By now SEMpdx’s Rooftop Networking Party has built enough of a reputation for a periphery blog post about it…so here goes:

Top 12 Tips for a Successful SEMpdx Rooftop Networking Party:

1. Go to the Right Rooftop

2013 SEMpdx Rooftop-overview crowd

photo courtesy of Eye of Odin

This is the six annual rooftop party, but the second venue. Be sure to head to the Embassy Suite downtown and join us on their garage (across the street from the hotel entrance). The first four rooftop parties were held just west of downtown on the roof at Hotel DeLuxe. If you are curious why we moved the party, here are a few of the reasons:

  1. Capacity – we needed more room!
  2. Drink lines – we tried to figure out a way to shorten them…we did.
  3. Downtown is where the happenings are, just ask Bruce Sussman:

2. Dress Your Best

If you are going to wear a company shirt, may I suggest pairing it with a sport coat, Don Johnson style. Remember it could be hot…are you a graphic t-shirt guy, a Hawaiian shirt aficionado, always wear a plaid shirt (as Scott Hendison says I always do) or sun dress wearer? Regardless you may want to keep the following in mind:

  1. It will likely be pretty warm. You may look good in black, but do you also look good in red (think sunburn).
  2. You still have time to find the perfect sunglasses and/or sun hat (or SEMpdx Trucker Hat like David Mihm).
  3. SEMpdx Rooftop 2013 ladies fashion

    photo courtesy of Eye of Odin

    Look your best! This event has been featured on KGW’s Live @7 several times. You never know, you might get on TV, so you’d better dress to impress!

3. Don’t Expect a Band

We had a band one year (2010 I believe), it was a great band (Donerail…well maybe not that great since they are no longer) featuring search marketing industry players…however, we learned this event is about the people attending and went back to a background DJ. We still keep the music in the marketing family with Jonas Healy providing the groove that last three years!

4. It is NOT a Dinner Party

Yes, there will be food and yes you can make dinner out of the food that is provided…however at $20, including drinks (at least two depending on what you are drinking), don’t expect a five course dinner. Make friends and go to dinner with them afterward. Heck, use Yelp Portland to find a space, they are sponsoring this year!

5. If You Need a Job, Get a Job!

Several job seekers have landed careers (not just jobs) at the Rooftop Networking Party. One of them, Robert Frost, just joined the SEMpdx Board of Directors. He got his job at EngineWorks (which was then acquired by ethology, who has sponsored the event each year in some capacity) as a direct result of meeting people at this event. Say hi to Robert (see #9 below), I doubt he’s missed a Rooftop since. Agencies (as well as in-house positions) are hiring. Also, Mac’s List is a sponsor too, be sure to check out their listings too.

6. Bring Your Business Cards

SEMpdx Rooftop 2013 biz card

photo courtesy of Eye of Odin

They may be passé, buy you can win prizes! Even though many digital marketers are so over business cards, bring em! You will want to drop them in the bowl for a chance to win a variety of prizes from the party sponsors (including a ticket to 2015 SearchFest) and many owners/managers expect you to still have one (see #5 above).

7. Take the Stairs?

Will you get stuck in the elevator? Probably not. Do you want to get stuck in the elevator? Probably not. However, if you want to take the risk it would be fun anyway, just take event sponsor Webfor‘s word for it: Stuck In An Elevator And Other Adventures In Team Building.

8. Do Expect Good Beer

Ben and Kent on the Roof

Ben Lloyd & Kent Schnepp enjoy the 2012 Rooftop Networking Party

We are in Oregon, we have to have good beer. Last year Migration Brewing was our beer sponsor. This year The Growler Guys will be bringing the craft brews. Keep a look out on SEMpdx’s Facebook page for announcement of what will be on-tap.

9. Buddy Up with SEMpdx Board (they always have extra drink tickets)


SEMpdx 2013/14 Board of Directors

It’s a friendly group and they would love to tell you about SEMpdx and the monthly educational events we host, and SearchFest, and our Charity of Choice program…the best late night happy hours places near by…but maybe more importantly, they tend to always have extra drink tickets.

10. Support the Sponsors

Seriously, it is $20 (unless you foolishly wait), we wouldn’t be able to have ticket prices this low without sponsors. They also kick in great door prizes, provide some shade with their tents and have great products and services. That one extra sale or ‘thank you’ from an attendee may make the difference to sponsor again. This year Moz has stepped up the be the presenting sponsor, The Growler Guys is bringing the beer, Oregonian Media Group, PSU CEPE, AMA PDX, Webfor, ethology, Yelp Portland, Portland Business Alliance, OCIABC, Mac’s List and OMPA are all sponsoring.

11. Learn Who the Charity Is

10% of all proceeds from SEMpdx events go to our Charity of Choice. We have had some worthy partners over the years and the Rooftop Networking Party has been a nice venue to get them some exposure and do even more good. Specifically, we’ve helped raffle of a Mini for the Children’s Cancer Association and collected 100’s of winter coats for the Portland Police Sunshine Division.

12. Get Your Tickets Early

So what are you waiting for? Even though event capacity is up, the party is sure to sell-out. Plus ticket prices go up next week on August 7th.

I hope to see you all there in 2014 and years to come!

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Mike Rosenberg
CEO at Veracity
Mike Rosenberg is CEO at Veracity. He brings experience and passion from two distinct, yet similar, career paths in sports business marketing and online marketing. Mike shares his marketing expertise as an Advisory Board Member and Past President of SEMpdx, a professional business organization for the digital marketing industry.