What is SearchLeeds?
SearchLeeds is the biggest digital marketing conference in the north of England. This year more than 1,500 people joined us at Leeds first direct arena on the 14th June to watch 36 speakers deliver talks about paid and organic search, content marketing, data and digital.
What we learned this year
Shout out to some #SearchLeeds speakers…
We have 5 first time speakers and almost a third of our speakers have done less than 5 talks: you’re on the bill because 1. We know you’ll be absolutely awesome and 2. You wanted to talk about something that we think will blow our minds pic.twitter.com/e0rekBzfae
— Stephen Kenwright (@stekenwright) June 14, 2018
We’re hugely grateful to everyone who gave up their time to speak at SearchLeeds. We received nearly 4x as many speaking pitches as we had slots to fill (and we approached some of our eventual speakers ourselves).
5 speakers delivered their first talks at SearchLeeds this year – including Mayflex’s Luke Carthy who stepped up 3 days before the event – and we want to make sure we get similar numbers of new speakers next year. A third of our speakers had delivered less than 5 talks – we put two of them on the main arena stage and they got some of the best feedback. So we know to programme the tracks on the strength of the talks rather than the experience of the speakers.
This year was the first we had specific themes for each stage: the Search Laboratory Stage returned yet again but exclusively as a paid media and data themed track; this year we also had the SISTRIX Technical SEO Stage. Last year the least attended talks were the PPC focused talks on the main arena stage; this year the PPC talks on the Search Laboratory stage were totally full, with people sitting on the floor (sorry!)
We did plan for an increased attendance (50% bigger third stage, 300% bigger second stage) but they were still both full. We’re looking at potentially taking even bigger spaces in the arena for next year.
It’s pretty clear to us now that the best pitches translate into being the best attended talks and the more detail speakers can give us, the more people end up in their sessions. We’re looking at additional labelling of talks next year so attendees know how advanced a session is and what they can expect to get out of it.
We recorded the talks on the main arena stage – we’re looking into the possibility of live streaming all the talks next year because even though we got attendees from 8 countries we know not everyone can make it.
Stage One – main arena
St. Ives Chief Digital Officer J Schwan
The Future Doesn’t Exist in Silos
Purna Virji – Bing
Rob McGowan – Edit
Kirsty Hulse – Manyminds
Hannah Smith – Verve Search
Jon Myers – DeepCrawl
Kristal Ireland – Virgin Trains East Coast
Jasper Bell – AmazeRealise
Lexi Mills – Shift6
Kelvin Newman – Rough Agenda / BrightonSEO
Branded3 Strategy Director Stephen Kenwright
Customer-Centric Search: Serving People Better for Competitive Advantage
SISTRIX Technical SEO Stage
Bastian Grimm – Peak Ace
Gerry White – Just Eat
Steve Chambers – Stickyeyes
Fili Wiese, Search Brothers
Kristine Schachinger, Sites Without Walls
Dawn Anderson – Move It Marketing
Dave Freeman – Treatwell
Luke Carthy – Mayflex
Rachel Costello – DeepCrawl
Julia Logan – Irish Wonder
Oliver Brett – Screaming Frog
Search Laboratory Stage
Jill Quick – The Coloring In Department
Branded3 Senior Insights & Analytics Queen Emma Barnes
Analytics Tracking: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Google Tag Manager
Andraz Stalec – Red Orbit
Hannah McKie – Missguided
Chris Rowett – Journey Further
Angus Hamilton – Search Laboratory
Holly Ellwood – Receptional
Matt Holmes – Distrelec
Anu Adegbola – MindSwan
John Rowley – Ferrero
Elizabeth Clark – Dream Agility
Branded3 & Edit Media Directors Jon Greenhalgh & Sam Wright
How to Deliver Growth in the Most Efficient Way Possible