The emails went out last night stating that the PPC Summit scheduled for next week in Vancouver has been canceled due to lack of commitment from vendors. Having just returned from the highly successful Search Engine Strategies conference in New York, the cancellation of PPC Summit came as a shock and a disappointment. Metamend had planned to send a small delegation to Vancouver to learn in the sessions, help the hosts with our local knowledge and contacts and to network with other search marketers.
I am especially disappointed because our new Pay-per-Click guru, Mark Johnstone was going to attend and I wanted to introduce him to some of the people who run the paid-advertising networks at Google, Yahoo and MSN. I was looking forward to listening in on the conversations and questions Mark would engage in and ask.
The cancellation of the PPC Summit demonstrates how difficult it can be to organize international events in a Canadian venue. Though Vancouver is situated on the border, scant minutes north of the 49th parallel, it is in a different country than the predominantly US based conference circuit. That makes a difference as the vendors and many attendees question the quality of the market north of the border.
Here is a gentle illustration of the Canadian market. Imagine if your business chose to forgo marketing to the entire state of California. With a population of 32-million consumers, California is one of the most important marketplaces in the Union. It would be economic foolishness to pass up such an important region. Canada has 36-million people, most of which live within 280KM (200mi) of the US border. The economy north of the border is not in recession and consumer confidence continues to expand.
Though Canadian businesses tend to be more conservative than our American counterparts, when we commit to an action plan, we tend to hold with it for the long-run. Canadian businesses are traditionally difficult to market to but delightful to work with.
Unfortunately, attendees and vendors who would have made the trip won’t learn that next week. There are two upcoming PPC Summits in North America, one scheduled in San Francisco for May 19, the other in Los Angeles on September 25. Best of luck to the organizers for those shows. Pity about the Vancouver one.