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2016 Member Forum - Agenda
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Who Should Attend | Agenda | Speakers | Venue | Sponsors | SpotlightPhotos


Shape the future of search. The SEMPO inaugural Member Forum agenda is comprised of high quality and member-driven content and invaluable business networking opportunities. Attendees will come away with actionable insights and new connections with search industry peers from around the world. Speakers will lead engaging conversations on tactics and strategy related to search marketing, with all attendees strongly encouraged to participate in interactive discussion.

Don't miss this exciting opportunity to connect with the SEMPO members and search industry professionals worldwide.

All sessions will take place at the Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter.

Wednesday, March 9

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Research Committee Meeting

• SEMPO Salary Survey Report Review
• Planning for 2016 State of Search Survey
• Brainstorming Other Research Committee Opportunities

All attendees are welcome to join the SEMPO committee meetings.

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Education Committee Meeting

Leadership: VP of Education Simon Heseltine and co-chairs Justin Fuchs and Dana Todd The SEMPO Education Committee is responsible for:

· Determining topics and securing presenters for monthly SEMPO's Google+ Hangouts on Air: Chat with Industry Experts

· Reviewing submitted articles, resources and presentations for SEMPO blogs, webinars, Hangouts and educational ventures

· Reviewing submitted event calendar and training provider listings

· Determining monthly themes and industry polling topics in collaboration with the SEMPO Research Committee

· Securing and promoting speakers for educational programs including SEMPO Cities, SEMPO Member Forum and to outside business organizations to promote quality search practices SEMPO's monthly Hangouts Chat with Industry Experts focuses on a different theme each month and corporate members are invited to share their thoughts and education with the industry. In addition, webinar series presented by corporate members meet the growing need for education on search-related topics within and beyond the search marketing industry. Professional webinars are geared for search and digital marketing professionals who need to stay abreast of the latest techniques and tools. Whereas, 101 webinars are tailored to professionals who use search marketing as part of their jobs and to people just beginning their search marketing careers.


5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Cities Leaders Meeting

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Informal Gathering, Dinner, and Drinks

  • “Meet the Chairman of the Board” meet-up with Mike Grehan @mikegrehan at the Hard Rock Café. Rock 'n' roll T-shirts preferred but not essential.

*Activity cost not included in registration.

Meet other attendees at several bars and restaurants around historic Gaslamp Quarter.


Thursday, March 10

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM

Networking Breakfast & Vendor Showcase

8:30 AM - 8:45 AM

Plenary Welcome Remarks

Delivered by:

Mike Grehan, SEMPO Chairman
Michael Gullaksen, SEMPO President
Chris Boggs, Programs VP

8:45 AM - 9:30 AM

Plenary Keynote Address


Keynote Speaker:
Nicolas Darveau-Garneau,
Director, North America Performance Solutions, Google

9:30 AM - 10:20 AM

Plenary Panel
Internet of Things: Brand Tactics and Strategies in Play in 2016

Internet of Things seems more hype than reality so far, but these three panelists have more than theoretical experience. Join us as we explore how easy it is to get started with geofencing and beacons, and we'll showcase case studies in connected cars and wearables, as well as a high speed racing boat that is breaking speed records and rules in sports marketing.

Dana Todd, Dana Todd Consulting

Kathleen Glass, CEO, Oinkodomeo
Nigel Hook, CEO & Founder, DataSkill
Ben Smith, Digital Marketing Consultant, WSI

10:20 AM - 10:45 AM

Networking Break & Vendor Showcase

10:45 AM - 11:55 AM

Breakout Session 1A: Agencies
Focus on Paid Advertising Across Online Media Channels (Search & Social)

Digital advertising agencies today have to navigate more complexity than ever before. Paid search has become a very mature, and hyper-competitive space; paid social continues to grow by leaps and bounds as organizations continue to understand how it fits in their media mix. And in the midst of this comes greater client expectations: both for stronger expertise and counsel, and a consistently higher ROI. Meeting those lofty expectations is no small feat.

This panel session brings together experts from both the agency and technology sides of the equation to discuss these challenges, with a particular emphasis on the ideal marriage of strategy and technology.

Ryan DeShazer, inVentiv Health

Sana Ansari, General Manager, 3Q Accelerate, 3Q Digital
Philip Pillsbury, Senior Director, Global Agencies, Marin Software 

Breakout Session 1B: In-House
Focus on Owned Media, SEO, and Content Marketing

Within the media segments of Paid, Earned and Owned, the latter is a critical point of focus as it helps marketers to achieve more within the realm of Earned media as well as creating collateral for Paid media endeavors. The greatest vehicles for advancing Owned media is SEO and Content Marketing. Once you understand what Owned media is and can identify your Owned resources, you can begin fine-tuning and optimizing in an effort to expand Owned visibility. In this breakout session you will understand what Owned media is, how to optimize it with the aid of tools and receive a checklist for success. Want to take it a step further? Learn how a dedicated focus to persona development as well as understanding attribution marketing and the customer journey can help catapult the performance of your Owned assets.

