I'll let Barry explain in his own words but from me a simple congratulations and well done to the SMA team.
The Search Marketing Association – UK is to be officially formed!
We gave ourselves 6 months to achieve the necessary level of interest required to properly form a registered Trade Association and, thanks to the applicants, have reached our target within 4 months!
At a meeting of the Steering Committee held on 15th February it was decided that we should formally proceed with the formation of SMA-UK as an official body.
Now we are officially forming, all Steering Committee members are standing down and elections to the SMA-UK Committee have to take place from the membership. So, I’m delighted to say this is my last message to you as Acting President of the association!
If you haven’t joined yet but keep meaning to do it, please do so soon. Your vote (and participation) is important.
The timetable for elections is as follows:
Nominations for being on the committee must be in by March 31st, 2005. Members can nominate individuals they would like to see on the committee or, of course, nominate themselves.
By April 18th candidates and their biographies plus balloting details will be published online.
On May 2nd the ballot will be closed. The vote will be by single transferable vote administered by the Electoral Reform Society who will give the results by May 9th. At the same time as the 8 committee members are announced a further ballot paper for the positions of President and Vice-President will be published from those committee members willing to go forward for these posi tions. This vote will be completed by 20th May and will be on a “first past the post” voting system with the person with the most votes becoming President and the runner-up Vice President.
The results will be announced at the meeting we plan to have at Search Engine Strategies in London at the beginning of June.
Prior to that meeting we will be:
Ensuring the website has the latest developments published!
Officially registering our trade association with the relevant authorities.
Getting quotations for hiring a professional (part-time initially) Director General familiar with the administration of trade associations for the new Committee to consider.
Continue discussions (which have already commenced) with the British Standards Institute (BSI) on defining professional standards which will be internationally recognised, to be applied to our industry subject to membership approval. The BSI have already provisionally agreed to attend our first meeting to get feedback from members on how (and if) we should proceed with defining standards.
Start development of the SMA-UK website to include information for both members and non-members on search marketing related resources and statistics relevant to the UK search marketing community and those interested in using the medium of search marketing. We would like to form a sub-group to assist in content development and, if you would be interested, then please join SMA-UK and help the development.
Ammon is also working on developing training and we will be announcing further working groups in different areas on the SMA-UK website which you may find of some interest. Similarly, if you would like to see concentration in a specific areas (affiliate marketing and PPC are areas that spring to mind) then members are able to put these ideas forward.
At last, our Association is being formed. Over the past few months SMA organisations modelled on our UK format have started development in Europe, North America, Latin America, Japan and Australasia!
We hope that we can continue to lead the way in showing how a truly representative organisation can benefit its members and the buying public who are now considering search marketing as an ever more important media buy.
With that over, I can formally start bowing out as Acting President. I look forward to handing over to someone the members have chosen, democratically, and sitting comfortably at the back of the room – out of the 'hot seat'!