#31 The brightonSEO and MeasureFest story (with Kelvin Newman)
This week Dan and Dara are joined by Kelvin Newman to chat all things brightonSEO and MeasureFest. Kelvin shares how they come about, what the future holds and the ideas behind the fringe events in general.
Details on the new UTMs GA4 have just stealthily released – https://bit.ly/3qejLHa.
And for the new GA4 homepage (sure, why not) – https://bit.ly/3ie5d5S.
Find out more information on brightonSEO and get your tickets for the April 2022 conference at https://bit.ly/360DFi4.
And get your tickets for MeasureFest on 6th April and see Dan talk on 6th April at https://bit.ly/3HaiHdE.
In other news, Dan goes to far, Dara gets sherlocking and Kelvin gets riding!
Check out on LinkedIn:
- Dan – https://bit.ly/3JQKHEb
- Dara – https://bit.ly/3vzV0bO
- Kelvin – https://bit.ly/3JqojSg
- Measurelab – https://bit.ly/3Ka513y
Please leave a rating and review in the places one leaves ratings and reviews. If you want to join Dan and Dara on the podcast and talk about something in the analytics industry you have an opinion about (or just want to suggest a topic for them to chit-chat about), email email@example.com or find them on LinkedIn and drop them a message.
[00:00:00] Dara: Hello and thanks for joining us in The Measure Pod, a podcast for people in the analytics world. Welcome to episode number 31. I’m Dara, I’m MD at Measurelab and I’m joined as always by Dan, an analytics consultant also at Measurelab. Hey Dan, what’s new in the world of analytics?
[00:00:31] Daniel: Hey Dara, there’s been a bit of a shakeup in GA4 actually, so first of all, the less significant one is they launched a new homepage. So whoop, they’ve got a new homepage, which is great. It adds an extra click to get to where you need to go now, but we’ll see how that goes. But more importantly, they released a bunch of new UTMs and this is the first time in about 15 years that they’ve done this. I wouldn’t say a release or a launch, but we found it in the documentation and it circulated on the forums. They’ve actually released a couple of UTMs, utm_source_platform, utm_creative_format and utm_marketing_tactic, all of these things we’ve never seen before. So it will be interesting to see how these get used and adopted across campaigns in the future.
[00:01:06] Dara: Big change. I think UTMs are one of the staples of GA (Google Analytics). Yeah, I was a bit rocked when I realised this is actually changing. Alright, thanks Dan. This week we are joined by an external guest and that external guest is Kelvin Newman. So firstly, welcome to The Measure Pod, Kelvin.
[00:01:24] Kelvin: Hi, yeah and thanks for having me and hello to everyone who’s listening along today.
[00:01:27] Dara: Very, very happy to have you. Kelvin, you and I have known each other a little while, so we’re going to talk to you about what you’re probably best known for, which is the brightonSEO conference, and we’re probably going to come at it a lot from the MeasureFest angle being an analytics podcast, but just for our listeners, usually what we do at this point is we ask people how they got into analytics, because it’s usually a little bit of a strange meandering story, but for you, we’ll probably broaden that out and just ask you how you got into digital marketing.
[00:01:55] Kelvin: Yeah so my first job out of university was working for a magazine publishing company. That was then known as EMAP, they have been through a few changes, but used to work on magazines most of them have folded now in the way that kind of magazines have. So Arena, which was one of the most famous men’s mags, but also Kerrang, Mojo, Q and various other magazines like that. And yeah, as I was in the office, very boring job to be completely honest, and it was helping them with various bits of admin really. But at that point in time, they were beginning that process of they had websites, had some kind of online presence for a period of time, but were starting to take it a bit more seriously.
[00:02:31] Kelvin: I happened to be on the desk next to the team who are doing a big re-design of FHM at the time and Zoo magazine as well. And in the process of merely being sat next to the people who were doing it offered to write a bit of content for their website really. Mainly because all the real journalists didn’t actually want to, at that point in time, this wasn’t actually that long ago, really in the scheme of things, but even so in this kind of period where very much the online version of the magazine was very much looked down upon a bit by the rest of the team.
