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Local Search Summit:09 Joins SES San Jose and Social Media & Video Strategies

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Right after I posted Optimized Schedule for SES San Jose Plus Social Media & Video Strategies I discovered that there's going to be another event that week. It's was like hearing Ron Popeil tell me, "But wait! There's more!"

That's right, I just found out that Local Search Summit:09 will be held on Thursday, August 13, 2009, at at the San Jose Marriott. To put this in context, SES San Jose 2009 will be held next door at the McEnery Convention Center from Monday, August 10, to Friday, August 14. Meanwhile, the first Social Media & Video Strategies Forum will be held on Tuesday, August 11, at the San Jose Marriott.

Get it? Got it? Good!

The featured sponsors of Local Search Summit:09 are Localeze, which powers some of the most successful Internet Yellow Page companies on the net, and Citysquares, one of the premier local community sites on web. Other sponsors who made the event happen include:Search Influence, Universal Business Listing, David Mihm, and eLocal Listing.

The speakers at Local Search Summit:09 include: Atif Rafiq from Yahoo! Local, Steve Stukenborg from Google TV, Steve Espinosa from LocalSearchNews, and Jason Calacanis of Mahalo. Other featured speakers include: Greg Sterling, a local search analyst and blogger, Andrew Shotland, former VP of Product of InsiderPages and former head of Showtime.com, and Court Cunningham, CEO of Yodle.

The agenda for Local Search Summit:09 kicks off at 9:00 a.m. with a keynote by Stukenborg. At 10:30 a.m., there is a session entitled, "Local Search Ranking Factors." At 11:05 a.m., there is a session entitled, "What Kind of Online Products do SMBs Need?" At 12:45, there is a panel discussion entitled, "Q&A: Google Maps, Yahoo! Local, and Bing." At 1:30 p.m., there is a panel discussion entitled, "Using Facebook and Twitter to Drive Local Leads." At 2:15 p.m., there is a session entitled, "LBS and Mobile: What to Realistically Expect." At 2:50 p.m., there will be a conversation entitled "Up Close and Personal with Yelp!" And at 3:45 p.m., the final session is entitled, "Local Search: Where Are We Today?"

Segway Personal Transporter.jpg Okay, so there's going to be a lot going on in San Jose that week. Earlier this week, I joked about getting a Segway Personal Transporter in order to ride back and forth between the co-located events. Well, now I'm actually looking into renting one!

But, if you think about it for a moment, the multiple events reflect both the growth and segmentation of the market. We've come a long, long way since my first Search Engine Strategies, which was held in Boston in the Spring of 2002.

Back then, everything you needed to learn fit into one keynote and 27 sessions, organized into three conference tracks over two days. Today, SES San Jose 2009 consists of three keynotes, 65 conference sessions, and 12 training workshops organized into five conference tracks over five days. Add to that the Social Media & Video Strategies Forum, which consists of a shared keynote and six conference sessions, plus the Local Search Summit, which consists of one keynote and seven conference sessions.

Yes, this makes optimizing your schedule even harder, but it also reflects the expansion and specialization of our industry. What it really drives home is this message: You can't do it along anymore.

Let me try to put this in human terms: A team of three people could attend Search Engine Strategies 2002 Spring and learn everything an organization needed to know in two days. Now, a team of seven people could attend SES San Jose 2009, the first Social Media & Video Strategies Forum, and Local Search Summit:09 and learn everything an organization needed to know in five days.

Frankly, I think this is a good thing ... even if it means that I have to start looking for a Segway PT.


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