SES Conference Recap: Chicago, 2008

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

SES Conference Recap: Chicago, 2008I 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 Chicago, 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.

SES Conference Recap: Chicago, 2008

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 Chicago, 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.

President-Elect, Barack Obama

There was plenty of excitement surrounding the SES Conference this year, but very little of it had anything to do with search. President-elect Barack Obama is using the Hilton Hotel as his press headquarters while he is in Chicago awaiting to take office. With SES also being held in the Hilton, there were lots to keep an eye out for. In fact, I don't believe there was a single day when I didn't see or hear about an Obama sighting in some fashion - him, his convoy, Chicago swat, and what I would assume was an explosive sniffing German Sheppard on the lower levels. It was very memorable.

Conference

The conference was fairly average - meaning that nothing really stood out from past SES events. "Typical" is probably a better way to describe it. I went ini know that Microsoft still hadn't purchased Yahoo!, Google still has over 70% of the search market share, links and content are just as important as they were last year, and SES still tailors their sessions towards the small business owner and in-house search marketer.

Lunches

I enjoyed the addition of hot-plate lunches this year. Year's past, attendees would get cold-cut box lunches and so this was a great change.

Expo Hall

The exhibit hall wasn't too bad, but then again it wasn't anything to write home about. However, I did find it very interesting that Yahoo!, Microsoft, Bruce Clay, and even SEOmoz - companies that you'd typically see featured inside the exhibit hall - were all without booths. Strange.

Keynotes

The keynote presentations and "Orion" panels were pretty decent this year. In fact, I've always enjoyed them. I particularly like how these sessions cover an array of marketing topics - not just limited to search - as well as promote an advanced-level of conversation.

If interested, I've published my 2008 SES Chicago Conference Photos on Flickr.

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