SMA-UK is moving ahead with becoming a formal organization, complete with an elected board. The group for UK search marketers began organizing last October, gained half the members deemed needed to formalize in January, then its steering committee decided on Feb. 15 that it should go forward with registration as a trade association.
The existing steering committee members are stepping down, with nominations now open for a formal committee that will be elected by the membership. More news directly from SMA-UK in this announcement.
The group has a timeline up outlining next steps. Nominations are open through March 31. Elections will have been held and members announced by May 9. A second election will then be held so members can select a president and vice-president from among the committee. The group's inaugural meeting will be held on June 1 or 2, coinciding with Search Engine Strategies London. The president and vice-president will be announced then.
Yes, you can nominate yourself -- or anyone else who is a member. A membership form outlines various levels and costs. A new member directory lists the 35 members registered to date. That's less than the 75 individual members the group said were needed when its information pack was released in November. It's also less than the 50 members the group said were needed in an interest list mailing done last month.
My assumption is that the group assumes additional needed members will be signed up by the time of the first meeting. I'm checking on this and will post back here when I know.
Postscript: SMA-UK says that the membership list doesn't include additional individuals covered by corporate memberships -- and the higher fees that corporate memberships contribute to the organization. A small number of members also wish not to be listed. All told, membership fees received currently equals that of 68 members, just below the initial 75 member mark the group originally aimed at.
"Given that we are well over our financial targets, without needing any sponsors or associate members, and people were urging us to start, we decided to launch the ship," said acting president Barry Lloyd.
Also see UK SEM Group Gears Up for Elections for more details on the formalization of SMA-UK.
As a reminder, the related SMA-NA association for North American search marketers recently opened its own web site, with a discussion area, details of membership types and info on a planned first organizational meeting and membership drive for March 2, coinciding with Search Engine Strategies New York. Discussion of SMA-NA's new site can be found in this forum thread: SMA-NA Website is now LIVE!
Also meeting at SES NY will be SEMPO, on Feb. 28, from 5:45-7:00pm. It's an open meeting for anyone, with more details here. Voting for that group's election for a new board of directors has been completed, and I'm checking on when the winners will be announced.Postscript: See New SEMPO Board To Be Announced Soon for more details on the announcement.