Optimizing Your Conference Experience at SMX West: Interview with Toni Carreiro

Toni Carreiro, like most reading this, spends a lot of time at her desk. She’s an independent Internet marketer and website designer in the Bay Area, and after more than a decade working to optimize client websites she will enthusiastically tell you she loves being a lone wolf gun-for-hire. Still, there are times, she says, when the work of an independent consultant can feel a bit insulating. That’s why she makes an effort to attend industry conferences every couple years.

SEM Synergy logoA mutual friend introduced me to Toni over lunch at SMX West and it was interesting to hear the trials and triumphs of another frequent conference-goer. As we compared our observations of this show and others, I decided this convo was one worth capturing. While we found that there’s an endless amount of opportunity for learning and connecting at shows, one thing there’s a shortage of is time. Watch the video for Toni’s and my considerations for making the most of our time when we come to conferences.

VN: You’ve attended conferences before.

TC: Many times.

VN: What is it you expect to get when you come to a conference like SMX West?

TC: For me, when I go to a search marketing conference since I’m an independent consultant and I do most of my work by myself, I come here to hear what people are talking about, what’s going on in the industry, and some best practices and new tools that people might be using for completing a job or a project.

VN: Earlier you used the word “insulated” – it can be a kind of insulated lifestyle as an SEO behind your computer most of the time.

TC: Right, because I work for myself and I don’t have a whole lot of people to collaborate with so it’s important for me to get out and reach out to other people and meet other people and hear more about what they’re doing.

VN: For me, when you go to a few of these, you often hear a lot of the same kind of thing.

TC: You find that at most conferences. For me, since I’m one person, I just need to make the best choice in the sessions that I attend and hope that I get good, workable information that I can take home and put into action.

VN: What was the best session so far?

TC: The Google Places session, because they gave me real, working information of how I can make Google Places better and the tools that I can do it with.

VN: There are always gems you can find from the right people and the right sessions, and it’s not always who you expect.

TC: Exactly.

VN: Just because a Google representative is in a session…

TC: …Doesn’t mean it’s a good panel!

VN: Tips from an attendee.

Virginia Nussey is the director of content marketing at MobileMonkey. Prior to joining this startup in 2018, Virginia was the operations and content manager at Bruce Clay Inc., having joined the company in 2008 as a writer and blogger.

See Virginia's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (2)
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2 Replies to “Optimizing Your Conference Experience at SMX West: Interview with Toni Carreiro”

When does the SMX conference usually takes place? I am in the same shoes as Toni…an independent design consultant who want to supplement my knowledge of search engine and social media skills by meeting industry people.

Any kind of reference will be helpful.


Hey Suchi,

SMX West is usually at the beginning of the year around late February or early March. There are other SMX events all over the world, at different time throughout the year. Check out the Search Marketing Expo site for more details. Thanks for your comment!



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