The Lack of Diversity at SEO Conferences
The great Azeem Digital joins the SEO Rant Podcast to share the problem that is a lack of diversity among SEO conference speakers:
What a lack of speaker diversity means for the industry
The ethics behind speaker diversity
The affordability of SEO conferences and its role in diverse attendance
Why SEO Conference Speaker Lineups Need More Diversity: Episode Synopsis
Too often, the speaker lineup for an SEO conference consists of the same people (who trend towards being male and caucasian) who may or may not really be relevant to the current SEO conversation.
This not only prevents new ideas from being shared (i.e., diversity of thought) but can make what is already an uphill battle for many SEO speakers of color that much more difficult. As Azeem points out, securing a more diverse speaker lineup is not as hard as perhaps some conference organizers think. There are various groups and organizations within the SEO community that would make securing a more diverse lineup quite efficient.
Moreover, and as already alluded to, securing a more diverse lineup also produces a greater diversity of thought. So while conference organizers may feel they need to bring back the same "big names" each year the net result is that the ideas being shared run the risk of coming off as stale. As the industry grows and pivots, it's important for conferences to remember to shift along with it. This means securing a more diverse lineup of speakers who are current voices within the industry - not the same faces saying the same things they have been for the last 20 years. (I'm not really sure who that is good for exactly).
While it is evident that conferences are generally a for-profit operation what is not evident is why they insist on running the same lineups. There are new and emerging faces, who in my personal experience, tend towards having new and refreshing ideas about SEO. Long-term, if a conference doesn't want to start developing a reputation that it is outdated - it needs to adopt some of the newer names in the industry and to embrace the diversity that is out there.
For more of the SEO Rant Podcast check out our previous episode on when SEO agencies fail.