By: Marc Engelsman
Vice President of Strategy
• There were about 125 SEMPO member attendees from all across North America as well as some Global representatives from China, South America and Europe. The Forum schedule allowed for ample networking and, while I didn’t meet all 125 attendees, it was great seeing some old acquaintances and meeting a lot of new ones. As a SEMPO Board member, the engagement with members also provided both affirmation of what has been accomplished over the past couple of years and input/feedback for how to help SEMPO continue its mission of providing thought leadership for the industry.
• The “vibe” at the Forum was different from other search conferences. I think this was because we all had the unifying element of being SEMPO members and, as such, viewed each other as peers looking to help each other in this dynamic and evolving industry. There was also a feeling of vitality and excitement about SEMPO’s initiatives beyond the Member Forum including the monthly Education Committee Hangouts, our ongoing Research surveys, and doing more local/regional events with SEMPO Cities.
• The conference agenda was packed with valuable content and conversations about detailed search tactics as well as the role of search strategically as part of integrated marketing mix. I particularly liked the sessions/discussions on The Internet of Things and how mobile is changing search dynamics. The construct of customizing breakout sessions targeting agencies, marketers and “ecosystem” partners separately also proved to be an effective way to make the insights more targeted and actionable for these specific groups.