My First #BrightonSEO Conference – September 2016


Despite working in the field of Digital Marketing now for 13 years and counting, I had never actually followed the ‘Nerd Herd’ to a physical Digital Marketing conference. Instead, preferring to source my industry education through online courses, tutorials and the occasional webinar.

Having joined AB… just a month ago, the opportunity came up to attend #BrightonSEO, the UK’s largest SEO event at The Brighton Centre on Friday 2nd September 2016. Initially, I remained skeptical. Concerned that attaching myself to the geek gang would produce any true insight if I’m honest, I was more anxious at the prospect of having to feign conversation about role-playing games, with someone with limited social skills and Elastoplast engineered glasses.

As it turns out, the only ‘limited’ social skills encountered were of my own making, being one of the only people to laugh out loud when the term ‘shit-storm’ was used by a speaker to describe Argos’ dynamic URLs (thanks to Kirsty Hulse Founder of ManyMinds, for that gem)!

BrightonSEO is now attended by 3,500 Digital Marketing professionals and a wide selection of 75+ speakers from across the industry, what started as a few people meeting in an upstairs room of a pub, has quickly developed into a much respected bi-annual, SEO conference.

The packed conference agenda meant that you had to pick the subject that most applied to your interests, from seven different fields during each session. So I chose the following:

  • 10.00 – Analytics

Dara Fitzgerald: Analytics 360 Suite: Is it a game changer?

Dr Jess Spate: Custom variables in Google Tag Manager

Anna Lewis: Analytics horror stories

Bottom line: Google Analytics 360 is enterprise level software with a hefty price tag of £90-100k per annum.

  • 11.45 – Content Strategy

Martijn Scheijbeler: Content Marketing, approaching it as a publisher

Lauren Greatorex: No Idea? How to create B2B marketing campaign ideas that sell.

Kirsty Hulse: Why we need to stop avoiding content personalisation

Bottom line: Ensure your content does at least one of the following: Entertain, Educate, Persuade or Inspire. KISS: Keep It Short & Simple!  

  • 14.30 – SEO Dystopia

Mike Briggs: SEO is Dead

Jono Alderson: Surviving the machine revolution: how to become the digital marketer of the future

Luke Regan: PokemonGO Impacting local search for businesses

Bottom line: SEO is not dead! But content is no longer King. Data is now King.

  • 16.10 – Local SEO

Christian Ward – Why Local Search Is Essential for Brands And Agencies Who Serve Them

Bottom line: Optimise your local listing here!

You can find many of the day’s presentations here. Personally, I’m already looking forward to attending next year’s event in April for more insights and the chance to learn more from my fellow nerds, techies and geeks alike!

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