Have PHAT PHUN SMX West Santa Clara!

smx-santaclaraI know yal’ are going have some PHAT PHUN @ SMX West Santa Clara. Though AIMCLEAR will be attending, covering, or speaking at 9 SEM related conferences in 2008, including 3 SMX & 3 SES shows, I can’t make Santa Clara.

The good news is that we’ve got client and infrastructure growth sufficient to keep me at home here with the Minnesota team this month, even in light of my love for search marketing conferences. It’s seriously busy and we’re happily up to our necks. 🙂

That said, a couple of PMs rolled in asking what sessions we would recommend. Whilst looking through the agenda this morning over cereal and milk (which is what I’d be doing if attending West) it seemed like a fun idea to post a mock itinerary for Day One.

Wake Up & Smell the Coffee Virginia
The biggest no-brainer of the show is the kickoff Keynote with Danny Sullivan. Mr. Danny is way plugged-in and delightfully unplugged all at the same time. He’ll be focused the Search1.0, 2.0, 3.0, the growth of Search 4.0: personalized and social search. Settle in and listen to the original SEM conference speaker show us the way it’s done.

Next after grabbing coffee, I’d meander over to Legally Speaking: Recent Legal News about Search, FOCUS: SEM. There are plenty of gray areas in search law as apply to intellectual property, privacy, trademarks, and other not insignificant matters. Other sessions are sexier but don’t diminish the importance of this panel for serious business types.

Search Marketing & Persona Models FOCUS: PPC, “Personas are a way to model the basic types of visitors you expect to come to your site and tailor the arrival experience to them.” PPC Persona crafting is the big brother of post search retargeting and a growing sport for fun and profit. A fundamental premise of our industry is to target contextually relevant content to appropriate visitors. All the speakers on the panel are wonderful. Gord Hotchkiss, President and CEO, Enquiro is a presenter you don’t want to miss.

The Economics Of Search FOCUS: SEM: Moderator: Chris Sherman is the other original conference speaker, Executive Editor, Search Engine Land, and all around affable fellow. Q&A Moderator: Mike McDonald, WebProNews, and Peter A. Coles, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School will chat and take questions about Economists working for major search engines working to foresee and help shape the search economy. This type of hard core future-think session is often the one that blows my mind. BTW, Chris Sherman is a must-see moderator.

I would not miss Avoiding PPC Pitfalls. “This session will cover danger areas such as match types, content network ads, ego bidding, failure to track properly and more.” As an aside panelist (& friend) David Szetela, Owner & CEO, Clix Marketing, moderates a vital PPC Facebook Group (PPC People) with over 500 members worldwide. Click on the previous link to sign up.

Rock & Roll HoochyGoo: Do you DOUBT that SMX knows how to PARTY? Get well lubed and scream for your favorite peeps n’ rock star in the SMX Search Bowl. Big and bigger name search engineers will shoot it out for bragging rights as smartest engine on the block.

I would enjoy Santa Clara but keeping promises to our clients comes first. No doubt coverage will kick ass. Take good notes everybody! We readers know that conference coverage aka: “live blogging” is rather intense and non-attendees will be grateful and informed for your unselfish efforts.

My personal 2008 conference season kicks off with a speaking engagement at SEMpdx Searchfest on March 10th in Portland OR. AIMCLEAR will have 3 bloggers covering SES New York where I’ll be speaking about Paid Search to The Social Graph on March 19th. In the meantime, Have some PHAT PHUN SMX West Santa Clara!

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