With so many conferences dealing with Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and SES New York starting tomorrow, I thought I would give some advice on how to get the most from attending these conferences. Not only do these conferences give you the opportunity to learn more about Search Engine Marketing, but they allow you to meet industry experts, network, engage through social media, and increase your online following via outlets such as twitter and wordpress.
Research Sessions Beforehand
Large conferences like SES and SMX offer several sessions during one time slot. With so many options, choosing which session to attend can be overwhelming. Research the sessions and speakers beforehand and make a list of the ones that you want to go to. Once you decide on sessions, do a little more digging on the subject matter, the speaker, and any hot topics that may come up during the session. Generally, the speakers at these conferences like to engage with the audience. You want to be as up to date as possible so that you can participate during the sessions. Also, there is almost always a questions and answer session so think about potential questions to ask at the end of sessions.
Most “search nerds,” as I like to call us, are on twitter and are looking at tweets for interesting happenings in the search world. This is such a great tool to use to share the knowledge and interesting factoids that you are hearing during the sessions. Use the conference #hashtag and the sessions #hashtag in your tweets (for example, the hashtag for the upcoming SES New York is #sesny). Not only is this a great way to share information, but chances are you will increase your online following because industry people will be following those #hashtags. This is a key opportunity in growing your online presence and becoming an subject matter expert.
Participate in Live Blogging
Live blogging is another great way to share the information and knowledge that you are gaining during the conference. Most people would love to attend these conferences but aren’t able to. They will be looking for blogs to get the information that is being shared at the conference. You could write one blog post summarizing main takeaways from the day as a whole or you could write one post for each session that you attend. Make sure to use social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc…) to publicize these posts. Like twitter, sharing these posts is a great way to continue to increase your online following and become a subject matter expert.
Lauren Kade and Justin Champion, my fellow Search Marketing Sage bloggers, are attending SES New York and will be live blogging all week. Check out their posts on Search Marketing Sage to find out what they are learning.