It was a crazy week last week. After I had flown to Iceland for RIMC and gotten back home I flew out again to Berlin where I was awarded with what I believe is the biggest honor award you can get in the search industry at the moment: European Search Personality of the Year!
This was going to be one of my shorter trips so I decided to take my car to the airport so I would be sure I would be able to get home quickly the day after because I had to pick the kids up from school. When I got to the airport however Schiphol had decided to close down the parking garages, which are closest to the airport without any warnings. I had to drive around for almost half an hour to end up parking in the furthest place you can imagine. I would have been better off taking the train.
Because of this I almost missed my flight. That turned out to be the only stress I had that day. It would only get better. Much better.
In Berlin I met up with old friends. When you travel to speak you meet up with some people at events. An awards ceremony always means there are many people there you know. It’s kind of like a reunion sometimes. Some people I hadn’t seen in a long time, so it was really good to catch up.
I catched up with people before, during and after dinner. After dinner the actual awards started. Linkdex was nominated for four different awards so we were excited to have a shot at winning one or more. Before the categories from Linkdex came up Lisa Myers, co-founder with me on State of Search, and her company VerveSearch had already won 3 awards (congratulations!) so the atmosphere in the room was good. I was asked to hand out an award as well and the evening reached a nice peak when Linkdex actually won the award for best innovation for the Entity Search tool.
It however wasn’t over yet. During the evening there had been some hints but when Jackie Hole got on stage and started to talk about the award for Search Personality she was going to hand out it became clear to me something special was about to happen. I was expecting someone else to win the award, but when Jackie talked about the fact that the person who won it was special for her because he had helped her and she would not have been on the stage without him I realized she was talking about me. And indeed then she mentioned my name:
I am the European Search Personality of the year!
It truly is great to receive an award like this. It is a huge recognition of all that I have been doing in the past few years, trying to educate the industry and getting it to the next level. For those not in the industry: you can compare it the winning best player of the year in Europe in sports, but then in the industry ;-).
On stage I told a story about how different people in the industry, starting with Collette and Dom had helped me when the site got hit about a year and a half ago and that Dom had said he helped me because of ‘Karma’. I truly believe that is what earned me this award as well. Giving makes that at one point you get as well. That also shows in tribute post the editorial team on State of Digital wrote for me.
When on stage I didn’t have time to thank all the people that made that I won this award and to be honest I was a bit overwhelmed so probably also forgot some names. So I would definitely want to name them again and some more here.
Starting of course with the editorial team of State of Digital, lead by the fantastic Sam Noble, with Barry Adams, Jo Turnbull, Russell O’Sullivan, Louis Venter, Jackie Hole and Arianne Donoghue. Lisa Myers, without whom it would have never happened if we hadn’t set up State of Search all those years ago. And of course the Linkdex team lead by my friend Matt Roberts with a huge role for Collette Easton. The marketing team there with Valbona, Pat, Matt and all the others. And then the industry friends. Too many to mention of course, but think about Roy (former co-host of the radio show), Paul Madden, Dom Hodgson, Gareth Hoyle, James Murray, Dave Naylor, from whom I learned so much, Kristjan Hauksson and so many others that I would have to mention names here forever. Of course also a big thank you to the organisers of the event Don’t Panic.
The most important thing is to realize that this award is one that shows that working together pays off. It’s the people that make the business, not the tools.
So thank you all for this fantastic award. I am hugely proud of it and will carry the title with honor!
Find below some more images of the evening, if you want to see more, the organisation has some here.