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SES Says No Speaker Exclusivity Planned

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Whispers about potentially requiring speakers at Search Engine Strategies conferences to not speak at competitor shows have been dismissed as untrue.

Rand Fishkin shook up the suits at Incisive Media, which owns the now-Danny Sullivan-less SES conference series. In a post at his SEOmoz blog, Rand said changes could be coming to SES for its speakers:

(T)wo sources that I trust told me independently that last week, the folks who run the Search Engine Strategies conference series, Incisive Media, were planning to institute a speaker exclusivity agreement following SES San Jose. This would mean that if you speak at SMX, you cannot be an SES speaker, and likewise, if SES gets you as a speaker, they’d require that you don’t also speak for SMX. Obviously, there’s some politics involved, but I think it’s probably secondary to the business strategy on the part of Incisive, who doesn’t want the increased competition form Danny’s new SMX venture.

Kevin Newcomb of Search Engine Watch, also owned by Incisive and equally Danny-less these days, said the rumor simply was untrue:

In most cases, I’d rather let rumors lie and let them fall by the wayside. But I think it’s important to clarify something on behalf of our Search Engine Strategies team.

Let me assure you that Incisive Media (parent to both SEW and SES) has no such plans. There have not been, nor will there be any plans to institute any kind of exclusivity agreement for speakers at any of our events.

Hopefully, this will dispel any rumors, and put the idea to rest.

We’re hoping the rumor fades away now. Incisive Media would be astonishingly short-sighted if it were to try and divide the pool of potential speakers in this manner. If they want to compete better with Danny’s SMX and WebmasterWorld’s PubCon, Incisive should do so with varied, quality content.

SES Says No Speaker Exclusivity Planned
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