I was lucky enough to attend my fifth Brighton SEO conference in September 2019. After attending five times, you would think that should give you a clear view on how it works and whether it works well. Whilst this may be the case, I thought it would be good to share a few thoughts and an honest review on the conference this time round.
What I liked about Brighton SEO 2019
From the start till the very end the logistics worked very well. The Innovation Visual team were organised (as we all know they are) however I also believe the organisation and the set-up of BrightonSEO September 2019 was well executed. For those of you who don’t know, Kelvin, the BrightonSEO organiser reported that in the past you would have to have your badge with you to avoid queuing in a two-hundred metre long line (imagine this now!) Fortunately, for the badge holders the queue was just a fraction of this so after enjoying a good English breakfast, the whole team could attend the first conference sessions without any problems. Thank you Kelvin.
2. Crowd inside
There was a good level of attendees at the conference this year – much more organised than in previous years. However, if you are looking to attend next year you should bear in mind that BrightonSEO is the BIGGEST search conference worldwide and the largest digital, hands-on event in Europe at this point – and the whole thing was still managed to very high standards! You could get your cup of coffee without a problem and drink it peacefully either inside or outside the auditorium or bask in the sunshine on Brighton beach (which is just across the road).
3. Sessions plan
This year I found that the sessions were planned very well with no rushing around to hear talks on different stages. The only thing to mention here is that I only spent time watching sessions on two stages: Auditorium 1 and 2! No rush, no issues, no straying.
4. Content quality.
I didn’t think I would say this but I believe that the content quality was considerably better than what I have experienced in the past in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Of course, I have always enjoyed myself at the conference and always taken some valuable lessons from the conference however I thought that this time round, September 2019 that the whole conference was much better due to multiple reasons. One particular reason being extremely important to me – there were some really good technical sessions with one very crucial session taking place in Auditorium 1 after the lunch break. This session was called SERPs. As usual, there were three speakers presenting during the session and the amount of knowledge they passed on to the attendees was much higher I have been used to at Brighton SEO in the past. My key take-aways from this session were as follows:
- Firstly, Rory Truesdale from Conductor supplied us with a few ace SERP analysis concepts including how to optimise your content better for Google and how Google understands the content on your page. This included user intent, query context, topical relevance and word relationships. Moreover, this presenter shared with us some very useful resources (Jupiter Notebook including Excel spreadsheet and Python scripts) helping you understand and interpret Google Search Result Pages. This was brilliant in my opinion! Find Rory’s Mining the SERP analysis presentation here.
- Then, Paige Hobart led a very interesting talk about all the features that can be found in the SERPs. I bet you have no idea how many there are there (according to Paige, the number is 39!). She listed them down and segmented them so it makes super easy for SEOs to understand different types of boxes which can be found on search result pages. The idea standing behind the presentation was in my mind a direct reference to Rand Fishkin’s keynote from Brighton SEO in April 2018: old-fashioned 10 blue links are now getting older as Google want people to avoid leaving the SERPs at all – which is a challenge for all people engaged in digital marketing in 2019. Sad but true? Find Paige’s presentation under the address of: https://www.slideshare.net/paigehobart/serp-features-glossary-redefining-the-seo-landscape-brightonseo-september-2019 - it is a very interesting read!
- Finally, Ant Robinson of Pure Optimisation reminded us how you should approach your local SEO strategy and what technical items you should be focusing on when working on a local brand. I did not find the talk as fresh and revealing as the other talks during this session however highly believe that it was still something that was relevant and worth listening to as local SEO plays a significant role in Innovation Visual’s clients’ organic strategies. If you want to learn more about the key performance indicators for your local SEO campaign, please look here: https://www.slideshare.net/antrobbo/ant-robinson-brighton-seo-final
5. Expo zone
I got the opportunity to book a demo with one of the leading software suppliers at the conference this time round. The demo worked smoothly and the expo zone was super easy to find inside the conference venue whilst Innovation Visual are currently the testing the tool out now. The expo zone is a great place to have a conversation with people in the business and it’s always worth having a chat with others who you share the market with.
Thank you Brighton – the weather was stunning, the sun was shining and it was great to experience the last days of Summer at the seaside in Southern England. It was gorgeous.
What I disliked about Brighton SEO, September 2019
1. The Star Wars theme
Brighton SEO organisers – did you really need that? It was just at the introduction too and not executed too well. Maybe it’s my sense of humour but I did find it that funny! I’d stay with the classic pale blue Volkswagen at the side of the main stage instead… At least it was not cliché.
2. Expo zone
I wasn’t lucky enough to come away from the conference with an SEMrush fox this time. However, I know the other members of the team did manage to get hold of one so while I was a little disappointed it wasn’t a major issue with the conference.
Brighton SEO September 2019 Wrap-up
BrightonSEO is one of the must-attend digital marketing conferences that takes place around Europe and if you are a marketeer you should definitely try to attend at least once in your career! In my previous BrightonSEO blog post I discussed the fact that it isn’t a purely SEO conference but a digital marketing conference. If you are planning which events to attend in 2020 you should take into consideration events such as Mozcon and SMX but BrightonSEO is still definitely worth a visit in my opinion. In addition to the venue, organisation and the city, the people you meet and knowledge you can gain from BrightonSEO is highly valuable. In light of this, I would encourage all of you to attend the gig if you still have not have had a chance to.