The North’s Largest Search Conference – SearchLeeds 2019 Wrap Up
‘The North’s Largest Search Conference’ is a line we’ve been using to describe SearchLeeds since our 2017 event – the first at the arena, and the first year we achieved over 1000 attendees. In just two short years, we’re proud to announce that we have doubled our delegates, doubled the number of speakers and are officially still the ‘North’s largest search conference’.
As one of the two event organisers, it’s difficult to see beyond the finer details of the event. However, after months of planning, the end result yesterday really was impressive, even for those of us who knew what was coming. At the end of the set up on Wednesday, Frankie Bisi and I took a moment just to step on stage to take it all in and enjoy the atmosphere of the first direct arena.
The doors opened on Thursday morning, just as the Yorkshire heavens opened up and over 2000 marketers descended upon Leeds for our annual gathering. The final number of attendees exceeded our estimates, with all delegate bags gone by 11am, and both Search Laboratory and DeepCrawl were forced to buy further supplies of teas, coffees and beers respectively in order to keep the masses hydrated across the day.
Following a short introduction, the talks kicked off at 09.30. Across the day, we had some simply brilliant talks and speakers, and we’d like to call out some of our highlights.
We were lucky enough to have the infamous Kirsty Hulse choose SearchLeeds as her last speaking engagement in SEO. For her third time at SearchLeeds, Kirsty explained how a scientific approach can improve your creativity. The room was packed and Kirsty’s presence within the industry will definitely be missed.
Joining us from France, Alexandre Sigoigne, CEO of MyPoseo, spoke in only his second UK speaking appearance on Building SEO Content Strategy based around SERP and competitive analysis. With standing room only, it will be great to see more of Alexandre on the UK speaking circuit in the months to come.
A number of Editors took to the stage too, including Gary Arnold who focused on the role of Customer Centricity within marketing strategy, Jon Greenhalgh, speaking on AI and Paid Media Strategies of tomorrow, and first time speaker Will Hobson, on why Social Media should be a part of your Search strategy.
Stage 4 played host to a number of compelling panels throughout the day. Bidnamic led panellists in a discussion around staying competitive in the crowded online market, while our Women in Digital panels challenged the normally male dominated speaker space and offered time to reflect and debate the topics of Confidence, Balance and The Industry as a whole. Finally, this stage was rounded off with our SEO Bullsh*t Battle, where our challengers battled out their SEO beliefs.
Across the day, Britney Muller was a standout presenter. Having made the trip from the US especially for the event she did not disappoint. Her talk on Machine Learning for SEOs was easily our most tweeted talk – Worth checking out if you couldn’t make it there on the day.
The links to all the talks can be found at the end of this post. Full video recordings of all talks will also be available in the coming weeks and will be sent to the attendees via email.
We have seen continued support from some of the biggest agencies in Leeds, including Stickyeyes, Journey Further, and Search Laboratory – who’ve had our back since year one. We thank all our sponsors who continue to support and make the event possible, and we especially thank DeepCrawl for doing that, plus giving us and our delegates beer at the same time.
The exhibition space area was packed throughout the day, with free beer, hot drinks, doughnuts and even bananas available for delegates.
At 5pm, we wrapped up the event, switched off the smoke machine and the SearchLeeds lights for another year, and joined our After-Party sponsors Infinity in the Black and White Bar for a well-deserved pint or two.
As we close out another successful SearchLeeds we’re already planning how we can make the event even bigger for 2020. Across the last four years we’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from the search industry, and we’re extremely fortunate to be able to offer an event that we hope adds value to this flourishing community. We aim to continue doing this for as long as we have marketers willing to join us.
Thank you to all involved for making this the best SearchLeeds yet – Roll on 2020.
Kirsty Hulse – Manyminds
Bastian Grimm – Peak Ace
Jon Myers – Ascending Media
Jennifer Hoffman – DeepCrawl
Gary Arnold – Edit
Matthew Howells-Barby – HubSpot
Samantha Noble – Biddable Moments
Sarah Barker – Stickyeyes
Britney Muller – Moz
Stephen Kenwright – Rise at seven
Barry Adams – Polemic Digital
Sam Marsden – DeepCrawl
Alexandre Sigoigne – Myposeo
Luke Monaghan – Fetch
Laura Bartlett – House of Coco Magazine
Sophie Coley – answerthepublic.com
Will Hobson – Edit
Shannon McGuirk – Aira
Beth Nunnington – Journey Further
Oliver Brett – Screaming Frog
Jill Quick – The Coloring in Department
Andy Duke – Stickyeyes
Angus Hamilton – Search Laboratory
Helen Pollitt – Avenue Digital
Nichola Stott – Erudite
Emily Potter, Distilled
Rory Truesdale – WeWork / Conductor
Jon Greenhalgh – Edit
Puneet Vaghela & Sal Mohammed – Adzooma
Tanesha Stafford – Armchair Marketing
Hannah Perry – Manchester Airports Group
Owen Gill – Pendragon
Luke Carthy – Mayflex
Rob Smith – DQ&A
Fabrizio Ballarini – TransferWise
Polly Pospelova – Delete
Laura Hogan, Milo’s Mail / JellyBean
Matt Holmes – Thomas Cook Airlines