Schedule Optimization for SES San Jose

Search Engine Strategies San Jose gets underway next week. Back in January, I predicted that it would be one of the four conferences that “will shape the search engine industry in the coming year.” I still think this is a safe bet.

Co-organized and co-hosted by search authorities Chris Sherman and Danny Sullivan, SES San Jose is one of the quarterly events that you must attend just to keep up with the rapid changes and new developments in the search engine industry.

In case your boss or one of the bean counters over in finance questions your need to spend a week during August in Silicon Valley, share this factoid with them: an unprecedented 51 of the 73 conference sessions are “new,” “new for SJ,” or feature “fresh content.”

If you attended last year’s show, this means that almost 70 percent of what you learned is now out-of-date. If you don’t go to this year’s conference, what opportunities – or threats – will your organization identify several months later than some of your competitors?

With so many sessions featuring substantially new content or changes from any previous show, you will need to optimize your schedule. Even if you bring a colleague along with you, it will be impossible to attend all of the five concurrent conference sessions over the first four days of Search Engine Strategies San Jose – or all of the three concurrent search training classes on Friday.

So, you – and/or your colleague – will need to make some hard choices. Which new developments are more critical to your success in the coming year? Which sessions are focused on these topics?

Schedule optimization isn’t an art or a science. It is a craft that I’ve developed by attending – and speaking at – more than two dozen SES conferences over the past five years. Feel free to chart your own course, but here are my recommendations for the top two advanced sessions for each of the time slots at next week’s event.

Day 1 – Monday, August 20, 2007

Time Advertising Focus Organic Focus
9:00am-10:30am Post-Search Ads
NEW!
Public Relations Train Wrecks in the Interactive Biz: Disaster Can Be Avoided!
NEW TO SES!
10:30am-11:00am Break
11:00am-12:30pm Ads In A Quality Score World
4 STAR RATED!
NEW FOR SJ!
Universal & Blended Search
NEW!
12:30pm-2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm-3:30pm Ad Exchanges are Changing Everything
NEW TO SES!
Personalization, User Data & Search
NEW!
3:30pm-4:00pm Break
4:00pm-5:30pm Advanced Paid Search Techniques
NEW FOR SJ!
Searcher Behavior Research Update
4 STAR RATED!
FRESH CONTENT!

Day 2 – Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Time Advertising Focus Organic Focus
9:00am-9:45am Keynote Conversation With Jim Lanzone, Ask.com
9:45am-10:30am Break
10:30am-12:00pm Ad Testing: Research & Findings
4 STAR RATED!
NEW FOR SJ!
Podcast & Audio Optimization
4 STAR RATED!
NEW FOR SJ!
12:00pm-1:30pm Lunch
Special Event
12:00pm-1:15pm
AOL Search Lunch
(RSVP required)
1:30pm-2:45pm Putting Search Into The Marketing Mix
4 STAR RATED!
NEW FOR SJ!
Images & Search Engines
NEW FOR SJ!
2:45pm-3:15pm Break
3:15pm-4:30pm Search Engines On Click Fraud
NEW!
Video Search Optimization
4 STAR RATED!
NEW FOR SJ!
4:30pm-4:45pm Interval
4:45pm-6:00pm Are Paid Links Evil?
NEW!
Meet The Video Search Engines
4 STAR RATED!
NEW FOR SJ!
6:00pm-7:00pm Networking Reception in the Exhibit Hall
7:00pm-11:00pm Google Dance 2007
(RSVP required)

Day 3 – Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Time Advertising Focus Organic Focus
9:00am-9:45am Keynote Conversation With Marissa Mayer, Google
9:45am-10:30am Break
10:30am-12:00pm In House: Big PPC
NEW FOR SJ!
SEO Through Blogs & Feeds
NEW FOR SJ!
12:00pm-1:30pm Lunch
1:30pm-2:45pm Mobile Search Optimization
NEW FOR SJ!
In House: Big SEO
NEW FOR SJ!
2:45pm-3:15pm Break
3:15pm-4:30pm In House: In, Out Or In Between?
NEW!
SEO Q&A On Links
NEW!
4:30pm-4:45pm Interval
4:45pm-6:00pm Search Engine Q&A On Links
4 STAR RATED!
FRESH CONTENT!
The SEO Reputation Problem
NEW!

Day 4 – Thursday, August 23, 2007

Time Advertising Focus Organic Focus
9:00am-10:15am Analyzing The Analytics Players
NEW!
SMO: Social Media Optimization
4 STAR RATED!
NEW FOR SJ!
10:15am-10:45am Break
10:45am-12:00pm Meet The Web Analytics Players
FRESH CONTENT!
User Generated Content & Search
NEW!
12:00pm-12:30pm Break
12:30pm-1:45pm Buzz Monitoring
NEW!

As you will see in the chart above, I haven’t recommended any of the “basic” sessions. If you are new to search engine marketing, then check out the conference at a glance page on the SES San Jose website and select the Fundamentals Track or one of the sessions that are suitable for any skill level.

I would also recommend that you sign up for a couple of the search training classes, which will be held on Friday, August 24. While there is an additional cost to attend – full day passes are $1,345 and half-day passes are $745 – these workshops are taught by world acclaimed search engine marketers Shari Thurow, Matt Bailey, Jennifer Laycock, Debra Mastaler, Sage Lewis, Christine Churchill and Jim Gilbert.

Of course, you always have the option of skipping Search Engine Strategies San Jose. Hey, I’m no shill for the show. If your boss or the bean counters know a better way “to quickly learn how to maximize search engine marketing and optimization opportunities and stay informed of the latest search developments and solutions in this area,” then they should bottle and sell it to the rest of us.

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

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