The session I just attended was Search Term Research & Targeting. The presentors were Andy Beal, Dan Thies and John Slade (overture).
I was a little disappointed in the presentation because it was pretty much exactly the same presentation as last December in Chicago. Andy's slides were exactly the same, I do not remember any new examples. But, the room was packed and he does explain basic SEO concepts well. He did state a few things which I will make a point to mention here. (1) 58% of people use 2 or 3 word search terms. (2) When describing which tools are available for keyword research, he did not throw DigitalPoint a plug :) (3) He said you should target 5 - 8 keywords for your homepage, but then said he prefers 5. I think 5 is a bit too much, but its doable.
Dan Thies was up next. Funny guy. Oh and he posts here on occasions. He introduced himself and one of the points he made on that introduction was that he was the guy "who wrote that report on Florida". I found that funny as well. Here are some keepers from his presentation. (1) How do you know a keyword is competitive? Do a search in Google on the term, then do the same search in google but narrow it to the title only search and then narrow it to title and links. The first thing that is done when optimizing is putting those keywords in a title of the page. You know a keyword phrase is competitive when its in a lot of page titles. (2) Dan was stressing relevancy and what a keyword phrase in a search really means. Funny example is Paris Hilton - the girl or the hotel? Check out Danny's site this week for some free spreadsheets to help determine competitiveness of a keyword at http://www.seoresearchlabs.com. (3) And Dan publically admitted that he can not compete with Yahoo and Google on the keyword phrase "top keywords", just because Yahoo and Google come out with their top keywords on a yearly basis and those pages rank better then his pages. I'm just messing... His point was, if its really really competitive, it might make more sense to utilize the PPC - sometimes optimizing costs more then PPC.