There used to be a time when husbands and wives who were left at home while their partners went off to conferences had to worry about whether they were really at the conference or if they jetted off on some romantic holiday with someone else. Well, now they really should be worrying about what goes on at those conferences instead. And if you value your marriage and are thinking about hitting up a conference? You would do well to skip the whole conference scene all together, or limit it to a single day “get in early and leave late” plan rather than be tempted with a lonely night in your hotel room that might not end up being lonely after all.
There are plenty of SEOs (both male and female) who will wax poetic about their spouse and their kids, post copious pictures on their Facebook and Twitter of their happy families and how they have just the best life ever – yet at a search or affiliate conference, those ones are more likely to hookup with someone at the conference than the single ones. And if you are one of those walking the dark side of your marriage, even if you think you are keeping it on the down low and no one could possibly know, someone is going to see you doing the walk of shame at 5am in the clothes you wore the night before, notice the flirty little glances being passed between a couple who have each left their spouse at home, or speculate because you both happened to leave the bar or party at the same time.
Think these are just a one time thing and possibly a one time lapse in judgment can be acceptable? Some are pretty long standing affairs, covering multiple conferences, all the while husbands and wives are being supportive at home and looking after their dog and 2.3 kids. One guy is bringing back a different chick to his hotel room at every conference he attends – although others have definitely placed him in the “avoid at all costs” hookup category so he is now resorting to conference newcomers or those still in awe of his status in the industry.
And in case you are wondering, yes some men and women are secretly talking about who they bang at conferences. And actually if you aren’t a speaker or well known in the industry, people will talk about it more because there definitely is a code of silence amongst the well known regulars at conferences where even if they know someone is cheating, they won’t blab about it to everyone. Plus, if everyone is talking about some guy from a link building company exhibitor hooking up with a super hot booth babe from an analytics company, that means there are less people talking about their own conference hookups. Deflect people!
And what about if said spouse or partner comes along to one of the cool destination conferences? Let’s just say having a spouse in the same hotel room does nothing to cool the ardor some of these relationships, and some of those “meetings” they can’t miss are actually happening in the horizontal position in a hotel room. Pretty ballsy but it definitely happens.
Numerous marriages have broken up over these SEO industry affairs and yes, including those who were always going on about how perfect their spouse at home was. And as you can imagine, there are definitely a few times where people have left their spouse to start up a permanent relationship with their conference hookup – although if you are crazy enough to do that, I just have to remind you once a cheater, always a cheater. And think it is just the hot young 20-somethings of the industry having wild, crazy monkey sex? Let’s just say that cheaters come in all ages, shapes and sizes when it comes to this wild industry – even the ones you’d swear would never ever do it.
So, you love your hubby or wifey and think you can’t be tempted? SEO conferences are just as much a meeting of the minds as anything else, and some are surprised at just how sexy it is to be able to talk to hours on end about all things search – things their real partners back home get the eyes-glazed-over look at the mention of something about Google or Yahoo – and a lot of conference affairs happen because that industry sexiness turns into real sex pretty damn fast. Because isn’t it romantic to finish doing the deed then lounge in bed naked while talking about Panda recovery techniques? Well, I know a lot of you reading this have done just that if you have ever had a conference hookup.
And for those hoping I’d name names, sorry 🙂 Although chances are pretty good you know more than a handful of them!
Just to add re:netmeg’s comment below – It sure wouldn’t take much for someone to start a bit of rumor mill saying “Hey, I saw SEO Chick this morning coming out of SEO Guy’s room wearing her short red dress from last night” even if it never happened, simply to simply influence other’s perceptions of certain people. SEOs have definitely started untrue rumors as revenge for business relationships gone bad, as retaliation for negative SEO and personal relationships gone bad. Isn’t this a wonderful industry we work in?