Tuesday, March 3, 2015

SMX West Search Marketing Conference: Marketing FAIL

A funny thing happened to me on the way to the SMX West Conference Expo -- I got ready to register to attend the expo only to discover that they wanted to hit me with a $50 registration fee. Why? Because the conference started today. If I had registered yesterday or before, I would be eligible for the "early bird rate" of free. What a difference a day makes.

The irony is that several years ago, I actually walked the show when it was in Santa Clara. It was worthwhile enough that I probably would have attended again had other business commitments not kept me from attending. Essentially, I was out of town when the show was going on for the past couple of years. Enter 2015 and a conference that had enough traction with me to have me dive in and figure out when it was scheduled. Imagine my surprise to discover that the event it taking place right now. "Awesome," I thought. "I'll head over there right now." Then registration and styme.

At this point, I think it's important to talk about just what exactly that $50 registration fee means. Sure, I could pay it. I could expense it and it wouldn't come out of my pocket. But I'm not going to spend it. For me, what that $50 fee does is actually more of an insult than it is an obstacle. In a single pricing decision, I have been moved from attendee / potential customer to offended critic.

I'm sorry for the companies that have paid to exhibit and participate in this conference. I will not see you. My colleagues will not see you. If you had anything new or interesting to offer, we won't learn about it.

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