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Conference Battle: ad:tech vs. Search Engine Strategies
As I sit here in my hotel room, getting ready to head over to SES day 3, a friend of mine called me and asked if ad:tech or Search Engine Strategies was a better investment. I told him my thoughts and then I thought it would make for a good post. So without further ado, let me present the CenterNetworks 2006 conference battle between ad:tech NY and Search Engine Strategies Chicago.
Some general/fun comments:
- Greater overall value: SES Chicago
- Better sessions: SES Chicago
- Better location: ad:tech NY
- Better expo: ad:tech NY
- Better city: ad:tech NY
- Better pizza: ad:tech NY
- More booth babes: ad:tech NY (though there were very few overall)
- More breathing room: SES Chicago
- More men in suits: ad:tech NY
- More men on stilts: ad:tech NY
- Greater interaction ability: SES Chicago
ad:tech NY loses major points for the space:people ratio. The Hilton NY cannot handle that many booths and people. It was like the number 6 train during rush hour. ad:tech has a much larger expo but the tight, cramped quarters really take away some of the quality. Knocking into people is no fun. If they moved to the Javits Center, the expo would be infinitely better. I would love to see better speakers and a focus on the future. It seemed many of the sessions were stuck in yesterday. ad:tech is built around the expo, with the sessions secondary.
Search Engine Strategies Chicago gets top points for the sessions. Four days (plus a fifth training day) and so far, the quality has been great. The speakers and keynote presentation have really hit their marks. The Russian judge gave all 10s. I particularly liked Shoemoney and JenSense discussing contextual advertising. Though I don’t get why they left out the Intellitxt type inline advertising. Maybe they don’t like this type of advertising or maybe they don’t know how it works or it could be because most users hate it. SES has a much smaller expo, almost felt too small. There were booths from Chinese and Japanese text link ad firms which is interesting. SES is built around the sessions, with the expo secondary.
And the final overall winner is: Search Engine Strategies Chicago. The SES sessions are better than ad:tech and the environment is better as well. Feels more relaxed and the participant discussions are on-point. If ad:tech NY moves to the Javits Center, and increases discussions about the future, they will probably win in the 2007 battle. I can’t believe I am giving Chicago anything over NYC, but alas, I must. But remember one thing, NYC has better pizza.