Why I’m Excited About SMX Local & Mobile

Next week we kick off our inaugural SMX Local & Mobile conference in Denver, and it promises to be a killer show. I’ve programmed dozens of search conferences over the years, and yet this one, which I co-organized with the able and expert help of Greg Sterling, is special.

To be sure, I’ve got a bad case of “proud parent syndrome,” but beyond that, I’m looking forward to the conference because I expect to be completely immersed in learning about two of the most promising areas of search that are (finally!) going mainstream.

Local and mobile search have been touted as the “next big thing” for years. We’ve seen the major search engines roll out local and mobile search products that, while sometimes useful, also were cumbersome to use or were cluttered up with too much inaccurate information. We’ve also had online Yellow Pages for years, but most of these have been uninspired online versions of the massive print books.

Things have changed. The major search engines have upgraded and enhanced their local search offerings, adding rich new features like interactive maps and enhanced business listings. We’ve also got some new serious contenders in local search apart from the majors.

And with the advent of the iPhone, mobile search finally really works, rather than being just a frustrating exercise in strained fingers and thumbs.

What this all means is that we’re now seeing significant new opportunities for search marketers, in both the local and mobile spaces. And it feels a lot like 1999 again, which was a great time for early adopters of search marketing. There aren’t a lot of search marketers working in the local and mobile space right now—but the searchers are there, and are increasing in numbers every day. Essentially, getting involved in local and mobile search today is an opportunity for savvy search marketers to harvest low-hanging fruit with minimal competition.

In programming this conference, Greg and I sought out the sharpest people working in local and mobile search. We strove to create a comprehensive mix of content, and brought in speakers that have both a high-level understanding of the space as well as strong tactical chops in implementing local and mobile campaigns.

If you’re just starting with local and mobile search marketing, you’ll come away from the conference with plenty of actionable tactics, strategies, and tips from people who’ve already run successful campaigns. And if you’re already working in the space, you’ll come away able to fine-tune your campaigns to reach more people and increase conversions. Want to know more about what to expect? Greg Sterling and I recorded a panel-by-panel preview of the conference sessions in this 15 minute podcast.

Apart from industry-leading speakers, we’ve also got exhibitors that offer tools and services specifically geared toward supercharging local and mobile search marketing campaigns. Our Premier Sponsor Krillion is set to make a significant announcement at SMX Local & Mobile. And our other sponsors, including Ingenio, Local.com, Localeze, Local Matters, Marchex, Orange Soda, Pin Point Local, Superpages.com, Website Magazine, and Yellow Magic will be on hand with product demos, discounts, & giveaways.

And don’t forget the networking that SMX is known for! We’re expecting well over 250 people at the show. There will be plenty of opportunities to connect with people throughout both days, and particularly at the networking reception on Monday evening.

So, I’m excited. And I’m really looking forward to meeting and talking with those of you who will be attending the show. Want another reason to attend? It’s peak autumn color and the weather is spectacular this time of year here in Colorado. The mountains are just 30 minutes from the conference if you have time to get away before or after the show.

Haven’t yet registered? Here are links to the SMX Local & Mobile agenda and registration page—with an option to register for a one day pass. See you there!

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | SEM Industry: Conferences


About The Author: (@CJSherman) is a Founding Editor of SearchEngineLand.com and President of Searchwise LLC, a Boulder Colorado based Web consulting firm. He also programs and co-chairs the Search Marketing Expo - SMX conference series.

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