Over the past two years, I’ve been day tripping down to the coast for Brighton SEO conferences, and this September rounded up to my fifth visit. In that time, I’ve seen the event adapt and evolve throughout its biannual affair (although, if you’re a veteran Brighton SEO-er you’ve seen it change a whole lot more since it began as a gathering in the upstairs room of a pub). September 2016 saw another revamp – a venue upgrade to the Brighton Centre on the beach front.
It’s a packed out event (free tickets sell out in less than 13 minutes) with lots of talks, training sessions, roundtables, networking drinks and socials all fit into one day. So here’s a quick guide to making sure you get the best out of the conference.
Before the Conference
Be on the Eventbrite website the minute the tickets are released…
Otherwise you won’t get a ticket. Make sure you sign up to the newsletter emails so you know when each ticket release date is, which is normally around three months beforehand. It’s just like getting tickets to Glastonbury, although tickets to Brighton SEO sold out quicker than the festival itself in April.
If you don’t get a ticket…. you have a backup option
In the case that you miss out on a ticket, fear not, you can still go to Brighton SEO. If you book a place on one of the training courses on offer, you’ll automatically get a ticket to the main conference the next day.
Book somewhere for lunch
Although Brighton is a big seaside city, everyone goes for lunch at the same time, and in the same places. Expect to queue for a table for a long time if you haven’t reserved anywhere in advance. It’s easy to be caught up in a queue and miss the first sessions back in the conference centre after lunch at 2:30pm.
On the Day
Turn up to a talk around 20 minutes beforehand
That’s if you want to get a seat and not stand at the back, or sit on the floor. This year, around 3,000 people attended September’s event, and with each session being a “first come first served” seating structure, capacity fills up quickly, and you might not be able to go to that all important talk at all. Unless you have a previously subscribed wristband access, it’s important to hang around each conference room early, it also gives you more opportunities to network.
Go to the networking drinks afterwards
You get a free drink token upon entering the conference on the day, so it’s worth going to the main foyer at the event to take advantage of it. There’s a huge variety of people from different industries (not just SEO!), and many often attend the conference for new business and even career opportunities.
Go to at least one talk you don’t specialise in
Brighton SEO is good for helping you work out what you know, as well as what you don’t know within an industry that’s ever changing. Talks are based on various skill set levels and are grouped into a range of different categories, which means it’s worth going to a few talks that aren’t relevant to your every day job role. This will come in handy further down the line if your agency adapts or acquires a new client in a new industry area, or with a different content and media focus.