Marketers Get Busy at Search Expo

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NEW YORK -- Generating a successful four days at this week's Search Engine Strategies 2005 Conference & Expo was something Choots Humphries didn't want to leave to chance.


The president of affiliate marketing network LinkConnector, Cary, NC, was supposed to exhibit on the conference's second floor at the Hilton, but he opted to be put on the first-floor waiting list.


"I've heard that the second floor ... is a little less crowded," he said. "I'm glad we're on the first floor."


Traffic was brisk on both floors yesterday as attendees jammed the conference.


Humphries, who has attended SES shows for three years, has high expectations for the event.


"The quality of the traffic has been unbelievable," he said. "Usually at SES shows we get 250-300 leads, and 50 to 90 are high quality and half of them turn into customers. No question, we'll get the same [this time]."


Inga Johnson, product marketing manager at Atlas DMT, Seattle, which provides online campaign management tools, said the traffic at her company's first-floor booth was better than she expected, "especially considering the weather," referring to Monday's snowstorm that hit the New York area.


"We're getting people interested in our services and some who are new to the industry and want to see what's out there," she said. "[Many are] moving up the sophistication ladder. They're not complete 'newbies.'"


Johnson attended three sessions Monday and said attendance ranged from more than half full to overflowing. Many sessions yesterday were packed, as was the opening keynote featuring Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang.


Ani Kortikar, founder of search marketing consultancy NetraMind, Santa Clara, CA, was stationed on the second floor of exhibits. He said floor traffic was 10 percent less than he thought it would be, but he attributed that to the weather. Show success, he said, would be tied to following up on the leads he acquires.


"[You must] establish your company in their mind, articulate the value proposition and make sure they're the right customer for us," he said.


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