Hero Conf from Attendee to Speaker: What a Ride It’s Been!
February 24, 2014
I attended the first Hero Conf in April 2012. At the time, I was a Senior SEM Analyst for an in-house paid search department. When I was first presented the opportunity to attend, I couldn’t have been more excited! For the first time, I would be going to a conference dedicated solely to PPC. It was a pretty intense day from what I can remember. The conference started early morning with the keynote addresses and followed by an action packed day of panels that covered everything from ad copy, to live landing page critiques, to the importance of mobile advertising (I believe 2012 really was the year mobile arrived)! I was absolutely in my glory. The information I walked away with was not just theoretical, but actionable items I was able to apply to my account right away. In fact, as soon as I got back to the office, I immediately broke out mobile and tablet traffic into its own campaigns and saw improved performance. Hero Conf was the only show I’ve attended in my career where the knowledge I gained directly impacted the bottom line of the company I was working for.
Hero Conf 2012 was my first face-to-face exposure with Hanapin Marketing. It was awesome to meet the people behind PPCHero and pick their brains on how to best manage accounts. Talk about bringing the blog to life!
It’s May of 2013 and now I’m WORKING for Hanapin. The people who put on this conference I learned so much at are now my bosses and co-workers. The biggest contributing factor in my move to Hanapin (besides them saying ‘your hired’) was the possibility of being able to learn from some of the brightest minds in PPC and contribute the little I know to the blog.
Fast Forward Some More…
This past fall, planning for the conference hit high gear. An email was sent around asking for account managers to apply for speaking gigs. There were only limited slots available because so many people were applying to speak and only a limited number of speaking panels available. I was hesitant at first, but finally said, ‘why not’ and submitted a speaker pitch. Although I was expecting to hear (and ok with) ‘That was a great pitch but maybe next year’, I was accepted to speak!
My first reaction was ‘oh no, what did I get myself into’. Now I’m really excited about the opportunity to speak. This is my first speaking gig so I have to admit that I’m a bit nervous. After all, I’ll be speaking along side some of the most influential people in the paid search advertising space. My past experience with public speaking was taking a class in college!
What a difference a year makes! In 2012 I was in the audience soaking in the knowledge and now I’ll be on the other end dispensing it. My 3 goals for being a speaker at Hero Conf is 1) Don’t put anyone to sleep 2) Learn as much as I possibly can not only about PPC but how to effectively speak on a panel & 3) Have people walk away with key takeaways they can apply to their PPC practice like I was able to do when I was an attendee.
I hope to see you in April. You never know, maybe one day you’ll move from the audience to the speaker’s podium!
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