ad:Tech Chicago vs. SES San Jose

    August 27, 2007

After attending ad:Tech Chicago and Search Engine Strategies over the last month made me realize that there are considerable differences between the 2 conferences.

I know they’re difficult to compare because SES San Jose is quite a bit larger than ad:Tech Chicago and the target demographic is somewhat different, however I am sure there are marketers wondering which one they should attend. Here are my thoughts:

  • From a cost perspective, both SES SJ and ad:Tech Chicago are priced similarly at around $1700 for a full conference pass.
  • You’ll find three times more exhibitors at SES SJ. I found that both shows are getting more and more companies who offer Sponsored Advertising as well as Affiliate Advertisers.
  • I found the sessions at SES San Jose gave companies strategies that they could take away and apply to their own businesses. I found that at ad:Tech there were less strategic opportunities, many presentations simply discussed the status of their companies and the conference was much more geared towards future strategies such as mobile (which is good or bad depending on what you’re looking for).
  • From a networking perspective I noticed that it was easier to speak with people and discuss topics such as the conference, future bussiness opportunities, sessions and search marketing in general.
  • If you’re into "after conference events" then I think you would appreciate both the Google Dance/Webmaster Radio Bash at SES and the networking party at Fulton’s on the River in Chicago. I do have to admit the SES events were geared more towards a younger crowd versus the Chicago event.