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No. 593
January 8th, 2010

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Announcing Local University: First Stop–Spokane!

Back in 2008, when Pat Sexton and I were brainstorming the ideas that would eventually turn into, one of our very first long-term goals was to put together a low-cost seminar series that would introduce business owners to the world of online marketing.  It pleases us greatly to announce a major step towards that goal: the very first Local University event in Spokane, WA on February 4th.

Part of our goal with Local University is to focus on cities, that to use Pat’s words–“don’t get the attention they deserve”–communities that have been at least partly left behind by the tech explosion but are hungry to catch up with the San Franciscos, New Yorks, and Seattles.  Spokane seems like a terrific place to start.

The event will bring together some of the top minds in the local search space–Mike Blumenthal, Matt McGee, Mary Bowling, and Ed Reese, along with yours truly to give what we hope will be an informative four-hour crash course in the basics of internet marketing–and especially Local Search.  It’s largely going to be a beginners’ event that is definitely intended for business owners–so most readers of this blog probably wouldn’t get much out of it, but if you’ve got a client in Eastern Washington whom you think would benefit from an intro to search, we’d love to see them there! If there are businesses you know that would benefit from attending, feel free to give them coupon code “mihm2010” & they can attend for $79.

Although we’re running this event on a bootstrap basis–though we are hoping to reimburse ourselves for flight and hotel costs–we’re also VERY excited that Google has agreed to partially sponsor it to help us cover these costs as well as the event space rental.  LBC representatives Ryan Hayward and Ari Bezman will both be speaking and walking business owners through some of the basics of how to use the LBC.

Thanks to ALL of the presenters for coming together on this event, and especially Ed Reese – Spokane Internet marketer for his work in putting together all the pieces “on the ground” as it were, in Spokane.

  • David & all,

    This is an excellent initiative to engage SMB’s and create buzz by market–I hope to see an expanded list of cities across the US.

    2010 is going to be a great year for local and your efforts will expedite the adoption of online marketing channels among small business.

  • I’m pretty sure I am coming to meet everyone. Just have to decide wether I am driving with a good book on tape, or flying with a good movie rental. I think Boise should definitely make the list for future cities some time down the road. I would be willing to do the trench work for sure.

  • Great idea and the line up looks fantastic!

    I learn something every time I listen to smart people talk. Don’t skip San Francisco.

  • Hi David,
    Congrats on launching these events. I’m looking forward to following the commentary and hopefully being able to contribute virtually.

    Any thoughts on assembling your “dream team” to do a similar clinic for businesses with multiple retail locations?

  • Thanks for stopping by, everyone.

    – Tom, thanks for your follow-up piece on it as well.
    – Mike, hope you can make it.
    – Ted, I doubt we would do San Francisco proper, since there are a ton of tech events there & it’s a little larger city than we’d want to try to tackle. But somewhere like Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Stockton, are probably possibilities.
    – Lulu, we probably *could* do that but I am not sure we’d be able to get as many attendees… you might actually be better off proposing that as a panel for an SMX or SES event–there would probably be plenty of interest.

  • Hello again David…

    While Spokane is a city I just can’t find the time to get to with this short notice…if you plan to roll-out these sessions somewhere closer, like maybe in NY and let Mike host same, then I’d be there not a problem!

    Ah…beautiful Buffalo with their famous wings and RollingRocks! wOOt!



  • Thanks for doing something like this right in my city! I’ll be there. Looking forward to it.

    Director of Communications and Public Affairs
    Washington State University Spokane

  • Hey Barb, looking forward to meeting you there!

  • Sounds interesting although getting there from Australia is an issue. Seems like the quicker you learn something in this space the faster it changes. Is there a book that you would recommend?

  • David: I was bummed that I missed it. Hopefully you guys will be in Southern California sometime soon. I will be there for sure. As an active participant in helping small businesses to leverage the local internet advice from the people that put on the show would be very helpful.

    Keep up the good work. I love your local Ecosystem “map”.

    Todd Bryson
    B2 Digital Media

  • David, any plans of one in California ?

  • Hopefully someday soon you will come to Cincinnati? Events like this never seem to happen here. Occasionally we get the “Buy my book and it tells you everything” scammers but no one who really wants to help our local businesses.

  • I’m ecstatic to attend the class in Cleveland this week. Small business owners need affordable options for expanding their online presence instead of SEO experts charging premium (and frequently excessive) pricing. Anxious to learn how I can provide more for my small business owner clients who don’t have time to learn this on their own. (and thanks for the coupon code)