Last week, I had the honor of attending and speaking at MediaPost Search Insider Summit. What is Search Insider Summit? It’s a special digital marketing conference for top tier executives in our space. It’s typically an invite-only conference, and I was lucky and fortunate enough to be invited to attend and speak at this amazing conference on Amelia Island, Florida. I wanted to start off this post by sincerely thanking Rob McEvily, Junmian Sun, Jon Whitfield, and the entire MediaPost team. You guys put on the best digital marketing event ever.
Have you heard of ion interactive? These guys build the best and most impressive post-click marketing platform in the world. ion makes it easy for digital marketing professionals to test big ideas via landing page experiences, increasing their conversion rate. They not only offer an amazing platform, but they also offer amazing agency design services as well. As an ion power user of several years (I highly recommend checking them out), I was lucky enough to be invited to Search Insider Summit as ion interactive’s VIP guest. ion was gracious to sponsor me and pay for everything! And, they connected me with one of my most exciting public speaking opportunities ever (more on this later).
It all started last Sunday. I took an early 6:00am flight from here (San Francisco) to Houston, Texas. Then, I took another flight from Houston to Jacksonville, FL. Just 45 minutes away from Jacksonville is the beautiful oasis called Amelia Island. The day of travel was super long, but incredibly worth it! We stayed at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort. This place was absolutely beautiful and spectacular (check out photos below and throughout this post). My room directly overlooked the pool and amazing Atlantic Ocean. I arrived late in the day so I decided to grab a burger and catch some sleep. While the day was crazy with travel, I felt some true hospitality from everyone around. Those living in Jacksonville and surrounding areas are a great group, truly kind people.
The next Morning (Monday), the conference started! Monday was a really super day. I got to sit back and listen to some truly inspiring keynotes, presentations, and panels. We’re talking about the best and brightest in our industry. I took diligent notes on ideas I want to test first hand. I had lunch with Scott Brinker, Co-Founder at CTO at ion interactive. What an awesome lunch!
Later that day, I had the pleasure of partaking in a Segway tour of the island. We covered some great mileage (the place is huge) and networked as a team. It’s during the Segway tour I met Prashant Puri (CEO & Co-Founder) and Johnny Shami (Head of Business Development) from AdLift, the Bay Area’s SEO Agency. I was really impressed with AdLift, and it’s especially funny that I traveled across the country to meet two amazing marketers who live right here next to me! Speaking of Bay Area / Silicon Valley agencies, I got to spend some great time at the conference with my good friend David Rodnitzky, CEO of PPC Associates. David is such a great guy and guru within our space, I had a blast connecting with him several times throughout the conference. What a great opportunity to spend time with friends, both new and old.
After the Segway tour, I enjoyed the cocktail hour and then the Yahoo! dinner. Dinner was a true blast. I got to sit with Leo Polanowski, VP of North America Account Management at Yahoo! Leo is my personal friend and a true leader in our industry. He has built one of the best account management organization around (special shout out to Justin Hill, the man). I enjoyed sitting at Leo’s table and chatting with my friend David Rodnitzky. I also enjoyed meeting George Michie, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at RKG. Earlier in the day, George was on the Segway tour with me. Fun times, thanks Leo and Yahoo! for the amazing dinner! The best part of the dinner: Leo introduced Yahoo! Stream Ads. I’m a huge fan of Yahoo!’s new ad formats. There’s huge upside here, talk to your account management team today.
After a huge and eventful day one, I was so amazingly pumped up. I got back to my room to find some amazing gift bags from Google and also adMarketplace. Search Insider Summit sponsors sure know how to make the digital marketer feel at home! I caught some sleep and then day two went very much like day one. However, instead of the Segway tour, I opted for spa services. What a great way to relax. Day two’s cocktail and dinner was sponsored by yieldbot. I got to catch up with my good friend David Rodnitzky (PPC Associates), the folks from adMarketplace, Dave Zinman (CEO at Infolinks), Laura Fell (Caterpillar), and others. Day two I went to bed a bit early because day three was my big day.
The next morning (Wednesday), I woke up super early to practice my presentation. A bit later that morning I had the privilege of presenting at Search Insider Summit on the topic of Big Testing and Better User Experiences Through Post-Click Marketing. I specifically focused on my partnership with ion interactive. The half hour presentation went fast and was densely packed with enthusiasm and tips. I heard from several folks in the audience that they enjoyed it quite a bit! Thank you to all who provided the positive feedback, it truly means a lot. My presentation marked good times and a true opportunity from a career and public speaking standpoint. Below, I have a bunch of photos from the conference with the first one from my presentation on day three (thanks David Rodnitzkey for taking the photo). Thanks, ion and MediaPost for the opportunity to present, it was an honor and I can’t wait for next time!
After my big presentation, I enjoyed some more great presentations and panels (diligently taking notes). Then, I’m sad to say, the three days of fun and excitement were over. Those thee days at Search Insider Summit went by way too fast. I learned so much, networked like never before, and had a super great time. On the way out, I shared the shuttle to the airport with my friends Bill (Scottrade) and Avish Dahiya, CTO at Baby Cache. Avish and my planes left around the same time, and Avish was kind enough to treat me to lunch at the airport. I was truly impressed with Avish’s role, Baby Cache, and their impressive business model. There is no conference I have ever attended in our industry that has this level of executive talent. What a wonderful experience. Thank you ion interactive (especially Scott Brinker, Jessica Collier, Mary D’Alatri-Ward, Stephanie Tunis) and MediaPost (especially Rob McEvily, Junmian Sun, and Jon Whitfield) for the best week ever! More pictures from the conference below…
Cool Pictures From Search Insider Summit
Image of ion platform © ion interactive
All other images in this post © PPCIan.com