How SES Has Become a Different Kind of Conference Experience

ses-san-francisco-2012-logoYou know, SES Conference & Expo has been helping to educate the industry since 1999. It really is the granddaddy conference of its kind.

Over the years there have been various tweaks in the content and the format. But more recently we decided, based on the huge amount of feedback we get from our attendees, to make some fairly significant changes. I wanted to tell you about them personally.

First and foremost is how 90 percent of our content is now geared towards the more seasoned practitioner with three to five years experience. That said, we still have a steady stream of marketers new to online and therefore we have kept what we call our "kick start" track featuring fundamental and introductory lessons.

What is highly noticeable, is the vastly reduced number of panelists on sessions at SES. This has not been an overnight change, but a gradual shift. The audience feedback has been loud and clear: "We want more in-depth solo sessions with leading industry practitioners."

If you check the SES agenda for any given show these days you'll notice 70 percent of the content is delivered in these much more intensive type sessions. Formal panel presentations are generally kept to two people, allowing much more audience engagement by our expert speakers and a greater learning experience for attendees.

We do still have discussion panels though. Again, the audience feedback has been loud about lively debate and discussion by leading experts on current and topical issues facing our industry. And audience participation is what drives these sessions.

Speaking of the audience, there's a thriving community spirit at the heart of SES. No matter what level of experience you have, whether coming in new or with three or more years experience. By attending you'll be in the right place at the right time - every time!

We carefully craft each individual agenda for every SES Conference & Expo at home and abroad to reflect the most current digital marketing moment in time. The very latest strategies and tactics are explained and demonstrated using real time, real life examples. And the environment is carefully designed to encourage knowledge sharing activities between the speakers and the attendees.

Finally, and most importantly, it's all about education. As you can no doubt tell, we pride ourselves on having the industry's top practitioners, visionaries and thought leaders presenting in-depth and practical sessions.

Conferences are not cheap and before you commit company dollars to attending, you need to be assured that you'll get your money's worth. SES is produced and presented by a team dedicated to ensuring you get the very best information, education and value for money.

I look forward to personally connecting with you at SES.

About the author

Mike Grehan is currently chief marketing officer and managing director at Acronym, where he is responsible for directing thought leadership programs and cross-platform marketing initiatives, as well as developing new, innovative content marketing campaigns.

Prior to joining Acronym, Grehan was group publishing director at Incisive Media, publisher of Search Engine Watch and ClickZ, and producer of the SES international conference series. Previously, he worked as a search marketing consultant with a number of international agencies handling global clients such as SAP and Motorola. Recognized as a leading search marketing expert, Grehan came online in 1995 and is the author of numerous books and white papers on the subject and is currently in the process of writing his new book From Search to Social: Marketing to the Connected Consumer to be published by Wiley later in 2014.

In March 2010 he was elected to SEMPO's board of directors and after a year as vice president he then served two years as president and is now the current chairman.