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Search Marketing

The Whiteclick SEO blog aims to keep you up to date with the latest in the search engine optimisation and marketing industry and the company.

Why only one search marketing conference is required in Australia

Grant Hilton - Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Recently I had the pleasure of attending SMX Sydney 2010 and was especially excited to hear that the conference was going to focus on a more unique advanced track this year. The number of search marketing conferences in Australia are relatively still limited, so they often contain information targeted at beginners or people in business that are seeking a better understanding of what search engine optimisation is and how it can help their business. In my opinion conferences such as SMX, Search Engine Room, ad:tech and CEBIT, despite being very professional and well organised, have become stagnant and far too similar rather than advancing with the industry and representing the current state of search engine marketing in Australia. It has been a known fact for the last few years that Australia trails the USA and the UK in the search world and until there are conferences that can advance our knowledge and experience with the latest developments overseas this will continue to remain so. Therefore the prospect of experiencing more advanced content from speakers at SMX had increased my expectations or had it?

It’s true, the content at SMX Sydney in 2010 was more advanced but this was only evident in the sessions involving the international speakers and was not reflected by many of the Australian speakers. I’m not sure how the selection of Australian speakers takes place but I really hope they took the time to watch the presentation and speaking skills of their international counterparts. They also failed to back up their data/statistics with enough factual evidence by simply stating claims such as, “they have done internal tests that support this”. Anybody can do an internal test but where is the data to back this claim? Has this been tested externally? If so, what were the results? Australia is not going to advance on the USA and UK if we continue down this path.

This is why Australia really needs only one search engine marketing conference (for the time being) that is not held once a year but quarterly in different cities of Australia (ie Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth). We need one brand of search engine marketing conference to attract the best search industry experts to them, which will subsequently produce more knowledge and more sharing of information. These conferences need to start focusing more on learning and the education of the local search industry rather than the networking aspects and the scrumptious food in the breaks.

It’s definitely a positive that SMX has distinguished itself from the other conferences by taking the unique direction of featuring more advanced SEO topics but the Australian speakers also need to be at a similar level of the content and this unfortunately was not apparent. The industry in Australia continues to grow but the only way we can advance further is with more experts leading the way and this can only be done for the time being by attracting more quality international speakers and one conference brand that is more frequent in different cities throughout the year (like in the USA).


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