I spotted a SEO Forums Israel thread by way of Google search and used Google Translate to aid me in translating the Hebrew to English. Yes, I am Jewish and visit Israel about once a year, but my Hebrew is horrible and most of the country speaks English anyway.
I was a bit sad to see some of the discussion in that thread. Some, well, one SEO said that these events, they weren't talking specifically about SphinnCon, but events in general are 'unnecessary' and don't really teach you anything.
Heck, I cover SEO every day and I still can come away with new tidbits at these events. Yes, speakers do share knowledge that they wouldn't share online.
But what really gets me is that these events are less about the learning and more about the industry and the community. What makes people in our industry grow in their profession both financially, practically and intellectually are these conferences.
No matter how much SEO or marketing you know, a conference always makes you step back and think. You take a step back and just digest the information, you have time to think and remove yourself from your daily grind. Trust me, it helps you become better at what you do.
Furthermore, I, along with my colleagues, bring these event to Israel because Israel has a strong SEO/SEM presence. Israel has a large community of SEOs and SEMs practicing every day. Bringing this industry together at one event shows that the industry is there for each other. SEO is one of those industries where we need to help each other because people are constantly calling what we do a black art and evil. Coming together, standing up, as a professional industry, through these conferences, brings a level of legitimacy to what we do.
So even if you know it all, trust me, you will learn something. Even if you know everyone, trust me, you will make a connection that will become golden in the future. And if that doesn't do it for you, then help make this industry something special by coming out and supporting your colleagues.
Yea, a huge sales pitch - but if you know me, you know that I don't do this for the money.
Forum discussion at SEO Forums Israel (you'll need a translation tool if you don't speak Hebrew).