Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes. Peter F. Drucker
Since 2000, I have been upgrading my knowledge about SEO from the various blogs, forums, discussions and of course the plethora of information available on the Google webmaster blog and videos. The knowledge has been implemented on numerous websites to gain the necessary search engine presence and improve valuation of the digital assets of the companies concerned since then.
The field of search marketing is constantly changing as the search engines keep on upgrading their algorithms and the search behavior of the people also undergoes evolution over a period of time.
To keep up to that pace of upgradation is a challenge in itself. Though there is a lot of fresh information on the web about the latest developments in the field there comes a time atleast once a year when you want to interact with other professionals in your field to exchange news and views to get the confirmation and the confidence about all the self learning a person does.
In mid 2000 I used to search for such conferences , workshops, seminars and meetups so that I could get a chance to listen to other like-minded people , discuss and share knowledge and information mainly about organic search. But, usually such conferences were either held in Europe , America or Australia. In India I managed to attend some workshops organized by Google but they were focused on Adwords as a Google Product rather than SEO.
Such conferences are real time social media interactions which make you speak and listen as you discuss, share and thereby enhance your knowledge. Even if you are the shy kind you get to learn a lot merely by observation which have a lasting impression opening up new vistas of thought and imagination. As someone has aptly said,”The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination”
With this purpose of reaching out to people and sharing knowledge about SEO in 2007 I had approached Ahmedabad Management Association and offered the SEO programme designed by me which they readily accepted and as I had expected all the participants were people related to the web development and web marketing industry who were all on the lookout for such programmes to get confirmation and confidence about what they knew about SEO. This year in October we will be reaching out to other cities via our “Online SEO Training Programmes”.
Of course the opportunities vary from country to country and the decision of attending such conferences and workshops depend on the budgets, the distance to be travelled and the no. of days that you can spare for such an activity. But, Especially for the search industry I think as we make provisions from our business funds for Research and Development, Branding, etc. we should also create budgets, reserves , provisions and save for attending conferences and workshops which in the long run prove to be an investment rather than an expense.
Such conferences do not only give knowledge gaining and marketing opportunities to the professionals of that niche industry but if well coordinated , conducted and organized are giving rise to the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions/events) tourism market which give an overall boost to the economy.
For the first time in Jan 2011 ClickAsiaSummit was held in India at Mumbai which was totally focused on Search and Social on a large scale inviting speaker from other parts of the world.
I find myself lucky to be able to attend a second conference this year that is SMX East to be held in New York from 13th Sept. 2011 to 15th Sept. 2011 and I look forward to attend all the sessions focused on SEO.
Danny Sullivan on http://daggle.com/lessons-thoughts-year-anniversary-starting-business-2649 has mentioned about the SMX East conference to be – “……..on track to be our biggest search marketing conference ever, SMX East, with record attendance.”
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