The Q1 conference season is about to launch into warp drive. SMX West San Jose, SEMpdx SearchFest Portland, OR and Search Engine Strategies New York are the biggies on my list, though there are numerous smaller (and totally worthy) offerings including Social Insider Summit, Key Biscayne, OMMA San Francisco and PubCon South.
Whatever conference is at hand, one great pleasure of being aimClear’s CEO is getting to recommend specific sessions to our staff, clients and other friends. Invariably, I suggest speakers that are among my personal favorites. As the Q1 conference schedule looms, this year I thought it would be fun to publish my usual speaker recommendations. Though far from a complete, these folks are totally among the best and brightest our industry has to offer. This post is part one of two. We’ll publish the second half tomorrow.
Aaron Wall: Mr. SEOBook, historically, is one of the most giving SEO bloggers. He pulls no punches, offering perennial industry insights and analysis that cut as only the truth can cut. Run– don’t walk– to see Aaron speak.
Addie Conner: Drink your espresso and get some sleep before seeing this lady speak or she’ll leave you in the dust, gasping for air. Now running a marketing subsidiary of the Washington Post, Addie is easily one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, especially when it comes to all things PPC and other paid online marketing models. Catch her at SMX West, upcoming.
Andrew Shotland: AKA LocalSEOGuide, Andrew’s been a local and newspaper SEO wheel since before most industry folks ever even heard of local SEO. Dry wit, serious chops and snarky-ass humor are this über-connected industry insider veteran’s trademarks. Check him out if you can. Dude knows his stuff.
Andy Atkins-Kruger: Andy is a super interesting guy who owns Web Certain, an agency just outside of London. He runs the International Search Summit, a fabulous international online marketing conference. I had the pleasure of speaking at ISS London last November at the British Library. Don’t miss seeing Andy speak if you get the chance.
Andy Beal: Marketing Pilgrim, Andy’s blog, is a foundational search marketing blog. Known for his groundbreaking reputation monitoring management theories and practices, in the early days, aimClear sent our employees to Andy to train. See him speak if possible.
Bill Hunt: A true international SEO maven, Bill hunt literally wrote the book on huge multinational search marketing. I’ve learned so much from him over the years. Any session Bill’s on is highly recommended.
Brad Geddes: One of the PPC geniuses of the industry, Brad’s blog posts and conference appearances lead the way. He’s a marketer’s marketer, PPC expert, trainer of trainers, Google AdWords quality score Guru and a very approachable guy. Go see him speak. Talk to him during lunch break.
Brent D. Payne: Currently the Tribune Company’s SEO Director, Brent has tripled Tribune’s visits from search engines since joining the company in February 2008. His tweets are a blast and conference appearances even better. Make sure to check him out if he’s appearing a conference you’re attending.
Brett Tabke: Whatever I say about Brett Tabke won’t prepare you for his quiet intensity and knowledge. He’s the PubCon Chairman and CEO Of WebmasterWorld, both legendary online marketing enterprises. PubCon Vegas is one of my totally favorite Internet marketing conferences each year and Brett speaks all over the world at others. Check him out if you see his name on a session agenda.
Brian Clark: AKA Copyblogger, Brian helped define the content marketing space. He’s got 69,000 Twitter followers for a good reason. He does not speak on the mainstream circuit very often… so when he does, don’t miss it. I saw him at BlueGlass FL late last year and he blew me away with unselfish and actionable sharing.
Brian Eisenberg: Brian is co-author of the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, USA Today and New York Times bestselling books “Call to Action”, “Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?” and “Always Be Testing.” I had the privilege of speaking on a panel he moderated at SES SFO last August and I’ve rarely felt so selflessly supported. Simply put, dude is very special. The way he interacts with attendees at conferences defines the space, to my mind.
Bruce Clay: Bruce Clay runs the most famous custom SEO training operation in the world, and aimClear is proud to call him friend and mentor. Often you can find his full day programs before or after mainstream conferences and they’re worth the money. Bruce also speaks on panels and has groomed some of the coolest live conference bloggers ever. He’s managed to franchise BruceClay (the agency) all over the world and understands the training game as well as anybody on earth.
