Attending networking conferences could be a game-changer in your professional journey. Not only do they connect you with like-minded professionals but also provide opportunities to learn about the latest advancements in your field.
Today, I’m back with yet another event post! This time, I’m going to talk about Search Central Live, which is a conference organized by Google. I recently attended this event in New Delhi and returned with insightful lessons and some cool freebies!
In this article, I’m going to share my entire experience of attending Google’s Search Central Live event with you. We’ll also discuss if you should attend this event along with its major pros and some areas of improvement.
So tighten your seatbelts and let the journey begin!
What is Google Search Central Live?
Google Search Central Live is a flagship event series organized by the Google Search Central Team. Previously known as the Webmasters Conference, this event aims to bring the Google community together and share important insights.
It typically revolves around topics like SEO and marketing. Esteemed speakers from Google are invited to share their knowledge, tips, and strategies with the community. It’s a valuable event for SEO professionals, web developers, marketers, website owners, and tech enthusiasts.
I attended the last Webmasters Conference in 2019, after which they paused it due to the pandemic. After about 4 years, this is the first time Google Search Central Live is organized in India. I recently attended it in New Delhi.
My Experience at Google Search Central Live
Google Search Central Live was organized in two locations in India: Delhi and Bengaluru. I attended it on September 25th, 2023 at Le Meridien in New Delhi. Let’s dive into the details now.
Registering for the Event
The registration process for Search Central Live is quite different from other conferences. There’s no ticket system for this event. It’s completely free to attend. However, people can only attend by invitation.
You simply need to provide your personal details, blog URL, and work-related information to complete the application process. The Google team carefully analyzes your application as per their criteria and sends you an invitation if you’re selected.
Collecting Event Passes
At the event venue, you simply need to provide your registered email ID to get your pass.
Along with that, they also provide you with free swags like a tote bag, diary, and pen with the Google Search Central branding!
Attending the Speaker Sessions
The highlight of this event was the speaker sessions. Popular experts from Google were invited to share their insights on a range of topics around SEO, search engines, and marketing.
However, you couldn’t ask any questions between or after the sessions. A separate Q&A session was organized at the end of the conference to resolve your queries. And selected questions from a few participants were addressed.
Overall, I found the speaker sessions to be decent. There was nothing extraordinary about them. You can find them on their YouTube channel as well! But the Q&A and myth-busting sessions were good.
The only con for me was that I couldn’t raise questions during or after the session. They also restricted recording or live streaming of their sessions, which is why I couldn’t create any vlogs.
Clicking Pictures at the Photo Booths
There were captivating photo booths set up outside the main hall where participants could get their pictures clicked. They also had cool cut-outs of Google, which stood out in the photos. I clicked some pictures as well. It was a good experience!
Enjoying the Appetizing Food
They arranged the food stalls right behind the main session hall. Breakfast, lunch, and tea were provided, and the food was really tasty.
Interacting with Fellow Attendees
Google Search Central Live gave me the opportunity to reconnect with so many familiar faces and interact with some new ones. For instance, I met up with Shubham, who owns a digital marketing company in Delhi.
I also had a chat with Mustaq Ahmed, the co-founder of Inforises Technologies, a web development and digital marketing company based in Faridabad. He revealed how he earned over $100k (₹83,25,965) last September from Google!
I found it truly impressive how you can find hidden diamonds at these conferences! This is why networking events are such a powerful way to connect with like-minded people.
Filling Up the Networking Sheet
This was one of the most exciting activities, in my opinion. They provided each of the participants with a networking sheet called “Friend Stickers”. Similar to a business card, it had dozens of stickers with the participant’s details written over it.
You could write your contact on a sticker and exchange it with anyone you interact with at the event. The stickers you receive from others had to be stuck on your booklet. Anyone who collected stickers from 14 or more companies was awarded free swags!
I think this was a really cool tactic to prompt healthy networking among the participants.
Search Central Live Cons
1) No Separate Networking Area
Networking is one of the primary motives of these conferences. However, there was no separate space for networking at the event venue.
With no networking zones, participants had no choice but to attend all the speaker sessions. But as most of the attendees were newbies, the organizers should’ve made more efforts towards ensuring healthy networking.
I think it’s not just the speaker sessions that leave an impact on the attendees. It’s the opportunities to connect with people that really spark most people’s interest. A great idea would’ve been incorporating a few games and a recharge zone alongside the photo booths.
2) Food Area Should’ve Been Separated
Another thing I didn’t like much was the arrangement of the food area. It was right behind the main hall where the speakers were conducting their sessions.
So, the participants seated towards the back of the hall could hear background noises. This was quite distracting and made it difficult to focus on the speakers. I think it would’ve been much better if these two areas were kept separate.
Should You Attend Search Central Live?
If your work revolves around Google search engine, SEO, marketing, or blogging, you should certainly attend Google Search Central Live. You’ll gain tonnes of insights along with tips and strategies to build a successful blog, brand, or business.
My tip for beginners attending this conference would be this – Make sure you don’t spend all your time attending the speaker sessions. Go out there and connect with people. Build at least 5 connections during the conference.
Interacting with other participants will not only boost your confidence and communication skills but also help you find new perspectives and fresh ideas.
Alternatively, you can also attend a variety of other conferences like IAS, ad:tech, WordCamp, etc. All of these are great networking grounds for marketers, SEO professionals, affiliates, bloggers, eCommerce owners, small businesses, freelancers, and digital professionals.
Overall, I really appreciate Google’s initiative to restart the Search Central Live events. I had a pretty good experience and would love to see them organizing these conferences in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities like Indore, Bhopal, etc.
So, did you attend the Search Central Live event last month? What did you like the most about the event? I’d love to hear your experiences and opinions. Are there any tips or suggestions you’d like to leave for first-time attendees? Let me know in the comments box below.
Anyway, this is Kripesh signing off. To receive updates about upcoming events and conferences, make sure you subscribe to my blog. I’ll be back with more exciting blog posts. Till then, keep learning and exploring. Cheers! 🙂