I’ve been writing this blog for almost five years now (it feels a bit like I’ve been writing it constantly in that time as well!) and I’ve been doing web analytics for even longer than that. I’ve seen the world change significantly in that time in terms of where we guys hang out, so today I thought I’d do the definitive list of places you should go if you want to get into the Web Analytics crowd in London.
Disclaimer: I’m bound to be biased, so feel free to correct me below the line if you think I’ve missed anything out.
Web Analytics Wednesday
Since Bob Mitchell
of SCL fame stopped running them, Steve Dalgleish of Lynchpin fame has picked up the baton and they run once every couple of months.
What are Web Analytics Wednesdays I hear you ask. Well they’re a worldwide system set up by Eric Peterson and they are owned by us
. Each one is therefore a bit different. The one that we hold in London usually starts just after work and consists of about half an hour of someone talking about something related to the industry, followed by a free drink from the sponsor and a bit of standing around chatting.
If you’re expecting to sit and learn about lots of things about the web analytics industry then you’ll probably be relatively disappointed. The last one had some interesting sessions from eConsultancy, but the usual format is that someone will do a disguised sales pitch on whatever it is that they happen to be pedalling.
I did one once
. And whilst it appears from my description that I wasn’t doing a sales pitch, I was in fact practising getting up and speaking in front of people and trying to promote myself.
What you will get from the session is the opportunity to come and chat to some fabled people in the world of Analytics in this country, in no particular order:
- Peter O’Neill – he will be around and about and available to talk to about most things analytics related – king of Omniture and Google Analytics
- Mike Feiner – years of experience of setting up A/B testing on financial services websites and running advanced segmentation for them.
- Zeljka Stojanovic – I worked with her on a jobs website and she knows WebTrends inside out
- Kelly McClean – now working at WebTrends, one of the few vendors who turn up to these events, but he is an analyst first and foremost
But this isn’t an exhaustive list – there are usually somewhere between 50 and 100 people at these things – turn up and say hello.
The format is fairly similar too – there tends to be a couple of speakers and I guess the crowd is slightly different these days to the early days.
I have to admit that I haven’t been to one yet (I keep either missing out because I’m busy or not noticing they are going on), but I will do soon!
London Web Analytics Meetup.com
The meetup.com website is a genius invention that I think everything will happen on in the end.
The London version of the Web Analytics meetup.com
is relatively active and a new version happens every other month. The format is more relaxed than the normal WAW, with no speeches and no sponsors. Previous events involved going bowling and sitting in pubs.
At first it feels a bit like socialising with people that you work with, but they are all really nice people, so I recommend that you sign up and go to one at least.
Adobe Digital Marketing Meetup.com
The Adobe version has only run twice, but with great success. Usually sponsored by whatever product that Adobe are launching at the moment, with a short session relating to that at the beginning, but with a group of people who are involved in Adobe Marketing Suite products. The last one was in the downstairs of a bar with Rich Page
Well worth signing up for
if you are involved in Omniture products because you’ll get to speak to lots of like-minded people and you might even bump into your account manager. Don’t bank on it though.
is the brain child of Peter O’Neill and co. The idea was that on the Friday there would be an official day of activities, followed by an ‘unofficial’ day of activities on the Saturday, which would be a bit more fun.
As it turned out the Friday planning fell through the cracks in the process and the Saturday was all that was left. Unfortunately for those that want to sign up it is this Satuday there are probably limited tickets left, but I recommend that you go to it. There are a whole bunch of interesting speakers, most of whom are analysts who are performing off their own back without being paid or sponsored from a consultancy or vendor.
Tickets are free.
Unfortunately I can’t be there as I have a prior engagement at my cousin’s wedding, but otherwise I’d be there with bells on.
Adobe Summit, WebTrends conference
The Adobe summit
and its WebTrends
counterpart are two of the biggest conferences in the country. Over a thousand people turned up to the Summit from all walks of digital marketing. The events have a lot of experienced speakers giving hints, tips and case studies from Omniture and WebTrends.
That said, they tend to be a little expensive for the younger amongst you and because of that they attract people on freebies from the vendor and their partners or paid for by their company. The higher up execs tend to make this the place that they like to do business.
I’ve been to eMetrics
twice in the past (and tagged along for the evening session once as well). There are some very clever, very experienced people at this conference, led by the father of Web Analytics Jim Sterne
Speakers generally include a series of high profile Analytics people:
It will be interesting to see who they have set up to speak this time around. This tends to last two days and has a bit of a knees up in the middle. This is usually the conference that you want to go to if you are starting out in Analytics and want to learn more. However it isn’t cheap, so sign up early and see if you can get your company to sponsor you.
Now trans-Atlantic, but still keeping their feet on the ground, the team at eConsultancy not only write a prolific blog
, but also have a huge array of interesting reports for you to download.
But added to that they also run a series of events that are usually well thought out and interesting sessions. There is the largest of them all (JUMP
), but there are equally a bunch of smaller ones, including round table sessions
where there are just a few people discussing latest trends.
Digital Analytics Association
replaced the WAA a couple of years ago. It’s mainly US based, but it does help sponsor eMetrics. If you’re paying for yourself and you think you’ll go to lots of conferences then it is well worth signing up for.
Having said that, there isn’t much going on in the way of UK activity. They have just launched their certification process, but there hasn’t been a huge uptake from the UK yet, so don’t think that you need one to get a job in Analytics.
Thinking of setting up an event? It is a crowded marketplace out there! But come to the sessions and talk to the people there. I guarantee you won’t find a friendlier group of people who would love to talk to you about whatever it is that is on your mind at the time. Not least if you buy them a drink (hint hint).