Action-packed. Brain full. Information overload.
And hello, Certificate for completing a Bootcamp! As if the adrenaline rush from New York City alone wasn’t enough, throw in the bustling energy of a gathering of internet marketers.
First time at a Search Engine Marketing conference? You’re not alone. Just the idea of learning from the pros in the Big Apple at SMX East 2013 for a 3-day extravaganza is enough to get your wheels turning before grabbing your preferred seat. I love the feeling of being in a classroom setting and writing so fast, I had to break periodically to tweet the insight. In this series, I will share some of the highlights and knowledge from my experience at SMX East 2013. Here is a simple overview as a “Know Before You Go” guide. Factors such as enlightening new elements of internet marketing I learned, takeaways, and the fine art of networking will be elaborated in blogs to follow.
- Prior to the first day of the conference is all the preparation, buildup, and general excitement. This starts from the minute you register. SMX urged participants to connect via social media, which I highly recommend. I immediately joined the Facebook group for attendees and began networking. This was the perfect way to share insights, advice, ask questions, even share local transportation tips. Some (such as myself) were first-timers, others were seasoned veterans. I’m a legal pad and pen kind of girl. There is something about handwriting the words as I listen that really plants the knowledge deep into my brain. God Bless Slideshare because everything can be conveniently available in one click shortly thereafter the presentations. Before even setting foot in the door of the conference, make sure you’re prepared. Beyond well rested and caffeinated, I mean, be ready to tackle the world and live your purpose at the conference. I am a representative of the company, and my job is to be the best presence possible. Business cards? Check. Extra notepad? Check. Pen? Check. “Walk-up-to-strangers-and-introduce-myself-and-connect” attitude? CHECK.
- Take a good look at the agenda prior to Day One. At first glance, this can be completely overwhelming. Then simply break it down and think about how your time can be best utilized. Know your track level and use that as a base, then built around it. Staying within your comfort zone won’t get your far (at this conference, and in life in general) Challenge yourself. Learn something new. Be open. Be vulnerable. Be ready to hang onto every word (or Slideshare) of the presentations. I’m a firm believer that some of the best material derives from having a rockstar plan, then just going with the flow when the plan just does not go accordingly. I had a rough idea of aspects I wanted to learn, but the beauty of a conference like this is everything is drop-in friendly, no pre-registration for classes. As an Internet Marketing Specialist, my main focus is Search Engine Optimization, so naturally I gravitated towards the Keyword Research, Link-Building, and Structure of Strong Content courses but I had every intention of branching out. I attended some seminars that were completely new for me, and delivered in such a way that was simple to learn. The person next to me could be there simply for a refresher, while I was the sponge, craving for new knowledge to absorb. And vice versa in other workshops. It was a humbling collaboration of creative energy. No one knows what the other attendees’ backgrounds, and for that, it was a safe environment.
- One of my favorite mottos is: “If you’re on time, you’re late.” I learned quickly that time management is crucial in situations like this. Every seminar was being held in a designated area of the Javits Convention Center. Being the self-proclaimed school nerd, I left the hotel early, powerwalked to the venue, and made a beeline for the front row. Full. It’s 8:55 a.m. and nearly every seat is full. Without being that obvious movie-goer that feels the need to crawl over every seat until you reach that perfect middle spot, I scanned the room and found a spot near the back. In a matter of moments, the class was at maximum capacity. People lined against the back wall, camping in the aisles, stationed anywhere possible to consume the insight. I quickly found a space and settled in for Day One of SMX, otherwise known as, “The Beginning of a Brand New Perception of Internet Marketing.” Grab your laptop, coffee, notebook, coffee refill, pen, another notebook, espresso, photographic memory, more coffee, whatever will help instill the engaging power presentations into your brain. Get ready for an inspiring few days of valuable internet marketing tactics.