WTSFest 2023

WTSFest 2023 Recap: Interview with Areej AbuAli

March 9, 2023 - 4  min reading time - by Hanae Belcaid
Home > SEO Thoughts > WTSFest 2023 Recap: Interview with Areej AbuAli

Another successful edition of the WTSFest recently came to a close. The 2023 UK edition of the only full day technical SEO conference with 100% women attendees and speakers welcomed 10 brilliant and engaging talks based on the themes Analyze, Advance, Innovate and Empower.

The line-up speakers included:

Yagmur Simsek: Information Architecture Audit for SEO Success

Syphaïwong Bay: Creating and Automating Content in a Meaningful Way

Chima Mmeje: The Six Keywords to Prioritise when Building a Topic Cluster

Myriam Jessier: Going down the image SEO rabbit-hole

Bethan Vincent: Getting executive buy-in throughout your career

Giulia Panozzo: Neuroscience of Search

Josephine Haagen: Natural Language Processing for SEOs

Lazarina Stoy: Data Storytelling

Helen Pollitt: Leveling up your SEO Career

Leyla Okhai: Standing in Your Confidence

Following the conference, we were able to sit down with Women in Tech SEO Founder, Areej AbuAli to get her thoughts and insights on how the event went and what we can expect for future editions.

“Our festival is really special because it’s finally an opportunity for the community to be in one place and meet up with one another. Our speakers were brilliant, each one of them had their own unique way of delivering a talk and kept us informed and engaged throughout.”

Recap and highlights of the WTSFest


Oncrawl: The Women in Tech SEO Festival just took place in London on March 3rd. How did the day go?

Areej AbuAli: It was great, it couldn’t have gone any better! This was our biggest one so far – with over 400 women joining us on the day. It was a new room, the beautiful Barbican Theatre and we had a lot of space for our breaks and networking.

Oncrawl: In your opinion, what were the highlights of the event?

Areej: Our festival is really special because it’s finally an opportunity for the community to be in one place and meet up with one another. Our speakers were brilliant, each one of them had their own unique way of delivering a talk and kept us informed and engaged throughout. Our after party was really fun, a great chance for us to connect with one another.

Oncrawl: Who are some guests you’d love to have as speakers that have not yet participated in the WTS Fest?

Areej: It’s so difficult for me to mention any names because we have a thriving community of over 5,000 members who are each brilliant in their own way. All I can say is that our pitch forms will be opening soon and I encourage everyone to send a pitch through – especially new folks in the industry, I’d love to hear from them!

Oncrawl: Let’s talk about previous editions of the Festival. How would you say this edition was different from the others?

Areej: This edition was definitely the biggest we’ve had so far – we listen to feedback every year and make improvements and changes. I think it was the most international as well, at least a third of attendees flew in from outside the UK.

The future of the WTSFest

Oncrawl: How do you see the event evolving in the future?

Areej: I’m looking forward to hosting more international events, our first one taking place this September in Philadelphia, USA.

Oncrawl: Oncrawl is a partner of the WTS community, we’re glad to be part of this adventure and to be able to support such a great initiative. How would you say your collaboration with partners of the event influence the direction you’re taking with WTSEO?

Areej: One of the things we were able to do this year round in WTSFest is give away plenty of scholarship tickets. In an ideal world, I’d love to host an event as big and as good as WTSFest that’s completely free and open for all women to attend – the more sponsors and partners I can collaborate with, the more we’ll be able to do that. Our WTSPartners program is exactly why we’re able to maintain a free community that runs several free initiatives throughout the year.

Oncrawl: In your Real-life SEO podcast episode, you talked about exporting the WTSEO Fest over the Atlantic. Apart from the US, where else in the world would you like for the Festival to be based?

Areej: If it was up to me, I’d host it everywhere but it takes a lot of time and planning to come together. We have a lot of community members who are based in North America, so I think as a starting point, tackling West Coast, East Coast and Canada. I’d also love to look into hosting a version of it in India and in the Middle East – we have a lot of members from there.

The Women in Tech SEO community

Oncrawl: A core value of the WTSEO community is mutual support for women in the industry. And you have a mentorship program in place, can you talk a little bit about that?

Areej: Our mentorship program, WTSMentorship, is one of our most popular initiatives. We’ve run several cohorts so far and we hire a Mentorship Trainer who provides training and guidance to our mentors and mentees. Our mission is to amplify and empower both mentors and mentees and starting this year, we’re now able to run the mentorship program twice a year. So far, we’ve matched over 500 mentors and mentees.

Thanks Areej for taking the time to share your thoughts about the WTSFest. We’re happy to see the initiative growing and glad to be a part of it.

Hanae Belcaid See all their articles
Hanae is currently a Marketing & Communication Executive at Oncrawl. She's instrumental in organizing all Oncrawl events such as We Love SEO and Oncrawl's participation in BrightonSEO.
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