[00:02:59] Kelvin: I offered to do a bit of kind of blogging, which was kind of the fashionable thing to be doing at that point in time. And in the process of writing a few kind of tech bloggy pieces for them I discovered and started to look into the ways in which I could attract more traffic to the website. Coincidentally, at this point in time also I was living in Brighton and commuting to London and keen to stop doing that at that point in time as well. Starting to look into and understand and think about traffic generation and ways of getting attention online, I’m looking to move, to stop working in London and working in Brighton, came across SEO, which felt like quite nice mix between some of my interest in writing and journalism and all that sort of stuff. But also it was quite technical as well. Brighton is a real, has been and continues to be a real hotspot for digital marketing, but particularly SEO in the early days.
[00:03:48] Kelvin: So there was this hotspot of SEO firms in Brighton. So I joined up to one of those, SiteVisibility, as an SEO trainee. And yeah, sort of started the process of getting involved in marketing, but particularly SEO and yeah, as always with all of these kinds of marketing disciplines, overlaps and connects to all of these different disciplines. So found myself in this situation of starting to organise some meet ups of people who worked in SEO. And each time we did it, more people wanted to show up. So eventually it became a very big like informal meetup that then became a conference, became a trade show and then became the world’s largest conference especially in search marketing.
[00:04:29] Kelvin: We all know that nothing fits neatly into a silo. It’s not just one discipline exists in complete isolation from everything else. So when you get two and a half thousand, three thousand people together, who are interest in SEO, a lot of them also are interested in web analytics, they’re also interested in paid social advertising, they’re interested in paid search advertising. So increasingly we’re finding ways within the program to help those people get together, meet and learn because already quite a few of those people are already going to be in Brighton twice a year, looking to learn and meet people, and that’s where MeasureFest, Online PR Show and all these kind of fringe events as we call them, spun out from that. They’ve been in London at various points in time as well, but now they’ve all come as these sort of additional days that we have to get together, meet and learn for people who are interested in all of these kind of related marketing disciplines.
[00:05:15] Dara: So Kelvin, I mentioned at the beginning that you and I go back a little way. So when I first met you, I was at Fresh Egg and I got involved in running GA (Google Analytics) training at brightonSEO, and spoke there a couple of times as well, but something I’d forgotten, which Dan reminded me of and it was Mark that reminded Dan, that I spoke at the first MeasureFest which, I knew I’d spoken at it, but I didn’t actually recollect that it was the first one. And I think also we had spoken to you beforehand, because I think you were looking to gather a bit of market research and you spoke to some people in the analytics space. And we actually, I think we had a chat over a beer, Mark, myself, you and a couple of other people before the event started. And then when that happened, correct me if I’m wrong. I think it was October, 2013. So Measurelab had only just started as a company. So in a way that first MeasureFest was actually our kind of first chance as a company to get out there and speak about analytics under the name Measurelab. I’m saying all this like I remember it, but I had to be told that this happened. So I don’t know maybe you don’t remember this either.
[00:06:15] Kelvin: It’s funny with a lot of these kind of like, yeah. It’s amazing how the time flies and so much is going on in the world, particularly when you’re running your own business isn’t there. It’s very easy to forget sometimes these kind of landmarks or moments, in the development of what you’ve been working on.
[00:06:29] Dara: Definitely, and I think that in terms of framing it, I think with the main brightonSEO event, I don’t know if you still use this caption, but you had something along the lines of. Started in a pub and the fact that that’s a true story, and I don’t know how many people were at the first one, probably like five or six and now it’s into the thousands, it must be quite a nice feeling to step back and reflect on that every now and again and look at how big it’s become.
[00:06:51] Kelvin: Yeah, I mean I think it’s always in a lot of marketing, it’s never a bad thing to have a story that tells your community or your customers how and why you came to be. If you were intending to create an event that had a community aspect and feel, there’s probably some decisions you’d make early on to try and do that. I’d like to pretend we came up with a hugely sophisticated plan, which is like, well, year one we will do this in order to ferment this kind of attitude rather than it happened organically and mostly by luck and chance. But now that it’s happened, we certainly lay it on a bit thick with this kind of like origin story. We were a meet up in a pub and it was everyone coming together, whereas now it’s like, yeah, it is quite a serious organised undertaking, people coming from in pre-COVID times about 50 countries. But you know, it’s amazing how some of the decisions you make early in the business can continue to feed through and inform things you do even later down the line when there’s many more people involved or, lots will change, but there’s, I think there’s always some kind of DNA stuff that those early decisions you make can have quite a big impact down the line. I think that kind of starting in the pub for us, is it a big part of that.
