What to expect at SMX East
A focus on cutting-edge knowledge & tactics
With each SMX conference, our overarching goal is to create the most valuable possible experience for our attendees. Our programming team is made up of the key editorial and reporting staff for Search Engine Land and Marketing Land, a team that has its collective fingers directly on the pulse of the industry on a daily basis. Combining first-hand knowledge of industry news, trends and developments, they shape each program to address the cutting-edge knowledge and tactics attendees need to stay sharp and keep their marketing campaigns running at full performance.
No sales pitches
Just as a newspaper or magazine has editorial content, produced by independent writers, SMX has editorial sessions where those who are speaking are selected based on the knowledge and experience they provide to conference attendees.
We do think sponsors and partners also have valuable information for our attendees. That’s why we’re proud of our expo halls. At some SMX events we even offer “Plus” sessions that are clearly marked “SPONSORED,” so you’ll know who is backing them.
But SMX doesn’t offer its own software tools, search marketing services or anything else. Our focus is solely on running the best search marketing events we can organize. So when you come to one of our conferences, you can be assured there’s no hidden agenda to push a particular product or service.
Search marketing is not an exact science. That’s why many of our panels feature multiple speakers, so that attendees get a variety of opinions. It’s also why we offer extensive Q&A and discussion periods as part of most sessions, so that the audience can help drive forward exploration of particular views.
When we organize our panels, we invite knowledgeable expert speakers with proven track records of delivering valuable advice in their presentations. We also invite the search marketing community as a whole to make speaking pitches. Reviewing literally hundreds of pitches is an extra, time-consuming step, but it’s important, because it allows us to find newcomers or fresh voices with great content who might otherwise be missed.
This means that each SMX is unique: A conscious blend of proven veterans and new voices, covering a broad spectrum of topics and ideas. Many of our attendees make a point of attending every conference so they don’t miss anything new or relevant to their own success.
It’s all choreographed
Once an agenda has been created by our programming team, each session is carefully prepped by a session coordinator. That coordinator reviews a range of potential speakers and selects a panel based on the most compelling presentations. But that’s not where development stops: The coordinator then works to ensure each speaker has an agreed amount of time to talk and that the presentations are complementary, rather than overlapping. The result: panels and sessions that deliver on the promises in our agendas and that just seem to magically flow together for attendees. We also use separate Q&A coordinators to screen and select questions from the audience, to ensure only the most important questions are addressed and priority is given to key issues.
Accessible, friendly speakers & staff
We ask all of our speakers, moderators and staff to make themselves freely available to attendees throughout the show. So even if you don’t get a chance to ask a speaker a question during a session, you can find them elsewhere and pick their brain without feeling intimidated. Likewise, most speakers make their presentations available with their contact details so you can get in touch after a show. And at any time during the conference, our staff is more than willing to help you navigate your own best course through the various sessions, helping you get the most from your time at SMX.
An enjoyable experience
Great conference experiences are more than just sitting in a room and watching PowerPoint presentations. At SMX, we believe the surrounding experience to presentations is a key part of the show. Among other things, this means:
- We sweat the details of each show, repeatedly running through extensive “pre-flight checklists” to make sure that everything runs smoothly during the conference itself.
- We carefully plan networking events, to ensure this important aspect of coming to a live conference isn’t left to chance.
- We also maintain an SMX social network before and during the show, so that you can interact online with other attendees and keep up with what’s happening everywhere at the show.
- To facilitate this interaction, we ensure there’s complimentary internet connectivity and electrical power access for attendees.
- To keep your mind and body happy, we serve plenty of healthy, great-tasting food and beverages throughout the day.
- We offer durable, high-quality conference bags you’ll want to use again and again.
Our advisory board: you!
Like many conferences, SMX has an advisory board. But unlike many conferences, anyone can belong. It’s you. It’s anyone who has ever attended one of our shows. Whether you provide feedback to using our formal evaluation forms, send us email or just talk to us at the show, we take your advice and use it to constantly reshape and improve our events going forward. So congrats! If you’ve been to an SMX show and provided some feedback, feel free to link to this page and name yourself as a member of the SMX advisory board.