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E-Marketing Performance Blog

SES San Jose or Bust

Sunday I’ll be leaving town to head to the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose. This will be my first SES conference ever and my second such Internet marketing conference. Which begs the question, how is it that I’ve been in this business since 1998 and have only been to one industry related conference?

I don’t know if I have the answer to that other than as a small business owner vacations and conferences are often hard to get away for. I’m pretty darn anal so it bugs the life out of me to not be available (or have someone available) to answer phones, respond to email and handle important client issues. Almost always vacations were scheduled to use as little work-week time as possible, meaning I’d leave after work on a Thursday and return the following Tuesday morning. Just a long weekend!

As the company has grown over the past few years, it’s gotten easier to get away. Vacations have gotten longer and now I’ll try to be getting to more conferences, should there be a positive cost/benefit ratio. That’s always the bottom line for me. Do I walk away with more than I paid into it… whether that be in knowledge, contacts, business, etc.

I’m sure I’ll walk away with plenty of good knowledge. I’ve selected a handful of seminars that I want to attend. Some is to fill in weak spots, others is just to see “how the other guys do it”. But hopefully I’ll walk away with more than just knowledge and that is friendships as well. But here’s the rub… I’m not a natural at networking. In fact, I’m terrible at it. Put me in a room with ten people I don’t know and I tend to walk away not knowing ten people.

The problem here is, and anybody who’s talked to me on the phone or in person, is that I really don’t know how to small talk. I’m a get to the point kind of person, let’s talk about something useful. It’s hard to break the ice with, “so what do you think of Hezbollah?”

Now on the other hand, if you put me in a room doing something with ten people I don’t know and I’ll walk away with ten friends. Well, maybe not all ten, but you get the point. I’m an action oriented kind of guy and doing something gives me something to talk about. But conferences aren’t exactly workshops are they?

So anyway, if you’ll be at SES San Jose, feel free to find me and say hello. Chat me up. I’d love nothing more than to leave the conference with a bunch of new friends. So look for me…


Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

One Response to SES San Jose or Bust

  1. Stoney … that picture of you could have a “WANTED” written across it and a PRINT button activated.

    The great thing about these conferences (2 major ones are SES and PubCon… it’s a shame you’re not going to PubCon) is that you not only learn new things and network, but you see how these search marketing CEOs pitch this stuff and how they explain the technology and the science behind it)

    I always found it a bit difficult to explain SEO, SEM, etc…, to some people. By watching these guys speak on the panel, it kind of made my SEM language and approach better. If I had my own “search” company, I think I’d see a significant improvement with closing that sale.