[00:07:57] Dara: And you think you’ve stuck to that would you say? I mean, this is probably a big, a big question. But do you think you’ve stuck to what you originally set out? Obviously it’s at a much bigger scale now, but do you think those kind of core tenets of what you wanted it to be at the beginning, do you feel like you still have that or if you had to compromise a lot over the years as it’s grown?
[00:08:14] Kelvin: We’ve always had the intention that we want to reach as many people as possible and that’s been part of our guiding principle as much as anything, there are a lot of amazing events out there which have continued to be quite small scale, and that’s a big part of their appeal, it’s a big part in their success, and it’s a big part of what makes them a lovely event to attend as a participant in them. We still want our events to achieve all of those things, but we’ve also had the intention that, part of my motivation is that I want to help as many people as possible in the industry develop, learn, meet, feel confident in what they’re doing. A big part of that has been I’d want to reach as many people as we possibly can to do that. And there’s lots of decisions that we’ve made along the way that have had that intention. Sometimes these kinds of things they’re not either or’s, and some of this is motivated by my huge fragile ego as well, like I want it to be as big as it possibly can be. But yeah, certainly we’ve made some decisions along the way where we want it to be a big gathering of a lot of people to do that, and there are things that you would do as a consequence of that, that you wouldn’t do if it was still 25 people meeting in a room in a pub or a hundred people in a smaller scale event that people can do.
[00:09:19] Kelvin: I think there’s pros and cons to that, and I’m sure there are people who would have on a similar journey would have made different decisions that they’ve made. But I find it hugely gratifying the number of people who have got stories you know where they met a future business partner in the pub at a brightonSEO after party, or they were doing SEO, came to a GA (Google Analytics) course and are now an analytics expert. There’s all kinds of elements of where these kinds of sparks of things have gone on to have an influence on people’s lives, and some of it’s quite personal development stuff as well.
[00:09:47] Kelvin: We try to and encourage new speakers and we try and help people through that process of doing that and that’s hugely gratifying as well, and some of it stands for our business model as well and how we operate, but there are, there are other events and with different business models, they’re sometimes incentivised or encouraged to always have similar speakers or established speakers because their perhaps trying to sell tickets or try to encourage registrations. Because our events are flipped a bit, people are booking to attend the event without even seeing the speaking lineup. Now, obviously we need to do a really good job with the speaking line up because if they come in and the speakers are terrible, that’s a bad experience for them, and that’s a bad experience for us, but it does allow us to take a slightly different approach to who we’re selecting and programming, which again is great because we’ve got people who have never spoken before a major conference who will be standing up in front of 1800 people in a couple of weeks time.
[00:10:32] Kelvin: As a thing for a person to do working in a space that sometimes can be quite isolated particularly in the last two years, you might be spending a lot of your time working in your kitchen on the table, and that can feel quite odd, but then to go and say actually I have this experience, this expertise, and lots of people want to hear about that, it could be hugely motivating for people.
[00:10:51] Daniel: I get that, I get that fully and lapping up the opportunity to speak at these events, it’s almost like pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. So it’s a really good forum and a really good place to do that, especially that it’s supported and it’s not just the same people every time or the same subjects every time. And Dara, you had a bit of a public speaking gig, I suppose before, but this going up in front of an analytics conference, is that the first time you said on the first MeasureFest? Was that the first time you were out with your people, quote unquote, and do you even remember what it was about?
[00:11:16] Dara: Well, I was just thinking when I was listening to Kelvin I was actually thinking back and thinking that what you were saying relates exactly to what my kind of journey was. So I first attended brightonSEO as someone fairly new to the kind of SEO world and I went and learned loads and I went, and I remember like writing tons of stuff down and I remember thinking it was brilliant and it was a really good learning experience. And then, I don’t know, maybe a year later, maybe 18 months later I went and spoke at it, and it was my first time speaking at a conference and it was terrifying, but also exhilarating. There was such a buzz from it, it was so much of a buildup and it was, like a pretty tense buildup and, running it through over and over my head. But then when I did it, it was absolutely brilliant, like such an amazing feeling. So I went through that journey at brightonSEO. So to answer your question Dan, MeasureFest, that was probably the first time I spoke at an analytics focused event. The previous speaking I had done was all at kind of broader digital marketing events, being the analytics guy, speaking at them.
