Wanna Get Social? My London Conference Picks

Being a geek rarely means going out there and hitting the vibrant social scene around London, Toronto, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Auckland or any of the other cities of the world. Usually it means going to a “networking” event at a conference and drinking until it doesn’t hurt quite so much anymore. Well, funnily enough it’s conference season now that the weather has turned even rainier (how can anyone tell…?).

So what’s up and on for conference goers? TONS! In fact, there is so much going on, I’ve pared it back a bit and focused on the place I spend most of my life in – London. My underpants have yet to host a conference, being a single event, single attendee kind of venue. So what’s up and on in London town, you might ask, *BESIDES* SMX London and the great LondonSEO? Plenty!

While an actual social event, it is for geeks to roam free with others of our kind at the London GeekDinner with Carsonified and with those crazy folks at Carsonified being the focus, you can guarantee geeky goodness all around! Suw Charman, one of the strongest voices of social media, is giving a day seminar on Making Social Tools Ubiquitous

The Social Networking Conference London 2008 features a host of great speakers including me! I’ll be talking on “The Dark Side of Social Media” examining what went wrong, why and how to avoid it. It is at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel Kensington and Conference Centre which seems to be close to a tube station *phew*. Of course the main event of the week will be ad:tech – now into it’s third year in London, it’s a great place to catch up with the latest technology It’s a firm favourite on the conference calendar and I think there are both free and paid tickets available depending on what speakers you wish to see. I’m so sure there will be parties around this!

BarCamp London is almost impossible to get in to and this time it is being held at eBay. This popular weekend event attracts people from all over the world and is absolutely a must-do but it’s almost impossible to get tickets so I’ve never done it icon_biggrin-2703181 Social Media Marketing in Black + White is a half day covering everything you need to know about social media but didn’t know to ask. Short, sweet and to the point.

Starting off October with a bang is Unicom’s Social Tools Conference which will feature information about all sorts of tools and how they can be used in business. I’ll be speaking on Brand Reputation Management giving tips on how and wht to monitor and why. All that good stuff. It’s two days packed with information and good food. Last time it was near a Hotel Chocolat so added bonus! There is usually an evening social which is free for non-attendees so there’s a good looking prospect for getting geekily social

SocialMediaCamp London works like a barcamp in that you register for free then get there on the day and volunteer to give a session. I’m hoping to give one but no promises as I’ll have a busy month! But why not go and volunteer yourself? It’ll be an excellent geeky social. Just after the weekend, book yourself in to Widget Web Expo because everybody loves a good widget and here you’ll get everything you need to know about what you need to do to create a widget.

Future of Web Apps is going to be what everyone is going to be at and talking about. Everyone was buzzing about this and Future of Web Design and now it’s finally back in London! Be quick about signing up for tickets though – they regularly sell out and you don’t want to be left behind. There are always great parties associated with a fully paid-up ticket to this event so make sure you have your social calendar to hand once you’ve bought your ticket.

a4uexpo – Affiliate Marketing Conference & Exhibition 2008 is a somewhat niche conference that is always a blast. Given the buzz around last year, it would be a crime to miss this one. With networking, parties, chill-out lounges and a great set of people from all over, including SEO, this is a worthwhile ticket to buy. They also sell a pure networking pass! I’ll be speaking on purely SEO stuff, as will other speakers so there will be lots of everyone who attends. Check out the 2.5 days of networking & learning for less than the price of SMX London.

Linux Expo and Mac Expo are currently FREE to sign up for and always boast a hoast of interesting booths to play with new technology at. Extending to include a weekend day (Sat) to ensure us geeks who can’t justify it as a work thing can go, I highly recommend this to everyone!

Of course, the event that everyone is waiting for is SMX London with added LondonSEO goodness! With excellent sessions aimed at an intermediate level (for the most part – some beginner stuff too!), SMX London has firmly entrenched itself as a must-attend conference on the conference calendar.

Late in the year coming on Dec 2-4 is the Online Information show with IMS. This year, there is a social media stream and with free admission to the expo and many seminars, it’s well worth the day out.

Go get work to give you some training and book those tickets. Remember always to have a plan to make sure you get the most out of the conference experience. Oh and remember to say hi if you see me. Introduce yourself and I might even share some chocolate with you!

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