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November 16, 2007

SMX London Day 1 Insights

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Guest entry from Marie Howell, Bruce Clay Europe.

Marie was kind enough to act as Bruce Clay’s roving reporter during SMX London and comment on her experiences. We hope to have her thoughts regarding Day 2 either this weekend or Monday of next week. And with that, we present Marie Howell…

After hearing fabulous reports (and reading the truly excellent blogs of Lisa Barone) about the inaugural SMX Seattle event, and then hearing all about SMX Stockholm, we were delighted with the touchdown of the Conference Team in the guise of speaker extraordinaire Danny Sullivan, the quietly intelligent Chris Sherman and the Rising Media team in London. The SMX London conference, hosted at The Hilton Metropole Hotel, commenced in style with a keynote address from Mario Queiroz, VP Products Europe, Middle East & Africa for Google and was quickly followed up with sessions in 3 tracks, offering a wide experience for attendees: Fundamentals, Search Ads and Advanced Organic.

With a wide range of quality panellists and presenters, excellent information and a great set-up, the SMX team has pulled off a coup within the search conference space. From an introduction to the Global Search Universe, to SEO for Multimedia, to Creating Search Ads That Convert, to Competitive Paid Search tactics, superb sharing and insider tricks and strategies abounded. Brand and industry names like Shari Thurow, Mikkel deMib Svendsen, Dave Naylor, Andy Atkins-Kruger, Jon Myers, Mel Carson of Microsoft presented beautifully. We also saw emerging speakers like Rob Kerry and Lisa Ditlefsen present an excellent set of sessions, where they shared insider information to make the day a success for attendees.

I was surprised to see only two exhibitors making up the conference hall, but with just a few months notice, firms had little opportunity to find additional budget for this show. However, Matthew Finlay of Rising Media assures me that bookings are coming thick and fast for June 2008, as advertisers have seen what a quality event this has turned out to be.

Particular events of note on the first day were the Cutting Edge Linking Tactics session and the Fundamentals Track of The Elements of Search Friendly Web sites, which gave an excellent account of the basics one needs to take into consideration when designing for both user and search engine. And of course, a highlight for many was that the lunch didn’t come in a bag or box! Attendees were truly well taken care of.

The day rounded off with a marvellous networking session which started downstairs and continued upstairs in the bar. There was lots of search networking and also corporate – agency interaction, which is great for all concerned. Attendees reported a truly successful first day – well done SMX!

Look out for greater coverage – including reporting on selected sessions – on SMX Day 2.

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