Lee Odden

Reader Poll: Best City for Conferences

reader poll

Since attending, blogging and speaking at industry conferences is a big part of my own search marketing agency’s marketing, I get to attend a good number of events in a variety of cities. One of the nice things about having events in the same city is that you get to know the city better each time. For example, you can never go to New York City too many times (as far as I’m concerned).

The venue for a conference certainly matters but so does the city and that leads me to this week’s reader poll about favorite cities for conferences. The list of cities is based on places I’ve been to personally for conferences as well as a few locations that have held search conferences, but I did not attend.

What is your favorite U.S. city for conferences?

  • Las Vegas (18%, 19 Votes)
  • New York (16%, 17 Votes)
  • San Francisco (15%, 16 Votes)
  • Chicago (10%, 11 Votes)
  • Seattle (9%, 10 Votes)
  • San Jose (6%, 6 Votes)
  • Boston (6%, 6 Votes)
  • New Orleans (4%, 4 Votes)
  • Austin (4%, 4 Votes)
  • St Louis (3%, 3 Votes)
  • Minneapolis (3%, 3 Votes)
  • Dallas (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Miami (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Washington D.C. (2%, 2 Votes)
  • Denver (1%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 106

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If you have favorite cities outside of the U.S. for conferences, it would be interesting to hear about those as well. I know SES has had events in Toronto, London, Bejing, Stockholm and likely several others.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Avatar Chris Dohman says

    Since I rarely get to other cities for a conference I’ve gotta put in a vote for our good ol’ Twin Cities, St.Paul-Minneapolis. I think more than a few folks will want to see Las Vegas on the board too. 🙂

  2. Oops! There’s only 6 votes so far so I’m adding Vegas in!

  3. Avatar Ed Kohler says

    Gotta go with NYC. Great food. Lots of stuff to do. And you can get to everything without a car or even taxi.

  4. Oops… I only vote one for Chicago…

  5. Avatar Michael Martin says

    No San Diego???!?!?

  6. I have to vote for the one that’s local to me: New York. That’s the only conference location where I can actually get Kosher food. 😉

    The commute from home to the Hilton is awful, though. Next time, I might stay closer to the conference venue.

  7. Avatar Lee Odden says

    This is interesting: Vegas and NYC are neck and neck. If JFK wasn’t such a pain in the rear to fly out of (3 hours on the tarmac today) I’d be a lot more excited about picking the big apple.

  8. Avatar Lee Odden says

    By the way, to you comment spammers that don’t follow our comment policies, you’re outa here. 🙂

  9. Hey Lee,

    I’m curious you didn’t add Los Angeles? We’re getting a huge amount of interest in our upcoming event there and I know Brett is doing a Webmaster World there as well this year.

  10. Hey Mary O’Brien, three duplicate comments in one post is a bit much. If you’re having problems with the form, let me know.

    As for LA as a conference city in our poll, it’s not a city I’ve been to for a conference like the others on the list and no major search marketing conference has been held there.

    If we run this poll again next year, we may have a reason to include it.

  11. Avatar David Brown says

    I had to go w/ Seattle cause I don’t like flying… I’m lucky I didn’t scream like a 12 yr old girl w/ a skinned knee on the descent to NYC = meh no fly! San Jose is going to be a beautiful Road Trip down the PCH!


  12. Easy…NYC any day.

  13. Hi Lee,

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to post three times. I tried to change one word in the post as it was submitting, and it saved three times.

  14. Hi Mary, that’s what I thought, but you never know. 🙂

  15. I have most of the “off the beaten path” sushi joints bookmarked and mapped. My mom grew up on West 79th St. and my dad in the Bronx near Yankee Stadium.

    When I was 5 my parents first put me on the Amtrack (alone in those days was safe) to be met by my Grandmother Sylvie Rosenbaum at Penn Station. She and Grandpa Aurthur would take me to see Leonerd Bernstein and Aaron Copeland at Lincoln Center. My Grandfather worked for NY Life on the 43rd floor of the Empire State Building as a sales manager.

    In the 90’s when I worked for PolyGram I’d stay at (what was then) the HoJos on eighth Ave and 52cnd for weeks at at time. My wife Laura and I escape to New York 2-4 times a year for the explicit purposes of art, humanity, shopping, and eating. I love the Kosher food on the lower est side, sweet pork rolls in ChinaTown, and family 5 course meals in Little Italy. Nothing beats pasta in heaps at Carmine’s on Broadway. I love just riding the subway to Brooklyn amongst a symphonic sea of humanity living in the greatest melting pot experiment in human history…NYC.

    If you are at SMX Social we could compare notes. Wine is a particular hobby of mine. 🙂 No place compares to New York. Thanks for the survey.


  16. It’s all about Dallas, baby! If you’re not in Texas, you’re just somewhere else!

  17. Actually, NYC is a real pain for conferences….expensive to attend and expensive because of all the unions exhibitors need to deal with. But of course it IS NYC, my hometown 🙂

    I vote for New Orleans, my other home…affordable, friendly, the best food in the USA and more than enough things to see and do between show times. Plus the weather is usually pretty nice. Outside of the time the city needed to recover from the major hit it took by Hurricane Katrina…the place is fully recovered as far as handling conferences and juggled three major sports play-offs, a major conference and Mardi Gras all within a 30-day period Dec 2007-Jan 2008.

    Pretty impressive for being totally underwater two years earlier. Any tales of crime in New Orleans are almost exclusively in the ghetto areas and are 99.9 percent black-on-black and drug related. Nothing a convention-goer needs to worry about.

    Besides, where else can you go and see Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie just riding bikes around or hanging out in a local bar having a slice of pizza with the locals?

    As far as non-US cities….Frankfurt, Germany has an impressive convention center run by Messe Frankfurt. I’ve been to a dozen conventions there. Affordable once you know the right places, well-organized transportation and logistics, enough people who speak some English so you can function….but grey, dreary weather half the year.