Helping marketers meet, learn and do their job a little better

We started out organising a gathering in a pub that became the world’s biggest (and we reckon best) search conference and ended up launching a bunch of other popular marketing conferences.  It’s been a fun journey so far and we’re only just getting started.

How it all started

Once upon a time, Kelvin decided it would be cool to get a group of SEO mates together in a pub to talk shop. The idea was to share ideas and chat about all the interesting stuff that we can’t really talk about with anyone outside the industry for fear of them falling asleep.

Word got out and more people showed up than he expected. So, next time he booked a larger room… again, more and more people showed up.

We realised we might be onto something

A free industry conference, talking about real issues, with practical advice from people who actually know what they’re talking about. brightonSEO was born.

Since then we have seen the conference continue to grow into the beautiful, if scarily large, thing we have today.

Taking place at the Brighton Centre, the biggest conference venue in the city, brightonSEO is the largest search marketing conference in the world.

We now have over 4000 delegates scrabbling for tickets from all over the UK and further afield. We give away thousands of free tickets which we now have to run via a ballot because we kept crashing ticketing websites with demand!

Of all the search conferences in the world, we reckon it’s biggest and also the most fun (but then we would say that wouldn’t we).

“A long way from a room above a pub”

Branching Out

With such a high demand for tickets we decided to branch out and help people go deeper into a particular topic with our smaller conferences; MeasureFest, Affiliate Huddle, the Paid Social Show, and the Search Advertising Show.

We also run training workshops the day before brightonSEO where people can learn directly from experts in their field.

brightonSEO has its own series of fringe events covering socialising, networking and seeing our beautiful city.

What we’re about

We’re about having fun, about being real, and, most importantly, educating as many people as possible on the ever expanding, fast-paced industry that is digital marketing.

If we had to sum our mission up in one sentence we say

“Helping marketers meet, learn and do their job a little better”

Our Events

The main way help digital marketers meet, learn and do their job a little better is by organising a series of digital marketing events.

These aren’t like your usual digital trade-shows where you’re herded round a bunch of exhibition stands while business cards are shoved in your hand by over-zealous sales people.

And they’re not like most digital conferences where you need to re-mortgage your house to sit in a generic hotel or football club function room and get generic advice.

We’re digital marketers, not event organisers who organise SEO conferences one week and pharmaceutical conferences the next.

We worry about how to put on a decent event first and worry about how to make money later, which is pretty much the opposite to the rest of the industry.

brightonSEO was our first and is our most popular event. It brings 4000 people to Brighton twice a year. It’s a large scale, in-depth SEO event, you won’t find more intelligent and passionate search marketers in one place anywhere else in the world.

MeasureFest - a brightonSEO fringe event

MeasureFest is dedicated to data driven marketing and has laser targeted focus on web analytics and conversion rate optimisation. If you want to make more from the visitors you already get to your site this event is genetically engineered just for you.

Paid Social Show - a brightonSEO fringe event

The Paid Social Show covers all things social media advertising from the platforms you’d expect like Facebook and Twitter to some you might not have considered before.

The Search Advertising Show is for PPC people. If you pay to advertise on the SERPs you need this event to make the most of your time and money. Plus it’s next to the beach which is a bonus!

AffiliateHuddle is an event all about discussion of what works in affiliate marketing. It’s an event for publishers, networks and merchants. Relaxed, friendly and focused.

The Team

Kelvin Newman

Kelvin Newman - Founder

Kelvin Newman is the Founder of Rough Agenda, a company that arranges specialist digital marketing events including BrightonSEO.

In 2014 Kelvin was voted by econsultancy as the most influential individual in digital and in 2013 won the Search Personality award at the UK Search Awards.

He is also Co-founder of clockworkTalent with Natasha Woodford a specialist recruitment consultancy that genuinely understands digital marketing.

Tom Bailey

Tom Bailey - Head of Operations

Tom is a live event producer and event manager, with a background in large-scale live events, conferencing, arts festivals, theatre, and community projects.

With us he oversees the planning and on the day management processes across the Rough Agenda event portfolio.

After 7 years with Rough Agenda he’s getting quite good at sense checking Kelvin’s continuous ideas, and turning the good ones into successful events.

Nicola Potzas

Nicola Potzas - Head of Partnerships

Nicola grew up in Zimbabwe and moved to London in 1998 where she supported top analysts at the global financial services company UBS, and helped the ‘Magic Circle’ law firm Linklaters create Europe-wide marketing materials. In 2011 she moved from London to Brighton and started her own business. Kelvin was one of her first clients, where she helped him out with registration at BrightonSEO in 2012.

She has worked with Kelvin ever since taking care of all the stuff behind the scenes, she now looks after the sponsors. Nicola also runs Specialpreneurs Ltd, where she matches virtual assistants/marketers with entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Kenny Taylor

Kenny Taylor - Production Manager

Kenny is Production Manager for brightonSEO, ensuring all the production, technical and venue related matters fit seamlessly together throughout our time on site, as well as eating more than his fair share of chocolate.

Emmeline Caines-Gooby

Emmeline Caines-Gooby - Conference Coordinator

Emm has been working in event management/production since 2007, including stage management for brightonSEO since 2013. Emm handles our ticketing process and coordinates the Friends desk at the conference.

She’s at her happiest with multiple tasks, lots of lists, and an occasional clipboard. Often known to wear sparkly sneakers.

Andrea Short

Andrea Short - Conference Coordinator

Andrea looks after the speakers and trainers, as well as new sales. When not loving being part of brightonSEO, she can be found in her kitchen cooking up a storm, relaxing with a glass of something home-made or walking both of these off by the river.

Julie Sharp

Julie Sharp - Event Manager

Julie is a freelance Event Manager with over 14 years of experience. She oversees the on-the-day delivery and smooth running of our Fringe events, as well as being a trusted Stage Manager at brightonSEO.

Jo Walters

Jo Walters - Community & Marketing

If you’ve seen a tweet, Facebook post or email from us, that was probably written by Jo (though Kelvin gets the credit for the sassy Twitter memes and anything with a typo in it).

Jo makes sure you all know about the conference, want to come along and have all the info you need to make the most of it. She got involved with brightonSEO by lending Kelvin a hand managing the @brightonSEO Twitter account when it got too much for him to keep an eye on whilst also hosting the event. Several conferences and venues later she works part-time on the conference all year round and finds the hardest part is keeping all the weird ideas and plans a secret until the event!

When she’s not working on brightonSEO events she runs 25 Dots, a communications and marketing agency for students’ unions and other small organisations, and posts too many cat gifs on her social media accounts.

The community

The community - The reason we put on events

It might sound cheesey but the community around our events are the reason they’re successful. They help us plan the events, they help us promote them and they turn up and make them the most welcoming and friendly events in the industry.

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