Believe it or not, I survived, with a voice that is somewhat intact. SES New York was a great time, even though most of the time I was coughing, sneezing and nearly at a whisper for a voice. I had to joke during my two presentations that "No, my 2nd job is not as a 900 operator."
It all started Monday afternoon. My friend Beau Hall and my co-worker and fellow SMG writer, Greg Meyers, met at my place in Limerick and we headed up the road to NYC. After a bit of a struggle, I finally got the Tom-Tom to talk to us and really tell us where to go, believe it or not, it was spot on, and we made it to the Sheraton without a problem. We checked in and then Greg and I headed over to the Hitwise seminar.
Bill Tancer gave a great presentation, and we got to talk at greater length with our account manager Tim Keelan after the seminar was over. I did get to bend Bill's ear a bit about how, if Hitwise could put out a keyword tool, it'd be just awesome. He smiled and nodded, perhaps maybe in the future?
From there, Greg, Beau and I hooked up with Jim Hedger, Ken Jurina (forever the "cheese boy"), Damien, and Curtis Duek and went in search of dinner and who do we bump into at the Heartland Brewery? None other than the very adorable Emmitt Laycock, his mom Jennifer and Matt Bailey also tagged along with him for dinner.
After dinner, it was off to the great party thrown by IMNY. Kudos to that group for putting on such a great bash. The folks from Party Poker were all there, Jay was even in his kilt. And then there was Rich Niland..... errrr.... I mean Greg Niland (yes, private sort of joke but I had to post that just for Rich). Cameron and Neil finally showed up later and I even got to crown Neil with his very own crown and sash.
The next day the conference started and I met up with Lisa Barone in the Click Z track Video Advertising session. After that it was Advertising in Social Media session which I blogged for SE Roundtable. After that thanks to Scott Orth a whole group of us got to go to a taping of David Letterman! Rebecca, Scott and Jane from SEOMoz, David and Irma Wallace from Search Rank, Matt McGee (notice its spelled right) from SEM Small Business, Todd Malicoat (aka Stuntdbl) and a few others were in the crowd. My dad actually recorded the show to DVD and you can even see some of us in the audience.
It was then time for the Google party. Jonathan Hochman, David and Irma Wallace and myself got to hang out and chat with some great folks at Google. We had an awesome view and got some great pictures. You got the perfect view of Google's NY Office from the penthouse bar. I even got to talk with Frederick Vallaeys, Google's Product Evangelist for Adwords, that was a really enlightening conversation.
Our bus driver on the way back to the Hilton was just awesome. Mike, gave us a great tour since there was no real rush, he showed us some of the great highlights of where TV Shows and Movies were shot in the area. We then came back to the bar and hooked up with all the rest of the SES conference goers at the Hilton bar. Bill Slawski even made the trip up to hang out with all of us. That night was one of the busiest at the barThere's plenty of pictures, so make sure to take a look.
Wednesday came, and to my dismay - I had no voice! It was just above a whisper at the keynote address. I got to the next session and blogged it for Barry, but by that time, I knew it was a useless fight, back to the hotel room for some rest. After that, we met the crew to go to the Marchex party with Matt McGee. This party offered another spectacular view of the NYC skyline, in particularly of Broadway. I've got some great pictures that are in the gallery and Flickr stream. I was still at a whisper, and between Greg and Beau managing to keep me from talking too much, I saved my voice enough to speak on Thursday.
Thursday I spoke on Images and Search Engines. Chris Sherman moderated, Shari Thurow, Chris Smith and the really nice guy from Microsoft (who didn't have cards, but will hopefully email me!) all presented and put up with my coughing. Thank you Shari for the Riccola drops and Chris for getting me tea!
After speaking, I met up with the rest of the women and headed over to our lunch at Cafe Classico. I have to say, that was probably the highlight of the whole conference for me. Meeting so many wonderfully talented in one place was just an awesome experience, and lucky for all of you, you'll get to meet many more women, too!
With lunch over, it was off the Webmaster Radio booth for an interview with Jim Hedger. Once the interview was over, it was time to wrangle everyone up for our traditional dinner on Thursday night. It ended up that we split up into two groups Frank Watson's group went up to China Town for dinner, and our smaller group after walking around aimlessly, ended up at Applebees, with a great window view of 7th Ave.
With dinner over, we headed back to the Hilton for the last of the networking we do at the Hilton Bar. I finally got to talk with Jarrod Hunt, Troy and Eleni Ireland from Text Link Brokers (I love those folks, they are so nice!) and then we all hung out and everyone just chatted about business, the conference and life in general.
Friday rolled around and bright and early I headed over to speak on my Search and Regulated Industries panel. Heather Framm, Martin Murray and Anne Kennedy again, took very good care of me and my "900" voice and we had a really great session - we talk about drugs, booze and shopping, so why wouldn't we?
After handling some work issues, it was then time to hit the road back to Philly. Greg and I hooked up the Tom Tom and that lady said we were on one street where our street sign said we were on another. Thankfully I figured out where we needed to go, and then Tom-Tom lady caught up with us.
I got home, and literally crashed. It's now Sunday night and I'm feeling somewhat human again. My apologies to anyone who had to endure my coughing fits, raspy voice and if I missed meeting you - normally I'm much more on top of my game at the conferences, however this cold really changed the rules of the game on me.
Lastly, I hope you all enjoyed the hackeysack balls! If you liked them, please let me know, I might re-order and bring them to San Jose!