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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…

The 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:

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!

The 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!

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