SMX Advanced is next week and hopefully you already have your tickets – it is sold out! The conference takes place at Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle on June 11 and 12. Those two days are jam-packed with amazing speakers, sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities. Three of us from Amplify will be taking the train from Portland up to Seattle for the conference and we’re all really excited. We thought we’d put together some advice and what we’re most looking forward to next week!
I don’t know how many trips to SMX Advanced this is for me. I think I’ve been to all of them? I think my favorite tips are:
- Don’t miss the SEMpdx party on Monday night after the official SMX reception. http://www.sempdx.org/sempdx-events/june-2013-seattle-prefunk-party-before-smx/ While you’re at it – follow me on Twitter (@blizzle) or SEMpdx (@SEMpdx) and/or just follow the #SMX hashtag you’ll get updates about the party.
- I was going to put together a list of my favorite bars & restaurants for you – but Rand did all the work already. So just check that out instead: http://moz.com/blog/rands-restaurant-bar-guide-to-seattle (like they need any more links)
- Just – follow me on FourSquare or even get the Seattle Eater FourSquare list of the 38 best restaurants in Seattle
- And finally – I never make it to the venue in time for breakfast. That’s why I stay at the Ace Hotel – there’s a freakin’ waffle maker in the break room! Rumor has it that Matt Cutts has been spotted making his own waffle there as well… If you look like you know where you’re going when you walk into the hotel – you can probably score a waffle even though you’re not staying there. 😉
Looking forward to…
- For my money – it’s worth staying the extra night to attend the Moz party on Wednesday night
- I’m mostly in it for the SEO sessions – but this year the following sessions have my interest piqued: Managing Search In A Multiscreen World; What’s Hot With Paid Social; Extreme Excel Excellence
See ya there!
This is now my second trip to SMX Advanced. The people organizing SMX know how to put on great conferences and SMX Advanced is no exception. SMX Advanced is the best conference I’ve attended for advanced PPC strategies and tactics. I’ve always gravitated towards the PPC side of search marketing and most search conferences focus pretty heavily on SEO but not at SMX Advanced. Here’s a couple tips based on my experience from last year:
- Don’t miss the Moz (company formerly known as SEOmoz) after party on Wednesday night. Moz always throws a good party and the venue has something for everybody. I still have good memories of meeting new people, epic karaoke performances, and discussions from last year’s party.
- It might be too late but I’d suggest signing up for the networking tables offered. I met and had great discussions with PPC peers last year. I find it’s difficult to have focused discussions with peers in between sessions or even at the after parties. The table I attended last year had a host that was prepared with topics and led discussions. I walked away from this lunch with the some of the most actionable tips from the trip. Plus if you register for a lunch you skip the long lunch lines in the regular conference lunch area.
Looking forward to…
So much to be excited for: the sessions, the parties, and Seattle. Here’s two sessions I’m most looking forward to:
- New PPC Best Practices In An Enhanced Campaign World – Earlier this year Google changed the PPC game a lot with Adwords Enhanced Campaigns. I’m excited to hear tactics that some of the top minds in paid search are testing to adapt to this change.
- Big Data + Big Math = Exponential Search Performance – One of the speakers Josh Dreller, I’ve been referencing for years. I first learned to use pivot tables from an article by Josh on Search Engine Land. I’ve never seen Josh speak but always enjoyed reading his PPC tips. I’m very interested to hear insights from this session on using math and data to beat the competition.
This will be my first time attending SMX. I’ve been in the search marketing industry for almost 5 years, so I’m really excited to attend the advanced sessions and network with some of my peers. From what I’ve heard, this conference is a favorite among search marketers due to the nature of the conference – it is devoted to those already familiar with the industry, allowing speakers to skip the basics and speak the language of SEM. It is a great opportunity to discuss advanced tactics, challenges, and recent changes – which is constant in our industry.
Looking forward to…
- Amazing Paid Search Tactics Tools: This is one of the top sessions I am looking forward to in Seattle. I am always excited to hear new content and ideas, especially those that result in a sustained plan to improve account performance. I’ve seen Brad Geddes speak a few times and I love how he is able to leverage his insights, simplify his message, and deliver actionable tactics.
- Birds of a Feather Lunches: As Ryan mentioned, these lunches allow for more personalized question and answer sessions amongst some of the smartest in the biz. I registered for lunches on both days and have already prepared a list of questions that I want to discuss. I’m also looking forward to just listening to the discussion to see what advice and insights are provided.
- SMX After Dark: I always love a good networking party and from what I’ve heard of last year’s, it was a lot of fun. It is at the Seattle Aquarium, which is pretty awesome, so I’m hoping I can get a glimpse of a shark. I also heard a rumor of a photo booth and I’m always down for a photo booth…
Do you have any tips or advice for first time attendees? What are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments and hopefully we’ll see you there!