Conference Etiquette

Having no manners is worse than having no money. And EvilGreenMonkey doesn’t need to point out that I lack both…anyway, we’ve done some posting on linking and blogging etiquette recently but I wanted to touch on another critical etiquette issue that might help you out in this industry. Before I forget, if you’re in need of any email etiquette (and I’m sure many of you are because I’ve seen your emails) check out my friend Gene’s excellent piece on the issue.

This is very important stuff! Before I left my old job I seriously questioned the bar tab that we had to pay whenever my husband left town for an SEO show. However, after I attended my first conference and realized that you learn quite a lot when the show ends for the day, I changed my tune. This is not to say that you should get drunk and have to be carried out of a bar by your boss, because that is completely wrong and unacceptable (note to self: don’t do this again), but go where the people are. At SEO shows, that’s usually a bar. Apologies to those of you who leave the sessions and immediately head out to your hotel room to read marketing manuals, drink Sprite, and cry yourselves to sleep.

Whether you’re between sessions, walking around an expo hall, or at a networking event, go up and TALK TO PEOPLE for god’s sake. Yes there are people who will come up and talk to you and save you the trouble, especially if you’re wearing an SEO Chicks t-shirt, but if you’re new to the industry and you don’t really know anyone, please just find someone who looks friendly and introduce yourself. You’ll need a good friend in the industry one day for whatever reason, so here’s your chance to get started. You’ll learn a ton from these people if you start talking to them. And while I certainly agree that the big names in the field are usually big names for a reason, I can assure you that there are quite a few people that don’t have their popularity but are just as intelligent and interesting, so don’t just follow the crowd.