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4 years ago I attended a conference in Manchester, the first of it’s kind, you may have heard of it, it was called SASCon.
Most conferences you have to travel to London or even further to see a really good line up of speakers. Apart from Think Visibility the North has always been a bit sparse on good quality conferences and discussions. This was always surprising as the North and North West is jam packed with talented and creative digital agencies, all of which traveling hundreds and thousands of miles to conferences.
The first SASCon
The first SASCon was an experiment, some of the best known digital experts and agency owners (including Richard of Lattitude and Simon of PushOn) decided to fill the empty hole that us northern conference goers were looking for. It was a 1 day event and it was packed with industry names, many of which I’d only followed or conversed with on Twitter before now. The event was reasonably priced, as we all know that conference tickets can exceed the thousands, and had some really interesting discussions.
I, along with industry peers left the conference (after a few drinks) feeling that this was the next big thing for the Manchester Digital community. But we had no idea on that Wednesday in April 2010 how big SASCon would get.
One conference a year was soon not enough, and the mini conferences were launched, now these mini SASCon’s are a full day (as long as the first SASCon) and the content is full and useful, not mini at all!
The one day event of the first SASCon is now 2 days, filled with Search and Digital Veterans and up and comers, giving everyone the chance to hear from the very best in the industry whilst also providing a platform for lesser known personalities to show their worth.
Search, Analytics and Social Conference, SASCon
4 years ago SASCon had the right idea covering all the bases, they didn’t set themselves up as a SEO conference, for them the writing was on the wall and as many conferences and agencies are changing their names, SASCon had already identified the areas of growth over the next few years.
In the first SASCon, SEO was big, so a lot of emphasis was on the search side. Now we are seeing information about analytics and benefits of conversion rate optimisation, reporting and data collection. Social is huge compared to 4 years ago and SASCon is leading the way with talks on all of these areas and how they can work together for an overall digital strategy. They were right to include search, as search is live and kicking and whilst the discipline is changing and we are facing new challenges, and it is integral to almost every digital marketing campaign.
This year I am coming back to SASCon, not only as an attendee but also a speaker, I will be on the content marketing panel along with Nichola Stott from the Media Flow, and Anna Wilson from Tangerine PR, without giving too much away we will be discussing how to develop and integrate a good content marketing strategy.
I am in excellent company this year with discussions and presentations from the best and brightest in Digital.
SASCon try to be accessible to everyone, so there is information, advice and tips for even the most seasoned Digital marketer or veteran SEO, to the new company side marketing staff who are new to the industry but passionate about the subject. To make the conference accessible they rely heavily on sponsorship to keep the ticket prices down. This works well as more people get to go and the sponsors love to be part of one of the most exciting UK conferences.
SASCon has developed from being a good Manchester Conference to being a great conference in Manchester with speakers and attendees flying in from all over the world. If you work in Digital, agency or client side then the question should not be why SASCon? But Why Not? As far as I can see there is no reason why not.
If you haven’t already then get your tickets here, and see you there!