On Thursday, Shawn and I attended the GetListed.org Local University conference at Northern Quest Casino here in Spokane. This was a great event, brought to town by our good friend Ed Reese from Sixth Man Marketing. Being a web professional in Spokane is difficult. All of the exciting workshops and conferences take places in major U.S. cities. Seattle is relatively nearby, and it gets its share of exciting web design / SEO events but even a half day conference in Seattle generally requires a hotel stay and hours of traveling.
In some ways this puts Spokane Web Designers, Developers, and SEOs at a disadvantage. We either have to make costly trips, pay expensive conference fees, and sacrifice precious work time to learn about new industry innovations or we are relegated to watching post conference video presentations. Don’t get me wrong, I am very thankful these options exist but it is not the same as interacting with industry experts. Also, if people less motivated than I, they are unlikely to take the time to research these virtually attend these events on their own. I believe this creates a barrier to information and contributes to a lack of innovation in our local market. In time, this will cause our local designers and developers to fall behind the national competition in major cities. This trend is bad for our regional economy and the local customers that rely on us to be industry experts.
What was this Event About?
This event was primarily an introductory course to Google Local and SEO. This event was really useful for anyone involved with marketing a website but it was especially useful for those with little or no practical knowledge of SEO. I personally do quite a bit of reading on the topic and I follow several of the presenters’ blogs so I wasn’t expecting much new information. For me, this was primarily a refresher course but for the business owners in attendance there was a wealth of useful information.
While the presentations were good, I believe most of the new information I learned was in response to audience questions to the experts. The event allowed for two separate Q/A sessions and there were some great questions asked by the attendees.
What did I really think about the event?
As I said previously this was a great event. If GetListed.org’s Local University was return to Spokane, I would attended again, even if it were just to hear the same information. Prior to the event, we didn’t know how technical the information would be so we didn’t market the event to our clients. In retrospect it would have been a great event to bring clients to, especially those with local retail locations who could benefit from better leveraging of Google Local.
I only have 2 complaints about the event. The first, it would have been nice to have a 10-15 minute intermission after the first Q/A session to get up, stretch, and socialize. During the 3rd hour I begin to lose some focus and I think a break would’ve helped immensely. Second, I think it would be a good idea to put the entire presentation into one Powerpoint file to make it easier to jump from person to person. It appeared the presentations were very coordinated, however, the different styles of presentation and the constant changing between presentations was a bit distracting.
One other note, I really enjoyed having a hand-out for Ed’s presentation and it would be great to have some take-away documents from each presenter even if it just had their contact information, an overview of what they do, their blog address, and some general points regarding their presentation.
So who did the presenting?
What is the website for the event?
You can read more about the event at: http://getlisted.org/spokane/