Josh McCoy, Digital Marketing Strategist, Vizion Interactive

Jon Rognerud, CEO, ChaosMap
Michael Bonfils, Intl Managing Director, SEM International

Breakout Session 1C: Ecosystem
Integrated Digital Marketing: How to Make Sure You're Not Stepping on Each Others Toes:
Making Sure UX, Paid, Owned and Earned Media are on the Same Path Towards Success

Rene Haas, Manager of Owned Media, iProspect
Scott Nickels, Owner/Consultant, BigFish Consulting LLC
Laura Thieme, CEO, Bizwatch

11:55 AM - 1:00 PM

Networking Lunch & Vendor Showcase

1:00 PM - 1:50 PM

Breakout Session 2A
SEMPO State of Search, Salary Survey & Other Industry Research

This panel uses data from the latest SEMPO research surveys – State of Search and Search Salary – to guide discussion on industry issues and challenges ranging from integration to analytics to staffing and tools. We’ll also be adding some other interesting perspective thanks to SEMPO’s unique methodology for tracking client-side marketer and agency responses separately.

Marc Engelsman, Director, Strategy and Analytics, Digital Brand Expressions

Chris Lehman, Vice President of Sales, adMarketplace
Joshua Slodki, Digital Marketing Manager, Petco

Breakout Session 2B
How can Internal Marketing Teams Keep up with Changes in Local Search & Maps Landscape

Join Colleen Harris from CDK Global and Michael Mire from SweetIQ as they present industry search stats, trends and insights into local search marketing. Colleen's "10 Local Search Commandments" combined with Michael's "10 Signs to know when you're #winning in the local search game" guarantee that this will be a valuable session for learning and sharing.

Krista LaRiviere
, Co-Founder & CEO, gShift

Collen Harris, SEO Specialist, CDK Global
Michael Mire, Co-Founder & CRO, SweetIQ

Breakout Session 2C
Measuring Campaign Effectiveness, Attribution Modeling & Conversion Tracking

John Wanamaker is famous for saying "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half." He probably wouldn't have said that if he attended this session. This session will not only explore the strategies, tools and techniques for measuring paid search impact on revenue and how to communicate that to clients and internal stakeholders so you can get the credit you deserve.

Dave Rigotti, Head of Marketing, Bizible

Thad Kahlow, CEO, BusinessOnline
Andrew Garberson, Manager of Search Marketing, Luna Metrics
Steve White, CEO, Clarivoy

1:55 PM - 2:55 PM

Breakout Session 3A: Agencies
How to Better Serve Clients
*Agencies & Consultants ONLY

Serving clients well requires an understanding of their business structure and goals. Yes, but there is so much more to make for happy clients. This session, specifically targeted at agencies and consultants, will cover excellence in reporting, how to manage the client relationship, discovery of their strengths and weaknesses, and communication tools. The session will also provide insights on handling competition, major issues that arise with clients, lead generation, and how and when to fire a client.

Barbara Coll, CEO,

Joseph Beccalori, CEO, Interact Marketing
Rob Davis, Director of Analytics & Reporting, Satrix Solutions
Alexis Oliveira, CEO, Prediq Media

Breakout Session 3B: In-House
How to Get the Most out of your Agency
*In-House & Brand Marketers ONLY

Cristie Reed, Digital Marketing Strategist, FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters

Don DeVange, Principal & Co-Founder, D2 Creative, LLC
Miguel Salcido, CEO, Organic Media Group

Breakout Session 3C: Ecosystem
How Vendors and Partners can Most Effectively Serve Clients and Agencies
*Open to All Attendees

As digital marketing evolves, and tactics and expertise become more fragmented, the need for great communication and coordinated execution is more important than ever. This is especially true in search given the connections necessary to coordinate winning programs across a vast number of disciplines (strategy, technical search, media, content strategy, content marketing, technology, web development, customer experience, user experience, analytics, etc.) and roles (in-house, outsourced, platforms, suppliers, venues, etc).

In this session you’ll hear about experiences from the agency, media venue, and consulting sides, and hopefully you, in an open discussion about what a productive ecosystem can look like, preventing some of the conundrums we’ve all experienced. Please note we’ll have giveaways for conversation participants.


Mike Corak, VP / General Manager, DAC Group – Louisville


Lisa Raehsler, SEM Strategy Consultant, Big Click Co.
Carly Maverick, Sales Director, Bing, SouthWest Region, Microsoft

2:55 PM - 3:25 PM

Networking Break & Vendor Showcase

3:25 PM - 4:10 PM

Plenary Panel
Regional & International Implications for Search & Digital Marketing

Leveraging Search to reach overseas markets can be one of the most effective marketing tactics any business can leverage. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as just buying ads in search engines in local markets or launching a few pages in a local language and hoping they rank well.

