Editor’s note: Alan Bleiweiss graciously contributed his perspectives as both a speaker and an attendee of the State of Search 2015 conference in Dallas, Texas.
Setting the bar high
Having been involved in the search marketing business about 15 years, and actively involved in our professional community / attending / speaking at industry conferences for many years, I was intrigued to find out what all the buzz had been I had heard and read the past couple years regarding State of Search as a conference.
When my pitch to speak at this year’s event was accepted, I was actually excited to finally see what this was all about. So many people I respect in the industry had been saying how great it was, and many of those same people were either past speakers or slated to speak at this one. So I had high expectations.
My conference attendee experience
Wow was I blown away! That’s the best way to describe my experience. Every session I sat in on was filled with power knowledge. Every speaker I heard, brought their A game.
DFWSEM also did an excellent job in running the event overall. Sure, as is the case with every conference I’ve attended or spoken at around the country, there were some challenges, some hiccups. As someone who has, myself, participated in putting on multi-track events in the past, I know what that’s like. There’s always more that can be done, lessons to be learned. Yet it is because of that insider understanding, I also appreciate how much effort must have gone into this one. And where any hiccups were nothing insurmountable. And nothing was a show-stopper type issue.
So I greatly appreciate the conference committee and the work they did.
The venue itself was different than I’m used to for industry conferences, that’s for sure. “Life in Deep Ellum” is an interesting mix of laid back / artsy / comfortable / hipster energy. What I REALLY appreciated there was the coffee shop being right in the building. And the latte’s I had were absolutely delicious – no joke! While I appreciate conference attendees had access to free coffee and tea, being able to get a really well made latte’ right there on the premises was a gold-star bonus.
Another thing I appreciated was the availability of snacks in the main hall during the event. It was great to be able to eat some healthy, freshly prepared food in between sessions when I needed that.
After having some amazing BBQ ribs over at Lockhart Smokehouse Tuesday evening with a bunch of other speakers and attendees, I also enjoyed many hours of networking and friendship building during the after-party. It was a lot of fun to wrap up the event experience that way, and deeply rewarding.
My conference speaker experience
My own session went really well – the reactions I got implied people liked what I spoke on and got value from it. And several people had questions for me one on one afterward. That’s always a good sign that attendees at an event really want to learn, and that they found my presentation valuable. So from a speaker perspective, it was a success.
And kudos to the technical team at the venue for stepping up and making the technical aspects of my own speaking session work flawlessly. Between that going so well, and the personalized intro I received coming to the stage, made it a hassle free experience.
The fact that I’ve since been contacted for consulting work by an attendee just put that over the top.
So yeah – if you haven’t ever experienced State of Search, I can now, from personal experience, highly recommend it, as both an attendee and speaker!