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The Search Engine Strategies New York conference at the New York Hilton earned nearly $3 million from more than 1,500 who paid for the sessions and another 1,500 who paid $25 a day to view the exhibits, according to conference organizer Danny Sullivan.
At last night’s evening forum with an ebullient and charming Sullivan, he said he was slightly overwhelmed by the success of the conference and acknowledged that some changes need to be made in future conferences to enhance attendee’s experience, particularly in networking opportunities.
The venue would be a good place to start. The Hilton, once a great hotel,now resembles a run down Holiday Inn. The hotel is experiencing an intensely smelly sewage backup problem that permeates the conference; the temperature in meeting rooms ranges from freezing to blazing, often in the same hour; and the food, in a word, sucks.
Venue aside, the attendees, who skew toward inexperienced corporate search engine optimizers, are hungry for knowledge, which speakers generally provide earnestly, if not always on the cutting edge.
Search Engine Strategies conferences this year will also be held in Munich, Tokyo, Toronto, London, San Jose, Stockholm and Chicago. Many people I spoke to reported that they attend more than one of the conferences a year. One person told me that his business increased by 1000 percent because of the SEO tactics he learned SES conferences he’s attended.