Optimize Your Schedule for SES NY

Search Engine Strategies (SES) gets underway next week in New York City. One of our clients is planning to attend the largest of the SES events for the first time. While this four-day event is chock-full of sessions that our client could benefit from, it’s also a bit intimidating for them to try to plan the best way to use their time.

After looking at the conference schedule, they realized that even a team of three people couldn’t cover all 70 of the sessions. That’s because there are generally five sessions being held concurrently from Tuesday, April 10, through Friday, April 13. Plus, they want to spend some time visiting the expo hall, which will feature 133 sponsors and exhibitors.

Since I’m a frequent speaker at Search Engine Strategies conferences, our client asked me which sessions I would recommend that they attend. The three-member team includes an executive who wants to understand the fundamentals of search, a director who is focused on pay-per-click advertising, and a manager who is focused on organic listings.

Over the weekend, I spent some time creating a map of the exact routes that each of the three people should take through the four-day SES New York event. Who knows, optimization of SES schedules could become a brand new service that we offer in the future.

To make the best use of everyone’s time, I took a close look at the conference at a glace put together by Danny Sullivan, who has programmed the New York event with the same skill that the NCAA men’s basketball tournament committee used this year to fill out its brackets. I also looked at the “hot” sessions that Search Engine Strategies is promoting in latest press release.

Finally, I relied on my own experience. I’ve attended 20 Search Engine Strategies conferences during the past five years, an average of four a year. When I wasn’t speaking on a panel, I was often attending other sessions to keep up with this constantly changing industry.

While the itinerary below reflects some judgment calls, it isn’t arbitrary, whimsical or capricious. Not only has it been optimized for our client, it is also a pretty useful guide to other first-time attendees of SES, which will be held next week at the Hilton New York.

 

Day 1 Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Time Fundamentals Track Advertising Track Organic Track
7:30am – 9:00am Registration & Morning coffee
9:00am- 10:30am Introduction To Search Marketing Compare & Contrast: Ad Program Strategies In House: Big SEO
10:30am- 11:00am Morning Break
11:00am 12:30pm Search Term Research & Targeting Ads In A Quality Score World Podcast & Audio Optimization
12:30pm- 2:00pm Networking Lunch
12:45pm- 1:45pm Lunch With Google Webmaster Central
2:00pm- 3:30pm Search Engine Friendly Design Benchmarking An SEM Campaign In House: Building The Team
3:30pm- 4:00pm Afternoon Break
4:00pm- 5:30pm Search Advertising 101 Advanced Paid Search Techniques Meet The Mobile Search Engines

 

 

Day 2 Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Time Fundamentals Track Advertising Track Organic Track
8:00am- 9:00am Registration & Morning coffee
9:00am- 9:45am Keynote Conversation with Steve Berkowitz Windows Live Chief
10:00am- 10:30am Morning Break in Exhibit Hall
10:00am- 7:00pm Exhibit Hall Open
10:15am- 11:45pm Link Building Basics Web Analytics & Measuring Success Sitemaps & URL Submission
12:00am- 1:30pm Networking Lunch
1:30pm- 2:45pm Writing For Search Engines Meet The Search Ad Networks

 

 

Duplicate Content & Multiple Site Issue
2:45pm- 3:15pm Afternoon Break in Exhibit Hall
3:15pm- 4:30pm Fun With Dynamic Web Sites Creating Compelling Ads SEO Through Blogs & Feeds
4:30pm- 4:45pm Interval
4:45pm- 6:00pm Successful Site Architecture Landing Page Testing & Tuning Robots.txt Summit
6:00pm- 7:00pm Networking Cocktail Reception in Exhibit Hall

 

 

Day 3 Thursday, April 12, 2007
Time Fundamentals Track Advertising Track Organic Track
8:00am- 9:00am Registration & Morning coffee
9:00am- 10:15am Meet The Crawlers Ad Testing: Research & Findings Social Search Overview
10:00am- 4:00pm Exhibit Hall Open
10:15am- 11:00am Morning Break in the Exhibit Hall
11:00am 12:15pm Images & Search Engines Searcher Behavior Research Update SMO: Social Media Optimization
12:15pm- 2:00pm Networking Lunch
2:00pm- 3:15pm Organic Listings Forum The Search Landscape Bookmark Strategies
3:15pm- 4:00pm Afternoon Break in Exhibit Hall
4:00pm- 5:15pm Site Clinic Auditing Paid Listings & Click Fraud Issues Wikipedia & SEO
5:15pm- 5:30pm Interval
5:30am- 6:30am Evening Forum With Danny Sullivan

 

 

Day 4 Friday, April 13, 2007
Time Fundamentals Track Advertising Track Organic Track
8:00am- 9:00am Registration & Morning coffee
9:00am- 10:15am Linking Strategies Ad Agencies: Understanding The Search Difference Content Is King!
10:15am- 10:45am Morning Break
10:45am 12:00pm Link Baiting & Viral Search Success SEM For Non-Profits & Charities Usability & SEO: Two Wins For The Price Of One
12:00pm- 12:30pm Noon Break
12:30pm- 1:45pm Search Engine Q&A On Links SEM Agencies: Working With Ad Agencies CSS, AJAX, Web 2.0 & Search Engines

 

In addition to the 70 conference sessions, there are also six training classes that will be held on Monday, April 9, before Search Engine Strategies opens. I should disclose that I’m leading the “Getting Found in All the Right Places” class along with Amanda Watlington.

But our client plans to skip our training class because they assume that I have already told them about getting found in news and blog search engines and I can always brief them later about how to get found in audio and video search engines.

In fact, they consider me to be an extended member of their team. So, I intend to sit in on other sessions that aren’t on the list above, so I can brief them about those, as well. And I’ll rely on the news and blog coverage of the event to fill in the gaps.

I expect that a small army of search bloggers and journalists will cover the top stories and analyze the key trends that come out of SES with the same professionalism that the TV networks devote to covering political conventions.

But as a news junkie, I am also going to be glued to Search Engine Roundtable, where Barry Schwartz plans to continue his inimitable live-blogging coverage of the event. Barry, along with Ben Pfeiffer, Chris Boggs, Kim Krause Berg, Rob Kerry, Li Evans, Greg Meyers, Tamar Weinberg, Debra Mastaler, Lisa Barone, and Carolyn Shelby, plan to cover a record 64 sessions. Their in-depth, virtually real-time coverage makes them the “CNN of SES.”

Greg Jarboe is the president and co-founder of SEO-PR, a search engine optimization and public relations firm. He is also the news search, blog search and PR correspondent for the Search Engine Watch Blog.

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