6 Key Takeaways from ‘Search Starts Here’

In our monthly Locals Only column on Search Engine Land, I discussed my six key takeaways from our first annual Local Search Association annual conference, “Search Starts Here,” which took place in Las Vegas last month.

This year’s conference was significant because we announced a major rebranding of our organization from Yellow Pages Association to Local Search Association. The move reflected our industry’s ongoing transformation from publishers of print directors to integrated local search providers via print, online, mobile and social media.

Judging by the feedback we’ve received so far, the conference was an overwhelming success because it challenged each of us to look beyond what we’re doing currently and think about the products, services and partnerships we’ll need to develop today to complete in our industry tomorrow.

As attendees arrived in Las Vegas, many participated in Strategic Exchange Sessions, which we introduced last year instead of the traditional exhibition hall. The SES program enabled companies to easily make appointments with industry executives and explore new opportunities. We’ve heard from numerous participants who said they were able to make important connections and have valuable one-on-one face-time through the program.

Once again, our conference brought together business and thought leaders from across the industry to discuss ways to improve how we connect our local business advertisers with consumers. We live-blogged about our speakers, panels and sessions throughout the conference right here on Local Search Insider, and featured backstage videos with some of our favorite speakers. We also introduced a new Twitter channel, @LocalSearchAssn, where we participated in the lively conversation taking place via the #localsearch11 hashtag.

In addition to these activities, our attendees enjoyed networking and reconnecting with one another – especially at our Local Search Private Party on Monday evening.

Thank you to everyone – including our speakers, panelists and Local Search Association staff – for making this year’s conference one to remember.

For more information, read our conference coverage and my column on Search Engine Land.

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