Top 10 Benefits of Speaking at Search Engine Conferences


One day instead of working I went to SES Hamburg (a leading search engine conference, a side note for the uninitiated) to have some fun.

I showed off my fair trade Panama hat (yes, I tricked you, I don’t actually wear sombreros!) and enjoyed telling 150+ people about social media.

Now as a man of business I always measure the ROI of everything, like in “the ROI of playing 30 minutes with my daughter: 5 smiles and 2 hugs” ;-)

Thus I decided to reflect upon the ROI or rather the top 10 benefits of wasting my precious time as a Search Engine Strategies speaker.

Please keep in mind that I was only there for a few hours, so the outcome might seem more poor than it really is:

  1. Being told by a renowned blogger and marketer that he is a “huge fan of my blog”
  2. Meeting people from the largest national publishing houses who “want to do something with blogging and/or social media” and want me to ***
  3. Getting lots of business cards by business people who want to do “some social media business” with me, at least 5 wanted to work with me on such projects, damn, I need to find time to write them all.
  4. Getting a job offer for full time employment for a “big corporate client”, I still have to decline it (if I’d reply to every message instantly I would never have the time to blog) I actually prefer self-employment and independence
  5. Eavesdropping on the competition by flattering them
  6. Meeting my clients who normally pay me without ever bothering me besides that
  7. Actually feeling like an expert. You don’t unless 150+ people really listen to you without throwing things at you.
  8. Getting a day off: Come on, the SES was vacation for me, it wasn’t work at all. I felt like a newborn (as we say in Germany)
  9. Getting an authority link from SES, hey we’re doing SEO here after all ;-)
  10. Getting free food (I’m not a gourmet at all, despite the “Chef” in my name, but the food was not what I expected, sorry)

All in all, you clearly see that search engine conferences are, similar to social media and blogging, a complete waste of time. I want my money back!