This is a special message for our SearchCap newsletter readers and anyone who visits Search Engine Land, about Search Engine Land’s first conference: Search Marketing Expo Advanced. It happens in Seattle this June 4th and 5th.
As the date approaches, I’ve had some people ask me for more about what’s different or unique with this show compared to other search conferences. Happy to indulge!
Below, I’ll share a bit more about the entire Search Marketing Expo conference series as well as 9 reasons to attend the first one, SMX Advanced. I could have done 10, but Search Engine Land readers know the advantage of going for odd numbers!
As many know, I opened a new chapter in my years of writing about search and organizing search marketing conferences when Search Engine Land launched last December. Along with Search Engine Land, I launched a new company, Third Door Media. Third Door publishes Search Engine Land, plus runs the online Search Marketing Now webinar series and produces the in-person event series, Search Marketing Expo.
Search Marketing Expo — we call it SMX for short — is where I, along with Chris Sherman and other members of the Search Engine Land team want to bring to life some of the tips and techniques we share online through Search Engine Land. For this year, we thought it made sense to keep our first shows focused on some specific topics, so we could dive deep into them. SMX Local & Mobile happens in October to look at local and mobile search. SMX Social Media also happens in October, focusing the intersection of social media and search.
SMX Advanced happens before all of them, in June, as I said. It’s a special show for me in many ways. It’s our first, of course — and first shows are unique. There’s a buzz among attendees about being at something new, unique and different. I still get people who tell me how thrilled they were to be able to say they attended the very search conference show I organized back in 1999.
It’s also special because the event is specifically designed for the experienced search marketer. With a general search marketing event, experienced search marketers can feel slowed a bit when the conversation itself has to slow to explain basic concepts. As we say on the SMX Advanced web site: "If you’re fluent in search marketing, SMX Advanced is where you can converse with others who speak your native language." We’re taking the discussion up a notch.
I know many experienced search marketers have been looking for this type of high-level event. Now you’ve got it (and if you’re not experienced, don’t worry – our other events will help you! They are designed for marketers of all levels).
On to some specific reasons to attend:
- Influence Change: Over the years, I’ve led a number of "summit"
style sessions at conferences, where the audience interacts with the search
engines and real changes in how search engines operate have emerged. We have a
number of sessions like these, where the audience can be involved in pushing
for changes. We’ll cover duplicate content, penalties and paid search wish
lists. The focus won’t be on workarounds. It will be a way for experienced
marketers — who often know workarounds but are sick of them — can shape and
influence future directions. As we say on the conference home page: "Be a
leader by being among the leaders in the industry at this show."
- Debates: Similar to the summits, debates are a way I hope leaders
can influence the industry. We’ve got two, one about SEO, the other on paid
search. These will be real debates, with teams, statements, responses and then
the audience getting in on the action at the end.
- Tips & Tactics: One of the biggest challenges in doing the agenda
was figuring out topics that will appeal to pros. I’ve tried to focus on areas
that even pros might be neglecting or wondering about: social media,
personalized search, tricky issues in paid search and getting into the black
box of paid auctions. The "Give It Up" session also challenges top search
marketers to share some of their most closely guarded tips.
- Networking As Part Of The Event: We know that networking is
important, and we’re not leaving it to chance. SMX Advanced has three
different networking events. SMX Bash — sponsored by
Microsoft — happens
before the show starts and is open to all attendees (expo-only and full-pass
holders). The SMX Reception at the end of the first day is also open to
everyone. SMX After Dark — sponsored by Google
– is in the evening of the first day and will be open to full-pass attendees.
In a week or two, we’ll have even more details about the fun and activities
happening with SMX Bash and SMX After Dark.
- Food & Drink: You won’t go hungry. There will be food and snacks
all day, to enhance the conference experience.
- Wifi: Our session rooms have it. For free. For everyone. Want to
stay connected while also being away? We make it easy.
- Intimate Show: We have a limited number of spaces (and growing more
limited by the day). When we sell out, we’re sold out, in order to maintain a
more personal, less frenetic feel.
- High Speaker To Attendee Ratio: SMX Advanced will have about one
speaker for every six attendees, outstanding access compared to a typical
search conference. Check out who is confirmed to speak on the
conference agenda. We’re also continuing to add other speakers over the
- You Were There: It’ll be the first SMX. You might not tell your kids about it, nor do we think this is the main reason to attend! But there’s a cachet in having been part of the first show in a successful conference series. This gives you bragging rights to say you were there.
I hope this gives those of you with questions about SMX in general and the SMX Advanced show in particular some helpful guidance. I’m looking forward to seeing many of our experienced search marketers who read Search Engine Land out in Seattle. Check out the agenda, and keep in mind that the registration price rises after May 8. Save by registering now — and ensure you’ll get a ticket by registering now!