SES Attendees a More Sophisticated Lot

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SAN JOSE, CA -- Exhibitors at this week's Search Engine Strategies 2005 Conference & Expo said they were seeing more sophisticated customers of search -- those involved in the industry for a while and looking for ways to increase their business.

"It's more targeted than Ad:tech. People are looking for search," said Paul Wilson, vice president of sales at search optimization firm iProspect, Watertown, MA, which had a prime booth location -- right by the entrance and between Yahoo and Google.

Ellen Siminoff, president/CEO of Efficient Frontier, Mountain View, CA, said the quality of exhibitors was higher than at previous SES shows.

"Companies that are established in search are exhibiting, not just companies in technology," she said.

Timely, full sessions featuring executives from many of the major search engine and search optimization firms kept many show wanderers at bay. While sessions run Monday through today, the exhibit hall was open just Tuesday and yesterday.

"I'm hearing a lot of good things about the sessions, so people are there," Wilson said, noting that he saw good traffic on the floor between sessions.

Ryan Berryman, vice president of product development and operations for, an online ad solution company in Los Angeles, agreed.

"We've gotten a good number of high-value customers, but the show is really good, so that has maybe limited some of the traffic," Berryman said.

Though most of the giveaways were standard fare, Miva hired a contortionist to promote its new name and philosophy. Miva, Fort Myers, FL, recently formed, bringing, Espotting Media, Miva Corp., Comet Systems and B&B Advertising under one umbrella. Since the company's new slogan is "Reshaping the Future of Advertising," the company also gave away pens that can be reshaped.

"The show has really been great for us. We talked to a lot of different agencies and partners," said Michelle Craft, vice president of marketing and communications at Miva.

Another booth getting attention was Search Optimization Inc., which has a slogan of "Want to be on top?" worn on the tank tops of women at the booth. It gets to the issue of companies worried about not getting top ranking on search engines, CEO Garry Grant said.

Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting


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