One of world's the oldest maps, the Lenox Globe, has the Latin phrase "HC SVNT DRACONES" near the east coast of Asia. Since it was created (circa 1503-1507), the phrase "Here be dragons" has been used to denote dangerous or unexplored territories.
Well, if I were to create a map of ClickZ's Connected Marketing Week, there would be several blank areas where I'd be tempted to put sea serpents and other mythological creatures.
Now, I've been attending SES in August each and every year since 2003. But this year's event has moved from San Jose to San Francisco. But that's just one sign that "we're not in Kansas anymore."
If you look at the SES San Francisco conference agenda, you will see things that weren't on last year's map.
Yes, yes, there are new sessions like "Beyond the Click: What Shoppers Need Now." But there are always new sessions at SES. That's why even search industry veterans come back year after year.
What I'm talking about are the new SEW Labs that have replaced the old site clinics from previous years. How different will they be? As Jonathan Allen, the Director of Search Engine Watch and SEW Labs Chief Egghead, explains, "SEW labs is a new format session for SES. Expanding on the popular site clinic approach which featured live web site audits from leading experts it becomes more of a peer-group learning experience."
He adds, "Each lab session is preceded by a primer session to ready attendees for the main event. The audience will participate with industry experts and search engine representatives in analyzing and auditing attendee web sites. Think 'crowd-sourcing consultancy' sessions in a live classroom environment."
And while you're looking at the SES San Francisco conference agenda, look for "Theater Presentations" in red to the right of Tuesday, August 17, Day 1, and Wednesday, August 18, Day 2. I know, it's easy to sail right past them.
To the right of "Theater Presentations" are drop down menus that show the schedule of these presentations. Or, just click on "Theater Presentations" in the left-hand navigation under "Programs."
You'll discover the schedule for 22 presentations, including ones by Yahoo!, Google, Bing, and Ask Sponsored Listings. These presentations take place in the Expo Hall Theater and are free to all SES San Francisco attendees.
Now, all that would be enough to justify coming back to SES even if you'd attended the event a year ago. "But wait, there's more!"
This year SES is the center but not the circumference of a larger series of events with a new name, "ClickZ's Connected Marketing Week."
The first of its kind, Connected Marketing Week will be the biggest gathering of interactive marketing events aiming to educate marketers on every aspect of the digital industry. In addition to SES San Francisco, participating events include: the Online Marketing Summit (OMS), Jeff Pulver's 140 Characters Conference, Email Experience Council, IAB, and Tim Ash's Conversion Conference Day.
As you look at the agendas for each of these events, you'll discover that the ClickZ BlogworkZ one-day forum is already sold out. That's why the phrase "Here be dragons" should be added here to denote the danger of discovering unexplored areas too late to attend them.
So, before you miss out on other opportunities, check out your options. Success in not only search marketing -- but all of marketing -- today requires an advanced understanding of how consumers and audiences are connecting, sharing their passions and influencing others.
To get an overview of ClickZ's Connected Marketing Week, check out the video below.
I should disclose that SES is a client of my agency. But trust me on the dangers of discovering unexplored areas of this event too late to attend them.