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Lee Odden

SEO Training: Small is the New Big

By Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Have you noticed the number of regionalized or small scale search marketing conferences that are popping up?Jill Whalen has been running her High Rankings Search Engine Marketing seminar for a few years now (disclosure: I am a speaker for the Mpls event and my PR agency works with Jill) that is very hands on focused. The speakers all share a very similar philosophy about search marketing so there are not the mixed messages you get at larger events.

Danny Sullivan has started his SMX event (is that name a subliminal play on Search Marketing Sex?) starting in Seattle this summer as well.

There’s also Elite Retreat with a $5,000 price tag that includes: Guy Kawasaki, Aaron Wall, Lee Dodd, Darren Rowse, Jeremy Shoemaker, Kris Jones and Neil Patel. The marketing is getting slick on this one along with the all-star speaker lineup.

Today I read about seodays with Dave Naylor, Greg Boser and Jennifer Slegg which is offering one day site reviews, 2 day seminars and customized seminars. It looks like the first one will be in London or maybe somewhere in Canada.

There are many other regional seminars, but recently there have been more high profile SES/Pubcon speakers getting into the game on a smaller scale.

Are these smaller conferences/seminars competition for SES and Pubcon? Yes and no. SES runs multiple conferences world wide and I believe there will be just one Pubcon conference this year in Las Vegas. Bigger conferences are attractive to companies that want to send their people to a venue with a broader selection of topics and others enjoy them for networking and prospecting.

There’s a tremendous demand for SEO/SEM education these days and staffing is an issue as well. Big conferences are useful the first 1-2 times, but after that, the information may seem redundant to more experienced search marketers. A smaller, more hands on event with legitimately top practitioners could be very appealing.

For conferences like SES and ad:tech, the speaker selection process is an interesting alchemy that uses a combination of popularity/friends/expertise and I think many repeat attendees are tired of the sales pitches and lack of practical, hands on information. Plus there’s no food in the morning! :)

You know what’s coming next right? A pitch for the Mpls seminar of course!!

Speaking of practical, hands on information, the early bird discount for the Minneapolis High Rankings Search Engine Marketing seminar ends tomorrow, 2/22/07 so get yourself registered. Be sure to use the discount code TOPRANK for another 25% off for Online Marketing Blog readers. That’s about $900 for two days with some very talented SEO/PPC trainers, but only until tomorrow. After that the prices goes up.


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