One sign that a profession has matured is in its ability to support a dedicated conference where professionals can hear and learn from presenters as well as interact with other practitioners (and potential clients & vendors).
Search Marketing has had its very own conference since Danny Sullivan started the Search Engine Strategies (SES) series 10 years ago. After growing the SES conference series for many years for the benefit of other owners, Danny started his own conference series, SMX: Search Marketing Expo, in 2007.
I’m happy to say that on February 10-12 I’ll be attending the three day SMX West 2009, in Santa Clara, California. I’m particularly looking forward to day 2′s Keynote Conversation with Google’s Vint Cerf. One of the advantages of the California edition of SMX is that it is easier to get key search engine employees to participate – they’re already right down the street. The sessions on Ecommerce Search Marketing Tactics and Search & Reputation Management also look particularly promising.
While at SMX West, I hope to meet potential U.S . clients who have international search needs. It’s also nice to be able to support someone like Danny who has contributed so much to the Search Marketing industry and elsewhere as well.
If you’re planning on attending SMX West 2009, let’s get in touch beforehand:
Unfortunately, the SEM1 conference situation in my “home” market, Italy, is in limbo. Mauro Lupi has done his best to bring SES to Milan, organizing editions in 2006 and 2007. Alas, reviews have been mixed, in part due to some of the cultural issues Susan Geraeds brought up in her post on SES Milan. There is also the cost issue: Italian companies are reluctant to invest in their employees. Italians perceive €1,000 for a conference (or SEO Training for that matter) as a lot of money – and the enlightened few who do pay are disappointed by overlapping presentations and a reluctance of speakers to “give away” practical information participants can put into practice.
The net result is too few participants willing to pay for an impartial conference (speaker selection at the IAB forum is mostly based on commercial rather than objective considerations). While prospects for an impartial search marketing conference in Italy in 2009 seem grim, I hope I’m wrong. European competitors such as Germany, Spain, the UK and even Sweden are moving ahead – it shouldn’t be a surprise if Italians continue to make 30% less on average if they’re not willing to invest in their professional development.
- SMX, The Search & Social Marketing Conference, is coming to Milan!
- And then there were two: Microsoft – Yahoo! Search Deal at SMX West 2010
- Google’s SearchWiki, Customized & Personalized Results
- The human dimension of Search Marketing
- State of the Net, Udine 2008