This session will review the challenges and opportunities of international search with focus on fast growing markets in Latin America and China and top tips for capturing these growth opportunities successfully. Additionally, a discussion on how to minimize the most common mistakes to make your expansion easier to manage and generate more revenue.

Mike Grehan
, CMO, Acronym

Michael Xu, Co-President, Beijing Gridsum Technology Co., Ltd.
Alexandre KavinskiHead of Behavioral Marketing, Mirum
Bill Hunt, CEO, Back Azimuth Consulting

4:10 PM - 4:40 PM

Plenary Remarks
State of the Industry Summary &
Announcement of SEMPO Global Awards and SEMPO Cities Leadership Awards Recipients

Global Awards Logo

Michael Gullaksen, SEMPO President, summarizes the current industry status and emerging trends and changes. Following the address, the winners of the SEMPO Global Awards and the SEMPO Cities Leadership awards will be announced.

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Member Forum Reception &
2016 International Spotlight on China

Gridsum Logo

Join us on the Garden Terrace to reconnect with old colleagues and make new friends! As the focus point during our inaugural Member Forum reception, we will introduce the SEMPO International Spotlight, to be focused towards a different country or region each year. This year long time member Gridsum Technologies will present commendations to two enterprise organizations in China that have achieved a high performance level leveraging big data for digital marketing applications. Learn more about the Spotlight on China.

Friday, March 11

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Networking Breakfast & Vendor Showcase

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Plenary Panel
Where is the Marketing Dollar Most Effective: Paid, Owned or Earned?

This panel will touch on solving the needs and wants states for the consumer along the customer journey leveraging Bought, Owned and Earned media channels. We will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each of the media types. We will be covering more granular tactics within each channel like paid search, paid social, organic search and organic social and how to apply optimizations across these tactics for synergistic effects. The panel will discuss how user experience and conversion optimization plays a critically important role of getting the most out of these channels and how it underpins everything we do from a media and customer experience perspective.

Mike Gullaksen, Chief Operating Officer, iProspect

Tim Ash, CEO, SiteTuners
Richard Chavez, Senior Director, Piston Agency
Baltej Gill, VP of Digital Marketing, Hagadone Digital

9:50 AM - 10:40 AM

Breakout Session 4A: Agencies
Agencies Biggest Obstacles & Opportunities in 2016

Come learn about the challenges and opportunities facing agencies in the ever-evolving world of search engine marketing. We will discuss what agencies should be doing to thrive in today's marketplace, as well as how to avoid mistakes that could be detrimental to both clients and agencies alike.

Tony Wright, CEO & Founder, WrightIMC

Corey Morris, Director of Digital Strategy, ER Marketing
Chad Crowe, Partner and VP of Operations, Silkworm

Breakout Session 4B: In-House
Focus on international and Multinational Campaign Tactics

Michael Bonfils, Managing Director, SEM International

Lorraine Santiago, Senior Digital Marketing Manager, Standing Dog
Amanda Valle, US President & Chief Strategy Officer, Mavens of London

Breakout Session 4C: Ecosystem
Emerging Technology and Tactics in Industry in 2016 - Wearables, Mobile & More

In order to look ahead at the ecosystem through the lens of emerging technologies and search, we must first look back at the root motivations behind what search was truly founded on. Since its inception search has always been Intent Driven Marketing (IDM). Intent has traditionally been established via a search query. The paradigm of intent has now shifted with emerging technologies such as mobile and wearables in respect to establishing intent through non-query based executions. These ways will continue to open up opportunities for search marketers to reach consumers in more impactful and efficient way. Learn from a group of experts how mobile and wearables are changing the ecosystem and what opportunities will be created by bringing in intent data through location, movement and more.

Todd Ulise, Senior Director,

Ernesto Reyes, Online Acquisition Manager, Beachbody LLC
Courtney Herda, CEO, Smarter Searches

10:40 AM - 11:10 AM

Networking Break & Vendor Showcase

11:10 AM - 12:10 PM Plenary Panel
Culminating the Member Forum Q&A with Board, Education Committee & SEMPO Global Award Winners

Chris Boggs, Founder, Web Traffic Advisors

John Gagnon, Bing Ads Evangelist, Microsoft
Dave Tan, Director, Agency Development, Google, Inc. 

12:10 PM - 6:00 PM "On your Own" Networking Activities 1. Outdoor - Golf at either Coronado or Balboa Park; Hiking
2. Leisure - Wine Tour; Spa
3. Have a suggestion? We'd love to hear it! We're working on activities for SEMPO attendees to connect after the event concludes.

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