You might have heard about some pretty cool news stirring in the UK search market of late... something really quite special.

On the 11th January a number of digital marketing managers and specialists launched what is to be an ultra cool, search and social conference for all those interested in SEM / SMM. And its name is SAScon.

SASconSAScon is a conference devoted to leading search, analytics and social media thinking and doing, supported by SEMPO and Manchester Digital.

For me though, this is not just another search marketing and social media conference - its one that has been developed as a co-op of specialists and managers of agencies deeply embedded in the digital industry. Ive been in the fortunate situation to be part of this " and from the looks of it, SAScon is going to be a truly exceptional search, analytics and social event for 2010.

We really hope that people recognise the great intentions of creating a not-for-profit event for the greater good of the industry, and love the growing ultra-high calibre line-up including Fantomaster (Ralph Tegtmeier, Yoast (Joost de Valk) and Bas Van De Veld!

SAScon Panelists

...are only going to be those that we as organisers would like to meet, hear what they have to say on current and on-going issues, and in a format that I think drives the most fluid debate.

Early-on in the design of SAScon, we made the decision to place panels at the heart of the presentation of information

Its in the use of panels that we can encourage an open and engaging discussion throughout the day. Thus removing self-gratifying, salesy, excessively rehearsed or recycled speeches!! On these grounds that were hoping that attendees can draw the most fun, interest and educational elements out of an event.

Q & A sessions encourage attendees to learn something fresh and exciting, and sometimes most importantly, see in a live format, the rationale and thinking process by leading search, analytics and social media professionals in this industry of ours.

2010: The Birth of SAScon

Long before SAScon, there has been many, many search and social events being provided around cities around the world. I was part of my very own Manchester SEO group on LinkedIn - something that is proving to get a solid, regular attendance of folk from all over the North of England. Really cool stuff.

Knowing this, you can imagine that a natural step from this is to an event hosting speakers, far greater networking opportunities, and on a scale that would draw national and international attendees. Well, OK, thats actually quite a big jump " but really thats kind of how it happened!

Oddly enough, each of the organisers of SAScon had individually spoken to each other of how suited Manchester would be to hosting a search and social conference, and knowing the quantity and quality of specialists in and around Manchester I believe we can do an excellent job!

Want to learn more?

For more information on SAScon, the programme and the speakers as they are released, please visit or follow SAScon on Twitter for more information. We hope to see you there!

Tickets prices vary, but Early Bird Tickets are 225 (other discounts apply for SEMPO and Manchester Digital members). Register for SAScon tickets here.

About Ben McKay

Ben McKay is an SEO Manager for Mediaedge:cia, part of GroupM, one of the organisers of SAScon and writes about SEO management and consulting over at Just Me and My.