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March 4, 2008

SMX West Round-up

The Santa Clara convention center is rather big. Its sprawling footprint crosses seven or eight zip codes, several counties and encompasses at least three unique ecosystems. It was like I had breakfast in Sunnyvale, attended sessions in Santa Clara and attended a Google event somewhere near San Jose and I didn’t leave the building once. That’s my greatest complaint about SMX West. The building was too big. While complaining about the situation a wise bird reminded me, if the length of the hallways is the biggest complaint, you’re probably in a pretty good place. For the better part of last week, Santa Clara California was a pretty fun place to be.

The trip started on a good note and simply got better from there. StepForth CEO, Ross Dunn and I ended up on the same flight from Vancouver Island to SeaTac airport where by happy coincidence we met up with three other old-time SEOs, Todd Friesen, Ken Jurina and Damian Finley. The five of us were journeying to join 2400 or so of our colleagues attending the first (very) large conference thrown by Third Door Media. Each of us had attended the extraordinary SMX Advanced in Seattle eight months earlier, a show that left us with the higher than expected expectations which we hoped SMX West would live up to.

SMX West : A Home Run!

It did. Third Door not only hit a home run, at this show, they took the cover right off of the ball. The place was packed but that’s only part of the point. The information was amazing but, that too is only part of the point. SMX felt different, vibrant. It was the little things included in the planning for SMX West that made a difference. Items like fresh fruit, blogging tables in sessions, free WiFi through-out the venue, specialized social networking games and the brilliant Search Marketing Bowl session made life far easier for attendees.

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