Online Marketing Blog

Fear And Loathing At PubCon Las Vegas

On Monday morning, myself and Richard Hearne are heading off to the online marketing convention, Pubcon, in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, this happens at the exact same time as the Paddys Valley trip to Silicon Valley and I had to debate with myself over the past few months which one to attend. It was not an easy choice but in the end, Vegas won. Paddys Valley will, no doubt, be the event of a lifetime but as anyone that is in the digital marketing industry in Europe knows, PubCon is renowned as the ultimate search marketing event and must attend for every digital marketing agency. Here is why and what I am looking forward to…

RedFly PubconThe first reason I chose PubCon was… well, because it’s happening in Las Vegas. If you have never been to Vegas before, it is one really fun place to be. Even if it is for “work”. Vegas is as cheesy and tacky as it is portrayed on television and as long as you accept that, there is fun to be had. Vegas is also quite hot, even at this time of the year and coming from Ireland, this will be a welcome change!

The second reason is that there will be literally thousands of SEOs, affiliate marketers, many an online marketing agency, bloggers, merchants and PPC management companies there. It can be very difficult to “talk shop” in a social environment especially in Ireland as there are so few actually in the industry at the moment due to its relative youth. When you go out with your colleagues on a work night out it’s fun to moan about management, the direction of the company and your competitors and your industry in general. Unfortunately, we cannot. Attending an event like PubCon will let us vent to others in the industry and maybe be vented about!

The final reason I am attending a convention so far from home is of course the networking I would like to do. Being from Ireland, there are countless people in the industry I have been in communication with, in some cases for years, that I have never met or even spoken to. This is the best opportunity.

There are lost of events happening over the week but I am really looking forward to the following in particular:

Purposeinc The SEO charity poker tournament is being held in the Venetian hotel. The event is for a worthy cause and will be a great way to network in a not so “here’s my business card, let me give you my elevator pitch” way. Some pretty big players in the industry will be at this event but just because they are smart marketers, does not mean they know the difference between pot odds and implied odds! My hat goes off to DK over at PurposeINC for going through all the effort of organizing this event. I am really looking forward to this as I played in the Venetian the last time I was there and it is an incredible venue. While I do have a fondness for playing the odd bit of poker and I do plan on entering the IPC after Christmas, I think I am up against some stiff competition.

If anyone going would like to sign up for the charity event, you can do so here. If anyone would like to win their entry, SEOISH is running a competition here. I am very much looking forward to playing on the same table as Mr. & Mrs Rhea Drysdale, Neil, and Vanessa. Best of luck to you all!

SEOmoz PubConThe SEOmoz Werewolf Search Spam game. The guys over at SEOmoz are holding a “search marketing” themed version of the very social game “werewolf” we all might have played as kids. This is some pretty great linkbait and will introduce a lot more people to each other than a few drinks at the bar ever could. The game itself is a form of warewolf substituting marketer roles and spammer roles for ware wolves and villagers. The messers (Do those in the US use that word?) over at SEOmoz are known for being fun, social and pulling stunts all the time. This one should be full of surprises.

We have already signed up for the event and should whatever team I am on win, I will be signing up for an SEOmoz premium membership.

We will be staying at the Las Vegas Hilton as the official conference hotel was completely booked out. To those PubCon attendees staying at the Hilton, please feel free to say hello. The first drink at the hotel bar is on me.

Finally, I would like to thank The best hosting company in Ireland for making some pretty amazing special arrangements for us when we are over there. Let’s just say I was not expecting any VIP treatment or private party invites at my first PubCon. The Thai lunch is on me!

See you in Vegas!

  1. Alan M Says:
    November 30th, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    WOW, looks like it’s going to be a really great event Dave. Make sure you get at least SOME work done!

  2. Purposeinc Says:
    November 30th, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    Thanks for promoting the tournament! It should be way too much fun!


  3. Stephanie Says:
    November 30th, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    ….and the 2nd drink is on me!

  4. Dave Davis Says:
    November 30th, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    @ Alan: I will certainly try my best!

    @ DK, no problem, the more the merrier! Really looking forward to it. You have done a wonderful thing. For your peers AND for the charities.

    @Stephanie, that Hilton list was for you. :)Compiled it from the facebook group, Matt Cutts blog post and SEOmoz. So if you get lonely you have a few people to contact. I got tickets to Spamalot too on the Monday night from Joe.

  5. Stephanie Says:
    November 30th, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    Dave thank you so much! How helpful.

    I guess I will see you Monday night!

    I have a horrible sense of direction, lets go pick up the tickets together!

  6. Dave Davis Says:
    November 30th, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    No problem at all. Have you been to Vegas before? I’ve only been once before but it’s not difficult to get around. Once you’re inside the hotels/casinos things get a little confusing.

    I get in from a 12 hour flight at about 4PM so I’ll probably have to get an hour in.

  7. Quality Nonsense Says:
    December 1st, 2007 at 12:19 pm

    There’s a meetup at the Venetian on the Monday night c/o one of the Facebook PubCon groups on the Monday night. Details copied below:

    “Many of you have expressed interest in doing dinner/drinks during the evening of Monday December 3. With a few exceptions, most of us seem to be arriving late afternoon that day. So, I’m going to throw out the Grand Lux Cafe as a suggestion for 6:30 PM that evening. I choose the Grand Lux for its central location at the Venetian, it’s rather cosmopolitan menu, its relatively low price by Vegas standards and of course its full service bar. I’ve eaten there twice and enjoyed the experience both times.

    Of course, I’m also open to suggestions, but every discussion must begin somewhere. The Venetian is also a little less than 3/4 of a mile from the Wynn. So afterwards, we have the easy option of walking over to the bars at the Wynn where we’re sure to find other Pubcon revelers.”

