My friend Rob Garner has written a great article outlining the growth of the search engine marketing industry in Dallas. In this article, he outlines how we first met at the SES Dallas show back in 2000. At the time, I was leading the SEM efforts for Weber Shandwick. Rob was at a large music instrument retailer named Brooke Mays. I wanted his business, so I took him to lunch every month after the show. He never gave me any business, but became a good, trusted friend. I’d rather have that any day … more after the jump
My, how the Dallas search landscape has changed since Search Engine Strategies last held its national show here, before it was moved to Chicago in 2003. While comparing the bigger national show to the lean and laid-back Search Engine Watch LIVE series is not exactly an apples-to-apples proposition, it’s still worth a look back to understand how search engine marketing has progressed over the last four to five years.
I remember the first meeting of the Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association (DFSEM) like it was yesterday. I had left Weber Shandwick the month before and was still getting used to working in an all search environment. Dan Thies, Mark Jackson, John Sanchez and I closed down the bar across the street from the hotel where we met after the event. Rob, of course, was wise and went home.
Looking at how the landscape has changed and grown is amazing. There are at least three thriving companies that are run by former collegues of mine from my former company. Makes me wonder what could have been if we would have all stayed together. But alas, that wasn’t meant to be. Maybe too much talent in one place can be a bad thing.
But the DFWSEM brings about my second idea for SEMPO. Local Chapters. Now is the time to bring these about – or they will form on their own like the DFWSEM and not affiliate with SEMPO. Establishing local SEMPO chapters in major US cities should be a priority for SEMPO in 2007. And with my experience with the DFWSEM, I think I’d perfect to spearhead this initiative.