Well that really was a brief hiatus… 😂
Less than a month ago I blogged saying that Cardiff SEO Meet was going on hiatus until after my son’s operation. Well between then and now he’s had updated scans and the doctor thinks he no longer needs his op any more, as everything is improving nicely, which is fantastic news. It means that I can carry on with Cardiff SEO Meet without the worry that I may have to cancel/reschedule the meetups to fit around the op.
(Also, sorry for being so open about all this, as I know it makes people uncomfortable… I just wanted to explain my reasoning in case anyone thought I was postponing events and taking a break from it for weak or unimportant reasons.)
Anyway… with that in mind, I’ve gone ahead and booked the next three dates at Cardiff Bierkeller, which is where we were for the last event. Here they are:
- Cardiff SEO Meet #8 – Thursday 19th July
- Cardiff SEO Meet #9 – Thursday 20th September*
- Cardiff SEO Meet #10 – Thursday 22nd November
* For this event we’ll be in a different area of Bierkeller to usual, as our usual room is unavailable for this night. I’ll post more about this on the event’s dedicated Meetup page when the time comes.
There’s also a few minor/subtle changes that are being made going ahead:
- You’ll notice above that the dates are 2 months apart instead of 3, which is something that I floated in the hiatus post. It means that we’ll be running 6 events a year going forward instead of 4. I also have some really exciting speakers in mind for the next few events (including an international keynote speaker)!
- Instead of RSVPs on Meetup being open 2 weeks before the event date, RSVPs will open straight away, as soon as the event page goes live (usually 4-6 weeks before the event). I just think this’ll make it easier for people – I liked the idea of having a scheduled ‘ticket release’ time/date, but I always worry that the people who see the Meetup page as soon as it goes live forget about it by the time the RSVPs open, and therefore that we’re missing out on potential attendees.
- Site reviews are continuing to happen, however whereas they used to be free for the site ‘volunteer’, I’ll now be asking for a fee – this is only because I’ve been messed around a few times in the past, with people cancelling last-minute or not having their website ready in time (e.g. if it was going through a launch or redesign). It’s £100, however half of it is a deposit that you get back after the event (so £50 really), and the money goes to charity as a donation. Want to be considered? There’s a bit of a waiting list but feel free to email me expressing interest. A few rules and terms apply though, so I can’t promise that you’ll be accepted (it’ll make more sense when we discuss it).
So keep an eye out for the Meetup event pages for each one in due course. Want to make sure you’re kept updated? Join the Meetup group and follow @CardiffSEOMeet on Twitter.
I love running Cardiff SEO Meet – but it’s a lot of hard work.
Each time I run one of the events, I think to myself “enh, it’s just 2 speakers, and they’re 3 months apart – it’ll take no time to sort out!” – but then I inevitably forget about finding and liaising with the speakers; sorting out the site review volunteer; sorting everything out with the venue (which takes infinitely longer when we change venues – which has happened twice); hiring a helping hand; double-checking that the sponsors are happy with everything; scheduling a ton of tweets; and all the other stuff that goes with it.
The last couple of events have been especially tough to organise because since last summer my youngest son (who recently turned one year old) has been in-and-out of hospital due to an on-going health issue. He had an operation scheduled for January just gone, so at the time I booked the next event for March (the 7th event) because I thought that the op would be well and truly out of the way by then and that he would’ve also fully recovered by then, too. But I didn’t consider the fact that the op may get rescheduled… which it did. A lot. First to early February, and then there was talk that it’d take place in March… Uh-oh.
It’s now been rescheduled again, this time in May (and there’s talk that it may move yet again). The next event should take place around then (May/June) if I want to keep it true to the quarterly formula. But with the op looming and its date still possibly TBC, I’m reluctant to book the next Cardiff SEO Meet date only to have to cancel/reschedule it if they end up clashing…
So I’ve decided to put Cardiff SEO Meet on temporary hiatus until the op’s done-and-dusted and my boy’s seen a full recovery.
It’ll hopefully be brief… Heck, it might work out that it’s only a couple of months longer anyway (a gap of 4-5 months instead of 3).
Anddd… No promises but I might start to make the event every 2 months instead of every 3 months when it returns. So there’s good news in the pipeline.
I just wanna take the time to say a big thank you to Zoe at Cardiff Bierkeller (who was great to work with – especially when we had to reschedule the most recent event due to the snow), the speakers and site review at the last event (Rhydian, Francesca and Jacqui), and the five sponsors for the last couple of events: Tom of Ghost Marketing, Peter of Xanthe Studios, Brett & Kim of Traffic Jam Media, Gareth of Made Clear and Rakesh of Escentual.com. And everyone else who’s supported the meetup in one way or another. You people rock.