[00:12:14] Dara: So suddenly to be standing up, maybe speaking where you’re not introducing people to things, but you’re actually speaking to people who probably know it already. So that was a bit daunting, but also a great experience because of the fact that it was a group of like-minded people. It meant that you were in a way speaking to peers and there was really good feedback from it afterwards and it was, it was really good. So yeah, I love that, I loved what you were saying Kelvin about how it’s a conference that actually gives people a chance to, you can go to it at different phases in your career, you can go to it when you’re absolutely like a sponge and trying to soak up as much knowledge as you can, you can go to as somebody a bit more experienced and maybe network, and then you can go to it as somebody who jumps in the deep end and gets up and speaks in front of hundreds or even thousands of people. Then when you’ve been to it lots of times you get the joy of kind of going back and then you know lots of people there and you meet up with people and it becomes a very big kind of social event as well, like you mentioned about the after parties and that’s where sometimes deals get done or jobs get offered or businesses get started. So there’s that whole kind of social element and Brighton really comes alive when brightonSEO is on.
[00:13:24] Kelvin: Well, I think for anyone who’s working in a space that like is changing or merging or even established places. If you’re working aged agency side or in-house, or as a freelancer, there’s lots of ways in which you can develop your skill set and you can be very inward facing in that, and that that’s an absolutely fine decision to make and it works really, really well, for lots of people, but for some people they’ve benefited from learning from their peers.
[00:13:49] Kelvin: I learnt from people in the space so I want to help other people as well, and that can be podcasts. Podcasts are a great way of doing that, that could be writing blog posts. It could be contributing to forums or facts or whatever it is that you’ve got the space, but yeah, events are a good one for that as well, because it is a very, there is something to be said for being in a room with people who have a similar interest to you. And yeah, like I’m a big fan of events as a concept, but you can do that in many different ways if nothing fills you with more dread than standing up with some slides behind you. There’s lots of ways you can achieve similar things in similar ways, but I’m also a big fan of that. Taking your thoughts that you’ve got and putting them together and presenting them in a 10, 15, 20 minute, half hour format. I think that’s a really useful process for people to go through, to try and understand the topic and think about how you can communicate and present that to an audience.
[00:14:40] Daniel: I was at the last brightonSEO just at the backend of last year and it was really nice like you said, being in a room with other people, there’s the energy that you get from everyone else that’s doing it and keeping things short and sweet, and then having the questions afterwards and being able to chat to these people afterwards, as well as all the fun stuff that brightonSEO has nowadays. But I suppose the inevitable question is that it felt fresh and it almost special because it was the first one back after the COVID lockdown. So this was the first real life meetup in what, two years. So, again, that dreaded question. How’s that been for brightonSEO, MeasureFest and the fringe events? How has COVID played a part and how is it coming back into the IRL (In Real Life) space?
[00:15:18] Kelvin: Yeah I mean, it’s a really interesting sort of way it’s influenced the sector. So yeah, we couldn’t do events for two years. So we did our event in September 2019, we were in full flight and full flow to be doing our April 2020 event which was on track to be significantly larger and, the biggest we ever had done, and yeah, about six to eight weeks out from that became quite apparent that we might need to make some changes to the format or at least, that COVID may well have had an impact on that event. We were beginning to understand that and we made the decision that at the time felt quite significant. So we decided to cancel that April brightonSEO, the same day that Premier League stopped playing their games. There was about 48 hours or so of where everyone was like, oh yes, this may well happen and then lots of things got cancelled and then stuff got announced after that.
