I’m at SES right now, listening to the Advanced Paid Search Tactics session. I applied to speak on this panel (I spoke on it last year and I felt I did a pretty darn good job). This year, I got rejected from the session. Well, more specifically, I never received any notice from SES other than confirmation that they had accepted my request to speak.
Naturally, I was curious to know who made it on to the panel in my stead. Here’s the list of panelists, and the moderator who organized the panel:
Mikel Chertudi, SES Advisory Board & Senior Director of Marketing, Adobe
Ben Brutsch, Sr. Manager Marketing, Adobe Systems
Matt Van Wagner, President, Find Me Faster
Of these three folks, I only really know Matt, and he’s a darn bright guy who is a good, well-prepared speaker. I don’t know Mikel or Ben, but it does strike me as strange that Mikel decided that the best “panel” for this session was to have himself, one of his team members, and one other guy. It seems to me that having two people from the same company on the same panel is not the best way to advance advanced paid search marketing.
For the record, after my diatribe against SMX earlier this year, I did return to and speak at SMX Advanced (with Matt Van Wagner as the moderator), and I was truly impressed with the preparation that Matt put into the panel (though, for the record, some of the panelists never bothered to send in their presentations in advance or deign to participate on a pre-conference call). So perhaps my accusations of cronyism and laziness are now unwarranted for SMX. SES, it appears, may still have some issues.
Am I the best person to speak on an advanced SEM panel? Well, of course I think so, but I could also accept participation from many great SEM minds (Brad Geddes? George Michie? Frequent Blogation reader Terry Whalen?). Having two people from the same company and a three person panel – c’mon people, you can do better than that.