Hello and welcome once again to my look at upcoming conferences for the year. While the calendar may not seem to change, this year sees one search conference change its time dramatically.
SES London Feb 17 – 20 has to be one of the main events for the London search community if for no other reason than LondonSEO rolling in to town. Our own Viking and SEO Chick extraordinaire will be speaking at several sessions and I am honoured to be delivering a solo session. I’ve often said that I’d send new staff for training first to SES London, then SMX London, PubCon and then SMX Advanced if I had to do training through conferences.
Of course you know about W-Tech on Feb 3rd and I’m sure as it is a free event you’ll be one of the 1,300 decision-makers already signed up. Make this the positive start to your year and attend even if just for the evening. Did you remember TFM & A was happening Feb 24 -25? Of course you did! One of the best conferences around for those of us in the Search and digital sectors, TFM&A is full of great suppliers, fabulous speakers and a great time to be had by all. Every year that I have reported on it for Technology Weekly it has been fantastic and I hope to be covering it again.
Starting off April just when my younger sister is due to bring little Tristan in to the world, Search Marketing World is happening. April 1st in Dublin a large number of UK, European and hopefully a few US search marketing experts will be gathering for the next instalment of Search Marketing World. While I’ll regrettably not be able to go I hope plenty of you will be as it is shaping up to be fantastic.
Internet World is a must-attend on everyone’s calendar, this year fighting with the A4U expo in Amsterdam. Internet world in London is one of the largest internet technology trade shows around and boasts thousands of visitors who cram a filled expo hall floor to find new suppliers, reconnect with old ones and watch free sessions. If you are in London for April 27 & 28, I highly recommend attending this conference. You’ll want to spend both days there!
As I mentioned, also at the end of April is the A4U Expo Europe which in London boasted a very rich and worthwhile search stream. Gearing up to offer the same again, A4U surprisingly has become almost an alternative search conference based both on the quality and quantity of search based sessions. A search marketer could justify attending, so strong is the session offering. Just book your ticket for A4U here and join some of the greats in search (and me ) in Amsterdam for some excellent and advanced sessions.
Another surprising entry is CAP Euro which also has a strong search offering. If you are looking to push beyond the basics and get some of the juicer details, join some of the numerous search-based sessions. This event is happening right after A4U and with the affiliate sector as strong as it currently is and growing, this promises to be great.
In a surprise move, eMetrics Summit and SMX London have combined forces and are both coming to us in May. While many of us understand the importance of metrics in search, never before have I experienced this level of integration between search and metrics. It will be exciting to have both conferences happening at the same time and exciting to see how it all works
Outside Europe, I have to mention SMX Advanced. This is the most important date on many search marketers calendars next to PubCon Las Vegas plus of course their home conferences like SES or SMX. This year, SMX Advanced is June 2 – 3 and is set to be one of the most highly attended of all of the Advanced conferences.
Next on the London calendar is the Online Marketing show. While smaller than Internet World, it is tightly focused around the online marketing industry and as such is an excellent show to attend. This year, they have added the instore show and others to all share the same venue, making this a formidable show and covering a breadth of topics. Probably going to become a powerful date on the conference calendar.
Back in London for the first time in a long time, PUBCON LONDON finally comes home with a Saturday session on July 4th, perhaps in recognition of the volume of alcohol we will all consume. This is a pure pubcon with no sessions – just the mix and mingle with other search professionals. I know that I’m clamouring to buy myself a ticket to this event which promises a top limit of 400 so you can be sure everyone will be there.
August is the month of rest at the moment but I have no doubt that as the year progresses, the latter half will rapidly fill with lovely conferences offering great sessions.
Into September and it is ad:tech which has not had a great reception from others in the industry. If the Twitter traffic was anything to judge by, this is one most search professionals will be giving a miss this year. It is possibly the ad focus which takes it outside our industry in focus. I won’t be going.
Next is the great Social Media for Business which has been in the planning for over a year. Outside London, it promises to be a great day with sessions on social media by some of the best people in the industry who all came together to help businesses work more effectively in the social media space.
The A4U Expo London will be hotly anticipated by many in the search industry this year. While Amsterdam may not be possible, you will not want to miss A4U and its strong search focus, especially with SMX now in the spring. This will be the best opportunity for those within the industry to get information about changes and advancements in the local and European space as well as getting insight in the bar
Pubcon rounds out my year and although it is not European, it is a “must attend” conference. This is where most of the networking is done, and where most of the knowledge is passed along. I had to miss this in 2008 and the write ups just did not cover enough. There is no alternative to being there. Book your plane ticket now and beat the rush. It is a full four days crammed full of information, major releases, news and views. If you have to, send one person and have them present stuff back to the office. Then you can be sure the notes will be carefully written!
So there you have it. This is my view of conferences around the UK (with four notable exceptions) and I hope you’re all getting ready to book your tickets!