Baltimore SEO Meetup Last Night

September 24, 2008

“Meet the Baltimore Internet Marketers” was the theme of last night’s Meetup event held at the ETC in Canton, thanks the kind donation of space from R2i (thanks Page!).

This is the first event I’ve organized in roughly six months for this group, which was way overdue (I’ve been busy) but better late than never, right? Anyhow, we should get that back on track now.

We had a great turnout. I didn’t count exactly, but we were in the 25 to 30 attendee range. I think it was 3 ladies and the rest were a bunch of scruffly guys (myself included)… which was actually more gender-diverse than previous meetups. Poor Lori and Kathleen.

10 attendees kindly rated the event as a 4.8 out of 5, which is pretty cool. I also got a few emails saying all had a positive experience and the comments on the MySpace page seem very positive too. Its nice to see that sort of thing, as when I plan these I really have no idea what the turnout will be, the response, etc.

Some of the other local Baltimore SEO people in attendance were Joe and Adam, Matt Moran, Kevin Doory, Nirav Vakil, Danny Taylor, Mike Calabrese & Mike P from Groove Commerce, Craig Spurrier, Robert Carter and a decent number of others whose URLs don’t instantly come to mind. Oh yeah George Murphy has a nice writeup on the event too (update: as does Chris M.). Obviously I was there too, representing my Baltimore SEO Firm and other ventures. Probably 80% of the group was comprised of people who were into SEO on a full-time basis (or close to it), and the other 20% were local Baltimore-area designers, developers, internet marketers, etc. Shoot, we even had a PhD student studying information architecture. What a useful academic area as it relates to SEO!

Some people came to learn, to network, to scope out the competition, etc. Shoot some came to challenge others to see how they can rank for “Baltimore SEO” in Google. Last check the Meetup page rocked that keyword, though I’m in second 🙂

At the end of the night I think many new friends were made, as well as great connections.

Anyhow we stole the idea from the Charlotte Group (thanks guys) and it worked out very nicely. Basically everyone took 2-5 minutes to provide a bit of an extended introduction, and we mixed in a few questions and discussion items and after two hours everyone in the room now knew 30 other local SEO people in the Baltimore area. After that we headed down to the Austin Grill for drinks and discussion and most people stayed there another hour or two or so. I didn’t get on the road until about 11:15pm, which didn’t make the wife too terribly happy… but she’s understanding (I love you honey!).

12 Responses to “Baltimore SEO Meetup Last Night”

  1. Great times, and was awesome meeting everyone. Maybe next time we can have the same people with a round table discussion?

  2. Corey Creed Says:

    Glad to hear it went well for you. I’m still working on editing the video for the Charlotte one we held the other month. is pretty amazing, isn’t it?

  3. Page Sands Says:

    Thanks again for hosting the event, John. Maybe next time we can break out into smaller groups and discuss particular topics. For example, lead gen, analytics, link building, etc.


  4. jonpayne Says:

    @George – good idea… just want to cap it a bit though. One time we tried having a conversation with 15 people and it was tough! Definitely want future events to be more discussion though whereas this one was more introductions and networking. Thanks again for the write-up.

    @Corey – yeah Meetup is a great service. Helps ensure some of us computer geeks get a little fresh air every now and again. I get so excited talking about SEO while having a brewski… well… its scary.

    @Page – my pleasure, thanks for providing the space and covering for me running a bit late (normal for me). Would you prefer to discuss many topics next meeting in groups or pick one topic for that night and then rotate each month?

  5. Chris Says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was great to be in the same room with so much brainpower. Can’t wait to do it again.

  6. Page Sands Says:

    Before the meetup starts, members would signup on a whiteboard (or wiki) and put forward a topic. As people arrive, they add their name to the topic they want to talk about.

    You could probably split the meetup into two acts so each member could participate in at least two discussions during the night.

  7. A big thank you to Jon and r2i for the meetup. Also to anyone that allowed me to pick their brain as well. I’ll be sure to be at the next event.

    I agree that setting up a vote or wiki before next one to discuss potential topics sounds like a great idea. See you all soon.

  8. Kevin Says:

    Thanks for setting this up Jon, good work. I like both Page’s suggestion here and Lori’s from last night. We have done the introductions and now we should move to topics.
    Page’s idea sound like mini seminars, which is cool because people can find one or two topics they want to discuss. That way everyone finds something interesting.

    Please apologize to your wife for me, for your late departure last night.

  9. Joe Says:

    Great meetup Thanks for everything Jon

  10. Jon,
    The format was spot on. Great location. Fun group. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to set it up.

  11. Barry Says:

    Jon and Everybody,

    Nice meeting you all. Looking forward to future meetings.


  12. […] SEO Meetup in Baltimore Hey I just posted about an SEO Meetup we had last night in Baltimore for, well, the Baltimore SEO Meetup Group. The event was titled “Baltimore SEO Meetup: Meet the Baltimore Internet Marketers“. […]

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