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Event of the Week: SearchLove, Distilled


By Bree | 29th Oct 2015 | Posted in Events

A two-day conference is no different from a two-day festival, minus the rain and a tent.

SearchLove is a marketing conference, held by Distilled. This was my first year attending and as I returned to the office on Wednesday morning, it dawned on me – I was a broken woman.

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For some reason, I kept talking about the conference as if it had taken place over the weekend – it was that good!  At one point, a colleague turned to me from across the room and said: “Bree, you went to Search Love… not Burning Man!” It was at this point I realised that this conference was no different than a music festival.

Here are some of the similarities I noticed:

Give yourself plenty of time to get there…

…Or better still, get a hotel! You know what it’s like when travelling in London – there will be delays, queues, and lots of very cross people. Even though I live in London, where the conference was held, I regret not getting a hotel nearby. Not only would I have been on time to the event, I would have avoided the nightmare that is rush hour travel to get into central London. Having to travel back home also meant I couldn’t take full advantage of all the boozing that took place afterwards! Hotels are pricey but you should look into getting an airbnb to save some money.

Accreditation

As with all festivals and conferences, you need to have the right pass to gain entry. A lack of passes/wristbands would be game over quite early on. Have all your confirmations ready to show when you arrive and any ID you require. Make sure your passes are on you at all time. As my colleague quickly realised, the loss of a wristband equals no access to the free after show bar!

Fill up on refreshments and food when you can

After an hour spent with my nose lodged against a stranger’s armpit on the tube, the refreshments could not get in my mouth quick enough. These were reasonably priced – some were even free. With a full tummy, I’m ready for the day’s lineup to begin.

Meet new people you’d never heard of

After the inspiring talk given by Talia Wolf on Unlocking the missing link to CRO: Emotional Targeting, I realised this is an area of marketing I would like to explore further. The beauty of SearchLove was the lineup and the way it was clearly laid out. There was enough diversity throughout the day; every speaker brought something new to the stage and it was impossible to be bored.

Hang out with the VIPs

In fact, this is the opposite to a festival! At a festival, you would have to either a) pay an extortionate amount to hang out with your favourite band or b) spend your whole day trying to sneak backstage meaning you miss every band playing. At SearchLove, I got to hang out and party with all the rock stars of the digital marketing world. I loved meeting Rand Fishkin of Moz’s Whiteboard Friday fame as well as video guru Phil Nottingham.

All in all, I had a belter of a time! Interesting, educational talks in the day followed by all the after parties. What’s even better, there was no rain or mud in sight.

Here are some must-haves which can be applied before you go to any conference or event… or festival!

  • A fully charged phone in case you lose your buddies and for those super important Instagram posts.
  • Chargers for your laptop and phone.
  • Old fashioned pen and paper, in case you forget the top two.
  • Business cards to hand out.
  • Chewing gum to combat coffee/beer breath. Make friends by becoming the chewing gum angel by coming to the rescue of people who did not see this checklist…
  • A light jacket or jumper. You may not be outdoors and enslaved to the weather, but you have no control over that pesky air conditioning.
  • Headache tablets and water. Hangovers are guaranteed.
  • Sunglasses, in case the night before leaves you looking like Droopy Dog’s droopier cousin. You have permission to rock these indoors. Needs must.

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