SEMpdx: SearchFest 2007 Final Thoughts

Filed in Miscellaneous by Matt McGee on March 8, 2007 4 Comments

It’s great to watch something succeed beyond expectations, and that’s what happened on Wednesday with the SearchFest 2007 event in Portland. The gang from SEMpdx had plenty of smiles on their faces, and why not? Attendance was somewhere in the 250-300 neighborhood, the day ran fairly smoothly on the whole (a couple 1st-time hiccups are understandable), and from what I saw and heard, there was a lot of good information being shared and discussed. I can’t imagine any of the paid attendees thinking they didn’t get their money’s worth.

As for the “Advanced SEO Topics” panel I did with Rand and Stoney, once we figured out how the PPT clicker worked, I thought everything was peachy. 🙂 Seriously, the room was packed and the Q&A session at the end was really good — lots of terrific questions, and hopefully our answers were equally good. There was one point in the Q&A when Rand, Stoney, and I basically had our own little Q&A discussion about the new Google Maps display — which was a big part of my local search presentation — and I felt bad about that. But over in Rand’s post, Todd from SEMpdx called it “synergy” and “absolutely tremendous.” So I guess I’ll stop feeling bad about it!

This was also the first conference that my co-worker Darcy Hill attended, and he came away with lots of energy and positive things to say about it, so that’s very cool. Another attendee, Jonathan Bailey of Ash Design, said today via e-mail that SearchFest “was very useful to me as a well-informed amateur on the subject of SEO. It gives me enough to consider a service line targeting our customers. Since our customers are 95% small businesses, your presentation was of particular interest.” Very cool to hear feedback like that!

The gang at SEMpdx deserves a lot of credit for putting on a great event. I mentioned to a couple of them that they should rename themselves “SEM Northwest” and become the organization for the whole area, from western Montana to the coast, and down to northern California. I think opportunity is staring them in the face at this point, and hope they’ll take advantage of it.

For those who weren’t at SearchFest, here are a couple links that might be of interest:

Rand’s recap at SEOmoz

Stoney’s recap at Emarketing Performance

PPT of my presentation: Local Search: Beyond the Basics

Flickr photoset of SearchFest 2007 (only 8 pics, but you can see how good the crowd was)

Rumor has it that SEMpdx will also be making videos available of all the presentations. If those are viewable/downloadable by the general public, I’ll either update this post or add a new one.


Comments (4)

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  1. Todd Mintz says:


    Most SEO veterans know that the best information gets talked about in the bar after the conference day has ended. You, Rand & Stoney allowed the audience to be a “fly on the wall” to a bit of an “insider conversation” that they might not have ordinarily been privileged to hear…that’s why, I believe, that part of the session that worried you was actually its highlight.

    Anyway, all of us at SEMpdx are greatful that you (and Darcy) attended our first Searchfest event and that you spoke our Advanced SEO panel.

    For those interested in more of what went on at Searchfest:

    1) I will post “Barry Schwartz”-style blog summaries of the Searchfest speakers that I saw at the SEMpdx blog ( by next Monday morning (which will include Matt’s presentation).

    2) We will be making audio & video available from Searchfest reasonably soon. We will be making DVD’s available for sale, as well as posting some audio / video online for free. I don’t have all the details yet…however, when they become available, we will post them to the SEMpdx website ( & inform everyone on our email list.

    If you wish to be added to the SEMpdx email list, please opt-in at our website. We encourage all of your blog readership to visit our website and learn more about SEMpdx.

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