Tips for Making the Most of SES San Jose

Ladies and gentlemen, start your search engines!

As a lead-up to SES San Jose, we've got some tips and thoughts to help promote and get you through the event. This is, after all, supposed to be educational.

Ground Zero

This is SES's 10th annual event, and the biggest of the year. As a result, you'll find a high concentration of successful Internet related companies. It's a great opportunity to really dive in and learn about the SEM world.

There are more than 70 sessions, and 80 percent of the sessions are new to the agenda. So if you've been to one before, you may want to plan a return visit. These kinds of events will help you keep up to date on the latest industry tools, tips, and your SEM education.

Square 1

No, I'm not talking about the delightfully entertaining kids' show on PBS featuring Mathman, but the real square one: where do you start?

If you've never been to an SES conference, it can be a little daunting with five simultaneous tracks of action happening at all times. The Search Engine Watch forums come to the rescue with a thread for the n00b. The thread may be old, but it's still relevant and will at least get you started. Main tip: go to the bar -- don't live at the bar.

If you're a couple steps ahead, comfortable with the format, and ready for a team effort, Greg Jarboe has a great post on strategizing for Search Engine Strategies and optimizing your time, incorporating several different "classes" like SEM Newbie and PPC Expert and what direction you should take to take it all in as fully as possible. There might be an MMORPG in that.

If you're staying the whole week, take advantage of the SEM training courses August 19 to 20. There's an extra cost for these training courses, but if you're already there and in the groove, you can take advantage of the knowledge these instructors are willing to impart.

Live in San Jose

OK, I'm guessing there will be a notable lack of satellite trucks in the lots beaming live feeds all over the world (they're busy in Beijing), but maybe you're going to bulk up that sagging SEM blog you've got going with a live blog event. Perhaps writing a report or series of them for an online or -- gasp! -- print publication. Or maybe you're going to Twitter through it all by your lonesome.

Either way, Greg Jarboe helps to pick us up with a great prediction of the biggest stories will be at SES San Jose. And with that in your back pocket, you won't have to worry about missing out, whether it's in your reporting or in the conversations after hours.

Future Options

Wait, wait, I can't make it to San Jose this time, you say. Or it's too far, or you're cousin's in from Poughkeepsie for the weekend. What can you do? You don't want to miss all the chaos and networking and fun of the conference.

Here are your upcoming options:

  • SEM Training Dallas: Sept. 26
  • SES Tokyo Forum: Oct. 28-29
  • SES Chicago: Dec. 8-12
  • SES London: Feb. 17-20, 2009
  • SES New York: March 23-27, 2009

Final Report

SES San Jose is the biggest event of the year. With as fast as the world is shifting and the ebb and flow of SEM, be where the waves are made. And if you've got a good handle on the industry, you might just make some yourself.

Hope to see you there!

About the author

Ron was President/CEO of Symetri Internet Marketing, which provides strategic SEM consulting and training. Ron was actively involved in the SEM community and spoke at conferences and seminars, as well as hosting regional SEM events where he provided participants SEM training and education best practices. Ron also served on the Board of Directors for SEMPO and was also one of the authors for the SEMPO Institute Fundamentals and Advanced courses.

Read more of Ron Jones's columns at ClickZ.

Ron passed away on June 30, 2012.