It's a collision of two things I love, local search and Minneapolis. I'm proud that my hometown of Minneapolis will host an amazing day of local search and online marketing knowledge on June 27th, 2015 with LocalU Advanced.
If you are on the fence or just coming across this post, I thought I'd give you 27 reasons to attend LocalU Advanced and register today before it's sold out. Ready?
1. Local Search Expertise
Local University has established itself over the past 5 years as the "go-to" for local search knowledge. Powered by local experts like Mike Blumenthal, David Mihm, Mary Bowling, Mike Ramsey, Ed Reese, Will Scott and more, it's hard to put a map pin on a more established and sharing group. (See schedule for which LocalU presenters and guest speakers will be in Minneapolis)
2. Minneapolis Means Business
The city of Minneapolis (and St. Paul too) is an amazing blend of business, culture, the outdoors (June is a perfect time to visit), community and more. With corporate staples like Target, Best Buy, 3M, Cargill, UnitedHealth Group, General Mills and a vibrant small business and start-up community, you'll be visiting a business hub of the midwest.
The night before (just not too late), the night after the seminar or maybe even if you stay a few days you'll find Minneapolis to offer an amazing nightlife of music, bars, restaurants, sports and more.
4. Nicollet Mall
Stroll down Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis and take in the buildings, shops, sidewalk bars and more. Hit up Brit's Pub for lawn bowling on the roof or visit the Local for an irish pint.
5. Taco Cat
Minneapolis is home to the business genius of taco delivery by bike. Taco Cat is yummy and also boasts one of the best FAQ sections on a website ever. Give it a read even if you're not hungry and you can thank me later.
6. Loring Park, Walker Art Center and Sculpture Garden
Just on the edge of downtown and just feet from the event's venue is endless art, outdoor creativity and walking trails. Loring Park is perfect for a stroll, the Walker Art Center is world renowned and the Sculpture Garden is a Twin Cities staple. Bonus idea: Play mini-golf at the art-infused Walker Course, there is no other mini-golf like it.
7. Mike Blumenthal aka "Professor Maps"
You want answers to all kinds of local search challenges, issues and strategies? Good, because LocalU gives you Professor Maps and vast wealth of local search and maps knowledge. You'll find Mike's presentations fantastic and his availability for one-on-one questions abundant.
8. MnSearch Summit
Come in a day early on June 26th and get yourself a ticket to MnSearh's Summit, a full day of online marketing expertise. MnSearch is Minnesota's search marketing association and their annual one day Summit features industry experts on SEO, social media, PPC, local, analytics and more. Sit in on sessions from Duane Forrester of Bing, Will Reynolds of SEER, Cyrus Shepard of MOZ, Bob Stanke of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Aleyda Solis, Ian Lurie, Jeff Sauer and more.
9. View progress on the Vikings Stadium
If you are a fan of the NFL, you'll want to check out the new Minnesota Vikings stadium being built in Minneapolis. It's currently over halfway complete and when finished next year will host the 2018 Super Bowl and the 2019 NCAA Final Four.
10. Walk or bike the lakes
Just south of downtown you can take in nature (as well as some amazing homes) by walking the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes. Lake Harriet, Lake Calhoun and the Lake of the Isles offer perfect views, walking paths, bike paths, greenspaces and more. Walk or even bike (see below) this great set of lakes for miles.
11. Darren Shaw and Dana DiTomaso
It's just more local expertise with Darren and Dana presenting at LocalU. These two join us with years of experience, big ideas and proven strategies. Chances are great you have run across Darren's company Whitespark or use their services and Dana has wowed audiences at MozCon and SMX Advanced with her straight-forward, customer-centric approach to local and online marketing.
12. Google Local team member
Advanced Local University events are supported by Google and always feature one of the local maps team in person to present and answer questions. Jade Wang of the Google Support Team will be in Minneapolis to talk local and help out with the questions you've been wanting to ask.
13. Food trucks
The Twin Cities is a hot spot for food trucks ... really good food trucks. Check out this giant list of wondrous treats on wheels and find the time to track them down to enjoy!
15. Keynote: Duane Forrester of Bing
Duane Forrester has been the face of search at Bing. As a Sr. Product Manager at Bing, he has over 15 years’ experience in the search, social and digital marketing fields. Along the way, Duane has worked in marketing & PR with Caesar’s Palace, communities and consultancy, worked for small and enterprise publishers online and currently works with Bing where he helps run their Webmaster community and program.
16. Rent a bike and see the city
Didn't pack your bike? No problem, NiceRide MN has you covered. Dozens of bike stations around Minneapolis allow you to rent a bike by the hour and pedal around our bike friendly city to see the sights.
17. Local Agency Reporting Panel
Join me as I moderate a panel dedicated to reporting your local search efforts. I'll toss some softballs and tough questions at the principals of three leading local agencies in a panel discussion of how they serve their clients, what they’ve found works and what doesn’t, how they do reporting, how they’ve adapted to the Pigeon update and more. Get great reporting insight from James Svoboda of Web Ranking, Dana DiTomaso of Kickpoint and Darren Shaw of Whitespark.
18. One-on-one time
The same feedback comes in from every Advanced Local U, "amazing amounts of time with the experts.". We limit the registration to just 60 for this event and have 10 experts available, what a great ratio. Q & A sessions, lunch, breaks and post event gatherings all offer access to pick the brains of your favorite local search experts.
19. Rooftop bars
Since we only get 3 months of summer in Minnesota, we make the most of it. Outdoor bars, especially roof top bars can be found all around town and you'll want to find the one that suits you for a great view and beverage. One of my favorite spots in the roof top bar at CRAVE downtown.
If you are looking to get outside of downtown Minneapolis, head a few miles south to the Uptown area. You'll find shopping, nightlife, restaurants, bars and more with all kinds of unique offerings you can't find anywhere else.
21. Stroll by Target Field
While it's a big bummer, AKA strikeout, the (currently winning) Minnesota Twins are not in town while Local U is in Minneapolis you can still visit this beautiful ballpark built just a few years ago. Nestled right in downtown, there are more than a few access areas to view the architecture and beauty that Target Field offers.
22. Hosted at Spyder Trap
The Local U venue is none other than my day job home at Spyder Trap. Spyder Trap is a digital marketing firm with an amazing staff (IMHO) of 40 that creates mobile apps, responsive websites, search, social, email campaigns and more. You'll find our office to be open, unique and perfectly located for this event.
23. First Avenue
If music is your thing, then First Ave is on your list of places to have visited. This local club has seen just about any band or act worth mentioning and was the starting point for Prince and all of his purple musical magic.
24. Hotels all in walking distance
There are an abundance of great hotels within walking distance of Spyder Trap. Try the Hyatt on Nicollet or any of the other downtown hotels for great accommodations while you stay in Minneapolis for Local U.
25. Ride the light rail to Mall of America
Shop till you drop at the Mall of America and its over 400 stores. The MOA is about 15 minutes south of downtown but is easily accessible using the METRO light rail to get there. The light rail runs to and from the airport and downtown as well so you can utilize it if you are flying into Minneapolis.
26. Packet worth it’s weight in gold
You'll get a packet full of local search insight, strategy and tactics from the day. The packet, the presentations and all of the info you take in at Advanced Local U is worth it's weight in gold.
As with any event, taking part in person and making new connections is extrememly valuable. You'll meet other attendees, broaden your professional network, make contacts with the presenters and likely walk away with some great new (local search geek) friends.
Are You Seriously Still Reading This?
You should have registered by number 12 or 14 at the latest! Just register now, it's easy. I'm looking forward to seeing you at Advanced LocalU in Minneapolis on June 27th.