Editor’s Note: We welcome Lisa Morgan, a veteran technology journalist, as our newest contributing editor. She’s also a former trade show executive and we asked her, in that capacity, to suggest upcoming trade shows that ecommerce merchants should consider. What follows is her July installment, focusing on trade shows in August and later. Email Lisa with your trade show suggestions at email@example.com.
August 2010 Trade Shows to Consider
August 9 – 12, 2010
Cost: $1,199 full conference for qualified retailers; all others $3,189 main conference. Advance purchase discounts have expired. Other packages are available.
eTail is one of the main ecommerce events, but it’s focused on relatively large retailers as evidenced by its stratified registration, attendees, and content focus. eTail has not been known for the strength of its content historically, but the organizers have modified the program to feature more online retailers and fewer vendors, which is a good thing. eTail has been and is considered a great networking event regardless because of the name-brand retailers it attracts. There are some invitation-only events that that can make uninvited attendees feel left out, but since those events are sponsored, it’s the sponsors that are selecting the invitees.
eTail includes narrowly focused events that precede and follow the main conference. On August 9th are the Advanced Search Forum and the Email Marketing and Segmentation Day. The main conference takes place August 10th and 11th. Areas of focus include personalization and relevance, multi-channel integration, customer convenience, analytics, holiday preparedness, and multi-channel strategy. On August 12th, the last day, there is a Social Media and Mobile eCommerce Summit.
Direct competitors to this conference include Shop.org and Internet Retailer.
San Francisco, CA
August 16 – 20, 2010
Cost: $1,695 – $1,995 full conference depending on registration date. Other packages are available.
The Search Engine Strategies’ conference focuses on organic and paid search. Because search is such a significant portion of online merchants’ marketing budgets, we’ve decided to profile it.
SES is a robust trade event that provides excellent in-depth information about search strategies and practices. It also has a healthy but not overwhelming exhibit floor. If you’ve spent any time in the search space, you’ll see a number of familiar people, many of whom are speakers.
SES features some basic “101”-type courses on August 15 and then does deep dives into various aspects of organic and paid search over the next two days. There are no sessions specifically targeted at merchants and if you’re looking for lots of online merchant speakers, expect to be disappointed. That said, if you are interested in learning more about search and how it’s evolving, SES is a good show.
In addition to the main conference, there is an search engine optimization training seminar on August 16 and an assortment of search engine marketing workshops on August 20.
Its primary direct competitor is Search Marketing Expo (SMX). Other competitors include PPC Summit, eMetrics Marketing Optimization Conference, and Ad Tech.
Other Shows This Quarter You Should Consider
Show: Affiliate Summit East
Location: New York, NY
Dates: August 15 – 17, 2010
Cost: Full conference passes range from $1,249 – $2,749 depending on registration date and package selected. Other packages are available.
Show: PPC Summit
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Dates: September 21-22, 2010
Cost: $999 – $1,395 full conference depending on registration date. Other packages are available.
Show: Shop.org Annual Summit (Look for our profile in August)
Location: Dallas, TX
Dates: September 27 – 29, 2010
Cost: Free – $2,090 full conference for members depending on membership type. $1,525 – $2,690 main conference for non-members depending on retailer/non-retailer status and registration date. Other packages are available.
Show: eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit
Location: Washington, DC
Dates: October 3 – 7, 2010
Cost: $1,595 – $2,295 full conference depending on registration date. Other packages are available.
Show: Search Marketing Expo (SMX) East
Location: Chicago, IL
Dates: October 4 – 6, 2010
Cost: $1,195 – $1,595 full conference depending on registration date. Other packages are available.
Location: San Francisco, CA
Dates: October 9 – 14, 2010
Cost: $1,499 – $1,699 conference for members; $1,999 – $2,199 conference for non-members. Other packages are available.
Show: SES Chicago
Location: Chicago, IL
Dates: October 18-22, 2010
Cost: Not yet determined.
Topic Specific or Ecommerce Specific?
Ecommerce professionals often have trouble deciding between topic-specific events like the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit (which focuses on analytics) and ecommerce trade events like eTail that offer sessions, workshops, or one-day seminars on the same topic for an additional fee. The benefit of attending seminars produced alongside ecommerce events is relevance. That is, they are focused on how search, email, and analytics (as examples) can be optimized specifically for ecommerce purposes. The benefit of attending topic-specific events is depth because all the sessions relate to that general topic.
Both topic-specific and ecommerce-specific events are valuable. However, if your dollars are limited and you don’t have or plan to develop deep topical expertise, stick with the ecommerce events. If you want to sharpen your competitive edge and develop deep expertise also consider attending topic-specific events.