Suggest a Session to Win a Free Trip to SES Chicago 2011

If you’re interested in attending the Leading Search & Social Marketing Event, then let me give you a heads up on a way to win a trip to SES Chicago 2011. The SES Events Team is always looking to make sure that it is helping attendees learn about the topics that are most relevant to their business. So, just as they did for SES San Francisco, they are taking that idea one step further by actually getting attendees involved with setting the agenda!

If you submit an idea for a new session in the form of a video submission (up to 3 minutes long) and post it to SES Chicago Attendees Choice Contest, then you could win a paid trip to SES Chicago this November. The deadline for submitting a video is this Friday, September 23.

The Audience Choice Contest is open to search and social media marketers living in the United States and Canada. Visit the Audience Choice Contest official rules for complete terms and conditions before submitting your proposal. The final two winners will be required to create a title and 150-word abstract description of their panel entry.

The search and social media marketing community will vote on its favorite entries. The SES editorial team will then select two final winners. Each winner will receive roundtrip airfare, two nights’ accommodation at the conference hotel (the Hyatt Regency Chicago), and a Platinum Pass to all three days of the conference. The winners will be announced on October 3.

Before submitting your proposal for a “new” session, you’ll also want to check out the SES Chicago 2011 conference agenda. You’ll see includes a Social Media Track as well as an SEO Track and a Paid Search Track. And there are sessions like The Convergence of Search, Social, and Content Marketing in the Accelerator Track, as well. So, don’t submit a panel that’s already on the agenda.

If you don’t have a video camera, that’s not a problem. Just go to, where anyone can use video creation sites Xtranormal Movie Maker, GoAnimate, Stupeflix Video Maker, and One True Media to make personal videos or animations and post them directly to YouTube.

Creating animation can be pretty hard and often requires expensive software, but Xtranormal Movie Maker Xtranormal Movie Maker and GoAnimate let you create animated videos with just a text storyline. In minutes, you can make two bears discuss your panel suggestion, or create your own cooking show parody add spice to your proposed session.

Stupeflix and One True Media let you pull together your own images, clips and even maps into a dynamic video slideshow. You can tell a personal story to support your panel idea or even make a jazzy promo for your new session.

Now, I’ve attended each and every SES Chicago since the first one was held in 2003. And I’ve always thought it was a good idea to attend the event each and every year.

And I’m not the only one who thinks SES Chicago is a must-attend event. In fact, that’s what Kathryn Joy of the New England Journal of Medicine talked about back in 2009.

And, I’ve brought along a team of people to SES Chicago since 2008, when the conference expanded from three concurrent sessions to four. I thought it was also a good idea to bring several employees so that my firm could stay up-to-date on the growing number of important topics.

That’s also something that Jeff Sponseller and Dominic Golembiewski of Miller Weldmaster discussed in 2009.

If you’ve got a new team member that you want to get up to speed, then it’s great that that there is an event in the Midwest where he or she can attend sessions that provide an introduction to SEO and paid search before lunch and analytics and social media after lunch. Increasingly, that is what you need to do.

Or, if your organization is ready to tackle social media marketing, then it’s even more important to bring a team of people to SES Chicago each and every year. How else can you possibly cover sessions like Automating Social Media: Creating & Distributing the Message, Social Media Solutions on a Budget, Social Media Signals in Search, Screw Viral Videos, Social Media Metrics, Next Gen YouTube Marketing, Local + Social: The Future of Promotion, Getting More From Google+ and the +1 Button, and Killer Facebook Targeting Tactics without missing equally important sessions on SEO or paid search?

Now, I should disclose that SES is a client of my firm. But that means that we can’t submit a video or win a trip. But, we’ll be there – with our video cameras.

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