Conferences are a whirlwind experience. Regardless of your industry, conferences give you the chance to step out of your home office and into a dynamic environment filled with non-stop sessions, vendor booths, networking galore, and unforgettable after-parties.
It can be overwhelming, but SEO conferences like MozCon can bring incredible rewards with the right preparation. This guide will equip you with essential tips to make the most of SEO conferences, in-person or virtual. Discover how to strengthen your team, boost your energy, and enhance your enthusiasm for work during and after the event. Get ready to dive into the world of SEO conferences and virtual experiences.
Before you touchdown at MozCon
With MozCon just a few weeks away, it’s time to gear up and make the most of this SEO conference, whether you’re attending in person or via the remote-friendly livestream option. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time to prepare. Follow these essential steps to maximize your MozCon experience and ensure you’re fully equipped for the event. Get ready to dive into the world of SEO and make valuable connections.
Familiarize yourself with the agenda
You might have already glanced at the speaker lineup. Take a closer look at the minute-by-minute agenda to identify the topics that align with your learning goals. Even if a particular topic seems unrelated to your work, it can still provide valuable insights. At MozCon, the conference follows a single-track format, allowing you to attend every session. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore diverse topics and expand your knowledge base.
Clear your calendar
That meeting can wait! MozCon is only two days a year! If your weekly team sync can wait, and we know it can, then block out of your calendar in advance.
Define your goals and objectives
Knowing what you want to achieve will help you make the most of your time and focus on the sessions and activities that align with your interests. Think about what you want to have achieved once MozCon wraps. What do you want to feel? Aside from more than a little bit spent. Do you want to feel more connected? Do you want to have an answer to a burning question? Do you want to meet someone IRL? Do you want to have a cache of valuable notes to take away and share with your team? Sing Karaoke for the first time?
MozCon gives you the ability to achieve all these things. Find like-minded people through our Linkedin group and arrange a meetup. Connect with people on Twitter. Attend a Birds of a Feather table during breaks. Drop by the vendor booths to explore a new solution to a problem. Pack your comfy shoes for the conference, as well as your party shoes and your best Karaoke jam, for the Tuesday night after-party at MoPOP.
“If you want to meet someone specific, talk to a speaker, or organize dinner with friends, plan in advance. Conferences move quickly, and nothing is more disappointing than trying to connect with someone on the last day only to realize they had to catch an early flight. Most speakers are happy to meet new people and talk about our topics and interests.” – Dr Pete Meyers
Gather your note-taking tool of choice
MozCon is a conference where you’ll likely take a lot of notes. Make sure you have all the necessary tools at hand. Charge your laptop or tablet or choose any other preferred method for note-taking. If you plan on sharing takeaways with your team, well, unfortunately, telepathy won’t work, but you can still find ways to communicate effectively.
“At the end of each day, take five minutes, go through your notes, and turn them into a few bullet points and ONE action item. If you have one action item per day at the end of an event, that’s great. Otherwise, if you’re like me, you’ll come home to a page of notes like “SEO! AI!! INTERSECTION OF FUTURE!” and have no idea what you were talking about.” Dr Pete Meyers
Connect with the speakers before the event
Check out our impressive lineup of speakers, perhaps there is someone speaking you’ve not yet connected with? Take some time to understand their specialty. Even if you’re not currently working within that field, it may be a new learning opportunity for you, or it may help you gain a better understanding of the challenges your colleagues are facing. Ultimately, conferences are a great opportunity to develop a more well-rounded understanding of the entire search industry, what’s on the horizon, and what to pay attention to in search.
Ramp up your SEO learning
Define what you want to achieve at MozCon and create a plan to maximize your experience. Having clear goals will help you stay focused and make the most of the event. Subscribe to the Moz blog or sign up for a Moz Academy course. These will give you access to a wealth of content to boost your knowledge in advance of the big event. From basic SEO to local search and technical details, there’s something for everyone. Additionally, the blog will provide conference recaps after each day, so you won’t miss out on any important updates.
Prepare to network and engage
MozCon, and many other SEO conferences, offer you ample opportunities to meet new people and expand your professional network. Maximize your networking opportunities before you get there. Before you arrive in Seattle, get familiar with the digital landscape by following the #mozcon hashtag on Twitter. Join the LinkedIn group, and while you’re there, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Threads, because why not?
If you are in the Women in Tech SEO group, you can join the MozCon channel. This will keep you updated on MozCon fellow attendees’ plans and movements and allow you to engage with speakers and ask questions.
“MozCon doesn’t do Q&A after talks – it’s difficult to manage for an event of this size, with a packed schedule and a single stage. But, if you have a question that is actually about a speaker’s talk, they’d almost certainly love to hear it. It’s implicitly great feedback to know that someone was engaged and interested in what I was saying, even (especially!) if they don’t entirely agree.” – Tom Capper
During the conference
MozCon takes place over two jam-packed days. To maximize your SEO conference experience, here are our tips to keep you energized and focused and avoid running yourself into the ground and potentially missing a big career opportunity. Whether you’re attending online or in person, we’ve got some tips from seasoned MozCon speakers and attendees to keep you engaged during the event.
When attending any conference, it’s helpful to get the lay of the land prior to the event so you can float on through to the action uninterrupted. At MozCon, we offer early registration on Sunday, August 6. If you are arriving early and want to get a jump on badge collection and a sneak peek at the new venue, drop by registration to check in and pick up your badge. Unable to make it to registration early? No problem. Set your alarm and arrive at the conference bright and early Monday morning so you’re not rushing your morning cuppa and missing the opening remarks!
