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June 22, 2007

Kevin Ryan - The New Face of SES

By Li Evans

While at SES Latino in Miami, I got the pleasure to sit down and talk with Kevin Ryan.  Who's Kevin Ryan?  Well Kevin's the guy that is now in charge of programming the SES Shows all around the globe.  Lee Odden did a great interview with Kevin about 2 weeks ago, right after Incisive Media announced he was the person chosen to replace Danny Sullivan.

Undoubtedly, there's a lot of curiosity surrounding this man, who isn't a household name in our industry like Danny Sullivan, or Chris Sherman.  However, from what I read in Lee's interview and what I experienced while at SES Latino, I'm very optimistic about the change being a great thing for SES.

Dsc06454 When the announcement was made by Incisive Media about Kevin's position, I got a few emails asking me my opinion of how things will play out for women in our industry.  My series on Women in Internet Marketing tends to garner me more than a few questions in that realm of topic.  So with my journalist hat on I sat down and talked with Kevin Ryan (Kevin's the guy on the far left of the picture), and also Matt McGowan.

I asked a few well pointed questions, and Kevin did not even flinch at them.  First up was questions about the role of women on his 12 person advisory board.  Kevin assured me women are well represented on the advisory board, although he couldn't name names and I can't quote numbers, there was sufficient representation from all across the industry.

Next up was the subject of women in speaking positions at SES.  I know this is a touchy point with some women.  Myself, personally, I think it's up to women in our industry to step up and pitch to speak, not expect to be asked.  However, I still did ask the question to Kevin. He was very receptive of finding more ways to increase the presence of women on the panels.  After a bit more conversation around that topic, we moved on to talk about other things, including the whole "exclusivity" issues - straight to the point, there is none barring speakers from speaking at other events.

Everything from new views on the industry to what's currently great about SES.  Kevin asked me just as many questions as I asked him. Perhaps it was the luck of a smaller more intimate conference setting that SES Latino afforded to us, but I'm thankful that I was able to sit down and have a really productive and memorable conversation.  I believe SES is definitely going to change, but it's not going to be drastic or overnight, but it will change - it has to, to adapt to the market place and the needs of the audience it serves.

We should be use to change in this industry, we constantly must be adapting to our clients' business needs as well as the changing environments of the search engines.  Believe it or not folks, change is a good thing (even universal search is a good thing), it keeps us on our toes and makes us strive to be better.  This is also what I see for Kevin and SES, change, looks like it will help SES serve its audience in a much more adaptive way.

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