I’m completely exhausted from lack of sleep, but thankfully still running on adrenaline from Link Love Boston. I wanted to write about why the experience changed my life, but I thought that might be a little dramatic, so I settled for why I loved it.
The people are, well, human
The people at Link Love restored my faith in humanity. They were genuine and real. There were hundreds of people who attended (delegates as they called us) who actually engaged and became friends. People were talking to each other with excitement and energy. You could honestly tell that everyone felt pretty lucky to be there.
Even the speakers were approachable (and friendly) and actually spent time with the delegates. I had a great chat with Justin Briggs from Big Fish Games about his passions and career path. I spoke at length with several team members from Distilled about the structure of their organization and how they effectively manage their workload (they don’t mess around).
Before the conference I had emailed Distilled to ask some questions regarding the growth of Mack Web. Will Critchlow (who just so happens to be the founder of Distilled), was kind enough to email me himself and offer his time.
He’ll probably never remember it (which is why I have a picture to prove it), but I actually got to shake the hand of Rand Fishkin (I’m not even going to tell you who that is. Look it up people).
Meeting Rand was the highlight of my year (I would say life but that kind of downplays the importance of my marriage and the birth of my two kids). Rand even took a few minutes of his time to chat about how much we love SEOmoz and how it’s changed our business. Truly, he is an amazing man (he is totally worth stalking…I mean following).
It just goes to show you the kind of awesome people who are behind Link Love.
The speakers killed it
No other way to say it. The speakers rocked. Amazing. Awesome. Really, so good. And get this, they were engaging (imagine that). I was probably a little over excited from all of the energy in the room, but seriously, they were funny.
The line up:
The best part about the speakers is that they didn’t sugar coat stuff. They just came right out and said look, what we do in SEO is hard work. It takes a lot of effort, time, creativity and patience to do it right (and ethically). So suck it up and just do it (they used a couple of choice adjectives in there but I’m trying to keep this post clean).
We got some s@#! done
Because this was my first Link Love conference, I didn’t know what to expect from the schedule. I thought that there would be a hundred different presentations offered and that I’d be running from room to room with no chance of getting in to hear the big guys speak. I was pleasantly surprised.
The speaker line up (all rockstars if you didn’t quite catch that) consisted only of the top talent. The content they presented was valuable, balanced and inspiring. We got more done in one day than most people do in a month. They didn’t waste any time and the event never ran behind. It was flawless (except for the part when Rand couldn’t log in to SEOMoz. Now that was funny).
I kind of felt like I was on vacation
I probably will not be able to go to another conference that is not held by Distilled or SEOMoz. Hands down it was one of the most professional events that I have ever attended. Instead of walking the mile or so from the hotel to the conference center, there was a luxury shuttle bus that provided the group with a ride (to the Conference Center at Harvard Medical School no less).
And they fed us. All day (with snacks and everything). Right when you walked into the venue there white linen-lined tables with Starbucks coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice, muffins and scones (they’re from London). For lunch each person could select from several types of individually packaged lunch sacks. There were never ending beverages and they even put out a dessert table at afternoon break (but since I was so ecstatic about my encounter with Rand, I was way too excited to eat ice cream).
And that’s not all. After the day was done, we were shuttled to a local pub where we were treated to appetizers, an open bar and all around good times with our new Link Love friends.
I learned a lot (for reals)
One word sums up Link Love: value. There were people who worked for big companies, small companies or who even owned their own companies. The information delivered at Link Love appealed to everyone in the room. I took home ideas that will change our processes, systems and approach (because I’m a freak about those things). And of course I can’t wait to deliver more value to our clients.
Hands down, what I respect most about Link Love is that none of the speakers tried to pass off what we work so hard to do for our clients every day as easy work. There were brilliant ideas, tools, and strategies, but no one ever said that there was a quick and easy way to deliver good SEO.
You should go
The Link Love conference completely exceeded my expectations (and I set those suckers high). If you are an SEO, or want to get a feel for the best in our industry, go to a Distilled or SEOMoz conference. You won’t be sorry.
Distilled has an SEO conference called Search Love going on in San Fran in June.
I’ll be at MozCon in Seattle in July. Maybe I’ll see you there.