MozCon Withdrawals: The Power of Attending a Conference


It’s been one week since I attended MozCon 2015, Moz’s annual mega conference with a colt-like following of SEO-driven marketing gurus, and I’m already feeling like I’ve fallen behind. I’ve had this feeling bubbling in the pit of my stomach that keeps reminding me to start implementing everything I learned while its still fresh in my mind! If you’ve ever been to an industry event, (I’m not talking about the stuffy trade shows where you learn more chatting on the plane with your neighbor) and left feeling inspired and reenergized – you know the game of tug-a-war your brain plays while attempting to process everything. I have a strange feeling I’m not the only one who left the convention center feeling amped to take my newfound tips and tricks back to my cubicle-mates.

Day 1 of MozCon was a huge success, with Rand Fishkin and his mustache kicking off the day, followed by several industry leaders covering topics from content strategy, to delightful remarketing, and how to formulate online personalization that actually works. The specialty Stumptown coffee kept flowing all day long, as did the line to take your picture with Moz’s mascot Roger. Marta Turek of ROI-DNA said it takes 21 days to develop a lasting habit, and we need to utilize that time to take back our work day and stop wasting hours on timesuck activities like excessively checking email. Turek said “Email is where information goes to die” and I couldn’t agree more, yet I checked it twice while writing this blog post. Day 0 is admitting you have a problem, and my Monday morning inbox has been taunting me all morning!

Ironically my favorite speaker of the day shares not only my name, but my distain for creepy excessive retargeting. Cara Harshman of Optimizely gave an animated speech on focused personalization, hinting that the recipe to success includes just 3 steps; realizing the potential business impact, being realistic about the technical effort to execute your strategy, and taking big bites to make a big impact. The final speaker slot of the day couldn’t have been easy, as half the audience was either mentally checked out, or shutting down their laptops, thinking about where to grab dinner before the Belltown Moz pub crawl. But this wasn’t Marty Weintraub’s first exhausted audience, and only he could have shifted gears and refocused everyone in the last 20 minutes of the day. “If you’re not going to segment your creative, you need to ask yourself why you’re bothering with segmentation in the first place?” He also aspires to be the guy who names pharmaceutical drugs – can you say Neublasta and Neulasta?!

If you’re thinking about attending MozCon 2016, or another focused industry event, don’t hesitate and take the plunge already!