Incisive Media To Kill SES Brand, Rename Conference “ClickZ Live”

ses-conference-expoSES — formerly Search Engine Strategies — is about to undergo another name change, this time to “ClickZ Live.” The news comes from an email that Incisive Media sent to various contributors.

From the email:

Tomorrow is a big day for ClickZ and its sister brands Search Engine Watch and SES, and as our valued contributors, we wanted you to hear our big news first. In a natural transition that recognizes the ever-evolving changes taking place in the digital marketing industry and the more diverse educational needs of today’s marketing community, our global SES Conference and Expo series, will be changing its name and rebranding to ClickZ Live.

But what’s in a name I hear you ask? The shiny new ClickZ Live series will be an extension of ClickZ and will incorporate all the many verticals that you can find in our online publication, including social media, display, mobile, gaming, email, digital TV advertising and marketing, and more. As the digital landscape has changed and content marketers have come to expect more beyond just search marketing (SEO & PPC), we too wanted to align ourselves with this evolution. And consolidating the content between our current sessions at SES, along with the breadth of knowledge and topics found online at ClickZ.com, under just one brand makes perfect sense.

2014 is going to be an exciting year ahead for more innovation in digital marketing. As companies and their people continue to change the way they consume media and create and share content, brand new opportunities will emerge. And with these industry developments will be ClickZ, as ever, at the forefront, bringing you the information as it happens both online and at our conferences. We can’t wait to have you there with us!

SES: The First Search Conference

Search Engine Strategies began as the first conference devoted to search engine marketing, back in 1999. I remember it well, because I created the series for Internet.com, which then owned Search Engine Watch — the site I founded. (In fact, the first show happened exactly 14 years ago today, as Greg Boser reminded me).

Incisive Media purchased Search Engine Strategies, Search Engine Watch and ClickZ in 2005. I left in December 2006 to begin Search Engine Land and started up the rival Search Marketing Expo conference series that had its first show the following year, in 2007.

Renaming 2.0

Around 2008, Search Engine Strategies changed its name to SES Conference & Expo, in what I assume was an attempt to broaden its audience beyond search. From my perspective, that didn’t work. The show, which had its highest attendance of over 8,000 people for the last SES New York 2007 show that I produced, was claiming about half that attendance for the SES New York show of 2012.

The renaming seems a doubling-down on the attempt to revive the conference series by positioning it as going beyond search. It also comes as Incisive Media is being said by Bloomberg to position itself for sale. Earlier this year, there was a similar report from The Media Briefing that said the company would either be sold or have parts sold off. This follows from Incisive having to restructure because of debt in 2009, losing its ALM operations as part of that move.

As for Search Engine Watch, I get the impression it won’t be changing its name.

History Of SES

For more background on the history of both Search Engine Strategies and Search Engine Watch, see my past posts below:

Having started SES, there’s a part of me sad to see the name go. But the show long-ago abandoned being devoted to search, and heck, I bailed from the brand over five years ago myself.

For those who do want a show that’s heavily focused on search marketing, our SMX series keeps running. We do have one single show that’s not focused on search — our SMX Social Media Marketing event that happens in Las Vegas tomorrow.

Maybe someday we’ll have to consider a name change, if our events get more diverse. But we’re pretty happy having the majority of them staying focused on the biggest element of online marketing spend, search. We bring in related disciplines as they make sense, but we still go deep on search.

Postscript by Barry Schwartz: Incisive Media has confirmed the branding change in a blog post on Tuesday, November 19th.

Postscript by Danny Sullivan (April 15, 2014): Mike Grehan, who oversaw programming of the event, unexpectedly stepped down the day before ClickZ Live actually happened, as discussed in this Webmaster Radio show. Two weeks after the move, ClickZ acknowledged it with an official post. The post also called the rebrand an overall success, saying it attracted more than 2,000 attendees. Assuming there really were that many people there, the rebrand failed to reverse any of the losses since 2008. Based on Incisive’s own figures, ClickZ Live was about one-third the size of SES at its height and the smallest show Incisive has run in New York, since it purchased the conference series.

Postscript by Danny Sullivan (May 15, 2014): See our follow-up story, After Killing SES, Incisive Media Seems To Think “OMG” & Tries To Bring It Back.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | SEM Industry: Conferences | SEM Industry: Search Engine Strategies - SES | SEM Industry: Search Marketing Expo - SMX

Sponsored


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



SearchCap:

Get all the top search stories emailed daily!  

Share

Other ways to share:
 

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. Comments may also be removed if they are posted from anonymous accounts. You can read more about our comments policy here.
  • http://www.ericward.com/lmp Eric Ward

    Danny – your skills as both a journalist and businessman have left an amazing trail of quality that continues to be blazed today. You’re not one to brag on yourself or revel in your accomplishments, so I’ll do it for you. Without Danny Sullivan, this industry would have been a mess. Thanks for giving it legitimacy.

    -Eric

  • http://www.ericward.com/lmp Eric Ward

    Danny – your skills as both a journalist and businessman have left an amazing trail of quality that continues to be blazed today. You’re not one to brag on yourself or revel in your accomplishments, so I’ll do it for you. Without Danny Sullivan, this industry would have been a mess. Thanks for giving it legitimacy.

    -Eric

  • http://bharnish.wordpress.com/ BrianHarnish

    I would like to echo Eric Ward and say – yep – without Danny Sullivan, where would search be??? Thank you Danny for all of your hard work over the years and bringing us such amazing conferences and editorials throughout the world of search marketing. Perhaps some day I will get to more conferences… :)

  • http://bharnish.wordpress.com/ BrianHarnish

    I would like to echo Eric Ward and say – yep – without Danny Sullivan, where would search be??? Thank you Danny for all of your hard work over the years and bringing us such amazing conferences and editorials throughout the world of search marketing. Perhaps some day I will get to more conferences… :)

  • http://www.irishwonder.com IrishWonder

    I know how it feels Danny but 2012 and 2007 cannot be compared for one simple reason – how many search conferences did we have back in 2007 and how many were there out there by 2012? I don’t get distancing from search anyways, neither for a conference nor for agencies, nor for the industry as a whole – people shying away from it like it’s a swear word… no longer calling themselves SEOs but inbound marketers, growth hackers, any such shit, hardly even realising what the name means. Madness.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    There are definitely more conferences in the past. SMX, for one, didn’t exist at all. You also have many smaller events, though things like MozCon aren’t even that “small.” But in terms of major conferences focused mostly on search, we had one — SES. When SMX came out, we had two (PubCon was always more than just search). Now we’re back to one, I guess. And for me, that’s important. SES started because in part, search was always kind of shoved in the backroom or an afterthought for other events at the time. But it was big, and deserved its own spotlight. SES was the first time that search got that spotlight, and it sure grew into it. I think search marketers still deserve an event where if they really want a focus on search, they can do that. There’s plenty to explore. That’s not to take away from the idea that search marketers may need to know more than search, or should know more than search. But even though the marketing space has expanded, having a major show focused around search still makes sense to us at SMX.

  • http://www.jlh-marketing.com/ Jenny Halasz

    I’ll add to this as well. Danny, you’ve taken the search engines to task and held them to their words when others have failed to do so. You’ve always been an advocate for the publisher, and it’s very clear where your loyalties lie. I can see loyalty in plenty of others in the industry too, but I really respect that in you.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!

 


 

Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide