Danny Sullivan’s SMX Advanced Opens Up with a Blast in Seattle
It’s been nearly two weeks since the SMX Advanced conference was held in Seattle, but it’s about time for my recap. Barry and I arrived in Seattle late Sunday night, so we missed a pretty good Microsoft party. While that’s a bit sad (and I’ll try to make the next one), the conference series showed that there was much else to be enjoyed.
There’s a great amount of conference coverage. My BFF the Lisa and her partner in crime (she’s actually a real person after all), Susan, covered all the sessions, and my newest Florida friend, Rhea Drysdale, blogged on Search Engine Journal. Andy Beal and Jordan McCollum also filled some gaps over at Marketing Pilgrim.
Carolyn Shelby and I both blogged for Search Engine Roundtable, and our SMX coverage of each individual session is linked below for your enjoyment and edification:
- You&A with Matt Cutts
- Duplicate Content Summit
- SEO, Meet SMM
- Personalized Search: Fear or Not?
- Keynote with Satya Nadella of Microsoft
- Debate: Is Bid Management Dead? (Disclaimer: As I said on Search Engine Roundtable, this was the hardest thing to blog. Ever.)
- Pump Up Your Paid Search
- Beyond the Majors
- Better Ways
- Penalty Box Summit
- Giant Focus Group
- Give it Up! (Not this time. Wait for it on July 5. We’re embargoed until then.)
Besides those aforementioned individuals, I had a great time seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones. Thanks to all of you guys for the conversations, short and long, and for saying hello: Danny, Todd, Christine, Jill, Jonathan, Neil, Cameron, the whole SEOmoz crew (Rebecca, Rand, Jane, Scott, Jeff, Matt <3), Aaron, Vanessa, Matt, Susan, Adam, Guillaume, Shimrit, Tom, Jay, Jim, Brent, Michael, Dave, Matt, Mike, Chris, Dax, Karl, Todd, Eric, Chris, Scott, and Bruce (thanks for the cab ride!). I didn’t get to say hi to everyone (we went back to the airport right after the conference ended, so I missed the apparently fabulous SEOmoz party) but appreciated the insights — as I always do, from Greg, Todd, Jen, Stephan (I heart your 7 tips!), Brad, Mike, Mikkel, and Gord.
For the most part, I tried to avoid the camera. However, Andy caught me and even made a blog post out of it (that’s after I stood watching as he filmed Barry speak about SEM forums that we write about on Search Engine Roundtable). The next day, I somehow got lured into my first video interview about SMX. See, this is why I avoid the camera. The video is below; let me know if you like it. (Rebecca says I’m fidgety. I guess that’s not a bad thing considering it keeps me slimmer.)
[In case that doesn't work, here's the direct link]
And of course, here are some of the better photos:
From the Google party Monday night:
From the Yahoo! Networking party that preceded the Google party – Aaron of Bruce Clay and Dave Rohrer:
Danny goes casual:
Rand and Barry:
Barry hides out at night. Rand, however, does not:
Lisa kisses Rae, who was there in spirit:
Susan hugs Lisa:
Lisa and me. I believe those are Jane’s fingers serving as ears:
I’m done so as to avoid being beaten mercilessly for posting more incriminating photos. For the rest of them, you can check my Flickr stream. For the other SMX photos, check photos tagged SMX on Flickr.
As for the conference, small was definitely good. Since this is my first business conference out of town, the short length of the conference will take a bit getting used to, as I was not even in Seattle for a full 48 hours. The presentations were insightful, though I understand that some people are looking for some eye-opening “advanced” tips and tricks that will help aid in search marketing — but “advanced” is a purely subjective term. Some people thought it fit the bill, while others felt that there was more that could have helped. One example that I read (and I wish I remember who said it) was that presenters should focus more on case studies and how they overcame them. I think that’s a good tip.
In terms of SMX’s success, Karl Ribas compared SMX to other conferences and has a bit of insight, too: it had good food (my next request, though, would be that there’s Kosher food for the two of us!), great parties, good search engine presence, especially search engine sponsored parties, and that the Q&A was actually challenging but insightful. Since I’ve only been to one other conference, SES NY, I can definitely see a difference in attendees at SMX, because the questions were to the point and did not require extensive explanation. You really did have a fairly advanced crowd.
Next time, I suppose I might bring my Digital SLR and stay a little longer, because the scenes were quite pretty, and I didn’t have coffee during the entire time that I was in Seattle (nor did I visit the Space Needle, which got me a scolding by my husband). Overall, however, SMX so far shows much promise. I definitely look forward to next year.