PubCon last week was a fantastic show. It had the strongest, most useful content of any search show I’ve been to in the last few years. The attendees were numerous and enthusiastic.
One area was curiously weak, however: the exhibitor floor.
There were less than fifty exhibitors for the entire show. Most of these were search engines, publishers, and advertising networks.
Where were the search agencies? Kudos to Bruce Clay Inc. for stepping up in a big way, but where were Rimm Kaufmann, iCrossing, Reprise Media, and Outrider?
One could argue that PubCon is mostly small business owners, and they certainly do comprise a non-trivial percentage of the attendance. But I met plenty of representatives from brand name corporations, and there was no shortage of growing companies with aggressive internet goals, and the dedication to attain them. Why wouldn’t these agencies want to help them?
Disclosure: While my firm, Apogee Search, did not exhibit, we did sponsor one of the networking events. We decided that the free booze would be appreciated more.
More bothersome than the lack of agencies, frankly, was the lack of tool vendors. SEOmoz, LivePerson, Enquisite, and Marin Software exhibited, but where were eFrontier, SearchRev, Omniture, CoreMetrics, and HubSpot?
To these companies, shame on you for not supporting such a quality conference, especially as it would have been in your own self interest to do so.
I know we’re in tough economic times, but if you pull in your marketing like a turtle, you’ll just be guaranteeing your demise. And, as companies in the marketing industry, you should really know better.
Note: Even more than usual, the opinions expressed in this posting do not necessarily reflect those of Apogee Search.