The Online Marketing Summit 2010 was held in San Diego February 22nd - 25th. OMS 2010 was held at the Paradise Point Resort & Spa, right on the Mission Bay shoreline. The weather during the event was typical February weather with temperatures in the low 70's upper 60's. While the locals know this is a bit cold, most people I spoke with that had to fly in from anywhere else were very happy to be out of the snow. It did rain during the event but it was only a brief drizzle during the evenings. Timing couldn't have been better as there were substantial storms before and after the event.
The first day of OMS 2010 consisted of training and certification workshops. Not only did these classes bring attendees that only had brief knowledge of social media or online marketing, they also enabled those with exposure to the industry get more in-depth training before the conference sessions started. These classes also earned students credits towards certification with the Online Marketing Institute.
Each of the three days of conferences was packed with useful sessions and panels ranging from fundamentals and best practices to case studies, some sessions even included leadership panels that focused on audience questions. As a regular industry conference attendee I really enjoy the sessions where the panel focuses on what the crowd asks. The sessions always seem far more involved and I'm usually able to pick up more useful information in these sessions then ones that use recycles presentations. Speaking of recycled presentations, I was presently surprised at the amount of new presentations I saw at OMS 2010. While there were a few that seemed very familiar, there were not nearly as many as I usually find at the larger shows. The social media coverage on these two days was so informative and thorough that, after the end of day 2, many conference goers that I spoke with said they were "social media'd out", but seeing how day 3 primarily focused on search, it was the perfect amount of coverage.
I'm not usually a fan of keynote speeches and days 1 and 2 and 2 and 3 keynotes respectively. I kind of cringed when I saw so many keynotes on the schedule, but the timing and manner they were presented and the information and content given in the presentations worked, without going into details, there was a very good amount of useful tips for those that listened carefully.
Day 3 of OMS 2010 was the Search Engine Strategies Forum. This was the day that got very in-depth in search marketing. This was the day that offered a great opportunity to learn from and interact with many of the leading search marketing leaders. The fundamentals track was set up to build a solid foundation for those looking to get their companies a solid understanding of where to start. The beyond fundamentals involved comparing paid and organic search, analytics for search, landing page design, as well as YouTube and online video optimization.
As a summary, the conference was very informative and the 3 day format with worked very well. The training and certification courses the first day helped a lot as well, as I found less beginner or intro level questions in each of the sessions then I normally hear. As a regular conference attendee for nearly the past 10 years, I'm used to going to conference mainly for the networking and information you get after the sessions are over. It was very refreshing to leave a 3 day conference with 4 pages of notes and ideas as opposed to the 2 pages I usually get. I will definitely be looking forward to the next OMS and recommend you do the same.