Nine days from now, SEO Organization Philippines will kick off its annual Mastering Online Rankings Conference (MORCon) at the Raven Resort in Abucay, Bataan. More than a hundred digital marketing professionals are expected to make the trip for two days of learning and socials in a relaxing environment.
Over the years, MORCon has become particularly popular digital marketing event because it’s affordable, value-packed and full of people that you’ll want to connect with. There are no overpriced registration fees, no snot-nosed participants who don’t know how to socialize and no diva personalities that are too “rockstar” for you to have access to. Everything is yours for the taking and the quality of your experience depends on your receptiveness to knowledge and your willingness to interact.
It’s been a while since the last sizeable event of this kind, so I’m extremely excited to attend MORCon 2014. Here are six reasons why:
An Excellent Speaker Lineup
The organizers selected seven people from diverse backgrounds to deliver actionable presentations about the latest and greatest in the world of digital marketing. Industry luminary Jason Acidre is coming back after missing last year’s event to teach us some advanced inbound marketing techniques. I’m also looking forward to my former boss and mentor Jec Gonzales delivering his first public presentation where he’ll talk about building quality links through content promotion.
A couple of speakers whom I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet will also take the stage. Mike Lopez will discuss a WordPress-related topic while Apple Babasa will talk about Customer Value Optimization. Jayson Bagio also returns this year to talk about broken link building processes and tools.
I was lucky enough to get invited to speak for the second time and I have Mr. Ed Pudol to thank for it. I plan on discussing how content marketing can fit seamlessly with an existing SEO program to achieve great results.
A New Set of Officers
Mr. Zaldy Dalisay announced that a new set of officers will be elected to take over the Organization’s management. The current administration did a very good job in establishing a group that’s inclusive and community-oriented. The next batch of officers should be able to bring in some fresh ideas to try and take the community to the next level.
As much as I hate to talk politics (and this is hardly a political issue), I found myself wondering who the next president should be. In my mind, the org’s chief executive should be someone who is respected, successful in the industry and representative of what the Filipino digital marketer should be. The first guy to come to mind is Benj Arriola but since he’s US-based, we might have to find someone who’s in the country most of the time.
And that brings me to the guy whom I think is also a great fit for the job: Jason Acidre. The author of Kaiserthesage isn’t just popular, highly knowledgeable and an all-around nice guy: he also has a lot of innovative ideas that could breathe new life into the group. I think we’ll see more events, more interesting discussions and more projects if he ever takes the post. If he gets nominated, there will be no surprise as to where my vote is going.
Lots of Networking Opportunities
If you’re going to MORCon just to listen to the speakers, you’re missing half the event’s point. Personally, I find myself having more fun and learning more stuff when I meet new fellow marketers for the first time. Everyone has something to offer and you can tell that everyone means well when they walk up to you and say hello.
There are some very notable people attending this year who are speaker-caliber themselves. If you have an opportunity, I strongly suggest approaching these folks and getting acquainted with them:
- JP Prieto – COO and co-founder of Xight Interactive. One of the most business savvy people I know in the industry and a kickass marketer himself.
- Kenneth Sytian – Kenneth owns and runs his own web development/design company Sytian Productions. He’s a coder but he also has great business acumen. Definitely a guy you’ll want to have in your network.
- Valerie Deveza – One of the absolute best in the Philippines at social media marketing, Valerie is just so passionate about what she does. If you want to learn how to get hundreds of tweets for your blog posts, she’s definitely the person to ask.
- Venchito Tampon Jr. – Don’t let his youth fool you: this guy is a true student of the game. He’s an expert link builder and a rising power in the local blogging scene.
- Sam Nam – What more can I write about the best marketer that I have ever met? Whatever you do, do not miss connecting with the marketing VP of Digital Room Inc.
- JJ Pike – Digital Room’s main man in Manila for all things marketing. JJ is just one of the brightest guys in the local scene when it comes to analytics, SEO, SEM and people management.
- Ben Francia – Ben is my former boss and now the CEO of Francia Internet Marketing. He’s an expert at general digital marketing, outsourcing, web development, people management, project management and everything in between.
- Grant Merriel – If you spot an Australian guy who’s dropping hardcore business, marketing, process and analytics knowledge – that’s him. You can’t miss Grant.
- Fervil Von Tripoli – I’m glad he’s making the trip all the way from Mindanao to participate this year. Fervil is one of the best SEOs in the country bar none. He delivered a nice talk on keyword research in our event a few months ago but there’s plenty more that he can teach you when you get to meet him in person.
I’m sure there are several more whom I haven’t listed, so I’ll leave it to you to find them in the event yourself.
A Shot of Inspiration
Few career paths offer the same excitement and rewards that digital marketing does. Just like any other line of work, though, it can get stressful and monotonous if you don’t give yourself a break from time to time. MORCon is an excellent chance to unwind, relax and find inspiration to help you go back to the office with some renewed energy.
Personally I am inspired when I see very good presenters sharing the things they know to an eager crowd. The enthusiasm of newbies and their receptiveness to ideas reminds me of myself when I was starting out several years ago. Flashbacks to when I was broke and on the verge of quitting help me realize that nothing I have now should be taken for granted and the only way for me not to go back to tough times is to keep pushing forward.
Bataan is Beautiful
Where else can you find fresh air, rolling hills, super smooth highways, lovely beaches and friendly people just 90 minutes away from Metro Manila? Bataan is a really good venue and I’m not saying that just because I live in neighboring Pampanga. J
I’ve never been to Raven Resort but I trust Ed and the rest of the organizing committee’s choice of location. I’m sure everyone will have a good, memorable time in this lovely province.
Speaking of neighboring Pampanga, the boys of Xight Interactive and GDI will have a pre-MORCon Pampanga foodtrip on the evening of October 24th. That’s a Friday. We’ll skip the bus ride and go to Bataan the next morning in a vehicle convoy. Hopefully we’re all still sober by then. If you want to hang out with us, we’re not hard to get in touch with.
Bataan is also close to Subic and Clark. If you’re bringing your own ride, you may want to take some detours and make the most out of the weekend.
Do you have any other reasons to be excited about MORCon? Tell us in the comments section. That’s it. See you next week!