[00:16:09] Kelvin: So we wouldn’t have been able to have host the event for all kinds of reasons as you would expect, and yeah, over that two year period we’ve experimented, we’ve had online events. A lot of that’s going to continue to inform what we do going forward. So, there were a number of online events that we hosted over the lockdown periods and then the coming out of those lockdown periods. And that was hugely interesting because particularly the brightonSEO element of the event, we sell tickets for it, but a lot of the tickets are a ballot that are distributed to people who enter the ballot and huge proportions, like I think like less than 20% of the people that apply for tickets, get a free ticket. So there’s huge number of people who would like to attend the event, but are unable to and for a long time we just saw that as a great bit of marketing, right? It was just a kind of, hey, look, it’s sold out in a period of time, we’ve got this huge demand, but that was all great.
[00:16:54] Kelvin: But what we hadn’t really realised, it’s like, if you’re taking our intention, which is to help people learn in the space, that was a huge missed opportunity, right. For all these people who were further a field who might be in a different country, who it might not be economical to attend or might not be able to attend because they’re not able to get childcare, might not be able to attend because they’re not comfortable going to large scale events you know even before COVID. So we’re continuing to have an online element to our events.
[00:17:18] Kelvin: We’ve concentrated the whole way through and it being content led because we always thought it was tricky for online events to replicate some aspects of the in-person event which I think other people have tried to do different ways and had to differing degrees of success in that. We were like financially able to make our way through it because our great audience, many of them let us roll tickets forwards. Lots of our venues and suppliers were hugely supportive to so the Brighton Centre. Lots of events organisers in those early days had to pay fees for events that didn’t occur but we were able to get through that and our sponsors have continued to want to speak to our audience, so that’s worked well.
[00:17:54] Kelvin: So yeah September was really interesting. It was a really challenging one to arrange because the parameters about what an event would be in that scenario were quite flexible. Like we weren’t even sure that even with four weeks out, it wasn’t any degree of certainty that we were going to be able to go ahead or not. So that was entirely done on like, we did it on, you had to have a negative lateral flow test. At that point in time, we could have got away with just like government policy-wise in terms of it being just double vaxxed, but we wanted to make it as secure as possible and then actually it was very normal.
[00:18:22] Kelvin: So, yeah, I’m glad we did September because if we’d have not done it, there are a lot of events that I know who maybe only do annual events and some of them haven’t done events for two and a half years, and you don’t get out of the practice of doing it because you’ve been doing a bunch of other stuff and you don’t just forget how to do it. But having done an event in the new normal for want of a better description, it feels we’re surprisingly confident in what we’re doing and what we need to do and responding to that this time round. So yeah, it’s good to be back in that sense.
[00:18:51] Kelvin: We changed the format slightly, so historically the fringe events, so MeasureFest, Online PR Show and we have other ones as well. They would have taken place on the Thursday and then we have the main brightonSEO on the Friday. Last September, and this was partially motivated by COVID. Well we were planning to do it anyway, but we went ahead with it partially motivated by COVID was we split two over two days, rather than two days, it became three days. So the fringes were on the Wednesday and then two days of the main brightonSEO conference.
[00:19:19] Kelvin: So taken together, like that’s allowed us to actually increase the capacity of the event as a whole, which is quite nice to do. But any of you who have been in the event on the Friday, it can be quite busy. So like actually it’s allowed us to like spread the attendance over a couple of days and yeah, we’re planning over time to wrap that back up. But at the moment it’s like the total numbers of people will be more, but it might not be quite as hectic as it was before.
[00:19:45] Kelvin: And actually that makes a lot of sense to be honest, because like I say, the people that are travelling, people flying for 12 hours to come to an event the last six hours, it’s good to have the option that there’s a bit more going on there than that.
[00:19:54] Daniel: You can start selling camping tickets on the beach next time, have it as a festival mode.
[00:20:00] Kelvin: Well, I tell you surprisingly, so the marathon was on the same weekend in September, which had like moved and it was the same weekend in April. So when we are on the same weekend as the marathon, it gets really quite interesting on the hotels. Everyone wants to stay till Saturday morning for brightonSEO for a lot of people in the marathon want to check in on Friday night and it kinds of ends up this particularly when you’ve got pricing algorithms at play.
[00:20:22] Dara: Something that I wanted to ask you on the fringe events Kelvin, because you said earlier, about like key decisions you’ve made along the way. That seems like it must have been a big one when you decided to split out the fringe events. So what was the kind of motivation for that? Did you have to wait for a certain point where you felt like there was enough people looking for those specialist events or did you just think of it as an experiment and think, well, if it doesn’t work, I’ll roll them back in. But also then, how soon did you know that it was going to be a success and it would be something that you’d continue on as opposed to just having it as like maybe a one-off fringe event, but then actually sticking to the main brightonSEO.