Attend every session
Remember when we advised clearing out your calendar? This is so you can make the most of this once-a-year-SEO conference experience by attending every single session. Even if it’s outside your area of focus. It also means you have the chance to network with every speaker if you bump into them in the conference hall or after-party. Luckily MozCon is a single-track event, so you don’t need to make any difficult decisions. You can find your spot in the auditorium, set up camp, and let the inspiration absorption begin!
“Because I work in local SEO, I attend MozCon’s livestream with my ears tuned to pick up any great tips that can be applied to local business marketing. Even if the main topic of a talk isn’t local search, I can come away with half a dozen tips that are relevant to my own area of marketing because organic and local SEO have so much overlap.” – Miriam Ellis
Even if you’re solely powered by caffeine and SEO insights no one can deny the boost a bit of H2O provides (especially if you’re jet-lagged.) Folks travel to MozCon from near and far, as the below attendee pin-map attests. Make sure you’re able to be your best self despite the impact of travel on your energy levels.
“Make sure you have a water bottle and snacks in your bag – nothing hinders memory and productivity like hunger and dehydration!” – Meghan Pahinui
Jot down hot tips immediately
You’ve been following these steps diligently, haven’t you? If so, you have already prepared your note-taking tool of choice. Whether it’s a giant Gdoc filled with links and screenshots, the notes app on your tablet, the twitter app loaded up filtered by the #mozcon hashtag and a finger poised and ready to hit fav, or a trusty notepad and pen. Even if you’re not a massive note-taker there is nothing more valuable than jotting down a few lines as your grey-matter is percolating. Light bulb moments happen in a flash. If your boss or colleague asks you what you learned, you’ll be pleased you thought of your future self and kept a few bullet points for yourself and anyone else who asks.
“Write down ideas as soon as you have them. As you’re listening to talks and interacting with conference-goers, you’re bound to get ideas for your own strategy. Be sure to write them down ASAP – with so much information flying around, you’re bound to forget them if you don’t. It can be as simple as using the notes app on your phone or slacking yourself a quick reminder note. That way, when you get home from the conference, you’ll already have a list of ideas to springboard off of.” – Meghan Pahinui
“I make a live list of everything I hear that could be of value to local brands. Then, if I want to revisit a particular tip later, I re-watch the presentation via the video bundle. It’s helped me write some really good blog posts!” – Miriam Ellis
Let yourself think
Thinking and doing are two very different things. If you are, like many of us, busy executing projects five days a week/52 weeks a year, this may be the time you need to let thoughts enter your brain and connect with other thoughts in order to, in some abstract way, find a solution.
“Let your mind wander. It’s ok. I don’t know why, but when I’m planted in a seat at a conference, and my mind is fully on SEO, I get more quality thinking done than just about anywhere else. If you solve a few difficult work problems by ignoring three minutes of my presentation, I’ll get over it. You can watch the video later.” Dr Pete Meyers
Mingle in-between sessions
“Talk to Strangers – The most rewarding part of MozCon, IMO, is meeting new people that you may know for years after. Sit down at an unfamiliar lunch table, strike up a conversation over breaks, visit the sponsor booths, and work up your courage at events. You don’t need any special networking skills – simply asking people where they are from is often enough to get started.” – Cyrus Shepard
Network network network!
There is one experience that isn’t replicable outside of a conference event, and that’s the opportunity to connect with people in real life. Maybe you know them through LinkedIn, maybe you follow each other on Twitter. Nothing cements a professional connection more than chatting over breakfast, grabbing a much-needed coffee.
“Don’t be afraid to walk up to a table at lunch and ask if you can sit with them! MozCon is a really welcoming place, and making new friends and connections can be as easy as having the confidence to say hello!” – Hannah Waye
Grab a selfie with Roger
Roger is Moz’s SEO robot who recently underwent an AI transformation and is somewhat partial to taking selfies with MozCon attendees.
Tips for attending virtual events
Many of our tips are translatable to attending virtual events, like the MozCon livestream option. You just need to get creative about how you network and stay engaged. To get the most out of any virtual event you will still want to arrange how you will take notes, connect with speakers on social media, and set your team up to get the most out of the talks.
Treat it like an IRL event
We still recommend booking out your calendar when attending virtual events. It’s so easy to get distracted, and as much as we tell ourselves we are capable of multitasking, how much are we really absorbing? Clear your calendar and your headspace, take as many notes as you feel would be helpful to you, and filter your Twitter feed by #mozcon to stay in the fold and be part of the fun.
Set up a watch party
Book out your office conference space and order some snacks so you can watch MozCon live from whichever city you are located in. If your team is distributed, set up a lunchtime sync to check in and chat about what you’ve learned so far. If you are all in different time zones, create a new Slack channel to share insights with your teammates.
Why are conferences more important than ever?
With so many teams moving towards partial or fully distributed setups, finding time to get together is more valuable than ever. Conference attendees have the unique opportunity to connect with industry contacts, ask questions, and establish genuine professional relationships with experts in search marketing and SEO. And remember:
“No one is truly a stranger at MozCon. You may never attend another event where so many people have so much in common with you.” – Cyrus Shepard
We hope you’re as excited as we are for August 7th and 8th to hurry up and get here. And again, if you haven’t grabbed your ticket yet and need help making a case we have a handy template to convince your boss!
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