Conferences are another great way to meet leaders in the search space and network with them. The various panels may cover topics about which you are looking to learn more, and this by itself makes them a great resource. Even experienced SEO practitioners can learn new things from the panel sessions.
Make sure you target the panels with the following objectives in mind:
Attend panels from which you can pick up some information, tips, and/or tricks that you need for your immediate SEO projects or that broaden your SEO knowledge.
Attend panels where someone that you want to get to know is speaking.
If you want to meet someone who is speaking on a panel, sit in the front row, and at the end of the session introduce yourself and/or ask a question. This is an opportunity to get some free and meaningful advice from experts. Get the speaker’s business card and follow up with her after the event. Some panels also have search engine representatives speaking on them, so this tactic can be useful in meeting them as well.
Of course, you may encounter the people you want to meet in the hallways in and about the conference. Just go up and introduce yourself. You will find that most attendees are very open and will be happy to share information and tips.
In addition to the day’s sessions, each conference has a series of networking events during the day and sometimes in the evening. These events are often held in the bar of the hotel where (or near where) ...