The inaugural ClickZ Live New York kicked off with a bang earlier this month as more than 2,000 digital marketing participants gathered at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square to listen, learn, and exchange ideas with fellow industry colleagues.
A culmination of several months' work and a year’s planning, ClickZ Live is the rebranded conference of the former SES and recognizes the ever-evolving changes taking place in the digital marketing industry, which has moved far beyond just search.
Opening the conference on the first day was keynote speaker Randi Zuckerberg. Perhaps best known as the sister of Facebook founder Mark, Zuckerberg spoke about her experiences in the world of technology, her journey through entrepreneurship, and the new media trends that are affecting the lives of consumers today, including the maker culture, wearables, and visual mediums such as Pinterest.
Andy Beal, author of the book Repped, was another featured keynote speaker, inspiring attendees to really think about their online activities in order to manage reputation and create a solid business foundation. Beal shared a number of reputational blunders that he had witnessed and gave tips on how these can be avoided. He encouraged the audience to challenge themselves to a higher standard of social marketing, which in turn would strengthen their bottom lines.
The presentations over the entire three days struck chords with attendees, with some remarking that it was a "captivating" event, and others commenting that it was "truly thought-provoking." All seemed to enjoy the opportunity to interact and network with key industry experts. For the speakers, too, the show proved a valuable experience. "ClickZ Live has been wonderful. There’s been so much energy and it’s been a great opportunity to learn from other marketers," said Michelle Killebrew, program director, Strategy & Solutions, Social Business at IBM.
With the resounding comments of the event’s overall success ringing loud and clear, some of you may have heard that Mike Grehan, group publishing director of ClickZ, Search Engine Watch, and ClickZ Live, has decided to leave Incisive Media on this high note and step down from his role.
Grehan has been with Incisive Media (ClickZ, Search Engine Watch, and ClickZ Live’s parent company) since July 2009. Through his strong leadership, collaborative spirit, and invaluable knowledge of the industry, Grehan has been a pivotal figure for all three brands from the get go.
A seasoned SES speaker, Grehan joined the group as one of the most respected contributors and personalities in the industry, and took it from its search roots to where it is today. Grehan oversaw the evolution of the content at SES to serve the broader digital marketing community.
Commenting on his decision to leave, Grehan said: "This has been a very hard decision for me to make. But, after five years at the helm with three of the most prestigious brands in the digital marketing industry, it’s time for a change, a new direction and new captain. I've loved every moment working as publisher with Incisive Media, but I'm a marketeer at heart and the call is loud. I wish great success to my old team. And no less to the new team I’ll be working with next. But you haven’t seen the last of me yet and there is no doubt that I’ll be catching up in person with everyone at the industry’s leading digital marketing event, ClickZ Live."
Though Grehan was unable to confirm his next move he did say that he would be going back to his roots as a digital marketing practitioner. And while no longer serving as group publisher for the brands, he will still be writing as a regular contributor to ClickZ and speaking at the ClickZ Live events.
"Mike has been instrumental to the success of our interactive marketing and search brands and his expertise knowledge and connections in the industry have helped us successfully move to our new name and format ClickZ Live. It is a very exciting time for these brands and Mike has made the next chapter of their development a thrilling reality. We will all miss him but are delighted that he will continue his longstanding involvement with the show and websites as both a valued speaker and expert contributor," said John Barnes, managing director, Digital, Tech, and Interactive Marketing, Incisive Media.
We'll be looking forward to building on the success of New York and seeing many of you at our next ClickZ Live event in Toronto, where Kirstine Stewart, managing director of Twitter Canada, will be speaking in May.