Portland, OR. Bells were ringing atop the Hotel deLuxe at SEMpdx’s 9th annual Rooftop Networking Party on August 8th. Nearly 400 marketers joined in the fun at a game zone where people could try their hand at the “Hi-Striker.”
The Search Engine Marketing Organization also announced its year-long partnership with local charity, Schoolhouse Supplies. It’s a nonprofit that supports public education in the Portland area by providing free school supplies to students in need. SEMpdx joined a matching donation program with KGW and raised over $5,500 to support local children. (Photo credit, Nina Johnson Photography)
The party was presented by Upsource. Other sponsors included Logical Position, The Growler Guys, Webfor, OregonLive, Three Rivers Winery, Idealist Consulting, Portland State University, Oregon State University, American Marketing Association – PDX Chapter, Portland Business Alliance, SakéOne, Veracity and PDX Pipeline.
SEMpdx was founded in 2006, because we felt that there was a lot of veteran talent here in PDX, but we weren’t really recognized for it because we were all so busy working that we weren’t self-promoting.
We also knew that the business community in Portland was coming around to SEM, but didn’t really know about the level of talent here in PDX. This led to our rather simple mission “put search on the map in Portland, and Portland on the map in search”. In other words – to get PDX recognized in the national SEM community, and raise awareness for search marketing in PDX.
We got the group together when Scott Orth & Blu Drubevich approached me (Kent Lewis) after SMX Seattle in 2006 and suggested we create our own industry association in Portland. Initially, I (Ben Lloyd) was hesitant, and wasn’t sure we had critical mass in the area. That said, after a brief debate, we agreed to run it by folks we knew and trusted in the industry.
A month or two later, we scheduled a meeting with a dozen or so local SEM professionals. Everyone at that meeting was on board (literally, everyone become an initial board member). I sold the initial sponsorship (Site9) that gave us the funding and moved SearchFest from IPN (Stan Davis & I created the initial events in 2005) to SEMpdx and we were on our way.
Ben Lloyd helped us incorporate through his father’s firm and we started formalizing articles, bylaws, processes, mission, vision, and so on. Scott Hendison worked on the blog and website, Tracy Chapman started organizing, and Todd Mintz started blogging. The rest is history!
There was a great deal of hard work & details by the board, which was critical and appreciated. The group then started putting on monthly educational events.
Our First Events
Our first was a simple meetup to promote the idea and get some momentum going. After a couple of months, we came up with the idea to put on a full-day SEM conference and put together our first SearchFest at the forestry center.
Aside from a lunch-line fiasco, that went off pretty well – we had good attendance but we ended up giving away a lot of tickets. We did end up making a few bucks off of it, so we decided that we should do it every year. SearchFest has since become our stake in the ground and has helped us further our mission.
Won’t You Join Us?
We’re glad you’re here and we welcome you to become a member. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a member, check out our benefits and sign up information for Portland Oregon’s premier Search Engine Marketing Organization.”