SMX Stockholm and SMX PhoCusWright

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The last three weeks I’ve enjoyed the pleasure of testing out quite a variety of aircraft, and airlines. From Airbus I’ve flown the following series; 319, 320, 330, 340. Boeing: 737, 767. From Bombardier, two different RJ’s, plus Dash 8’s in a couple of configs. The Embraer 75 & 90, and an MD 80. There was one other vehicle I flew on SAS which I’ve quickly forgotten. I have to say, the Air Canada’s Embraer’s are really nice and quiet. I had excellent service on Air Canada and SAS. Lufthansa was ok. On JetBlue & United service was notable in its absence.

Anyhow, this post isn’t about airline review; maybe I’ll start a site about that sometime.

This is a short commentary on the first two SMX’s I’ve participated in. Much to my chagrin, I missed attending SMX advanced last year. Stuff gets in the way sometimes. Fortunately, the opportunity to speak at SMX Stockholm, as well as SMX PhocusWright in Orlando arose.

In Stockholm I presented on Analytics, and on Tools for SEO and SEM. Rand Fishkin moderated both sessions. I used a case study in the Analytics session, something which a lot of people told me that they appreciated, as it was very tangible for them, and thus they understood how to apply the information presented to their own sites.

Building Enquisite’s given me some interesting insights into the data within analytics reports. For one thing, there’s way too much information in too many analytics packages. People drown in the data. Our beta version of Enquisite has a ton of information. It’s a search marketer’s delight however, as it’s focused on just search and only search. PPC Assurance however is different. There’s still a lot of data, but we’ve presented it in a very simple and manageable way. We also give you something no other analytics company does; an action item. PPC Assurance automatically files claims with Google, (and shortly Yahoo) on your behalf. Check it out, learn more, and give it a try. It’ll drive the ROI of your PPC campaigns way up, and your campaign management and reporting time way down.

After lunch, the Tools session was a little more challenging. There are so many great tools for SEO & SEM out there, and some people create a lot of them. I tried to draw on a broad selection, and show how to use them how to make best use of them. Everyone on that panel was extremely strong and knowledgeable. Actually this was true of all the sessions I saw. There were no slouches on the podium. (or in the crowd)

I’ve never been to Stockholm before, and quite honestly this was a very rushed trip for me. I flew 18 hours each way, and only spent ~ 50 hours there. Fortunately, I only slept for ~5 of them, so I made the most of it!

The conference itself was smaller, as expected, but a very high quality of participants. There were a number of individuals I had not met before, but had communicated with via email for quite a while. There were also some Enquisite users, and it was very nice to meet them. We have so many whom I’ve never met or spoken to.

One very nice thing about this being a smaller conference was that I was able to speak at length with friends whom I rarely get much of a chance to chat with at conferences, as well as to comfortably meet at chat with new acquaintances.

On the last night, Rand’s parents invited me to join a group they were putting together to go for a smorgasborg. Unfortunately, they are not in these pictures. Dinner was great, although some SEO extraordinaires like Mikkel deMib Svendsen, and Thomas Bindl did appear to be have had a little too much fun, as witnessed in these pictures!

OK - not sure why, but the pictures aren’t pulling, and I don’t have time to figure out wordpress today. sorry.

Thanks to Rand, or rather Geraldine, for thinking to bring a camera and for using it, unlike me, who never seems to remember to take one anywhere.

SMX PhoCusWright was a completely different kind of Conference. Where Stockholm had a broad representation across industries, Orlando was 100% travel related. I presented on Competitive Strategies, as well as balancing SEO & SEM. For both sessions I used case studies; every time I do so people enjoy it.

Earlier this year, I presented at SES Travel in Seattle. It was a very different crowd from Seattle. The audience in the Seattle conference seemed to be made up more of people who actually did manage campaigns, where SMX PhoCusWright had more decision makers, and fewer on page specialists. Both groups were very interesting to speak with, and it’s nice that there is a different crowd at the two series. Both have real value for attendees, and the value of each conference will continue to grow. Marty Weintraub was actively blogging the sessions in Orlando, so please read his session reports to get a gist of the topics. There was a lot of worthwhile information shared.

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