It's such a nice change doing the European conferences. And that's another one over. As usual, Chris Sherman pulled together a great little conference.
It's so nice to do the smaller shows in the hundreds. That way you get to meet and hang with more people than when you're at the huge American shows. They're great too, but they're so busy and manic with so many people to get around, it's hard to get a free moment to spend time with anyone in particular.
In my last post I was talking about delays and cancellations at airports. On the way back from Stockholm, it turned out that, myself, Matt Bailey (Karcher Group) and Dave Naylor, bad-black-hat-spammer turned... er... almost white, but closer to grey. Ah! Who cares what colour his hat is? He's an expert and that's what counts.
Anyway, he and I and Matt all popped into the airport bar in Amsterdam to have some serious philosophical discussion about contemporary art and theatre... (what else do you think SEOs talk about ;-) when we discovered that Dave's plane had been delayed by an hour.
Of course, after Matt left and Dave and I had another sweet sherry each... the conversation upped a level and progressed to the porn industry.
As it turns out, Dave, is actually the closest SEO to me, geographically. I always thought he was from Leeds. But he actually lives in Ripon. This is a fairly exclusive rural town which is absolutely beautiful. I know the town quite well from my radio days when I worked at the local station for that area. My old boss (who happens to be American) and his wife opened a nice bookshop there many moons ago.
Anyway, I felt so sorry when we both went to catch our respective flights and discovered that he had missed his. I swear there was no announcement and no update to the time of his flight. So KLM gets the blame for that.
The last I heard from him he was delayed until a 9.00 pm flight. I know that feeling well - oh no, stuck again. Still, he did have his laptop so he probably used the time to knock out a few million phentermine pages.
I love the dinners we have at the SES shows. It's so cool to have an eclectic mix of people from around the planet sitting and discussing... Well, almost anything and everything!
Above you can see the very same Dave Naylor, examining the bread while Andy Atkins-Kruger, President SMA-UK, ponders over what to do with his own. New boy Ben Hayes, from Web Diversity sits next to Joe Morin doing his best "the thinker" pose. At the bottom of the table you can just see Matt Bailey who looks like he's squaring up to Greg Jarboe for a fight, with Anne Kennedy looking up the table thinking: "what on earth is Naylor doing to that bread?" Jimmy Furland turns the volume down for a moment while he waits for the next bottle of "loud juice" to arrive (we'll call that wine, actually :-) and Christine Churchill looks directly at Andy Atkins-Kruger thinking: "I wonder if I should explain how you apply butter to bread?"
Following dinner we went to a club where I bumped into former New York resident, now London, Nate Elliott from Jupiter Research.
And was quickly whisked off to the dance floor by Laura Thieme, who wanted to show off her new specs.
The following morning, first thing we all put on a brave face and pretended that we hadn't been out until 3.00 am. Here is my panel wearing "don't be ridiculous - Danny Sullivan buying donuts at 1.30 am - hardly likely" type looks.
From the left, Dave Naylor, Danny Sullivan, Mikkel deMib Svendson and Grant Whiteside.