[00:20:57] Kelvin: So MeasureFest is an interesting one because it’s one of the older ones, so Content Marketing Show was the first one we launched, which we subsequently sold to the Content Marketing Institute. But yeah, MeasureFest so it was in London, was free originally. So that originally the plan with MeasureFest was could we do a brightonSEO of web analytics, like a free 2000 attendee and the plan was originally in London. And then it’s shifted over time, and what we found is, is that when we did those events, and that was the original intention, which is how can we do a brightonSEO of connected disciplines. Same format, free to attend, sponsor funded, a little bit of ticket sales.
[00:21:33] Kelvin: We found a lot of the people initially, at least, or at least to make it viable at that sort of scale were going to need to be the same people, right? So it’s like, yes, there is a, there is definitely a significant audience of people who are interested only in web analytics, but I didn’t feel at that point in time at least that it wasn’t, it wasn’t of the same scale and separate and discrete from the people who were attending brightonSEO. So we went well actually let’s just bring it into the event anyway, because if people are already coming there, they’re doing that. So there’s that element of it. It maybe is a bit different now web analytics, maybe now it could be in a slightly different format, but it’s almost like we have a day of specialisms and a day of, well two days of generalisms, if you see what I mean?
[00:22:17] Kelvin: If you want something super intense and very narrow, you can do a training course, and there’ll be 15 to 20 people in a room in that kind of teacher, student relationship. If that’s maybe not right, you’re more of an intermediate attendee, you can do your fringe. So there you’re getting your 12 talks, 20 minutes each giving you your whistle-stop tour of that subject, and that’s probably best if you’re not new to it, but you’re not equally, it’s maybe a big part of your job, but not necessarily speaker if you know what I mean, he’s not necessarily pitched necessarily at speakers.
[00:22:51] Kelvin: Then we’ve got the two days of the general, which is kind of a bit of catch-all bit of everything, as a web analyst, there might be six talks over the two days, which are primed on to you, but hopefully there’s another few that would connect to you in different ways. So you might go, I’ll check out the e-commerce one, it’s not about analytics, but I’m interested in that topic or here’s an international one, it allows you to pick and change from that.
[00:23:11] Dara: Yeah, it makes sense and what about, I know you probably won’t want to give away any concrete plans, but roughly, what do you see the vision for it being? Is it just about what you said earlier, about you want to reach as many people as possible, so you’ll keep trying to scale it as much as you can, or are there any other plans for it that you could share with us?
[00:23:28] Kelvin: The fringes is a really interesting model for us. There’s a load of kind of either topics where there are other events occurring already or not being covered in the space that would benefit of being part of a bigger thing. So, we might do some stuff around marketplaces. MeasureFest at the moment is web analytics and CRO, there is an overlap between them, but they’re probably subjects in their own right that you could differentiate on that kind of basis.
[00:23:51] Kelvin: So I’m certainly expecting more around that in terms of how do we narrow the topics that make it more in depth for those people there as well and just more things going on. One that’s been on the to-do list for a long time, but like we’ve never quite felt we’ve had the right approach to is awards of recognition of quality. There’s a lot around how I think awards do some really interesting stuff in terms of identifying companies that are doing well and projects that are like worthy of inspiration, but the moment, perhaps a bit too focused around the business model of selling expensive dinners, and I know that the judging that goes on the work that goes into it is actually quite serious, but it’s kind of like, but you never really know why they won, and I think that’s on my list as something i’d like to solve. Which is kind of like, well, how do you celebrate excellence in some way, shape or form.
[00:24:38] Kelvin: We just want to keep finding reasons for people to stay a bit longer in Brighton as well. So I think I’d love to go well, could we have a food festival bit to it? Could we have a film festival bit of it? Could we have a music festival? I assume that additional things that could go on you’ve got potentially 5,000 really interesting people coming to a city already. What can you do to make their time there even more memorable and want them to come back, and as an individual, like, it’s lovely if you’re able to do a thing, that’s kind of like motivated by work, but you’re able to get some personal value out of that. We’ve all done those work trips where you’ve been there only because you’ve had to for work reasons and it’d be nice to go, well, how can we make the people who are traveling, feel that they’re getting a load more from it than just at work.
