Nervous? No, never, not me. With a refreshing glass of water obligingly pushed into my hand (wish I'd hit the complimentary wine a little earlier- it was all gone by the time I felt composed enough to partake- that'll learn me eh?) and lashings of deep fried goodness to take on any tummy rumbles, I surveyed the scene. Packed to the ceiling with glamorous (not a brace or monobrow in sight) tech ladies (and a few chaps), I did a quick positioning check to see if my name-tag sticker was ok and dived into the fray...
I found the whole evening very rewarding. The talks were informative without being too heavy for a Tuesday in the pub and the general atmosphere was really friendly and non-intimidating. First up was the birthday girl Judith 'deCabbit' Lewis, who delivered a rapid-fire synopsis of 'SEO- The Core Elements'. Useful to a noob like myself (I'm still suffering from a slight case of jargonitus), the Q&A session allowed a few more in depth issues to come to light.
Next was Sheila Farrell who spoke passionately about the importance of separating content and design on your website in 'Semantic Markup and Organic SEO'. I'm not a natural techie, so quite a lot of this was over my head (but I still took notes!) For me, the most interesting point was how crucial accessibility is as the Internet becomes more widely used across a full range of platforms refined for every kind of user.
Finally, Sarah Mcvittie (of CEO Texpert fame) took to the floor. She started with an interesting 'vision' of where her team see their service in 2010- a fully functional, tailored service there to be used with ease whenever the situation requires it. You can read more about mobile search in our interview with Texpert CEO Thomas Roberts. A great presentation and an even more engaging Q&A session after. The most interesting point I took was exemplified with the texpert query asked a few years ago: Which office did The Office in the office merge with?
All in all, a successful evening and a chance to meet some of the faces behind the names- I look forward to next time! A big thank you to Sarah Blow for organising the event.