After running Search London for over 4 years, I wanted to find out how others organise and put on events. In this post, I interview our sponsors, Ungagged for our next Search London event.
What makes Ungagged different to the other conferences? (USP – why people should attend)
- UnGagged is different to many other conferences with the DM / IM / Search arena.
- UnGagged is a speaker led event where the speakers get total freedom to deliver what they want, how they want.
- What is shared at UnGagged is always unique and always cutting edge, with many of the speakers, especially those entrenched in SEO, not deciding on the full extent of their session until days before the event due to the nature of changes in our industry.
- UnGagged does not let any outside influence change the course of what we feel is important to share, it’s a behind closed doors, no recording allowed, high caliber intermediary to advanced level intimate, sociable 3 days.
- Sponsors or partners have absolutely no say in what we allow our speakers to reveal because UnGagged is a platform for free speech and if they are worried about the content, they should sponsor a safer more mainstream event.
- UnGagged is about pulling the gag off, so the speakers can let rip with quality, immediately actionable take-aways to help the attendees learn more and earn more.
- We facilitate a experience where an international DM / IM / SEO community gets together, shares the latest and greatest proven methodologies over some great food, free drinks and awesome networking where everyone gets an amazing ROI.
When did you start running Ungagged and why?
Our first UnGagged conference was in Vegas in November last year. May sees our first event in Europe. The reason why we started running UnGagged was born from a desire to buck the trend in some of the other events. We especially wanted a conference to educate people allowing industry leaders and influencers who really know their niche inside out to actually reveal the truth on how they are successful. We, the 3 UnGagged partners, had been to many events globally and we found there too many similarities in what we witnessed and experienced. The top 5 on our ‘must change’ list were :
- Massive events where everyone card swaps, meets maybe a handful of contacts and never made a ROI
- Conferences where everyone is ‘networking’ in the halls because their ticket does not allow access to the speakers sessions.
- Speakers were being told what they could or couldn’t say because the event organisers were scared of upsetting their sponsors and partners.
- The same speakers doing the circuit churning out the same content or it’s an event where the speakers are just pitching their product.
- No food, no drinks and no ‘real’ networking taking place.
It was time for a change and at UnGagged none of the above occurs.
How far in advance do you start planning your conference? Do you work with other partners to put on the event?
The first conference took us over a year to organise. Being from the UK we were a little crazy and decided the first one should be in Vegas in a sink or swim attitude. I guess the first one is always the most scary / painful but it did yield an enormous amount of satisfaction and pride. That ended November 17, so I guess we started on London November 18! We happily work with any like minded partners and all exposure with a new venture like ours is most welcome.
Is Ungagged all about Black Hat?
No, not at all. If somebody wants to discuss their techniques and successes whichever colour hat, we give them the platform to openly share. It’s great to see all sides and opinions coming from within a community of free spirited professionals. DM / IM / SEO are broad subjects and there are many experts in many different niches within, all are welcome as long as they have something actionable and unique to deliver. We don’t judge or censor. If something works and they want to share it to help people develop, whether head of a global brand or an individual technopreneur, then great, bring it on.
Who is the team behind Ungagged and what is their background?
We are small team from diverse industry backgrounds working for a DM / SEO agency north of London. It’s headed up by our tech / marketing guru and CEO Damien who along with our number two, owns the world’s second most popular SEO forum to name but one part of the ever expanding portfolio. UnGagged is another huge project for us and next is a niche recruitment consultancy specialising in high quality SEO’s. Busy times!
When do you confirm speakers? How far in advance do they contact you or do you contact them?
Hand on heart, 29 out of the 30 speakers from Vegas asked to do our next conference wherever it was in the world. We had to be diplomatic in choosing those from that event to return to London. Getting speakers isn’t difficult because although we’ve only had one event, the word is out, and many want to join us.
To date, we are still getting approached for May and those slots were filled a while back, so the list for our re-run in Vegas this November is already forming. We seem to be doing something which really appeals to speakers especially those who have plenty to get off their chests. We confirm speakers as soon as we can so the world gets to see that UnGagged attracts the absolute cream of the industry and is a ‘must-attend’ event.
Where can we find more about the event?
To find out about UnGagged, come to the next Search London event. All tickets are available via Eventbrite.
UnGagged are Search London’s sponsors and can answer any questions you may have about the event. Alternatively visit their website and check out the Testimonials page and the the line of speakers preparing to let rip behind closed doors.