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The Greatest Gathering Ever On International Search?

This week for the 6th time in London, the International Search Summit takes place at The British Library in London. Previewing this particular event is, for once, almost impossible to do because the quality of the speakers and agendas has widely surpassed the expectations of the organising team at WebCertain. I don’t have to – but I would pay to go to this event!

I’m not giving any secrets away when I say that the International Search Summit team has been coming under pressure to add tracks – or even an additional day. Our decision has always been to pack as much value into one single day and track on international search issues as possible. That means trying to find the very best speakers on the subject – which is one of the reasons we invented to the “Medallion Speakers Award”.

Three of the speakers, Dixon Jones, Massimo Burgio and Eugene Lomize are previous winners of the unique audience-voted award which gives the audience the power to choose the speaker they most appreciated on the day itself with the award presented at the end of the day.

I’ve been musing over who will win the award this time – and with three previous winners already present – it is going to be a very touch choice. You’ll see from the list of potential candidates below just what I mean – I’m glad I’m not a betting man.

Meanwhile, before I consider the individual speakers themselves, let’s note that this is a summit in the truest sense. For the first time, Yandex, Baidu and Ayna – major search engines in their own region – will come together at the same event. I’m sure this has never been done before – even at previoius International Search Summits.

So here’s my list of speakers who might walk away with the Medallion:

David Carralón – British Council

David has attended several International Search Summits and during that time has ascended the dizzy heights of the British Council taking charge of their SEO efforts, as well as other aspects, throughout the world. I don’t recall having seen David speak before, but I know he has considerable knowledge and direct experience of the field – so he will give the day a very strong kick-off. He has to be in the running just based on his depth of knowledge.

Eugene Lomize – Yandex

Probably the nicest Russian I know, Eugene was a speaker at our highly-rated Seattle event just a couple of weeks ago and won the Medallion. He holds a very senior position at one of the world’s most successful search engines and is able to share unique insights you really can’t get anywhere else. Having done it once recently – he has to stand a good chance of achieving the double.

Mikkel deMib Svendsen- deMib.com

This is the first International Search Summit where we’ve managed to have Mikkel along – but I’ve known Mikkel for quite a number of years and have seen him speak many times – I can honestly say that every time I hear him I learn something. His little finger contains more SEO-knowledge that most agencies can claim. He’s also a very strong presenter and I’m sure Mikkel will be take some of the votes this time.

Ralph Tegtmeier – Fantomaster

Moving to German-speaking Belgium, Ralph is your man for everything to do with IP addresses, crawlers, duplicate content and link generation. He is rumoured to play a rather significant role in the whole linkosphere of Germany – and might well be on the way to doing that in the UK and elsewhere too. He’s a creative thinker who will stretch your idea of what search is all about.

Cui Min – Baidu

We’re delighted to have Cui Min with us this time – travelling over from Beijing for this event. The Baidu team have not been seen at many conferences – and considering the strong place Baidu has, not just in China, but globally – we’re sure to learn new things in his presentation. He was heavily involved in the recent re-launch of the advertising system known as the Pheonix Nest – which means that he and Eugene Lomize have lots in common!

Inway Ni – 4399

I’ve on recently met Inway on a recent visit to China – but I’ve known about him and his reputation in the SEO field for a long time. When I discovered the huge phenomenon he’s created with 4399, a kind of gaming and socialising site for children in China, I worked hard to persuade him to come and tell his story in public. With his site now the 87th most popular site in the world (according to Google) and his site spinning over 300 million page views each day – this story is fascinating and might just win the prize! And whilst he’s speaking, that’ll be another 4 million page views by my calculations.

Kristján Már Hauksson – Nordic eMarketing

Kristján has the midas touch when it comes to speaking – everything he says is golden in terms of both entertainment and usefulness. I do think he might be in the wrong career as I’m sure he could make it as a stand up comedian. Likely, in my view, to pull some of the Medallion votes.

Maura Ginty – Autodesk

I met Maura when we spoke together on a global search panel somewhere (can’t now remember which conference). She has a dry – almost British – sense of humour and runs activities at a global brand which is everywhere. Don’t go to the bathroom during this presentation as there’s lots to learn here for us all.

Massimo Burgio – Global Search Interactive
The audience loves Massimo. That’s why he’s already a medal holder and why he’s so regularly invited back to conferences to speak. We had great fun with several sessions at SMX Stockholm and it’s great to have him back on the speaker team for ISS.

Omar Khaled – Ayna 

I haven’t had the privilege of meeting Omar or seeing him speak – but Ayna is an important player in the middle east which we all need to learn more about. I’m guessing we’re in for some surprises at this point!

John Straw – InfluenceFinder

I also don’t personally know John, but he joins us because of what he has to contribute on the geographic analysis of links. WebCertain team – listen up – you need to know what John has to say so keep an eye on this presentation. A dark horse for the Medallion!

Dixon Jones – MajesticSEO

I’ve known Dixon for a very long time and for a while we were seeing each other regularly in different cities around the globe – especially in the depths of the recession when most other British agencies didn’t seem to be sending people to US conferences. He’s already got a Medallion and doesn’t really need another – but who knows?

Marty Weintraub – aimClear

Marty spoke at SMX London earlier in the year on the subject of using Facebook for data – as well as for advertising. That presentation was both fabulously rich in information and hugely entertaining. I button-holed Marty on the steps afterwards and wouldn’t let him go until he agreed to come back to the International Search Summit with some of the same ideas. I’m looking forward to seeing how this turns out, you’ll enjoy it and he has to be a strong candidate for the medal.

Martin Hepp – Universität der Bundeswehr
Two years ago I attended a session at SES Chicago on the Semantic Web. I learned more then – and cleared more fog related to the semantic web and RDFas – than at any other single event. We have tried before to persuade Martin to join us at the International Search Summit and I’m sure delegates will leave the event thinking that this presentation alone justified their entrance fee!

(By the way, just in case you’re wondering, I’m also speaking but the audience is not allowed to vote for me to give the others a reasonable chance!)

We also have Anne Kennedy and Barry Lloyd involved in the event and participating in Q & As which only goes to show the quality of the speakers if we have such high quality substitutes on the bench! And tell me this, which single-day international event do you know, which brings together speakers from London, Beirut, Beijing, San Francisco, Brussels, Moscow, Chicago, Xiamen and Rome.

That’s probably why the event is the best selling in our history – but there are a few tickets left if you’re quick!

Who would I vote for? I really truly do not know how the heck I’d decide!!

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Andy Atkins-Kruger

CEO at Webcertain
Andy is the CEO of Webcertain. He is a trained linguist with 20 years of experience in international marketing, having helped major brand leaders with their advertising and public relations projects on five continents. Webcertain has been operating multilingual search marketing campaigns for over 15 years and is one of few agencies which only deal with international campaigns; the company doesn't deal in single market projects. Andy speaks regularly at conferences around the world.

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