In the search industry, there are many updates and the goal posts are always changing. What used to work well a year ago, may not necessarily be the case now. Therefore it is important to ensure you are aware of the latest news in the industry so you can implement the best practices on a daily basis for your company and clients.
There are lots of events in the industry, you do not have to spend lots of money going to them all over the world as there are also plenty in the UK and even London to keep you busy. Bas and I created a list of search events taking place in 2015 and can be fond here: http://www.stateofdigital.com/events-conferences-2015/
It can be hard to get time off work and to attend a conference, especially if you have to get costs signed off. But it is really important that you make the time and get out to at least one meetup every couple of months or one major event every 3 – 6 months and below are some of the most important reasons why digital marketing events are a must and cannot be missed this year:
Support from Others
In the Search industry, people are keen to help out others especially those who are new. There is a lot of support available, some Facebook groups, help via Twitter as well as at various networking events. So if you are not getting the support you need from work, then I would recommend attending one of the many smaller conferences or meet ups. London Bloggers is a good meetup group, I run Search London. There is also Online Marketing London which has grown to over 4,000 members. If you are having a problem at work, you can always talk to someone at these meetups or online. You are never alone in Search.
Keep Up to Date with the Industry
Keeping up to date is a necessity and vital for any SEO work, Google+ for example is no more. Not that this is a surprise to anyone. Our own Barry Adams wrote about The Demise of Google + last April, and then earlier this month, Google announced that they would be splitting its social network apart, breaking it into “Photos” and “Streams” but they have not said if they will ditch the Google+.
At the upcoming conferences speakers will talk about the news and how we should respond. Sometimes you can keep your marketing plans the same, whereas other times you may need to adapt. What is great about these conferences is that if you ever have any doubts, you can ask and find out the answer straight away. Then you can come back to work with 100% confidence you are executing the right plan in line with the recent Google updates.
Network with Others
There are many events throughout the year. One of my favorites is BrightonSEO. This is a place where I have met many search professionals. It is one of the biggest events in the UK and it is free which is an added bonus. At events such as Brighton SEO, there are no catering facilities and therefore people go to lunch together. This is a great way to meet and network with others. Also in the evenings, after the presentations are over, everyone goes to the pub round the corner before the main evening events start.
Get a New Job
You never know what it around the corner, or who is looking to expand their team at the search events. Even if you have no intention of moving, there can be a host of job opportunities at the events. It is always good to keep your options open. Especially for those who freelance, these events are great places to meet people face to face. We spend too much time in front of the computer and not enough time meeting people, mostly due to work commitments or the fact sometimes we are far away from one another geographically. It is essential to bring your business cards to the events, you never know who you may meet.
Discover Awards Winning Campaigns
Next month is the EU Search Awards. This is an event, which rewards those who have excelled in their job and have done great work for their clients and for their own companies (if working client side). There are the UK Search Awards in November, the US Search Awards in the summer and the EU Search Awards in spring. These are fantastic evenings to attend where you can see award-winning work and then you have the opportunity to meet these people who have created these fantastic campaigns. It is a fine example of how to put the theory of Search into practice and generate great results. I will be covering the EU Search Awards for State of Digital, so if you cannot be at the event, find out all what is happening on State of Digital.
There will always be a cost to the events, either time or money. Decide what it most important to you and either get yourself a free ticket to a conference such as Brighton SEO or pay to attend a workshop, similar to Search Bootcamp hosted by SEOMonitor. Many meet ups have started charging for events and the one I run charges £10 simply to cover the costs of running a meetup and also sometimes as many as 60% of people drop off or do not attend. If you love your industry and want to learn more and keep ahead of the game, I would recommend you book yourself onto the next most relevant meetup or conference for you.