Ruminations at the Close of SES

A Successful SES New York has come to a close. After catching our breath, there will be lots to write about from the array of meetings and sessions that kept us all busy over the past few days. For those that weren’t there, this will hopefully provide a glimpse.

For many, this was a significant event, because it was the last SES show that Danny Sullivan will run. Last night, Danny hosted his evening seminar, a bittersweet event that was essentially his swan song for SES. It ended in a loud applause for a smiling Sullivan, prompted by a “thank you” from audience member and SEW blogger Greg Jarboe.

True to his personality, Danny brought friends from the audience into the discussion, playfully “talking trash”, and moving throughout the audience while passing the mic around.

The discussion was driven by audience questions, and hit on many important areas including Google’s personalized search, a variety of SEO related topics, and local. One audience member asked “who will win local?” to which Sullivan quickly responded with a smirk “no one”. More of the local discussion is at the Kelsey Group Blog.

There was also a nice walk down memory lane, prompted by an audience question about the most embarrassing moments from past SES shows. Danny reminisced on the first few shows nearly ten years ago in which he and only a few others filled the single stage, while crickets filled the audience (compared to today’s attendance). Google wasn’t invited back the second year because it wasn’t “relevant enough”, and Yahoo! PR wouldn’t give Sullivan the time of day.

This has all changed considerably which is interesting to see, and makes you wonder – extrapolating forward – what degree of innovation and market shifting is in store for us over the next 10 years. Before letting my mind wander too far, it was off to the bar.

Overall it was a great show and there are many more to come for SES. Congrats to Danny on a great run.

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