I am so excited to be attending Mozcon next week...and I'm also blown away that I have been chosen to speak at Pubcon Vegas in October this year. Believe it or not, Mozcon will be my first SEO conference ever. I have questions that I'm sure other new attendees have...and I'm not too embarrassed to ask them. 🙂
1. What is the appropriate way to greet you guys?
This is probably going to sound dumb, but I am actually quite nervous to meet so many of you. Some of you guys are people whom I talk to several times a week via Twitter, email or phone. I feel like we're awesome friends. So, when we meet, can I hug you? Or is that ridiculously inappropriate? Can I just hug the women who I know and give handshakes to the men?
2. How do I respond when I don't recognize someone?
I'm guessing that quite a few of us don't look exactly like our Twitter Avatar. Unless Jason White wears a crazy red billed cap, I bet you I won't have a clue who he is. And to be honest...in my head his name is "Sonray". If some random guy comes up to me saying, "Hey Marie! It's Jason", I'm not going to have a clue who you are. Sorry Sonray!
If Russ Jones is there...will I recognize him unless he has a hand up to his head and a big smile? Apparently Melissa Fach is going to be wearing an Iron Man costume. Will I recognize her if she doesn't?
I was going to go on with this as I didn't want anyone to feel left out. (Come on...you know you've already CTRL-F'd and looked for your name.) But then this would be an obvious ego bait post...which it's not. Really...it's not. I just really really wanted to mention these cool people. To those of you like me who grew up on Romper Room, I know that you understand the pain when that darn women NEVER mentioned you. And what about people who know me, but even when I know your name I can't place who you are? I'm talking to YOU, people who use a logo as your avatar! So, should I expect awkward meetings, where people come up to me and hug me (assuming that that's the answer to my first question) and say, "Marie!!!!!!!!" And if you're hugging me, how am I going to see your nametag? Crap. I'm going to be so embarrassed. Please forgive me if I don't recognize you.
3. What do I wear?
Yeah...I know that the answer is probably to just wear what's comfortable. But what's the general attire like at an SEO conference? Do the men wear suits? Should I dress like I'm going to a business meeting? Do people wear jeans? Oh, I just had an idea...Does anyone want to organize a contest to guess the color of Annie Cushing's shoes each day? Yeah, I know I just ego-baited again. Sorry. Hey Annie! Can't wait to meet you at Mozcon!
4. Do I bring my computer? Do people do stuff online during the conference?
And by "do stuff" I most definitely mean answer business related emails and do audits where I make sure I'm displaying huge images of Google Analytics screenshots of sites that have made fantastic penalty recoveries...just in case people are looking. I most definitely do not mean checking my Facebook or Tweeting about what color of shoes Annie is wearing. Moz has suggested that we bring a dongle so that we can connect our computers to one of the 900 ethernet cables that will be there. (Oh man...I love the word "dongle" I made it my goal today to see how many times I could say the word "dongle" in regular communication. I'll buy a drink for the first person who uses the word "dongle" with me in regular conversation at MozCon.) So, does that mean that it is acceptable to go on my computer during the conference? Can I do that while someone is speaking or is that rude? Do people usually take notes on their computer? Is there a designated "live tweeter" of each talk, or do just the coolest people get to do that? These are the questions that are plaguing me.
5. What do I do when I meet SEO celebrities?
OK, So I know that Rand Fishkin is just a normal guy, but there is something insanely exciting and even nerve wracking about getting to meet him. A lot of you who are reading this are thinking that I'm nuts. But some of you get it. There are people in the SEO world like Alan Bleiweiss, Mike King and Cyrus Shepard that I learn from every day and getting to meet these people is something I'm really looking forward to! Did you guys know that Cyrus was a double for Steve Martin in Cheaper by the Dozen? That's just amazing!
Remember when Twitter used to send those messages saying, "Rand Fishkin just tweeted this!" Maybe they still send those messages and I have somehow managed to unsubscribe. Every time I got one of those I thought, "WOW! Is Rand Fishkin tweeting at ME?????" and was disappointed when I realized no...Twitter is just trying desperately to get me to spend more time there. (As if the stupid amount of hours each week I spend there is not enough.) So one day I tweeted about this saying how the Twitter messages made it look like @randfish and @iPullRank were tweeting me. Man this is becoming a long story. My point is that both of these guys ACTUALLY RESPONDED to me. I ran and showed my husband. I GOT TWEETS FROM RAND FISHKIN AND MICHAEL KING!
If I am that stupidly obsessed and easily impressed by a tweet from an SEO celebrity, what on earth am I going to do when I meet these guys? So, what's appropriate? Do I immediately go for the "me-and-a-celebrity" seflie? Or do you guys get tired of people whipping out their phones every time they are near you? Can I hug you? I know that was covered under question #1, but it might be different for you guys. I mean, if people just kept hugging you all day would that be weird? Should I buy you a drink? Again, if everyone did that you'd be a blubbering intoxicated mess. But then I've heard that that's kind of normal for most SEO conferences, and especially MozCon. Do people regularly buy drinks for each other? <COUGH>Gin and soda water with lime<COUGH><COUGH>.
Can you help answer any of these questions?
If you've been to an SEO conference, can you help me by answering some of these questions? It's totally ok to just answer with "You're completely nuts Marie." Please leave your words of wisdom in the comments section below. Also, if you feel left out that I did not ego bait you, let me know and I will make it happen.
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