Chris Sherman: Executive Editor of Search Engine Land, Chris is one of my two industry muses and has impacted my thinking about social media and search a great deal. In 2006, I attended SES Chicago explicitly for the purpose of attending his social media track. Chris is a true online marketing futurist, with the most coherent understanding of the international big picture of anyone. I’ve enjoyed having Chris as an editor of my columns at Search Engine Land and, among the several sessions I’ve spoken on which he moderated, the keynote panel at SMX Sydney, Australia was an absolute highlight of my career. Along with Danny Sullivan, Chris sequences the SMX conference series.
Chris Winfield: Chief Marketing Officer & Managing Partner at BlueGlass Interactive, Chris is a social media marketer you don’t want to miss. A New Yorker through and through, he mixes a laid back vibe with a willingness to share real information from the street with conference attendees. Any panel Chris is on should be on your agenda.
Christine Churchill: A member of the founding Board of Directors of the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), Christine is one hell of a keyword research artist. She’s been at it forever and I’ve enjoyed sharing the podium a number of times. If you’re interested in keyword research, she’s a fabulous resource and giving person. Make sure to catch her if possible.
Craig Danuloff: He’s a total intellectual rush, and President of ClickEquations, a highly regarded PPP management tool. Craig is a very accomplished thinker in the attribution analytics space, which is coming to the forefront of conversion funnel analytics. His appearance at SMX Advanced London blew my mind. We shared the podium at SES SFO, when we mutually ambushed the lead engineer for Google Instant. If you want to understand cutting-edge attribution theory, ask Craig… he knows.
Dan Zarrella: Dan is a “viral marketing scientist” at HubSpot and author of two O’Reilly Media books: “The Social Media Marketing Book” and The Facebook Marketing Book. Let’s put it this way: I gave my dad Dan’s Facebook marketing book as a Chanukah present this year, pre-ordered. In the social media spaces, Dan’s one of the few practitioners out there who backs up his ascertains with hard, beautiful data. I spoke on a panel with him at PubCon 2010, which confirmed my respect for him as a writer. Just don’t miss him.
Danny Sullivan: Danny Sullivan is a quintessential Internet marketing journalist. He’s been at bat, ferreting out the most important information for webmasters, marketers and everyday users for more than 15 years. The media often seeks Danny’s expertise about search engines, and he’s been quoted in notable publications including The Wall St. Journal, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, Forbes, The New Yorker and Newsweek and ABC. I’ve spoken on a number of panels moderated by Danny Sullivan and trust me, dude…it never gets old. Along with Chris Sherman, Danny sequences the SMX conference series.
David Mihm: David Mihm is one of the fastest growing thought-leaders on the circuit. His annual local SEO ranking factors leads the space, as he gathers a gaggle of luminaries to prognostice to the entire industry’s benefit. David hails from Portland, OR, and SEMpdx is an awesome venue to see him speak, close to his roots and close to home.
David Szetela: David is one of the highest regarded PPC experts in the world, but that type-casting does him a disservice because he’s so much more. David’s been in the game since the beginning, has a new new book out, and his agency (ClixMarketing) is growing quickly. I’ve known him since 2006 and he’s become one of my best friends in the industry. If we’d never met, his speaking engagements would still impress me completely.
Elisabeth Osmeloski: Executive Features Editor at Search Engine Land / Third Door Media, Elisabeth is a sought after moderator and panelist. She has keen instincts, a killer sense of timing and is a wonderfully knowledgeable speaker and writer. Any session she is on will be well-organized and tuned to provide value to conference attendees. Look for her name when planning sessions to attend.
Gord Hotchkiss: Though the company he founded, Enquiro, has been acquired, Gord remains active in the industry. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking on his panel a couple of times and both outings yielded great results for the audiences. Gord brought eye tracking and heatmaps to the analytics industry and has sequenced numerous Search Insider Summit conferences. Count on any session he’s involved with be thoughtful and actionable. If you see him on a panel, check it out.
That’s all for Part 1. Tomorrow we’ll publish 44 Must-See Internet Marketing Conference Speakers, Part 2 with the next 22 online marketing conference speaker recommendations. Stay tuned, and don’t forget to register for upcoming Q1 conferences before the rates go up & tickets sell out.