  8. Dave Davis Says:
    December 1st, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    Thanks for that Richard. I cannot find the event in the facebook group though :(

    Got tickets for Spamalot that night too so don’t know if I can make it.What time do you get in? Are we on the same flight?

  9. Purposeinc Says:
    December 2nd, 2007 at 9:14 am

    The Poker Tournament sold out last night. I was just able to release some more seats. No promises of how long they will last. Dave, I look forward to meeting you at the tournament. Your accent will add the correct Irish, double agent, James Bond feel to the tournament.

  10. Dave Davis Says:
    December 2nd, 2007 at 11:50 am

    That’s fantastic David! How many players are there in total now? How many additional seats were made available? Is it a freezeout? How many places are paid?

  11. Quality Nonsense Says:
    December 2nd, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    It’s the unofficial Facebook PubCon group. No idea how many people are going – only a dozen or so, I think.

    I’m on the 10.45am flight Gatwick to Vegas… think I get in at half one.

  12. Dave Davis Says:
    December 2nd, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    Ahh, right so we’re not on the same flight. We’re going through Chicago. My cell phone number should be in the sig in the mail I sent you if you want to get in touch when there.

  13. Purposeinc Says:
    December 2nd, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    I have a few more to enter, and then we are just over 50 I believe. The exact number of spots that will be paid out, and their amount will be determined by the final number who are playing.

    I will sit down with the Venetian Tournament Manager next week to make the final decision.


  14. Dave Davis Says:
    December 2nd, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    Thanks David. Much appreciated. If I don’t see you during the week, I’ll see you at the final table ;)

  15. Matt Says:
    December 3rd, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    I would have chose Vegas as well, never been there though ;)…looks like a great chance to hear some great minds and network..too bad im stuck in NJ ;p

  16. Diane Voisley Says:
    December 6th, 2007 at 3:00 am

    No limit hold’ em tournament at the Venetian, wish I could be there, play your draws aggressively Dave!

  17. Gab Goldenberg Says:
    December 6th, 2007 at 5:35 am

    Wish I could go! It looks like the conference is turning out awesome from the coverage and I keep finding myself at this blog, so I think it woulda been great to get to know you! En tout cas… Let’s see some live coverage Dave!

  18. Carrie Hill Says:
    December 10th, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    Hey Dave – it was great playing a bit of SearchSpam with you and thanks for the linky-goodness to ;)

  19. Leslie Gilmour Says:
    December 11th, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    I suffer from envy at this point. Enjoy.

  20. Andre Chaperon Says:
    December 11th, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    Hey Dave – how did you end up doing at the poker table at the Wynn? You had missed your plane the last time we spoke. lol

    It was great meeting ya!


    PS – I finished $174 up. ;-)

  21. John Ring Says:
    December 11th, 2007 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Dave. Just spotted now that you went to pubcon last week. Me too. Would have been good to meet up for a pint. Shame the open bar only lasted 2.5 hours on Fri! Still, I’d a rather interesting chat with a lad in a coyboy hat who explained the rules of Rodeo to me in depth over about 5 beers before asking me if I knoew of any Hogans near Toomevara in Tipp as he’s originally from there. (Oh & yes, the event itself was pretty good too as you can tell from my – johnser – shopping thread on WMW’s supporters forum!) Hope you’d a good time anyway. J

  22. Dave Davis Says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    @Carrie: It was an absolute pleasure meeting you too! Shame you were the selfish healer. You should have stayed longer. Hopefully we’ll catch up at the next event.

    @Andre, it was great to meet you and Anita. Thanks for taking me to dinner. It was the nicest sushi I have ever had. I stayed at the table for 7 hours and a little more than doubled my $200 ;)

    John, I have no idea what you look like! I knew you were going but thought you had your own arrangements. I heard a question during a Q&A from someone with a Dublin accent. I assume that was you. Why didn’t you come to the Wynn? And the rodeo, that was just plain crazy! I didn’t think that sort of thing actually still went on in America! Hopefully we’ll meet up at the next, more local event. Are you going to SMW in April or SES in London?

  23. John Ring Says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    Dave, I’m the ugly fu**er with freckles :)
    Yep, was asking lots of Qs. Some stupid, some not! Wynn was booked out by the time I got that far. Stayed at Flamingo. Bit of a dive but the hookers were interesting to observe… Supposed to be speaking at SMW in April but need to confirm with Martin @ IR. Have been to SES a few times in London but I tend to find the calibre of Q&A is along the lines of “whats a title tag”, so I’ll skip it. Are you heading over? Would be good to meet for a coffee/pint sometime soon if you’re free? I live in Drumcondra & work beside Guinness. Talk soon. J

  24. Dave Davis Says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    Ahhh John, freckles are a sign of beauty, didn’t you mother ever tell you that? ;)

    I’m supposed to be speaking at SMW too in April. What panel are you on? I have actually never been to an SES but to be honest, I would like to go to meet up with the crowd I met at PubCon and the others from the UK that didn’t make it.

    RE: pint or coffee, that sounds good. I live in Swords so at least it’s not the other side of the city! (I hate those meetings in Rathmines!) ;) Do you go to any open coffee meetups or anything like that?

  25. John Ring Says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 4:00 pm

    >>>didn’t you mother ever tell you that?
    No. The therapy hasn’t helped either. :(

    >>>What panel are you on?
    Conversion Improvement I think

    >>>meet up with the crowd I met at PubCon
    Not sure they’re normally at SES in my experience? It’s generally more marketing execs I’ve found but it might have changed in audience since 2 years ago I suppose.

    >>>any open coffee meetups…
    No, saw one mentioned on a forum a while ago but skipped it due to other mtg I’d on. Some eve next week suit you or leave it til after NY’s? Email me if you’ve an eve free?