I am happy to report that I was fortunate enough to attend the 4-day Search Engine Strategies (SES) conference this past week - a conference dedicated to the search marketing industry. The conference was held in San Jose, and I had an absolute blast taking in the sights, and catching up with a few of my colleagues. All in all, it was a great conference.
The conference featured new tracks (categories of discussion) and several new sessions to which I found to be refreshing. The new sessions ranged from analyzing search engine algorithms to discussions on helpful tools, and everywhere in between. Like most I'm sure, I hate attending conferences where the very same speakers give the very same presentations. It was nice to have some diversity.
Furthermore, I found the expo hall to be a real treat as well. It featured even more vendors then the previous Chicago conferences I've atteneded, and I was able to learn about some really great companies.
Other Highlights of my trip:
Yahoo!'s Search Night Off
Yahoo! declared that Monday night would be "Search Night Off". The company arranged for a fun-filled evening featuring food, drinks, and roller coasters. Yes, I said roller coasters. Yahoo! went that extra step and rented out Paramount's 6 flags Great America where they invited SES attendees to join in on the fun. As you can imagine, this event was amazing!
Google Dance 2005
On Tuesday night, Google was kind enough to invite everyone to their annual Google Dance event held at Google. This event also featured food and drinks. In addition, it also featured lots and lots of other things. Attendees could play games, dance, and interact with each other in about 100 different ways. This was the ultimate back-yard barbecue, to say the least!
Webmaster Radio's Search Bash
Webmaster Radio hosted a party at San Jose's :Studio 8." This was your basic "club" scene with flashy lights, loud techno-style music, and a full bar and dance floor. If you're ever looking for a good time... take a bunch of Search Engine Marketers, add in some alcohol, throw them into an environment with loud music, and stand back to watch. Very entertaining!
Yahoo! Store Developers Meeting
I, along with a few other designers from All Web Promotion, drove up to Sunnyvale and visited our friends at Yahoo!. We met with our Yahoo! Store developer team who ended up sharing a few of their upcoming projects with us. It was fun to see and comment on man of things they've been secretly working on. As always, our trip to Yahoo! was both fun and educational.
On Friday, I took the day off and took a train to San Francisco for the day. San Francisco was amazing! I visited many tourist locations including my favorites, SBC Field (home of the San Francisco Giants) and Fisherman's Wharf. I had an enjoyable day filled with shopping, sight seeing, and a boat ride in the bay.
If interested, I've published my 2005 SES San Jose Conference Photos on Flickr.