Pubcon was really great. I got a lot more value from it than I thought I would not to mention winning the cost of the trip a few times over at the Wynn. Unlike previous conference recaps I have done, I’ll keep this as short as possible. It should be noted that this is more of a “link love” post than a professional editorial.
The evening we arrived was relatively quiet. The whole journey there was long and tiresome. Myself and SEO Richard checked into the Las Vegas Hilton where the average guest age was ~75 years old. We ate and headed to the Wynn bar early where we met Stephanie and Eric for some early drinks. Stephanie is a very smart girl and I think she would make an excellent blackhat ;) Met lots of others the first night but decided to head to bed at about 2am to prepare for the coming week.
PubCon Day 1)
First day of PubCon was pretty good. The sessions were high level enough to keep interest. The one thing that I noticed was that while the sessions were good, considering the relatively high level of knowledge of most of the attendees, the sessions would be more suited to junior SEOs or regular marketers moving into the search field. With that said, I really enjoyed the Social Marketing 101 session with Rand Fishkin, Neil Patel, Michael Gray, Cameron Olthuis. Neil’s presentation was simple, funny and I will be stealing some of his techniques. The quality score session was also great even though there was at least one very rude person in the audience. The guys at efrontier really know their quality score too. Looks like MSN are also going to be getting pretty transparent with their QS factors. That night, I played Poker at the Wynn for the rest of the evening. Thanks to Richard Kershaw for introducing me to the biscuit beer.
PubCon Day 2)
Day two of PubCon was decent too even though I only attended one session, SEO and Big Search. Maile Ohye from Google got a pretty hard time in the Q&A (and rightly so) about international targeting and the right way to go about it with Google. As usual, no definitive answer was given.
That evening was absolutely fantastic. The “meet the Google Engineers” was a little weird but I finally got to meet up with Glenn “Don Juan” Reeves, Adam “I’m an entertaina” Green and Chris “I’m the brains behind the operations” Kata. These guys really know their stuff and it was a pleasure spending the rest of PubCon with them. Also got to meet the guys from the Rubicon project who were just plain nice. Thank for the invite to the party guy, sorry I didn’t make it… you can blame Tim Mayer!
Next up was the fantastic SEOmoz werewolf game. This was incredibly valuable and I got to meet, and kill the lovely girls Carrie and Mary from Blizzard Internet Marketing. Also got to “win” with the most talented black hats of them all, Tim Dineen (The irony here is that Tim is as white hat as they come). Sorry Michael for accusing you, all is fair in love and war ;) Made the “winners” table where I got accused and killed by Rhea “turncoat” Drysdale. Until next time my worthy advisary. Thanks to Andy for the image.
Back at the Wynn bar I finally got to meet Lisa “sevens” Ditlefsen who I have to say is probably the nicest person I have ever met in the search marketing world. Also got to meet Rob “I’m a dodgy geezer” Kerry. Don’t forget our deal Rob! I also had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Jane Copland, Ciaran, Stephen, Gareth Cheryl and Nicola and the other fantastic search marketers from the UK. (Thanks for picking the scarf Ciaran, your fashion sense is questionably above par).
PubCon Day 3)
Day three of PubCon I only attended the “tools of the trade” session and went back to bed.
The PurposeINC charity poker event. This was an absolutely brilliant event and was great for networking. Unfortunately, many players had never played poker before and I was knocked out with 3 tables remaining. (Who calls an all in with an 89 off suit?!!!). Dave Klein, you did a really great job. It was a pleasure meeting you and your lovely wife. By the way,my back is still in bits! Congratulations to Dan who won the tournament.
That night I had the pleasure of meeting Todd “it seemed like a good idea at the time” Malicoat, (what’s talked about in Vegas, stays in Vegas) Dave, and Lauren “twelves” Vaccarello as well as Mr Disco and Stephen. Pleasure meeting with you guys and Happy birthday CK. Clubbing in tangerine and less than healthy breakfasts are the future of PubCon. Thanks Todd for picking up the tab.
PubCon Day 4)
After two hours of taxis around Vegas, I finally found the PubCon networking event. I stayed for about 20 mins, said my teary goodbye to Richard Hearne, finally got to meet Julie and went for Dinner with Anita and Andre and Mike from WordTracker. It was a pleasure sharing sushi with you guys. Anita, you are one of the smartest people I have ever met. Rob and Lisa, next time, be a little more “European” and stay awake.
That night, myself, Mike and Andre played more poker at the Wynn. I won $4150 (on a 1-3 table!) and cashed out. Unfortunately all first class seats home were taken but at least the cost of trip was more than covered.
All in all, I had a really amazing time. It was fantastic to be able to “talk shop” while in a social environment. Getting so many search marketers together in a city like Vegas is sure to be fun, whatever way you look at it. While I do not think I would pay for a conference pass the next time, I will without a doubt be attending the next PubCon. I had a really great time and I want to thank everyone who made it so. Sorry if I missed anyone.
Normal (useful) posting will resume shortly.