There are three key reasons to go to SES Chicago 2010. Actually, there are more than three reasons to attend the leading search and social marketing event this year, but let's start with the top ones that were identified in a Tradeshow Week survey conducted last year, entitled, "The Value of Attending Conventions & Tradeshows in a Recession."
The research by Tradeshow Week found that 96 percent of CEOs and other senior executives said they were attending their industry's most important events -- despite the challenging economic environment.
Tradeshow Week also found that in a challenging economy it is even more important to (1) keep up-to-date with industry trends, (2) see new products and services, and (3) maintain and build relationships - all areas in which events provide significant value and efficiency. In short, attending leading conventions and trade shows -- even during a recession -- keeps executives informed and competitive.
As one event attendee said about going to events, "If you don't keep up with what is going on in your business, a recession can keep you going down." A second attendee commented, "(Going to the show) is actually a savings in travel costs. All my suppliers and potential suppliers are available at one venue." And a third provided this reason to attend in a recession, "We still have to keep up with changes in the industry and be prepared for the upswing."
Get it? Got it? Good.
So, these are three key reasons to go to any industry's most important events. Let's apply them to SES Chicago 2010 and see how it stacks up as the economy recovers more slowly than policy makers would like.
Keep up-to-date with industry trends: This is SES Chicago's strong suit.
You'll want to attend sessions like:
- "Remaining Agile Amidst Seismic Shifts in the Social Media Landscape." From Facebook's endless attempts to integrate content from all over the web, Twitter's latest mobile app, to YouTube extending the limits on video length, social media is one of marketing's most dynamic channels. You'll learn how to address and adapt to the evolving social environment and how to evaluate changes worth embracing and those worth passing by.
- "Update on Real Time Search: I Want it Now!" Now that search engines are rapidly moving into the realm of real-time search taking "fire hose" feeds from social networking sites such as Twitter, the race is on to see who can provide the freshest and most relevant information. The real-time web offers a huge variety of news, blogs, updates and video results. And real-time is everywhere - on your smart phone, your laptop, iPad and other devices. You'll find out how real-time search is developing and how marketers can benefit from this new stream of instant information.
- "A Powerful New Choice in Search." You'll learn how Yahoo! Search and Bing are coming together for advertisers and consumers, hear tips on how to prepare for the transition, and have your questions answered by Yahoo! Search and Bing experts.
And these three sessions are just a sample of the ones that you'll want to attend in order to keep up-to-date with industry trends.
Can you afford to skip this year's event because you went last year? Listen to what Kathryn Joy of the New England Journal of Medicine said at SES Chicago 2009.
See new products and services: This is another key reason to go to SES Chicago 2010. It's an expo as well as a conference.
You can check out the participating sponsors and exhibitors ahead of time and then schedule appointments with the ones that you want to see.
Chris Konicek of Accutech, who attended his first SES Chicago last year, said he saw a lot of great resources and tools -- even for people starting out in the industry.
Maintain and build relationships: SES Chicago 2010 will also be a great place to network with peers and experts to learn the latest tips and trends.
Check out the list of special events. It includes:
SES Chicago Meet & Greet, which will be held on Monday, Oct. 18, from 7 p.m. to late. Hang out, talk shop, meet speakers, exchange ideas and casually swap notes about sessions you are looking forward to attending.
Social Media Club Chicago Meetup, which will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 19, from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. Get some exclusive content as the Social Media Club of Chicago hosts selected speakers and tackles the big questions facing the social media space.
Open Mic: SEW Black Hat White Hat Unconferenced, which will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 20, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Attend this unique unconferenced session. There are no formal presentations - and all with a glass of your favorite beverage in your hand, of course!
At SES Chicago 2009, Nick Sparagis of IntroXL got to sit next to Bruce Clay, an industry recognized expert on SEO, at lunch.
Finally, there's an additional reason to go to SES Chicago 2010. Actually, it's a reason that didn't exist last year. The event is being held in October, not December.
That appealed to Justin Kimbro of the South Eastern Book Company at SES Chicago 2009.
The SES Chicago agenda provides an overview of the more than 70 sessions, 10 theater presentations, three special events, five express clinics, and seven training workshops that are packed into the Hilton Chicago Oct. 18-22, 2010.
Now, you can't see everything at SES Chicago 2010 -- unless, of course, you bring a team a people to the event. That's exactly what Jeff Sponseller and Dominic Golembiewski of Miller Weldmaster did at SES Chicago 2009.
I'm bringing a team of people to SES Chicago 2010. But I should disclose that SES in a client of my agency. Nevertheless, you can trust the attendees of last year's SES Chicago on the three key reasons you should go to SES Chicago this year. Hey, you can't make this stuff up.