The UK’s Best (and dampest) SEO Conference

Thinkvisibility 5, the first thinkvis I’ve been to without Wiebke who stayed at home looking after Alexa, but I had a great crowd to look after me on my travels!

Before Leaving Edinburgh

The sensible thing to do when heading to a conference with a group of thirsty Scots, obviously, is to drop in past Illegal Jack’s for a BurritoBeerSponge™. Jack’s opened half an hour early, just for us! We even got a nice new booth reserved for us especially:


And so it was that at 1130 we lined our stomachs for the day ahead. Chris Clarkson, Clarke Duncan, David McClelland & George Currie all came through from Glasgow, while myself Ian Daniels & Mark Boyd made up the Edinburgher contingent. Fraser Edwards also joined us, though sadly wasn’t coming to Thinkvis with us.

Leaving Edinburgh

A perhaps little known fact about international travel from Scotland, is that a case of beer is compulsory – even if it is Spanish beer and is empty before half of the journey is completed. An even less known fact is that us Scots are incredibly generous, though there is now a Norwegian bloke who knows that, hopefully he’ll do his part to dispel the vicious stereotypes about us.

Arriving in Leeds

After all that travelling a couple of beers in the hotel bar were just the ticket and was good to see some familiar, and some new, faces there: Paul Madden, Branko Rihtman and Justin Parks

Being a lightweight, and nothing to do with WeeBurnett having been a bit grumpy the night before, I had to go for a wee lie down before the pre-conference party…

Pre-Conference Party

Apres snooze it was time for me and my hat to head to the pre-conference party, as usual I got some snaps of people wearing my hat. I didn’t get round everyone, but (as always) everyone who is pictured wearing my hat has my full personal endorsement.

Chris Clarkson from sunshine.co.uk:

Justin Parks, social media consultant extraordinaire and much friendlier than he looks here:

Ingo Bousa, who I seem to have known for years from StumbleUpon but never actually met, so it was brilliant to make his acquaintance in real time!

The first person that Wiebke and I met on the morning of the first ever Thinkvis was Steven Lilley who is now an official photographer of the conference – I do hope this snap is acceptable to you Steven ;)
Also be sure to check out Steven’s Thinkvisibility photo stream on Flickr!

Rishi Lakhani I also seem to have known for years, but only actually met at the first thinkvis – top bloke, truly top bloke.

Beers flowed relentlessly throughout and (once the bar was closed) Shaun Anderson, Richard Shove and myself were going to raid Shaun’s minibar… only to find that Shaun’s room was locked and most of the corridor was in the drink. There are a number of adjectives that I considered linking to Shaun with, but I think that UK SEO pretty much covers it best – besides just thinking the word “damp” still hurts from laughing.


Of course Richard also got a shot of my hat…

Thinkvisibility 5 – The Conference Proper

Without exception I thoroughly enjoyed all of the sessions I attended:

  • Self Promotion for Over-thinkers: How The Right Audience Could Change Your Life by Peter Cooper
  • Mind Games: Using Brainwashing, Psychology and Cults to Boost Your Conversion Rate by Stephen Pavlovich
  • Adventures in Oursourcing by Paul Madden
  • Twitchhiker – Sharing, Not Selling by Paul Smith
  • Dave’s Den by Dave Naylor
  • Alas I missed Annabel Hodges’ talk on KPIs, Data, Reporting and Communication. Stop Pandering to Others, Start Maximising your Relationships, I got sidetracked in a discussion about social media experts versus consultants.

If you’re looking for the details of the talks, well you should have been there yourself, shouldn’t you? You’ll know better for next time though won’t you?

After Party

By this point you could be excused for thinking that the entire point of the conference is to party, not true though. Granted there is a hell of a lot of partying before and after the presentations, but there should be a nugget or two for most people in most of the talks. Granted there is a lot of chatter and banter which is off-topic, but that’s what cements relationships.

During the after party for example, I confirmed my suspicion that I am useless at poker – I lasted all of 3 hands in the Jaamit fund game. I learnt that fish fingers can be used as incendiary devices, that dog’s beds are too small for people of 6 foot and over and that curtains have many uses. I discovered that great whisky is appreciated by people who sleep under manky carpets and that sometimes, just sometimes a support girdle should be worn in case your sides actually split.


Messrs Clarkson, Parks and Burnett raided the wee shop closest to the hotel for “medicine”. 6 bottles was all that the shop had and we bought the lot, after all travelling is thirsty work.


Can’t wait til next time!

Further Reading, Serious & Less So

If I’ve missed anyone out, please just let me know :)

Sometimes I am an Asshat

Get it? Hat? No, nevermind…
None of the above would ever have happened had it not been for His Hodgetasticness, Dom Hodgson
Forgive me Dom, and you’ll get another pic in the hat next time!

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  1. I look so damn good in that hat I might have to kill you to get it…

    Great conference and dead happy to have met ya Andrew. Look forward to meeting you again sooner rather than later mate!

  2. Great photo’s Andrew and an excellent reminder of just what an AWESOME conference ThinkVis5 was.

    Thoroughly enjoyed our travel down & back, which was largely thanks to you!

    * Applauds the hat and all who wear it*

    1. Cheers Ian!

      The travel chat, in particular the travel back, was great and needs followed up on!

      Also need a pic of you in the hat, you’ve more than earned my endorsement :)

  3. Andrew! So nice to finally meet you and your hat in person. I really enjoyed Thinkvis: One nation – Under one hat. See ya later : )

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