Now in its 10th year, the global SES Conference and Exposition Series educates tens of thousands of marketers each year, with a 98% satisfaction rate. SES Chicago (December 8 – 11), the only major Search Marketing Conference and Expo in the Midwest, will be packed with 60+ sessions, multiple keynotes and Orion Strategy sessions, exhibitors, networking events and more. We hope to see you there.

1)Please give me your top 5 reasons for attending SES Chicago 2008.

a. Lawrence Lessig, founder of the Stanford University Center for Internet and Society (yes, that’s where many of the Internets biggest names have been trained), usually speaks to practitioners who have paid small fortunes to attend the university, SES Chicago attendees get access to him with a free expo hall pass!  

b. SES Chicago attendees also get access to Josh James, Bill Tancer and the hundred or so other speakers which means they are likely to get all their questions on SEM and digital best practices answered.

c.  SES Chicago is the best SEM and digital networking opportunity in the Midwest this year with over 2,000 attendees, 100 speakers and 50 sponsors and exhibitors expected.

d. SEO tops recession digital marketing tactics and SES Chicago is the last opportunity of the year for marketers to brush up on their skills.

e. Here are 20,000 more reasons we teed up for attendees last year (they are still very applicable!)   

2) Last year, SES Chicago and Pubcon occurred at the same time, splitting your potential audience. How did this affect last year’s conference and what did your organization learn from the experience?

Interestingly enough we learned that the PubCon and SES crowd is actually quite different.  While there is a major overlap as far as speakers and sponsors are concerned our attendee base pulls from different segments of the digital marketing and search engine marketing communities.  SES Chicago for instance pulls over 80% of its attendees from the Chicago area, most of which are brand name advertisers.    

3)If a prospective conference attendee / exhibitor had their marketing budget cut due to the current economic turmoil, why should SES Chicago attendance remain a corporate priority?

Potential sponsors/exhibitors – if you are looking for an opportunity to reach digital and search professionals in the Chicago area, likely to sell them a product or service, SES Chicago is your best shot. Over 80% of attendees come from within 200 miles of Chicago and more than 70% are decision markers when it comes to purchasing decisions. 

Attendees – if SEM (paid or optimization) is not a channel in your marketing plan you are missing out on one of the most cost effective marketing opportunities (one that produce the highest ROI) and if you are engaging SEM and you are unhappy with your results or think you can do better now is the time to brush up on your skills.  SES Chicago is your last opportunity to get this type of education this year! We have more than 10 years of conference programming history, speakers are selected based on merit (you can not buy your way on stage) and high attendance numbers mean you have more networking opportunities than at other digital marketing events that take place in Chicago.   

Matt McGowan, Global VP of Marketing, Incisive Media (Twitter, LinkedIn)

Matt McGowan oversees all marketing activities for the ClickZ Network and in addition to their respective trade show series, ClickZ Events and Search Engine Strategies.

Prior to joining Incisive, Matt was a Vice President at, where he oversaw all Sales, Marketing and Operations for the Southern California based Auction Services Company. Earlier in his career in San Francisco, CA, Matt developed an e-business strategy for the multinational publishing house, Pearson Plc, and prior to that Matt worked on the institutional desk for Schwab Capital Markets and Trading a division of Charles Schwab Inc, in New York, NY and San Francisco, CA.

Matt is a graduate of Lafayette College (BA) and the University of Oxford (MBA).

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