If Rip Van Winkle woke up last month and re-read the agenda for Search Engine Strategies NYC 2004, he might not notice that a revolution had taken place. For example, there were sessions entitled "Introduction to Search Engine Marketing" and "Link Building Basics" six years ago, which were still being held at SES New York 2010.
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For example, there was a session entitled, "Paid Inclusion & Trusted Feeds." The description in the 2004 conference guide reads, "Why pay to be included in a search engine's listings without a guarantee of ranking well for particular terms? Done right, the more representation a site has in a search engine, the more likely it is to naturally rank well for a variety of targeted terms. That can mean highly-qualified traffic at a price less than obtained through paid placement programs. Come get an overview of paid inclusion, learn how trusted feeds allow you to send a data stream to search engines, hear advice from those who've used various programs offered and pose questions to paid inclusion providers during Q&A."
Yes, it isn't 2004 anymore.
But this begs the question: What other things did your SEO specialist, IT project manager, or webmaster learn six years ago that are no longer relevant? And what price is your organization paying because the folks in finance were penny wise and pound foolish when they cut the training budget along with the travel budget?
Here's a partial answer: If Rip Van Winkle hasn't been to the expo hall in six years, he last walked the trade show floor when Go Toast, Overture, and Terra Lycos were still exhibitors.
Last year, Tradeshow Week published a study entitled, "The Value of Attending Conventions & Tradeshows in a Recession." It found that in a challenging economy it is even more important to keep up-to-date with industry trends, see new products and services, and maintain and build relationships - all areas in which events provide significant value and efficiency. In short, attending leading conventions and tradeshows 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 different 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 another 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."
So, maybe your SEO specialist, IT project manager, or webmaster isn't the Rip Van Winkle of your organization. Maybe it's the folks in finance who cut the training budget as well as the travel budget.
Maybe they mistakenly think that the search industry is located a nice village at the foot of New York's Catskill Mountains. Maybe they need a wake up call. Maybe you need to bring them to the next SES New York.