Yext on Tour Recap: Chicago

The intelligent future, AI, machine learning, and more was on the minds of nearly 200 guests last week as we continued our Yext on Tour journey in Chicago. Held at the Savage Smyth on Chicago’s north side, this Yext on Tour event carries the distinction of selling out the fastest — and it did not disappoint.

The afternoon kicked off with presentations from Co-Founder and CEO Howard Lerman, Chief Strategy Officer Marc Ferrentino, Director of Product Marketing Erin Jaeger, and renowned SEO expert and VP of Industry Insights, Duane Forrester.

9X3A8503Yext CEO Howard Lerman kicked off the afternoon with a visionary
look at
how businesses can thrive in today’s technology-driven world.

9X3A8542Director of Product Marketing, Erin Jaeger gave attendees an inside
look into innovations with the Yext Knowledge Engine.

9X3A8608How will trends in voice search and beyond change how marketers do
their jobs? Our own Duane Forrester broke it down for our Chicago guests.

During the second half of the program, Yext Chief Customer Officer Wendi Sturgis sat down for a fireside chat with David Buckley, the CMO of Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores (SHOS). At SHOS, David focuses on three P’s: Price, Proximity, and Prior Experience, and discussed how Yext is part of SHOS core strategy for Proximity — ensuring that customers know exactly where to find them. According to David, SHOS “spends millions of dollars on media and advertising, but if people can’t find us, none of that matters.”

9X3A8654Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores’ CMO David Buckley sat down for
a fireside chat with Yext CCO Wendi Sturgis.

To close out the day, Yext EVP of Small Business and Partner Jonathan Cherins moderated a panel on the intelligent future, featuring Boostability’s Jared Turner, Performics’ Ram Singh, and Staples’ Randy Dargenio.

Each panelist predicted that voice search would have an enormous influence on SEO in just the next two years. Rangy Dargenio stated that “with the transition to voice search, we’re going from 1000 results to 1. Amazon and Google need to have facts to answer that question. How do we position ourselves for a future where almost everything can be a fact?”

The panel concluded that structured data, including, will become even more critical to helping businesses describe the public facts about their brand for intelligent services.

9X3A8702Boostability’s Jared Turner, Performics’ Ram Singh, and Staples’
Randy Dargenio discussed AI, autonomous vehicles, and the future of
tech with Yext’s Jonathan Cherins.

9X3A8673Microsoft’s Christi Olson shared her thoughts on the rise of voice
technologies like Cortana.

9X3A8749Brilliant content notwithstanding, the highlight of the afternoon may
have was the view from the roof deck that was the site of the cocktail
party, with an remarkable view of the soaring Chicago skyline.

Check out #YextOnTouron Twitter for even more highlights and tweets from those who attended. Learn more about Yext on Tour and see where we’re headed next.


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