In the last five years, I've attended dozens of marketing conferences, events and seminars. During each of those shows, I've spent time talking to the small business owners who've come to try and learn a little more about how to market their business online. Time and time again, the message I hear is the same. "The information is incredible, but I have no idea where to start!" It was that line that caused Robert and I to sit down several months ago and brainstorm all the things we'd do if we were planning a marketing conference for small business owners. It was Stoney deGeyter who said "so why don't you do it?"

It was a good question and we didn't have a good answer.

So I've spent the last three months busting tail and wracking my brain to come up with a small business marketing conference designed to address all those comments and concerns I've listened to over the years. One that focuses on depth of information rather than breadth. One that not only tells you the "what", but walks you through the "how." One that small businesses can afford. And since it's Search Engine Guide, one that will see you learning in a full-scale replica of the Alamo instead of in another cookie-cutter hotel ballroom.

Introducing Small Business Marketing Unleashed

I've pulled together some of the best and brightest (and most entertaining) voices in the business to cover a range of topics from SEO to viral marketing to business blogging to analytics. We'll spend the first day walking through the basics with general sessions designed to give you the background you need to understand how certain marketing tactics can impact your web site. On day two, we'll offer up intensive workshops that will take you into the "how-to" area of each topic.

In fact, instead of sending you home with the usual conference booklet of Power-Point slides, we'll be sending you home with a flash drive packed with work-sheets and step-by-step guides, many of which you'll have already started filling out during the show.

Attend the keyword research workshop with your laptop and Heather Lloyd-Martin will walk you through the process of doing keyword research and editing some of the actual content on your site. Attend the link building workshop and Debra O'Neil Mastaler will not only help you learn how to look for good link partners, but will help you compile a list of sites to approach after you get home.

(It's important to note that many of these workshops are limited to 50 attendees, so registering early will allow you to reserve a spot in the sessions you most want to attend.)

The show takes place at the Northwest Forest Conference Center in Houston, Texas on April 21st and 22nd, 2008. Registration is $975, but we're running the early bird price of $850 until March 15th. That includes breakfast and lunch both days, a great networking dinner event on the 21st and a hearty afternoon networking snack to wrap things up on the 22nd. Attendance is limited to keep things nice and cozy, so you're better off registering sooner rather than later.

Want to learn more? You can check out the conference agenda or read the full descriptions of the general sessions and intensive workshops on the Small Business Marketing Unleashed event site. Already convinced you want to attend? Jump straight to registration.

November 15, 2007

Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.


Is the agenda finalized? I don't see anything directly related to SEO. There's paid search, link building, even social media but nothing related to SEO unless it is included in other sessions.

Yep, it's finalized. Keyword research and content, link building, local search and site architecture are all directly related to SEO. At least the last time I checked they were. :) That said, this isn't an "SEO conference." There are plenty of those out there and many of them do a fantastic job educating attendees about the minute details of SEO. This conference is aimed at giving small business owners and in-house marketers a better understanding of online marketing. SEO, SEM, Social Media, Viral, Blogging...all the tactics that tie together to help drive qualified traffic to a site. That's why we have fewer topics and we've avoided panels. Less sound bites, more insight kinda thing. :)

Gothca ;-)

Thanks for clarifying, Jenn.


I am with a company that owns a website that places internet advertising to as many search engines as possible within the confines of that person's budget. We are ready to launch the site and are anxious to promote it. Is your conference such an opportunity? Thanks Ron

Ron, you can drop me an email directly for inquiries about show sponsorships. Jennifer at searchengineguide dot com

Sounds like a good program, Jennifer!

It's about time somebody began educating small businesses with information they could understand and implement.

Added your event to our marketing seminar database and recommending to all of our readers.

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Search Engine Guide > Jennifer Laycock > Designing the Perfect Small Business Marketing Conference (Houston, Texas 2008)