Marshall Simmonds dropping knowledge bombs regarding Dark Search and Social at MozCon 2015

8 Tips For Getting the Most out of MozCon

How to wring out every bit of value from the marketing event of the year

In a little less than two weeks, around 1,40o marketers will descend upon Seattle for three days of marketing-focused learning, fun and career-building under the guise of an event known as MozCon. The once-a-year pilgrimage is a rite of passage of sorts for many marketers, with some even planning their vacation around it.

The 2016 event will be my fourth in as many years.

I’ve come to treasure the nuggets picked up from speakers, the numerous conversations and interactions that take place during coordinated after-hours events and the overall engaging, exciting air of the experience.

As a MozCon veteran, I’ve found it helpful to go into and out of the event with a strategy, which I outline below in eight easy-to-follow steps:

Before the event

  • Keep and eye on Twitter and Facebook: Follow the Twitter list and the Facebook Group to stay in the loop on who’s attending the event. Many times folks from your area or your vertical are looking to meet up before or during the event for dinner, drinks, etc.
  • Use the buddy system: If you’re traveling alone or as part of a small group, don’t be afraid to reach out to folks on social media or via email, if you see they’re attending the event and could benefit from the interaction. Large events are often easier to enjoy when you have folks you know (even recently) by your side. Also, download the MozCon app to easily keep track of everything in one place, including the amazing evening activities.
  • Get to know speakers: Take the time to get to know the speakers and what they’ll be talking about, which will go a long way toward ensuring you don’t miss out on the information you’re looking to glean from the event.

During the event

  • Think beyond Rand: I know we all love Rand. After all, he is the Wizard of Moz, and who doesn’t want to see that mustache? However, many of the speakers and attendees are also doing incredible work, too. Take the time to find out more about them via LinkedIn, SlideShare, their blogs and the content they share via social media.
  • Don’t be afraid to say hi: If you see someone you’d like to meet, by all means, introduce yourself. Sounds simple, but many of us kick ourselves for not taking the time to meet someone, then later hearing how cool they are in person.
  • Snag one big idea from each speaker: Instead of trying to take notes and keep track of everything each speaker covers, try to glean a significant nugget you can use from each speaker. By doing so, you don’t have to worry about taking copious notes and can thus enjoy the experience of the talk knowing you have what you need when you come back to the information later. Plus, you can always watch the videos of each speaker after the event.

After the event

  • Work on your idea: One of the biggest complaints of events from those who refuse to attend them is the knowledge gleaned too often does nothing to benefit their work back at home. This is where/when the one big idea per talk comes in handy. Why not type up a one-sheeter, share it in Google Docs with your team, then set up a brief meeting to discuss the idea worth attacking first? This way, the entire team sees the benefit of having someone attend the event and, most importantly, can see the ideas that come out of it—ideas that, once acted on, have the potential to move the needle for the brand.
  • Stay connected: If you hear a great talk or meet a person you’d like to stay connected with, send them a followup email, and if they respond, maybe a LinkedIn invite. Also, if they blog regularly, sign up for their RSS feed.

Bonus: If you’re as excited about attending MozCon as I am, make a point of seeking out Erica McGillivray, Charlene Ditch and Danielle Launders to thank them for working so tirelessly to create what has become an industry-leading event. They’re not very good at seeking recognition :D

As you might have noticed, the details shared in this post can be used for any event. That’s by design. Many of us attend several marketing events each year. To make certain we’re getting the most out of those events we need a process that makes it easy to snag, distill and share ideas that can be used to help us in our work.

If you don’t have a ticket yet, you time is running out: There’s less than 100 tickets left for the event. Get yours now.

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