Just about 2 years ago on September 22nd, 2011 the Minnesota Search Engine Marketing Association (MnSearch) was born out of a ragtag group of some of the Twin Cities best search marketers selected by Clint Danks and James Svoboda. Somehow I was nominated and elected the first president of the new association by my peers.
Our starting goals were to build membership, increase our bank account and create an educational event calendar. We were technically challenged to implement a robust membership engine on our website, twice. The logistics of pulling off a great event every month was also tough at times, but we managed. Our success at the end of just 2 years includes an association membership of over 140 professional search marketers and very well attended monthly ‘Search Snippets’ events.
We held ‘marquee events’ once per quarter that included class acts such as:
- Taylor Pratt, Raven Tools
- Arnie Kuenn, Vertical Measures
- Marty Weintraub, Aimclear
- John Doherty, Distilled
- Chris Goward, WiderFunnel
- Brad Geddes, Certified Knowledge
- MnSearch Presents: Local University Twin Cities 2012
A few testimonials from our members and sponsors captured some of our success in the following blog posts:
- New Local Org – MN Search, via Celarity
- Review: MnSearch Retargeting Event, via Danielle Norgren
- Local Search SEO Best Practices, via Risdall
- Event Recap: MN Search’s “All Things Google+”, via Nina Hale
- MnSearch Event: Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns, via August Ash
Our generous sponsors included:
On a personal note, I managed to surround myself with people that are smarter than me — a strategy that worked very well. John F. Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” My privilege has been to learn tremendously from the board, the membership and our event speakers.
It is with much pride and gratefulness that I roll off the MnSearch board and into a role as board advisor. I am turning over the reins to a great team. We can all expect great things to come.
My heartfelt thanks go out to:
- Clint & James who put MnSearch together
- Lela who helped us thru some tough times
- the board who became everything we needed
- the volunteers who insisted on helping succeed
- the sponsors who stepped up to the plate to help a new association get on its feet
- and last, but not least, the members of MnSearch, for you made it ALL possible
I shall cherish you all.
Ward “Wardo” Tongen
Founding President, MnSearch