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Inside the SES New York 2013 Expo Hall: Networking, Pinball & Swag

melissa-ruttanai
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At SES New York, networking was a major priority for most of the attendees. Between keynote speakers and intensive educational sessions, the Marriott Marquis was abuzz with information, white paper research, and informal meetings. Over coffee and lunch, attendees led with a simple question: “So what do you do?”, spurring casual chat into informal business meetings.

The Expo Hall itself was no less of an activity hub. Beyond the swag – and even a pinball machine – exhibitors kept themselves busy. They talked amongst the din of Google workshops, book signings, and roundtable discussions with experts.

Exhibitors at SES New York With Something to Share

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According to their representatives, Conductor specializes in SEO metrics and has been attending SES New York for two years. Their “customer success team” assists big name clients such as FedEx and REI and concentrates on optimizing for natural search using technology and reporting. They help customers analyze terms that competitors are ranking for. Then they set goals and measure progress for each individualized portfolio.

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iCrossing is a world class digital marketing agency,” said media manager Chris Greene on the first day of SES New York. Staff invited guests to the booth and a geometric-shaped cube was a techie spin-off of a Rubik's Cube.

According to Greene, they come to the conference almost every year to meet people with varying backgrounds and education in search marketing. It is the premiere event for them to showcase their “paid search, which is [the company’s] bread and butter” alongside iCrossing’s offerings for content creation.

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At the opposite end of the floor, Yext helps its customers with location information software and had a cache of swag to help visitors recall the company’s name. At the welcome desk stood Liz Walton, who said that their software assists customers structure their business profiles on websites like Yahoo, White Pages, and Patch. With flagship tools like PowerListing, clients can manage and self-publish instantly thereby controlling how their business information, offers, and photos appear online.

Segueing from the usual formatted descriptions of a company’s mission statement, Sean Cohan stated that Internet Marketing Ninjas was a “funky, delicious, most wonderful full-service internet marketing company.” To them SES is an event which they not only exhibit with but also attend as speakers on panels and presentation leaders.

They adhere to the belief that in the organic world, author rank is the biggest signal that Google picks up. Therefore, the Internet Marketing Ninjas build expertise and authority through in-house content and authorship. As Cohan explained, they have names like Jim Boykin and Kris Jones in the presentation rooms, their booths on the Expo Floor, and a “top notch commitment” throughout their services.

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Leila Pflager of Quantcast represented her company on the Expo Floor and discussed the 100 million publishers using their analytics and real-time bidding. She stated that audience measurement is a tool for advertising and that people using search can only do so much with SEO and SEM.

Quantcast steps in offering a comprehensive services with enhanced sets of data that aren't available anywhere else. This data is not opted in but are live which helps her customers achieve a “targeted display”.

Networking Opportunities on the Expo Floor

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At Linkdex, couches and tables invited visitors and customers to relax and chat, a feature that was repeated often in the SES Expo Hall. While many companies were at SES to network, the staff at this search platform and data company are no different.

Linkdex has a long history with SES and know that the attendees here are the right people to help share their message. So while they work with authorship data and how changes in networks affect behavior, they also focus on face-to-face interactions within the SES community.

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For Berlin-based Searchmetrics, SES New York was a way to connect with local customers beyond their regional offices in Manhattan. According to Mark Schoffner, the conference was all about exposure. Their representatives spoke on panels, attended expert roundtables, and drove research for white papers.

Searchmetrics is a “well-honed response to a fragmented marketplace”, offering ways to extract data which is owned by the company itself and analyze seasonal trends and weekly volatility which ties to social media.

Similarly with BrightEdge, connecting with New York based customers is a core goal of the company’s attendance at SES. Chatting and coffee talk led to stronger relationships and long-term business.

Networking with “influencers” is key to a company’s success especially on a global scale where search changes 4-5 times a year. As a representative suggested, networking helps BrightEdge stay tuned-in and likewise assists them in providing their customers with strategies to measure performance in organic search.

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Bing Ads had a light and welcoming booth with representatives ready to chat about the latest in advertisement. The self-described “decision engine”, Bing helps people with answers, according to Bing Ads Evangelist John Gagnon.

When asked about the most important tool in the service suite, he stated that the Import Tool is a streamlined method to helps marketers spend less time loading spreadsheets and more time making successful campaign decisions. He said that Bing Ads comes to SES to meet customers as well as advertisers and new learners.

At SES New York, time management was essential. Between sessions, many attendees grabbed a cup of coffee while reading through agendas and navigating back and forth from the Expo Hall to keynote presentations and sessions. Over lunch and at sponsored networking events, it seemed as if no moment was spared as industry leaders compared notes and connected with peers on professional and personal levels.


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