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SES RIP?

When we launched Topix back in 2004, one of the first conferences we bought a booth for was Search Engine Strategies. I remember it was a big event for us. It was the first conference where we got to exhibit and get our name out there. We bought everyone in the company the embroidered golf shirts (human billboards!) and all 8 of us showed up to man the booth and walk the floor. Didn't really matter that our booth sign had a typo on it.

Aside from our personal excitement, the show itself was great too. For two days if you were in the Valley and working in the tech industry, It was THE place to be. Everyone was there. The place was teaming with potential customers, partners, investors and, of course, the press. If memory serves me right, its where we made our first contacts with lots of our media partners, including the NY times and the AP.

I mention this because I decided to head down to SES this morning just to walk the floor and check out the vibe. Unfortunately, it wasn't good. The excitement and buzz that I remember from years past was no where to be found. The exhibit hall was kind of empty. And this was during the lunch hour, when no speakers/ panels were going and should be the busiest time. When I swung by the Topix booth (obviously long ago upgraded from the typo one) all the folks there concurred that it was pretty slow.

So why is this? Is it because Danny Sullivan left a while ago and started his own competing show? Perhaps. Or maybe its because, as Chris theorized, SEO/ SEM is so mainstream these days that a show about it doesn't really work. It's not like there's a show about buying TV ads or print ads. Dunno.

Regardless, it kind of made me a bit sad and nostalgic walking the empty floor of SES. I wonder if I'll feel the same at Techcrunch 50 next month? Sure hope not...

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Comments (1)

Blake:

I wish I could have those 2 hours of my life back :-(

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