With only three weeks to go until SES London, you might be asking yourself what you can expect to get out of the conference and what is going to make it different this year when compared to every other year? Well, as Alan Sugar (the UK equivalent of Donald Trump, and also host of "The Apprentice") often says, 'let me tell you'.
But be warned, the earlybird catches the worm and our early bird offer expires today -- Friday, February the 4th -- so hassle your boss right now and use this code YTL15 to register and get a 15% discount.
Brand New Venue
SES London will take place in a brand-spanking new venue - The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre - which is close to the political heart of London, right next to Westminster Abbey and overlooking Big Ben and the London Eye.
So, if you have attended an SES London event before and find yourself getting on the tube going to Angel... you are going the wrong way. You need to be heading to Westminster.
Cowboy Keynote, Yeehaw!
This year will be the first time you will see a rootin' tootin' cowboy presenting the keynote session at an SES London conference. Jeffrey Hayzlett is known as the celebrity CMO for his renegade method of stopping the runaway train that was Kodak's declining customer base by, shock horror, listening to his customers via social media and radically rethinking the product position, tone and voice.
I saw Jeffrey speak at SES San Francisco and I can tell you that the first 10 minutes are UNMISSABLE - reminded me of something out of the Airplane movies - and you will be constantly chuckling throughout the presentation. But the other nice thing about Jeffrey's presentations is that, as he is a cowboy, he's shouting out rock hard wisdom that you'll be wanting to try out in front of your boss next time they take you for the shy, retiring type.
This is a format that the VP and Global Content Director for Search Engine Watch, ClickZ and Search Engine Strategies, Mike Grehan, has been experimenting with since SES Chicago and is one that has had great feedback from the audience. One of things that people like about it is that it offers a chance to dive into a subject more deeply with your host.
I would stress that you should not be put off by the word 'basic' where you see it, the solo session format will mean that the audience will be able to dive into certain topics and where our speakers are able to provide an advanced level of context.
Here is a selection of solo sessions that I've got my eye on:
Introduction to SEO with Dave Naylor, one of the most well-known SEOs in the UK.
Basic Analytics with John Marshall, CTO of Market Motive and founder of ClickTracks, one of the first ever web-analytics companies - the ones who invented and patented the overlay report.
Music & Search Engine Marketing: Quality Score & The Volume Game with Paul Szymanski from Sony Music Entertainment. The music industry is frequently challenged by the machinations of the tech industry, so being able to look at the role search marketing plays is going to be interesting.
Introduction to Paid Search with Jon Myers SES Advisory Board & Head of Account Management, Yahoo! UK & Ireland.
SEO and EXCEL for Big Websites with Chee Ho Wan, SEO Director at Forward3D/Awesome Links. I ask you, what could be better than a session on Excel and SEO? Answer: Someone explaining in person what a pivot table is and how to use it.
Over 50 Killer Internet Marketing Tools To Measure Your Online Marketing Strategies with Jim Boykin, CEO of We Build Pages should be good.
Tribute to Jaamit Durrani
An SES tradition, first kicked off in London, is the Black Hat / White Hat Unconference event. Normally this takes the form of an 'open mic' event where everyone answers the question, "What should we do with the Black Hats?"
However, this year the Black Hat / White Hat Unconference will be held in honour (spelt the English way) of Jaamit Durrani, who died in a tragic accident in November 2010.
Jaamit was a rising star of the industry - nominated for a shorty award - a talented link builder, who will always be remembered for his generous nature and for candidly sharing his brilliant SEO insight on Twitter. Just one example of his generosity and genius was a collaboration he undertook with Search Engine Watch, on behalf of FreshEgg, to run the #SEOfilms photoshop competition (See the entries and winners) which took our Facebook page from zero to a thousand members in a matter of weeks.
So to honour the man, the theme of the Black Hat / White Hat Unconference event has been changed to 'Share It Like Jaamit' - where we will be inviting you to share your hottest search marketing tips at the open mic (direct to camera), in return for tickets for free drinks.
But that is not all! The video footage we generate will be made available as part of a link building competition sponsored by SEMPO, to prove who is the savviest, silliest and sneakiest search marketer out there.
You're on a Boat!
After the Tribute to Jaamit, we'll all slope off (just as he would have wanted) to the SES London 2011 networking party, which this year is being held on a boat, meaning it is in fact, no longer a party, but a PARRRTY! Organized by Nichola Stott from theMediaFlow, the venue is sponsored by Raven SEO Tools, who will also be providing the drinks in tandem with Linkdex.
Here are some important scrawlin's regaarrdin' the parrrty:
DATE: Wednesday 23rd February
VENUE: HMS President
TIME: 7.00 - 11.30
ENTRY: To conference attendees only and you must show your conference pass at the door.
CAPACITY: 350 is the maximum capacity, therefore you must arrive early to be sure to be admitted.
See you there!