at BrightonSEO

by Olivia Williams | 03.09.2019

This coming BrightonSEO will be my third time attending the event, which by no means makes me an expert. However, it does mean I can recall when I myself was a first-timer. Now with two events under my belt, I have valuable wisdom to impart to those attending the conference for the first time.

What started off as a chat down the pub has snowballed into a huge twice-yearly gathering of SEOs in Brighton’s largest event space. As stated on the website: “It’s a chance for SEOs to meet, learn and do their job a little better.” No matter how much you know about Search Engine Optimisation, there’s always something new to learn at BrightonSEO. If you want to make the most of the talks, sessions and events taking place throughout the day, preparation is key. Of course, it’s important to look at the schedule and work out where you need to be. But if you want some juicy insider tips, read on to find out how to make the most of your first time at BrightonSEO.

Twitter is your friend

Active on Twitter? If you work in SEO, you probably should be. There’s an active community of friendly, encouraging SEOs on Twitter, and at no time is this more apparent than during Brighton SEO.

You’ll find hundreds of BrightonSEO attendees posting updates, thanking speakers and sharing quotes, presentation decks and general goings-on throughout the day with the hashtag #BrightonSEO.

If you miss a talk due to a clash, track down the speaker on Twitter where they often share their slides afterwards. You can even ask the speakers questions if you were too shy to raise a hand during their presentation.

How to manage a schedule clash

With so many insightful and inspirational talks and events taking place throughout the day at BrightonSEO, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be faced with a schedule clash at some point. Here’s what to do.

Try to figure out which of the 2-4 speakers you really don’t want to miss at your conflicting events and look at the map to work out if you can feasibly slip out half way to attend the second half of another event. This won’t always be convenient, as some rooms are a good 5-10-minute walk apart, but it’s worth a try if you really don’t want to miss anything. If all else fails, agree with a colleague to attend different talks and swap notes, or better still find the presentation slides online afterwards.

Get to the smaller rooms early

The smaller lecture rooms fill up quickly, so if there’s something you’re interested in make sure you get there with plenty of time to get a seat!

Keep an eye out for brand promotions

In April 2019, the brand FitFlop sponsored BrightonSEO (not 100% sure about the connection there – possibly something to do with flip flops and being near the seaside). I didn’t think much of this until exiting a conference room early to catch the end of a different session, when I happened upon a brown flip flop on the floor. Intrigued, I picked it up to find a handwritten note attached, instructing me to take the sandal to the Friends Desk.

In doing so I won a free pair of Fit Flop sandals of my choice! I am now the proud owner of a very practical, stylish and comfortable pair of sandals valued at £90! The moral of this story is, keep an eye out for brand promotions! BrightonSEO is the ideal place for brands to trial a marketing campaign a little outside the box, and you never know what you might win.

…but be cautious of freebies for freebies sake

T-shirts, pens, notebooks, stickers and tote bags – it’s very tempting to hoover them all up as soon as you reach the exhibitors stands. But are you really going to wear a bright orange t-shirt with an SEO pun slogan ever in your life? And where exactly are you intending to stick that marketing agency’s sticker?

Is it worth lugging that heavy book around all day just because someone you’d never heard of until half an hour ago was giving out signed copies? There’s no need to collect every freebie that is thrust in your direction at the conference – stick to the essentials (a notebook, a map and a pen – oh, and your free drink token!).

Book a restaurant for lunch

Whether you’re attending BrightonSEO with work colleagues, agency staff, clients, or both, you’ll probably all break off to head to different talks and seminars depending on your interests and specialisms. So it’s nice to regroup over lunch and enjoy a meal together. With over 3500 people descending on Brighton for the conference, the eateries nearby are sure to fill up fast come recess! It’s wise to book ahead and arrange to meet your group at a set time, that way everyone can plan their schedules accordingly.

Get a key spot during the keynote speech

The highlight in the agenda at every BrightonSEO is the keynote speech, which takes place at 5.30pm in the Auditorium. Big name SEO experts take to the stage to impart their knowledge, and often share a few freebies too. Try to get a seat near the front if you want to be in with a change of freebies thrown within catching distance.

Do you have any top tips for BrightonSEO attendees? Share with us on social!