For the last three Search Engine Strategies conferences, Irma and myself have hung out with Liana Evans who runs the Search Marketing Gurus blog and currently works for Commerce360. Li, as we call her is already very outgoing but during the recent SES Chicago conference, she came up with an idea that probably allowed her to meet more people than she ever expected to – HatBait.com.
The concept is simple but ingenious – bring a bunch of funny hats and then ask well known search marketers (as well as anyone else attending the conference) to have their picture taken with the hat of their choice. Additionally the participants hold a sign that simply reads “HATBAIT.COM.” Because search marketers love to have their picture taken as well as the press that may come along with it, the idea worked extremely well.
Jim Boykin was one of the first that I know of to generate buzz by taking pictures of SEOs and SEMs at conferences. To date, Jim probably has one of the largest collections of photos compared to anyone else. Chris Hooley originated the “bait” idea during this year’s PubCon with DrinkBait.com, in which he won a PubCon drinking contest by getting photographed with the most people well known in our industry. How did he accomplish this? By giving out airplane size cocktails in exchange for photos of himself with the likes of Matt Cutts, Danny Sullivan and many other industry leaders. It was a very clever idea indeed and obviously the beginning of “bait” type of ideas in generating fun buzz at conferences.
Getting back to HatBait.com, Li has now posted all those pictures (102 of them) on her blog and anyone is able to vote for their favorite by simply commenting. As of the writing of this post, it appears that Neil Patel is leading the way. My favorite of course was my wife in a Russian looking hat. Kudos to Li for a great idea. Now what to top it when SES NY comes around?
Below are the few she took of us.
and my favorite…