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Local is the niche thing that has gone mainstream. All the evidence is clear with our ILM 2010 conference, which is taking place in Santa Clara, California, Dec. 7-9. In fact, ILM:10 is shaping up to be one of the biggest events we’ve held. We typically bring in 500+ local-focused execs and entrepreneurs, but we have an even stronger feeling about this one.

During the past couple of weeks, we’ve confirmed a slew of top-tier local leaders and thinkers to complement our existing lineup, which has top execs from top companies such as Yelp (yes, CEO Jeremy Stoppelman), Google, Facebook, CBS Local Digital, Zillow,, Hearst Newspapers, Advance Internet, Patch, SB Nation, eBay, Angie’s List and Cox Target Media, as well as some great start-ups, including Perfect Market, Redbeacon, Fwix, SB Nation and Matchbin.

Now, we’re especially pleased to land Steven Johnson, author of “Where Good Ideas Come From” (and chairman and cofounder of Johnson, who is speaking on Day 3, will apply the lessons from his landmark book to his hard-earned knowledge of the local space. (I like his “The Ghost Map,” too.)

Other major thought leaders that have recently been added include Matt Idema, the fast-rising Yahoo exec who led the acquisition of Associated Content and now runs local strategy; Gowalla’s Andy Ellwood, who will discuss the location-based service’s development; and Pandora’s Cheryl Lucagnero and Brian Mikalis, who will discuss how Pandora is building a local angle via its partnership with AdReady and other services.

We also have a lot of Google at the show: Surojit Chatterjee is speaking on the Mobile SuperForum; Wesley Chan is speaking about venture capital, alongside Michael Yang from Comcast Interactive Ventures and Dev Khare from VenRock; and we’ve just signed up Todd Rowe, head of Global Channel sales, who is on a great summary panel with Court Cunningham from Yodle and Geoff Stevens from WebVisible. More Google activities will be announced shortly.

Special pricing ends on Saturday, so you know … don’t procrastinate. Sign up here. While you are at it, sign up for our free webinar on Nov. 3, which features some new data from comScore‘s Gillian Heltai, as well as analysis from me and my BIA/Kelsey colleagues Mike Boland and Matt Booth.

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