We’re not shy about our love for SEOmoz, and this devotion culminates at the annual SEOmoz PRO Training Series in Seattle next week. I went last year, and it was THE most valuable conference I have ever attended, and I’ve spent the last 300 something days anxiously awaiting the end of this August. There are many things that make it oh-so-amazing, but I’ve pulled together a short list of reasons why I am super pumped for two days of mind blowing.
1. The grub: Blame it on the horrible experiences I’ve had at other conferences (that scone was blueberry, not chocolate chip!), or maybe it’s because I love mid-afternoon snacks, but the SEOmoz conference food is totally delicious. Last year, I was very impressed by their sandwich bar, unlimited caffeine supply, and the famous ice cream break! They also had some healthy salad and fruit options, which was really refreshing. The people I met during lunch were really neat too, but I’ll get to that later on in the list.
2. The Critchlow brothers: Sorry gents, this one’s for the British-loving-babes! I first saw Will Critchlow in the SEOmoz 2008 PRO Training Series video, and boy was he dreamy! His knowledge about SEO coupled with his lovely accent and ridiculously good-looking wardrobe is rare in our industry, to say the least. Last year his brother, Tom Critchlow, spoke at the series, and I can vouch that intelligence and a solid delivery run in the family. Tom also introduced me to a fun abbreviation, “srsly” during his presentation, and I’ve been overusing it since. This year, I was pleased to see BOTH of the Critchlow’s are speaking, and Will’s topic is making SEO reporting sexy. You had me at SEO.
3. Rand Fishkin & the SEOmoz staff: I’ve seen Rand present at a variety of events from intimate SEO meetups on the Gordon Biersch patio to keynotes with hundreds of people. Without fail, he never disappoints. His great energy and extensive knowledge are always inspiring, and his jokes are the best. The rest of the SEOmoz staff is just as incredible. You’ve got the very social and friendly Jen “Jennita” Lopez, delightful developer Danny Dover, super site auditor Lindsay Wassell, customer savvy Joanna Lord, and geeky, over-my-head brilliant Ben Hendrickson all giving interesting presos this year. Not to mention, they throw the most awesome happy hours and an annual garage party you shouldn’t miss.
4. Invaluable networking opportunities: One of the major pluses of the series is meeting new SEOs in the community and working through your SEO challenges during lunch or in between presentations. Last year, I remember rubbing elbows with David Mihm, Dharmesh and Darren Shaw, and it was really cool to brainstorm solutions with SEOs in the same situations. The diverse crowd the conference draws is very friendly, and a simple ReTweet can earn you an introduction from that SEO guru you’ve been too shy to approach all day.
5. Learning new SEO tips, tricks, tactics, and tools: Saving the best for last of course, this year’s PRO Training Series will undoubtedly leave me feeling fully educated in many new and exciting ways. Each presentation is loaded with valuable info and cutting-edge SEO strategies, and I’m totally excited to bring back some new tricks to the Thunder team next week. Given SEOmoz’s shift away from consulting, I’m looking forward to exploring new ways to use their awesome tools. It’s the kinda conference that’s almost over my head in a good way. I leave each session feeling fully enlightened with many “why didn’t I think of that” moments, which is what makes these two days so valuable.
So there you have it, 5 reasons why I’m totally pumped for the PRO Training Series. If you’re going to be up in Seattle next week, drop us a line or come say hello to Gary and I during lunch. It’s shaping up to be an excellent way to end August and rejuvenate my journey into the SEOuterspace.