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Will Roberts |

A view of Brighton Palace Pier extending over the sea, with a pebble beach in the foreground and a cloudy sky in the background.

It attracts speakers and digital marketers from the four corners of the world. But did the search marketing conference’s SEO-themed discussions and training sessions really deliver? WebBox Digital Marketing Managers Tom and Tom give their candid account…

BrightonSEO is a one-day search marketing conference and series of training courses held in — yep, you guessed it — Brighton. It takes place twice a year and promises to bring together some of the world’s best speakers from the search marketing arena.

There’s no denying that their insightful keynote speakers and hands-on workshops are industry-leading, but did the conference live up to the hype? Here’s what our digital marketing experts had to say.

The good

Being able to hear from a wide range of keynote speakers from a variety of industries and backgrounds was one of the highlights of the conference.

The industry is always changing, so the talks on the technical aspects of SEO were especially insightful.

The bad

Although a lot of the expert talks and workshops were insightful, some were way too long and we found that we — and many other attendees — were losing interest. Shorter, more straight-to-the-point talks would have kept our attention — and enthusiasm. We also would have been able to fit more into the day, as there was a lot to see and do.

Talks and workshops aside, BrightonSEO itself felt disorganised and chaotic. I (Tom R) had to queue for over an hour just to get my pass to gain access to the event, which meant I and missed the first round of talks.

When we got inside, the whole event felt like it was far overcapacity. There were long queues for all the talks and workshops and some of the conference rooms were so crammed that people had to sit on the floor.

Refreshments at the conference were also really pricey — Tom W had to pay £2.50 for a bottle of Pepsi. I don’t think he’s ever made a soft drink last so long!

The nerdy

We didn’t really learn anything massively ground-breaking from a PPC perspective but there were a few talks that got us thinking about how we can implement certain ad formats and targeting methods into our client campaigns.

We knew most of the information that was being presented to us so we didn’t leave with any major take-aways.

We’re mindful that not everyone will have our expertise so it’s essential to cover the basics — but our roles mean that we naturally have to keep on top of any industry developments or we risk being left behind. It was interesting to get other people’s perspectives on certain search marketing topics, though.

And while we’re on the subject of ‘nerdy’, the dancing Chewbacca was also a great distraction while we were waiting for the main talks to begin.

But despite the overcrowding (SEO and search marketing are hot topics after all) and overly long talks, we really enjoyed hearing insights from some of the industry’s top thought leaders — and did learn some new tricks. Would we go again? Yes, but we’d have to weigh up if the face value of our tickets would be worth it for the amount of info we took away.

For more information about BrightonSEO’s twice-yearly search marketing conferences and training events

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