Back in 2015, I created a side-project website for my parents’ IT recruitment agency (Computer Recruiter) called CR 25, where we published 25 blog posts in one month to coincide with their 25th anniversary in business. It was a ton of fun, and I was chuffed that it earned me a couple of UK Search Awards shortlistings.
Since then (given that the main CR site doesn’t have its own blog – I know, I know…), I’ve been wondering what else we can do on the content front, beyond CR 25 and our occasional guest blogging efforts. On Twitter (@ComputerRecruit) we follow a lot of meetup/event organisers (check out our Twitter list!) and also RT a lot of their tweets about upcoming events, which got me thinking: what about a calendar of all the tech events in South Wales, all in one place…?
And voilà – TechEvents.Wales is born.
Its homepage features a list of upcoming events from a ton of different meetups covering a ton of different topics: AWS South Wales User Group, South Wales Agile Group, Swansea Software Development Meetup, Digital Tuesday, PyDiff, South Wales Cyber Security Cluster and Cardiff Blogs, to name a few… even the horrendously run, joke-of-a-meetup that is Cardiff SEO Meet is on there. 😉
Its blog is going to include:
- Interviews with local meetup organisers,
- An analysis of 2017’s meetups in the area,
- Writeups and reviews of local meetups, etc. etc.
Find out more in our intro post.
Got any ideas? Want to get involved? Feel free to drop me a comment below or tweet me. I live off feedback (so long as it’s constructive, obvs!) and would welcome people’s opinions on the direction of the site and its blog.
Also, a quick thank you to Peter of Xanthe Studios for helping with a few frustrating WordPress issues when setting up the site.
New year, new venue. After three events in 2017 at Tramshed Tech, it’s time for a change… Cardiff SEO Meet is looking for a new venue for its events in 2018 and beyond. I have somewhere in mind, but I’d like to keep options open and get a ton of suggestions to consider.
Can you help? Do you know of anywhere suitable? Are you a venue owner who can provide a venue? Here’s our criteria:
- Within 10 mins walk from Cardiff Central railway station
- Reliable, free WiFi – ideally with no catches (e.g. you don’t have to subscribe to their mailing list or follow them on social media, etc.)
- Accessible between 5:30pm-ish & 9:30pm-ish on the night, to set up and pack by
- 50-100 capacity
- Their own screen/projector setup
And nice-to-haves, although by no means deal-breakers if not available:
- Food and drink available to buy (negating the need for a caterer – although happy to source externally if required)
- PA and mic provided (if required, depending on whether or not the venue needs it)
- Parking outside or nearby (free evening parking an added bonus)
Something like a function room in a bar would probably be our best fit, however another possibility could be an office premises, say if they also host events there… So long as the above criteria are met really.
We have sponsors, so there’s a budget, meaning that the venue hire doesn’t necessarily have to be free/cheap… however if the venue is open to becoming an event sponsor in return for a reduced rate then that’d be fab. Perks include a logo and a link on the Meetup group and on the event page of each event (here’s an example of an old event page), mentions in tweets before/during/after the event, mentions/links in the emails that go out to meetup subscribers (380+ people as I type this), and probably a whole bunch of other stuff. There’s also the fact that the venue will be seen by 30-50 people each time (I’m hoping to ramp this up next year) – one of our past venues commented that everyone who came to the event was a fresh face who had never visited before, so 30-50 new customers essentially.
Let me know! You can leave a comment below, email me, tweet me or @CardiffSEOMeet, or sign up to the Meetup group and message me on there. Cheers!
Yesterday I did a talk at Cardiff WordPress, my first speaking gig in close to a year (you can see a list of all my past speaking gigs here).
Held at the fabulous Tramshed Tech (where Cardiff SEO Meet is also held!), I presented in front of 20+ WordPress designers & developers as well as fellow digital marketers.
My talk? Getting the Most from Yoast, giving details and insight into the Yoast SEO plugin, showcasing its features and settings, explaining how and why certain parts of it affect your website’s SEO, and how to make sure you’re setting it up to get the most out of it.
It was a good, attentive group, who were a pleasure to present to. After my talk, there was a general roundtable Q&A session where individuals could field their WordPress problems to the group, which was pretty cool. We also talked about SEO a bit more (something that I ain’t complaining about)!
Here are the slides, which I submitted to Speaker Deck (because they looked terrible when uploaded to SlideShare):
[Image credit – Davey Brown via Twitter (and then run through Prisma)]