This past week I headed down to the Bay Area for a search engine marketing conference to which I had won a free pass. It was one of those events that cost enough to make it impossible for my small company to justify, so it was an opportunity that trumped all the fresh snow that finally returned to the region. While I was more than thrilled to see the return to winter, I was admittedly bummed about missing the powder turns.
No matter. I learned a lot at the event, both in terms of content and the culture of search engine marketers. Based upon the people I saw there, search doesn’t have the same sexy cachet as other elements of marketing (like advertising). In some ways it’s almost more of a field related to computer/information technology due to the technical aspects. As such there were a ton of young guys tending toward that pallor that indicates a life spent indoors, who definitely veered towards the nerdy side of the spectrum. Great people watching to be sure, but I didn’t stick around for any of the so-called social events (even if there were free drinks provided by Google), as I figured it would resemble the awkward junior high moments I remembered from my magnet school days.
Instead I spent some quality time with my brother & sister-in-law, who live less than 10 miles from the Santa Clara Convention Center. As fellow foodies, they ensured I ate (and drank) well while there, including some killer chocolate souffles that I’m going to try and replicate tonight at 6200 feet.
I doubt they’ll turn out quite as photogenic, but N was jealous when I emailed him the photo so I figured it’s a Valentine’s Day penance meal.
Overall the trip to the South Bay was interesting and informative, but despite the fact that my brother’s there, and I can find cheap nail salons and useful food stores like Trader Joe’s, I’ll take the mountains any day.