I always mean to do a huge, full write-up of ALL THINGS PUBCON after it is over, but never manage to. I am not sure if it is because the Vegas hangover lasts longer, or that I am done with it all after editing and going through what seems like a BAZILLION photos. (I have a problem.) I always think of all the amazing things I want to jot down and post about, but I never end up getting to it because I get overwhelmed by it all. Well, I am just going to do my best and highlight why the conference was awesome for me. Seriously, it was amazing—probably the best one I’ve been to in 10 years.
The Speakers Enclave: If you are Pubcon speaker—or if you ever get a chance to speak at Pubcon Vegas—make sure to attend this. This year, an attempt was made to not let it become a Google bash. (In years past it may or may not have been—I can’t confirm or deny that.) Hat tip to Simon and Kristopher for doing their best to keep the conversation and knowledge flowing. It is always great to hear others’ struggles and successes, and gauge where they are at with everything in our industry.
Mentorship/Leadership program: This year, Pubcon introduced a mentoring program (which I feel is so incredible), where they paired first-time Pubcon attendees with Pubcon veterans. The Vets introduced them to people, answered questions, and hung out with a lot of people they normally would have been too timid to hang out with or approach. The program was a stroke of genius—a huge success in my book. I got Eugene, who might be a Pubcon newb, but not an industry one; he has been doing this crap for over 10 years. He is a great guy, and hopefully I did well for him. His only flaw is he shoots with Nikon 🙂
Day One: Scott Stratten (UnMarketing) was INFREAKINGCREDIBLE, as always. I might be biased, but I think I got the best picture of Pubcon with this one below:
If you have never heard Scott speak, do yourself a favor and book a conference TODAY that he will be speaking at. Or better yet, wait for another Pubcon (since this is a Pubcon post haha), because I am sure he will be back at some point! He is inspiring, and he shared a wealth of common sense marketing and social media tips that we should all adhere to. The most powerful message is not always having to be first to post, or “The Race to be First” as he puts it.
Parties: So many parties. So many networking events. It all makes for very long days, but it’s well worth it. One of the things that I love about being in this industry for as long as I have is that every once in a while, amazing things just come together. For example, about a week or so before Pubcon, Dave Snyder and CopyPress decided to put together a dinner for the grumpy old people in SEO, and close to 100 people showed up. (Maybe? I am sure someone will correct me.) It was probably one of the most epic dinners I have ever been to during a Pubcon Vegas—and Dave pulled it off in a week. A. Week. Ya’ll. Show him some love—go buy an infographic from him or something…after you have bought one from us first, of course 🙂 Hey, we all gotta feed our kids, right?
My Sessions: Speaking of Dave Snyder, I started off Day 2 of Pubcon speaking with him on a Visual Content Marketing Panel. It went amazing. Our beards looked amazing and we had a packed room—which is what every speaker wants, right? In the past, I have spoken at conferences where I had spent months preparing content—and only 6 people were in the room. That is no bueno. If you want to see my deck from that session, here you go:
Onto the next session. Now this one was probably the best session I have ever been a part of—mainly because Dave Rohrer is a marketing genius. We planned for months to make this session awesome for everyone. I hope that came through in the session. Dave went beyond that. He brought the world of offline and online marketing together with a cutout of my beard. A CUTOUT OF MY BEARD, PEOPLE!!! Anything I say about it will not do it justice, so please just take a look at the pictures. The @SiltalasBeard Twitter account was having the best day of its life, I think! By the way—I have ZERO access to that account. If you don’t already know who runs it, just ask me. It’s a close friend, and it’s all fun and games!
As a speaker, one of the most gratifying things is when someone comes up and tells you, “That was THE BEST session of Pubcon for me.” I had several people come up and tell me that. That is truly humbling for me, because I know MANY of the other speakers. They are great friends—and a HECK of a lot better at this than me, so I don’t take those compliments lightly. Dave and I prepared and prepared for that session, and I think it paid off in the end. (Oh, and did I mention it was a sweet “Stranger Things” themed deck?)
I finished the day doing a pretty fun SEO site review panel, and sat at a Pubcon Labs table.
US Search Awards: Nicole and I repped for Avalaunch Media.
We were up for several awards, but sadly we did not win anything (There’s always next year!) But if we had to lose, I am HAPPY to lose to my friends at Aimclear (which is exactly who we DID lose to). They are an amazing group of friends, and people I consider instrumental in helping me and Avalaunch get to where we are today. Marty, I love you man!
I was also very happy that Brett Tabke received the lifetime achievement award. This is the perfect person for this award to be given to. I think a lot of us owe our careers to this man; I know I do, in so many ways. I will forever be grateful for Brett’s friendship, and am so happy for him, his wife, and his amazing family to be recognized for their hard work.
Last Day: I took a crap ton of pictures, had fun hanging out with other speakers, took more pictures, and wrapped it up with another networking party.
Bottom line: If you are on the fence about attending a Pubcon, or if your boss only gives you budget for ONE conference a year, THIS SHOULD BE IT. From the session content and networking events to the programs and people who attend (BECAUSE IT’S VEGAS), you won’t regret it. Anyway, I enjoyed this year so much. I need to give a special shoutout to Melissa Fach—what an amazing job she does with the Pubcon community, right?? She goes non-stop, and her husband gives his own time and goes non-stop as well to make sure all is flawless. The entire Pubcon team is amazing. I know each one of them, and am grateful for them all.
There was so much more that went on—and so much more that I want to write about—but if I wait until all stars are in alignment, nothing would be posted. So for now, this will have to do! So share some fun and memories—and hopefully encourage anyone that has not gone to a Pubcon to get out to one eventually!
See you at the next one?