After reading Jenise’s post about last year’s US Search Awards, I was definitely excited about the event, which again took place at Treasure Island in Las Vegas. The ladies of SEJ had a thread going to decide what dress to wear; Loren and I worked with the US Search Awards team as judges; and we excitedly added the event to our Pubcon ebook and other content. Because almost the entire SEJ staff was attending the awards, we occupied almost two full tables. Here are some of my favorite parts of the event.
There was a shortlist that was announced for most of the categories ahead of time; the following are the winners in each category:
- Best Use of Search – Retail: The Absolut Company – AbsolutDrinks.com SEO
- Best Use of Search – Finance: Inbound Marketing Campaign for Acquisition & Funding Services (AFS) – Mannix Marketing
- Best Use of Search – Travel / Leisure: Havas Media – Leveraging Technology to Beat Inflation
- Best Local Campaign: RKG & Bealls Florida – Increasing Market Share by Effectively Capturing Local Demand
- Best Low Budget Campaign: Webspec Design – Strauss Security Solutions SEO Campaign
- Best Use of PR in a Search Campaign: Walker Sands Digital – Mobile Traffic Report
- Best Use of Social Media in a Search Campaign: Kenshoo, Facebook & Experian – Finding the Sweet Spot for Search and Social Investment
- Best Integrated Campaign: Zenni Optical – Integrated Online Marketing Campaign – Managed By Wpromote
- Best Mobile Campaign: 360i & Red Roof Inn – Turning Flight Cancellations into Hotel Reservations
- Best PPC Campaign: Point It – Microsoft Store Global Campaign Expansion
- Best SEO Campaign: Portent – RealTruck.com – SEO Campaign
- Innovation: Adobe Media Optimizer
- Best PPC Management Software: Marin Software – Online Advertising Management Platform
- Best SEO Software: Searchmetrics Suite™ – The Global Search Experience Optimization Platform
- Best In-House Team: AOL – GSD Audience Development Team
- Best Consultant: Motoko Hunt – International Search Marketer, AJPR LLC
- Best Agency: Elite SEM
- Young Search Professional of the Year: Katie Donabedian – Digital Marketing Specialist, Walker Sands Digital. The judges also awarded a Highly Commended to Jacob Frick of Havas Media
- US Search Personality of the Year: Duane Forrester – Bing
- Grand Prix: The Absolut Company – AbsolutDrinks.com SEO
There was great networking to be had before and after the event; I was able to meet a few friends I knew online through email and social media but had never had the chance to meet in person. It was also the first time many of us on the SEJ team had a chance to meet in person, so it was great to get to know each other better as well.
Most people showed up around 7pm, and a welcome was offered by the night’s host, Mel Carson. Next, we networked more while waiting for dinner to be served. One of the highlights of the night that combined networking and entertainment was the giant screen of the live streaming Twitter feed under the hashtag, #ussearchawards, which showed photos being shared on Twitter throughout the event, as well as tweets about the evening.
Photo Booth, Food, and Entertainment
The photo booth was a huge hit with not only the SEJ team, but everyone else at the event. Props made it fun and it was a great way to get to know people you just met a little better.
Besides the booth, there was also a live band that performed before and after the awards and dinner, an open bar, an illusionist, and a vodka ice luge from Absolut. And not to be forgotten, the three-course dinner featured filet mignon and the most delicious garlic mashed potatoes I’ve ever had.
I know I speak on behalf of the SEJ team when I say I can’t wait for next year’s US Search Awards, which is already on the books! With such a great experience, I’m sure the upcoming UK Search Awards (in London, November 6th) and the European Search Awards (in Berlin in March) coming up next are sure to not be missed.
Relationship affiliation: SEJ was a media partner of the US Search Awards, and I was asked to give my honest opinion of the event, which I have to the best of my ability.
Photo credits: Featured and winner photos provided by US Search Awards. Photo booth photo taken at event. Other photos taken by Murray Newlands.