We did it. After months of planning and a few weeks of intense promotion, SEMpdx managed to exceed all expectations with SearchFest 07. The volunteer board went into overdrive to make sure the presenters, sponsors, exhibitors and attendees got their money’s worth. With 14 sessions featuring 30 speakers, the 250+ attendees had a full day. The feedback we’ve received to-date has been overwhelmingly positive, and has paved the way for a much bigger and better SearchFest 08. Don’t take my word for it, see what SearchFest guest speakers like Rand at SEOmoz are saying.
The day kicked off with an insightful keynote from Jeffrey Pruitt of iCrossing and SEMPO fame. After a brief break, the crowd dispersed to three different tracks consisting of beginner, advanced and special interest workshops. I hosted an SEM for Dummies session while other attendees chose to get schooled on SEO copywriting by none other than Heather Lloyd-Martin (now a Portland resident), and a Web2.0/RSS panel.
More sessions followed before a attendees enjoyed an unusually tasty lunch while listening to a presentation by sponsor, Overland Agency. One of the most popular sessions was a post-lunch PPC Panel featuring representatives from Google, MSN and Yahoo! I hosted an SEM Trends Panel at the end of the day, featuring many of our high-profile guest presenters, including Dan Sundgren from eFrontier. We discussed the future of search, including mobile, local and international search. The SEM-savvy audience nearly stumped the panel with questions about net neutrality, Second Life and IPTV.
The day-long conference ended with a networking reception, where LookSmart gave away a new InFocus IN72 LCD projector. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the lucky winner, but I did walk away with a fancy leather desk organizer from our friends at OregonLive. I want to thank Danny Sullivan for NOT choosing Portland as a stop on his SES Roadshow tour last year…it left the door wide open to create the NW’s most successful SEM conference. Perhaps we’ll see him at SearchFest 08…