SES London 2013: How to Make the Most of Your Conference

ses-london-2013-logoLondon has proven its ability to put on big events over the last 12 months, and we look to continue that trend as we host SES London, Europe’s biggest search marketing event, from 18-21 February.

Whilst the world’s greatest athletes arrived last summer to compete in the London Olympics, this February will see Europe’s greatest search marketers congregate to share expertise and sharpen their skills.

It’s always a pleasure for me to work with the fantastic SES team, helping them to line-up Europe’s biggest search experts and most prevalent topics. This year they have once again exceeded themselves. We see a recurring theme amongst sessions this year, which looks at integrating search marketing campaigns into your wider media mix.

The team has also decided to make a small change to this year’s session formats, which I believe will make a big difference. We’ve decided to reduce the number of speakers in each session to two people, plus a moderator. This means each speaker will have 25 minutes enabling them to share more expert tips and go deeper into more advanced levels of insight on their specialist subject.

Greg Jarboe did an excellent job rounding up the big name SES London keynote speakers from Microsoft, Twitter and aimClear who will share their insights in London; however, I wanted to quickly highlight some of the other must-see sessions on each day at an even bigger and better SES Conference this year:

1. The Age of Big Data & the Modern Marketer

Moderator: Matt McGowan, Managing Director – Marketing & Americas, Incisive Media
Speakers: James Murray, Digital Insight Manager, Experian Marketing Services. Jon Myers, SES Advisory Board; Commercial Director EMEA, Marin Software.

This Day 1 session (more details here) is certainly the one I’m most looking forward to participating in across the conference. “Big Data” is one of those industry buzz words that we have to put up with, but unfortunately for all online marketers it is a stark reality.

Online advertising professionals sit on more data than they know what to do with. Managing data in the search channel is time consuming enough, but viewing it and integrating it with data from outside the search silo is a big resource and technology challenge.

This session will look at how marketers need to adapt their skills to a role which begins to look more like that of a CIO. We’ll also look at how to use technology in this mix, as well as how to turn your data into actions which optimise revenue outcomes.

2. Next-Generation Site Architecture

Moderator: Will Critchlow, Founder and Chief Strategist, Distilled.
Speakers: Maile Ohye, Senior Developer Programs Engineer, Google. Alan Perkins, Head of Search Marketing, SilverDisc Limited.

Whilst making site architecture search-engine friendly has always been a core part of SEO, the importance of site architecture now goes way beyond traditional SEO. Much like SEO, site architecture now needs to take into account the needs of social-media, real-time, and user-generated content.

With the rate of change in the online advertising industry there will no doubt be new factors to consider in future. This Day 2 session (more details here) will give tips on how to design and deploy a next-generation site architecture which maximises your chances of being found now and in the future.

3. Enterprise Level SEO

Moderator: Crispin Sheridan, Senior Director of Search Marketing, SAP.
Speakers: Simon Heseltine, Director of SEO, AOL Inc. Julian Sambles, Digital Product Director, Telegraph Media Group.

As SEO has elevated itself into a position where it impacts the entire way a company works, practitioners of SEO in large organisations have to battle with the challenges of education, budgeting and implementation.

This Day 2 session (more details here) will provide a best practice blueprint for SEO people in large organisations to use for organisation of enterprise-level SEO campaigns, as well as success metrics.

4. SEO Tools Deep Dive

Moderator: Jon Myers, SES Advisory Board; Commercial Director – EMEA, Marin Software.
Speakers: Richard Baxter, Founder and Director, SEOGadget. David Naylor, SEO, Bronco.

Both paid and natural search in the modern-day require technology to automate manual processes and give deeper insight into search data. This Day 3 session (more details here) will look at the array of SEO tools available on the market across indexing, competitive analysis, diagnosing and remedying problems, page and site-level information and on-page optimisation. You’ll walk away knowing the tools you need in your armoury to run successful SEO campaigns.

Meet the Experts

Outside of these structured conference sessions we’re also continuing the Meet the Experts Roundtables after a successful debut in 2012. Attendees requested more time with our expert speakers in a more intimate and informal session, we found this to be the most effective solution to deliver that.

With a choice of several roundtable discussions, each focusing on different key topics and featuring two experts, this session is high value for attendees. Simply choose the roundtable most pertinent to you and join the discussion.

You can also move freely between different roundtables to make sure you get the most out of this session. Afterward, take your conversation and new contacts to our networking cocktail reception where you can continue the discussion over a few drinks.

Great Chances to Network & Share Insights

That brings me on to my final, and possibly most important, reason to attend SES London. That is the great chances to network and share insights with other conference attendees, both during the day and through some evening social events, as well as as the BlueGlass party.

Whether it’s during the networking lunch or over a drink after the conference, I look forward to seeing many old and new faces in London for SES this year!

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