If you are attending SES London for the first time, how can you make the most of the time you spend there? Here a few tips to help you get the best from the conference.
Decide what you want from the conference. There’s a lot going on! You may have more than one objective. Deciding on your objective/s and then planning how to achieve them will give you the best chance of getting what you need. Your plan will depend on your objective…
If you just want to absorb all you can, do your homework first! Research a little about your areas of interest, so you can choose the sessions which will be of most use to you. Having some knowledge of the subject will help you get the best understanding from them.
If you are a little more specific in your thirst for learning, decide which sessions will best deliver. Find out who is likely to be able to advance your knowledge. Check out the exhibitors and make sure you visit them; they’re likely to have time for you here, away from the pressures of their daily jobs.
If you’re looking for a potential supplier, check out who does what. Visit those who might fit the bill. Then talk to them. It’s a great opportunity to check them out in their ‘natural habitat’!
Meeting a key industry figure
Many of these people are passionate about their subject and are happy to talk. However, don’t bug them. Have a clear question, be brief and polite. You will quickly see if they want to continue the conversation.
This is place to meet people who know this industry well! Beyond the sessions, there are any number of casual conversations about new ways to explore and expand the world of search. For a light hearted guide to the different types there, read Rob Kerry’s “The Search Engine Groupie”
If you haven’t come across the headwear terms and are beginning to wonder if you’ve signed up for Ascot, different search strategies are referred to by hat colour. Here’s what they refer to:
White Hat – follows the rules; uses techniques like publishing unique and fresh content, and getting legitimate links
Black Hat – focuses on winning the search engine game; uses methods to try to improve rankings which are against search engines rules, such as keyword stuffing, hidden keywords, comment spamming
Grey or Blue Hat – falls somewhere in between the black and white; as well as ‘legitimate’ methods, will try techniques seem to fall between the search engine rule cracks, but are not expressly forbidden
Pink Hat – definitions vary; may refer to paid for search (PPC) or techniques like distributing pink and girly articles and cute podcasts
There’s always a buzz…lots of people interested in and knowledgeable about Search, away from their desks with time to talk and indulge in the odd beer…there are worse ways to learn!