If you’ve attended BrightonSEO at any point during the past seven years, chances are you’ve spotted a Seekerite or two, decked out in our finest Seeker-branded gear, manning our custom-built stand (selfie pod and all), furiously scribbling notes at the back of the auditorium, and generally mingling and hobnobbing with fellow SEO habitués.
After first attending this now world-renowned search marketing conference (SEOachella, if you will) in 2017, Seeker has been back every year since. In fact, this event — which takes place twice a year — has a permanent ring around it in Seeker’s already congested calendar. In short, we’re BrightonSEO devotees.
But just why is this gathering of digital marketing minds such a staple in the schedules of many an agency owner and SEO aficionado? Why does the conference draw search enthusiasts to the South Coast in their thousands? And why should every digital marketer make it their duty to attend BrightonSEO at least once a year?
In this guide, we’ll outline 5 reasons you should score a conference ticket, plot a route to the Brighton Centre, fill a backpack with snacks, a notepad, and a portable charger, and absorb all you can from this bi-annual celebration of the SERPs.
1. You can learn from the very best
Aside from all the first-rate swag you can swipe, undeniably the biggest draw of BrightonSEO is the myriad of illuminating talks on offer, covering every facet of SEO and digital marketing and delivered by some of the most respected brains in the digital realm. Many industry heavyweights (like Google’s John Mueller) have graced the BSEO stage, delivering wisdom and insights shaped by copious years of combined SEO experience.
Across the event’s two days, hundreds of concise yet compelling PowerPoint-aided talks will be taking place concurrently, and while it would admittedly be handy to be in four places at once so as not to miss a thing, you’ll need to plan your attendance schedule with precision.
To get the best out of BrightonSEO, be sure to leave yourself ample time to find your venue (the Brighton Centre is pretty labyrinthine, after all) and secure yourself a prime seat — the most popular talks are typically overflowing with attendees, with latecomers often resorting to squatting on the periphery.
That said, it isn’t just the many talks that enable you to absorb the knowledge of the finest minds in the biz — BrightonSEO is also famed for its industry-leading training workshops, encompassing everything from copywriting to conversion rate optimization. And speaking of industry leaders, our very own co-founder Gareth Simpson and Digital PR Manager Laura Mallinson return every year with their esteemed Advanced Link Building and Outreach course. Looking to level up your link-building skills? Don’t miss it!
2. It’s a unique networking opportunity
Ah, networking; not an endeavour everyone is enthused by, but one which plays an equally important role in your own professional development as it does the growth of your business. And when it comes to networking with peers, key industry players, and even potential clients, there aren’t many better places for a digital marketer to be than BrightonSEO.
The conference brings together over 5,000 digital professionals from around the world — at least 50 countries are routinely represented — with many of the industry’s biggest players such as Pitchbox, Wix, and Ahrefs invariably in attendance, presenting a unique opportunity to exchange notes with industry peers, solicit the advice of digital marketing experts, and engage in word-of-mouth marketing with prospective clients.
Networking at BrightonSEO can be daunting, sure — particularly for a first-timer or a self-diagnosed introvert, like the author of this piece — but there’s ample reward if you’re willing to put the work in. What’s more, networking opportunities aren’t confined to conference hours — you may choose to continue shoulder-rubbing at one of the event’s after-parties, where the addition of a fully-stocked bar often leads to more loose-lipped discourse.
At Seeker, we even host a bi-annual BrightonSEO dinner. Fancy getting to know us over a slap-up meal and an adult beverage or two? Get in touch and we’ll make sure there’s a seat at the table with your name on it.
3. You’ll stay up-to-date with industry trends
It’s such an accepted notion that it’s basically a cliché by now, but SEO is continually evolving in scope and potential. With Google releasing regular algorithm updates, new technologies such as AI evolving at breakneck speed, and fresh trends and best practices endlessly emerging, no one working in digital marketing can afford to take future success for granted.
To this end, gathering together as it does the best and brightest in the business, attending BrightonSEO means there’s no excuse for not keeping your finger on the pulse. The event’s speakers are often pioneering members of the digital marketing community, positioning themselves at the forefront of innovation and drawing upon up-to-the-minute knowledge of emerging trends — if not leading the emergence of these trends themselves.
In recent years, for example, speakers have preempted the evolution of generative AI and introduced concepts such as programmatic SEO, key notions that have since caused significant ripples across the industry as a whole. The talks don’t just cover SEO-related topics, either, with valuable insights delivered in areas like career development, team management, and prescient topics such as diversity and inclusivity.
Armed with this hot-off-the-press insight, you and your business will be well-positioned to exploit valuable opportunities and steal a march on your less cutting-edge competitors.
4. You can spread awareness about your brand
While BrightonSEO undoubtedly provides an important networking and knowledge-building opportunity, it’s also a boon for brand awareness. After all, we don’t rock up in our pristine Seeker-branded t-shirts just to look the part — it’s also about getting our logo and our brand name in front of thousands of pairs of eyes.
Of course, one of the most powerful ways to spread brand awareness is through straightforward word-of-mouth, and there’s plenty of opportunity to do that at BrightonSEO, simply by connecting with fellow professionals and wandering attendees. So, even if your company is attending the conference without exhibiting, giving a talk, or running a workshop, there’s still ample opportunity to get fellow attendees or exhibitors interested in your brand.
Don’t overlook the power of social media when you’re at the conference, either. The #brightonSEO hashtag drives ample engagement across social channels, and you can showcase your brand by sharing content from the event — for instance, you might record a ‘video diary’ documenting your BSEO adventure, or post a team selfie next to a giant seagull (the event’s official mascot), all in the name of boosting brand awareness.
That said, by exhibiting or speaking at the conference, you have a potent opportunity to leave attendees with a lasting impression. At Seeker, our esteemed training courses have helped establish us as industry leaders, while our experts have cemented that status through boundary-pushing talks. All the while, our colourful stand adorns the conference hall, ensuring the Seeker branding captures the attention of those ambling by.
5. It’s a great bonding experience
At Seeker, we’re all about team bonding — despite most of our work being done remotely, we place high value on time spent together. Whether it’s gathering for our monthly town hall meetings or engaging in more social endeavours — from puppy-accompanied yoga to Bristol-based scavenger hunts — we get a kick out of shared, in-person experiences.
And aside from all the benefits BrightonSEO offers us as a business — we’ve even scored new clients as a direct result of the event — we get just as much out of it from a team-building perspective: whether it’s sharing a cross-country train journey, dissecting the day ahead over a Travelodge breakfast, or gently squabbling about how to assemble our Seeker stand, BSEO encourages us to spend precious time together and fortify our team connection.
Conferences like BrightonSEO also provide a break from the everyday routine, often sparking innovation and fostering a shared sense of wonder and camaraderie in a less-than-familiar setting. Besides, with Brighton’s beachfront backdrop, along with an abundance of trendy eateries and drinking holes, there are plenty of post-conference opportunities to chew the fat over a plate of food and a cold drink or two.
So, should you attend the BrightonSEO conference this year? If you work in digital marketing — or any digital realm, for that matter — you may have no excuse not to. Bringing together thousands of search enthusiasts as well as some of the finest minds in the industry, the event provides a unique opportunity to learn from renowned experts, network with like-minded peers, keep abreast of key trends, spread brand awareness, and bond with your colleagues. Miss it, and you’ll be sick as a seagull — or however that phrase goes.