The amazing #MozCon experience: The speaker perspective
Last month I had the amazing opportunity to speak at MozCon, and although there has been an already amazing amount of posts sharing the experiences of many of the attendees (you can take a look at a list with the MozCon posts and resources here), I would like to share my personal experience from a speaker perspective, which can also give you a different or additional view of the the exceptional MozCon organization and activities.
To really start from the beginning: For speakers, the MozCon experience started a few months before the conference happened, with Erica helping us a lot through the process (thank you), from identifying the best topic and focus for the presentation, speakers then developed an outline of the presentation and then the final slides, that were sent a week before the conference took place.
I definitely think that this type of involvement and preparation process that MozCon organization has with speakers is a differentiator that shows the care and planning that is taken to have the best content for the conference on time.
This year speakers also got the chance to see to the conference venue one day before, which proved to be amazingly useful for me, since besides getting a bit more used with the stage (and also had the first WOW reaction when I saw how big it was and the decoration), be able to get to know many of the rest of the speakers, I could test my slides and make sure I had the Keynote version, since the PDF was slower to pass (and with 102 slides I needed to pass them very quickly).
It was really a useful experience and would suggest all conference organizers to do it with speakers if they can. Right after this we went to the speaker’s dinner, where speakers and Mozzers organizing the event could meet or see again, share experiences and news, besides having a delicious meal, which is also something great to give a more “personal touch”.
Next day it was the big one for me: The first conference day, when I was speaking, so I arrived early. This is how it looked when you arrived to the Washington State Convention Center, all MozCon branded:
When you entered to the conference hall, you could see the space where the refreshments would be available for everybody during breaks, also used to meet and network, which was a big and important part of the conference experience: being able to meet and share with people coming from all over the world –I met people from North America, Latin America, Europe, Australia and South Africa and had the chance to meet again with the SEER team from the US–.
As soon as I arrived the first day –since I was the third speaker– I went directly to the huge and beautifully decorated conference room, that you can see here:
The conference room was even more impressive afterwards, when it was full of people:
This has been literally the biggest and most beautiful decorated conference room I’ve been able to be at. Congrats to the Moz team in charge of it. I felt like if I was at a cool show 😀
After Rand and Richard presentations it was my time to share with the audience:
I’m very happy for the speaking experience and feedback I got (questions and contacts too) from my “International SEO & The Future of your ROI” presentation.
One of the things I enjoyed the most was that people later approached to me during breaks, breakfast or lunch times to congratulate me, asking me, giving me feedback and also sharing their own experiences.
That’s simply invaluable and at MozCon people was very open to share and interact. Because of the feedback I got particularly from my slides, I published a post about “How to create super hero slides“.
MozCon had definitely an amazing group of engaging and inspiring speakers, covering a high amount of topics: From SEO, to social, to analytics, client service and support, branding, strategic SEO, technical SEO, the future of Search…. there was always something to learn from all of them:
Something I noted through the conference too is that despite speakers had a “speakers room” available, that would be more comfortable to be to advance with some work, for example, have some quite time or rest, with snacks and a TV from where you could watch the conference, most of us were on the conference room with the rest of the audience, watching the other speakers, which also says a lot of the quality of the content and the overall conference experience.
Another of my MozCon favorites was Roger. During the breaks many people would go to have a great photo taken with him, in this case the SEER team that attended MozCon (but Wil who had gone already) took a photo together before leaving on the third day:
The only aspect that could be improved from the conference was the wifi connection: At some point there was so many people with also many devices trying to access that it was not possible to do it. I understand though that this is very very difficult to guarantee though, with more than 1,200 people on the room! At the end this also was an opportunity to concentrate more on what it was said, the content of the presentations.
Besides a fantastically organized conference, with great content and inspiring speakers, there was a very fun party. There were many “non-official” meet-ups through the different days and the official one, organized by the conference was at the EMP Museum in Seattle, which looked (again) impressive:
There attendees and speakers could enjoy with a live karaoke (where others, unfortunately not me, like my SEER colleague Adam Melson shown they are not only super talented SEOs but also singers) and we could take funny photos from a booth, as the ones I took with Gianluca and Dr. Pete:
As happens with everything, after three amazing days, MozCon came to an end. In my case I still had a pending activity: Moz gave the speakers the cool opportunity to film a Whiteboard Friday, so I went to the Moz office before leaving, the day after the conference finished, to film one with the very supportive Nick and Elijah. Stay tuned for it!
Then it was my own time to say goodbye to MozCon this year. It was really a superb conference experience. To all of you who couldn’t attend I hope this gives you an additional insight of how it was from a speaker perspective. Hopefully I’ll see you there at MozCon 2014: