Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Search Insider: A Few Things To Expect At Latest Search Insider Summit

A Few Things To Expect At Latest Search Insider Summit

As this column goes out on the wire, many of you will be en route, or will have arrived on Captiva Island, Fla., for the Search Insider Summit, which starts today, and goes through Saturday.  I'm personally looking forward to moderating the "Branding and Post-Click SEO and PPC" roundtable discussion on Thursday.  For a recap of a few takeaways from last year's SIS in Captiva,  click here.   In that column, I noted a number of unique aspects about the show that are worth briefly reviewing here as this year's conference gets underway:

Strategy will define the discussion.  While attendees should expect a weaving in-and-out among various tactics, also expect the sessions to go beyond the tactical, and provide some key takeaways that will have us all thinking about how to plan our strategies a few years down the road.  This has always been a unique aspect of the SIS show, and a key reason why it's a nice complement or alternative to other major shows.

The networking quality-ratio will be extremely high. The attendees at this show are making strategic decisions from a wide cross-section of agencies, research providers, publishers and enterprise marketing arms.  The attendance size, coupled with its general accessibility of attendees (three days with 100+ people), means you can talk to most of the group at some point during the show if you want to make the effort. It's the kind of conference where comparing notes and testing your own strategies can be as valuable as the panels and roundtable discussions themselves.

Location.  Another nice feature of the Captiva conference is the fact that you are not going anywhere; you are going to talk about search and hang out with other like-minded individuals for a few days.  

It will cover more ground than just PPC and SEO.   It seems that search is losing some of its identity, in the sense that it has seeped into so many other aspects of interactive advertising and technology (and this is a good thing).  And with this success, we can begin to discuss many different ideas and concepts that are well beyond basic paid and natural search channel approaches.

Here are a few additional items on the agenda that attendees can expect to see:

9:00 AM  Thursday.  Keynote: State of the Internet Economy -- Search, Display and eCommerce. ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni's speech last year was particularly interesting, given the details of his appearance on Jim Cramer's show, "Mad Money," where Cramer actually seemed to take some responsibility for a misquote and the subsequent drop in Google stock.  His talk this year on the current state of e-commerce, search and display will focus on the prospects of CPG dollars shifting from traditional media to the Internet.

11:00 AM Thursday.  Roundtables on various attribution models, covering e-commerce, brand advertising, and portal/ad-supported media.  

12:15 PM Thursday.  "Search As We See It."  A view of future industry trends, challenges and things to keep an eye on.  Moderated by David Berkowitz, with panelists  Ron Belanger, VP, Worldwide Agency Sales, Omniture;  Daniel Boberg, VP,  Advertiser & Agency Professional Services, Yahoo; Brian Boland, Director, Media Auctions, Microsoft Advertising; and John Nicoletti, Head of Agency Operations, Google.

8:45 AM   Friday.  "Where we Are. Where we're Going."      Analyst Jordan Rohan, who always provides an interesting angle on the search business, will discuss how commerce and advertising have fared in a challenging macro environment, with a focus on Google, Yahoo, eBay and Amazon.

9:45 AM   Friday.  Panel: "Beyond Search - Extending the SEM Skill Set to New Channels."
12:00 PM   Friday. Roundtables: "Post Click Strategies and Clinics."
1:00 PM   Friday.  Panel: "RFP's - Fundamentally Broken?"
9:00 AM   Saturday. "How to Maximize Your Search Budget in a Down Economy."
11:15 AM  Saturday.  Panel: "How Agencies and In-House Teams Can Work Together."

For those attending, I look forward to seeing you there.  

Rob Garner is strategy director for digital marketing company iCrossing and writes for Great Finds, the iCrossing blog. Contact him via email at

Search Insider for Wednesday, May 6, 2009:

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