Conference season is opening again, which means that in the next few months you can expect a lot of updates, both on Social Media as on the blog here, about different conferences world wide. State of Search will as ever play a big role in that. We will be present on most different search conferences, both on stage as speakers as off stage blogging about the conference. This week is all about New York. In the city that never sleeps two conferences are opening their doors again after a summer break: the International Search Summit and SMX New York 2012.
ISS New York
Today at 9am New York time (which will be afternoon in Europe) it’s the International Search Summit which will kick things off. The organisers of Webcertain again managed to put together a program which will be of use for any marketer doing ‘something’ international online and especially search. Internationally recognised names as Bill Hunt, Motoko Hunt and Andy Atkins-Krüger are there off course but there will for example also be a talk Preston Carey who leads Yandex’s business development efforts in the United States and western Europe. That will be an interesting session in which you can get an insight into this fast growing search engine. Another interesting area in that matter is the Middle East region, a fast growing market, with around 65 million web users and growing. This market will be discussed by Lee Mancini Director of Sekari, a Search & Social Optimisation Agency based in Dubai. It truly is an international conference again with content from all over the world.
SMX New York
ISS is often connected to the SMX conferences, as it is this time. On the Tuesday SMX East starts. The conference is organised by the company and people behind Searchengineland which immediately shows what this conference will be all about: search in its deepest essence. Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman together have set up a program again which is a pleasure for each SEO to attend. The three day conference has over 50 sessions to choose from so it is important to make choices when it comes to which sessions you want to attend. This means that as an attendee you have to realise before you go there what reasons you have to go there and what it is you want to see. And there are many reasons why you could pick a specific conference. Are you coming specifically for certain speakers? Is there something you want to learn? Are you in-house or working for an agency? All questions which will determine which sessions are best for you.
Coming for the speakers?
Are you coming for specific speakers? Well you have a big choice of speakers then. There are so many you can’t possibly see them all so I will tell you quickly which are the ones I would be looking for (unfortunately I will personally not be there this year, so I’m missing out!). I could name at least 15 names just like that but for this occasion I will stick to just five names you should try to see. Five personal recommendations. Bill Slawski – There is nobody in the industry who has more knowledge about patents and the ‘idea’ behind what Google is doing. His blog SEO by the Sea is a daily must for me and you can be sure he will have some of his thoughts and facts ready for his talk. Marty Weintraub – Mart ‘Aimclear’ Weintraub is not only a very knowledgable person, he is a nice guy as well and a must see speaker if you haven’t seen him yet because he knows how to combine knowledge with entertainment. Wil Reynolds – Wil is a shooting start in the industry. You can’t call him a rookie because he’s been doing his thing for 11 years now which shows that what he will be telling you is far from ‘just made up’. Extremely knowledgeable and a very good speaker as well. Debra Mastaler – A nice lady if you ever met one. She is smart and intelligent and knows her stuff like no other. I would trust what she says almost with my eyes closed and if you know me, that says something! Eric Enge – Everytime I talk to Eric, read his stuff or hear him speak I am excited. Because this guy understands exactly in which direction Google and Bing are heading and he realises there is no way back anymore. Insights like you will get nowhere else!
Coming for the topics?
Do you have specific topics you want to learn about? Well then take a good look at the agenda. Each day has five different tracks and the second day even has an extra one which is mostly sponsored and organised by Google itself, called ‘learn with Google’. The tracks differ per day so really know whether you want to learn about local, mobile, social, basic, advanced, Enterprise & In House, content or ‘just SEO’.
Know your level of expertise
Figure out your level of expertise before you go because the organisers have given each session a ‘rating’, a green, blue or black rating: Green: “ANY” sessions are suitable for those with any skill level in SEM. Blue: “INTERMEDIATE” sessions are designed for those with working experience in search marketing. Black: “EXPERT” sessions are for experienced search marketing pros. It is very important not to over- or underrate yourself here. So do me a favour: ask your manager or co-workers what level they believe you are on. It is better to hear you are on a lower or higher level than you thought you were than that you are attending sessions which do not fit what you need to hear
Finally SMX again is an opportunity to connect. Go to the expo hall, let yourself be informed about what is going on with the tools, which important new players there are and most of all: get to know people. Networking parties can help on that, make sure you get to know people in person you until know only knew ‘online’. Face-to-face meetings will in the end get you further. Much further. Oh and one last thing: have fun! And go say hi to the State of Search bloggers Jackie Hole and Jo Turnbull who will be there at both ISS and SMX! And if you are not there: follow State of Search for some cracking updates!