I’m a big fan of Search Engine Strategies Conferences on Search Engine Marketing and try to attend and cover all of them that I can.
Besides the seminars and forums on search marketing, and the late night parties, I always find it quite rewarding to walk around the exhibition halls and speak to some of the business & sales representatives who are giving out freebies, looking for new clients, or who just look bored and want to talk for a while.
I’ve found however that some of these exhibitors, after trading business cards, take advantage of the contact information that they have received and place the email addresses of unwilling attendees on their mass email lists.
I now receive around 4 or 5 spam mails every week from some of the companies and speakers which frequent these events, and will, in the future, think twice before letting booth exhibitors scan my badge or before handing over my business card.
SES does a very fine and open job of letting their speakers market their businesses to very large rooms of attendees and I’m sure some search marketing experts who are speakers at these conferences come home with some hefty leads, proposals and signed contracts.
I really see no reason for these speakers and exhibitors to take advantage of such openess, camaraderie and generosity of the Search Engine Strategies conferences by spamming the attendees.
Sure, only a small percentage of the speakers and exhibitors are doing so, but I really believe that SES & Incisive should address this issue before it becomes more of a stain on the industry.