[00:25:18] Kelvin: That’s the challenge we’ve got try and solve but if you are doing it well how’d you make it so it’s not just, you did it in a hotel where someone could have done it over Zoom. That’s what I want to do, you didn’t get to the event and go I should have just watched a video, that’s what events gotta do well. To go well why didn’t I just watch the slide share afterwards.
[00:25:33] Dara: Well this upcoming one in April is going to be a first for me because it’s the first time I’m actually going to be travelling into Brighton for it because I moved out of Brighton about 18 months ago. So I’m going to get to experience it as, as one of those people who, admittedly, I’m not travelling very far, I’m about 45 minutes. I’m still in East Sussex, but I’m about 45 minutes from Brighton. So I’m going to have to travel, I’m going to travel into Brighton for brightonSEO.
[00:25:56] Kelvin: I’ve become associated with the city by virtue of like what we do, and I often get people coming going, so what pub or club shall we go to? Well already, I’m a middle-aged man. So already you don’t want my recommendations and where’s a good place to go drinking, but it’s like, I can tell you what was good 10 to 15 years ago when I lived in central Brighton. But now it’s like, yeah, I’m perhaps not the best guide on, I can tell you what his name was to two names ago, on that, on that bar or club.
[00:26:20] Daniel: We’ve all got that mate, everything changes so quickly in Brighton that you know like three or four names after what it is now, but people still get that if you’d be like, oh, it’s this pub down there. They’re like, oh, that was two pubs ago but I still know what you mean, it still works.
[00:26:32] Dara: The great thing about Brighton as well as there’s plenty of, even if you don’t remember what the place is called, there’s plenty of choice, and the conference just spills out, doesn’t it and then obviously like breaks up a little bit into different groups, it has a bit of a life of its own, I think.
[00:26:45] Kelvin: The sea as well, it’s nice to be able to get a bit of sea air occasionally.
[00:26:49] Daniel: Just a bit of a shameless plug time, but this is going to be a first for me as well. So I’m talking at MeasureFest on the 6th of April. I think I’m even opening MeasureFest, the first one back IRL (In Real Life) in a while. I’m really looking forward to it. Kelvin, I’m really looking forward to talking back at something, in person, like I said, I attended the SEO conference in September last year and it was amazing to get back in with people for real. So I’m very much excited and yeah, it’s gonna be a lot of fun. I know Dara, you’re coming along and we’ve got a bit of a cohort from Measurelab coming along, so it will be, it’ll be good fun. But Kelvin tell us a bit more about the dates and the upcoming things like obviously 6th of April MeasureFest.
[00:27:24] Kelvin: Yeah, 6th of April for MeasureFest and then following that is yeah, brightonSEO on the 7th and 8th, and there’s also online versions of the event as well. So if we’ve got people listening further a field, we replay all of the videos like two weeks later. So it’s like the 20th of April for the fringes and the 21st and 22nd of April for the brightonSEO ones and the brightonSEO ones are free to watch online as well. So you can just sign up for those and get access to those. They’re free if you watch them live, if you wanna watch them like two and a half years in the future, you pay a couple of quid for that.
[00:27:57] Dara: Are there still tickets available, Kelvin, for those foolish people who haven’t got their tickets yet.
[00:28:01] Kelvin: We always make room for a few more though the price goes up at the end of March. So we do, we do a slight again, then the CRO amongst us, we deliberately put the price up stupidly in the last couple of days. I’d like to pretend it was in like a crazy, cash grabbing way, but it’s like no, everything about our admins easier if people book earlier.
[00:28:23] Dara: Amazing, okay. Well this is the point in the show where we switch gears and try to pretend we all have very interesting lives outside of work. So Kelvin, you’re going to get put on the spot first here, because you don’t have to answer this question every week. So what have you been doing outside of frantic event planning? What have you been doing to wind down lately?
[00:28:41] Kelvin: I’m heavily, boringly into I don’t know if you’ve, have you ever heard of Zwift? So Zwift is like this online cycling thing is it? It’s not like Peloton, because Peloton is like an online spin class. Whereas Zwift is more like, I suppose, Peloton crossed with like, I suppose, FIFA or something like that, where it’s like a cycling thing. Like I got a proper bike specifically for it called a kicker bike and effectively as you turn the pedals it moves the avatar and it’s related to the amount of power that you’re able as an individual to produce. And the racing scene around it is surprisingly serious. And yeah, so I’m preparing at the moment for, so it’s recently been the world championships where various pro cyclists have competed on the platform. I’m not quite at that tier, I’m at pretty good level. But yeah, my team are currently, there’s this I suppose the equivalent of the premier league type stuff going on and we’re like in the championship at the moment, my team, we’re trying to get like a playoff place next season. It’s scarily serious the time and effort and mental space that goes into that.
[00:29:45] Dara: Okay so if you’re ever on this podcast again, we’re going to ask you what you do outside of your day job and your secondary job as a semi-professional Zwift rider.
[00:29:54] Kelvin: Yeah so the flexibility of setting your own workouts, it’s a bit like, yeah. Sometimes my wife’s like so did you do any work today? Or were you just on the glorified exercise bike?
[00:30:05] Dara: What about you Dan? That’s a tough act to follow by the way, so, you’re under pressure here.
[00:30:09] Daniel: I’m not even going to try, I was at a pub, I’m going to say pub again. So we do a little get together monthly, get together with Measurelab nowadays, just because the teams are all distributed we get an excuse to meet and do a little social activity, and this month we did it in Lewes, by our HQ actually. We had a pub dinner and had a couple of beers and kept it super low key, and it was really nice. I just got too drunk, I can’t do this anymore because it ruins like two days now, I just got a bit drunk. How about you, Dara? What have you been getting up to you?
[00:30:36] Dara: I did a murder mystery game, party. I’m not sure what you’d call it really. It was really fun. We dressed up like idiots and somebody was murdered, nobody was really murdered, and we had clues to follow and had to figure out who the murderer was. So I had heard about it. I’d know people had done them before, and I always said it was really good. So I did one on the weekend with my partner and her family. So we, we had a few drinks, had a good time and yeah, solved a very serious criminal case, fictional criminal case.
[00:31:03] Daniel: I’m glad you got to the bottom of it.
[00:31:04] Dara: Oh yeah, definitely. Yes, and I’m not going to say if I was the murderer or not, innocent until proven guilty. So Kelvin, just before we wrap up, where can people find out more about you?
[00:31:14] Kelvin: So yeah, if they want to find out more about the events, brightonseo.com is the website for that. And me personally, Twitter’s very much my kind of social media platform and home rather than any of the other ones. So yeah, I’m at twitter.com/kelvinnewman all one word and yeah, that’d be great for people to say hello if that’s their preferred platform.
[00:31:32] Dara: Or of course they can reach out to you in real life, in April at the event, although you’re a busy man.
[00:31:37] Kelvin: Yeah, I run around trying to look busy, all the team are doing all the hard work. I’m like just mostly getting in the way at that stage.
[00:31:44] Dara: And what about you, Dan? Where can people find out more about you?
[00:31:46] Daniel: So LinkedIn is my social platform of choice. So just Google Daniel Perry-Reed and find me on LinkedIn and also my blog, so dananalytics.co.uk, all links to all these social things will be in the show notes, of course. What about you Dara?
[00:31:59] Dara: Oh, well I have no events and no blog, but you can find out about me on LinkedIn. Look me up Dara Fitzgerald, you’ll find me and reach out if you want to chat to me. Okay that’s it from us for this week. As always, you can find out more about us and you can find all our previous episodes in the archive over at measurelab.co.uk/podcast. Or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or look me or Dan up on LinkedIn if you want to suggest a topic, or come and join us on The Measure Pod to discuss that topic with us. Our theme music you might have noticed has changed this time around our brand spanking new theme music is by Confidential, spelled the normal way with a C and links to their Spotify and Instagram will be in the show notes, and if you want to stick around we’ll play the full track at the end. Otherwise I’ve been Dara joined by Dan and also this time Kelvin. So it’s bye from me.
[00:32:53] Daniel: And bye from me.
[00:32:54] Kelvin: Bye from me too.
[00:32:55] Dara: See you next time.