7 Reasons PubCon is a must for next year

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Ian Lurie Nov 16 2009

I go to conferences, eat the dry sandwiches, sleep in the hotel room and then head home.
Usually, it’s a wash – I learn a thing or two, bounce around outside the circles of the ‘in’ people like the smallest puppy in the litter, and that’s it.
This year, though I went to my first PubCon. And it was fantastic! Here’s why:

  1. I didn’t attend a single session that was a 50-minute sales pitch. That’s a first.
  2. Not one speaker I heard said something that set my teeth on edge: No recommendations like “Optimize your keywords meta tag” or “You’ll rank #1 when you get 35 links”.
  3. I learned. A lot. I’m not being conceited – my withered, limp ego can’t really handle it – but after 15 or so years, I don’t expect to learn in every single session I attend. It’s enough to hang out with people who’re super-smart. This time I was taking notes. Fast. Frantically, even. Maybe I just picked good sessions, dunno.
  4. I met people. People I’ve known for years but never met in person. People I’ve harassed via Twitter. For some reason, it was just easier to walk up to Lee Odden and be intercepted by Joanna Lord, or share a table in the speaker’s room with Bruce Clay than at other events.
  5. A great panel. I was on a panel with Heather Lloyd-Martin, Elisabeth Osmeloski, Gillian Muessig and Allison Driscoll. That was pretty darned cool, plus the audience asked great questions.
  6. I suck at Search Spam. SEOMOZ had their Search Spam party. I was like the ICBM of good will, trying to spot the black hats and mowing down white hats in the process. I have to redeem myself next year.
  7. I didn’t get to meet a host of other people, like Streko and Rhea and such.

So, PubCon gets a definite thumbs-up from me. I’ll see you there next year.

Note: Blogworld was undoubtedly awesome, too. But I was too sick to do more than crawl downstairs for my speaking gig. So don’t make any assumptions about the conference’s value.

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7 Comments

  1. Amazingly simple yet profound post. I noticed the “no sales pitch” aspect as well. It was refreshing, and some great content was shared. The level of transparency was a huge!
    This was my first PubCon yet my umpteenth search conference. What is really amazing is the power of Twitter and relationship building.
    I join you at sucking at search spam and the Werewolf game at SEOmoz’s party. But heck, we got a pict together!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pixelposition/4104146345/
    I, too, will see you there next year, and hopefully before!

  2. Hey Ian.
    I was lucky enough to attend your session at PubCon. This was my first PubCon too and I am already figuring out how I can fit this into my budget next year (not an easy feat as a start up in this economy).
    I think if I was going to add to this list, I would have to expand on your #7 and state that there were too many people that I didn’t geet a chance to meet. Next year I need to attend more of the after parties – I only made it to the networking gathering on Friday. (However, I did get to meet and chat with Rhea.)
    Thanks for a great session and for encouraging words about the need to attend PubCon again.

  3. Great write up. And you were great at the conference!

  4. Ian

    @Dana OK but I am SERIOUSLY HITTING THE TANNING BED before I go to the next search conference.

  5. matt

    @Ian or at least bring sunglasses for everyone that has to look at you. :-D

  6. Hey yo.
    It was my third Pubcon and the best so far.
    One thing that did annoy me was that due to very interesting questions and clarifying (=long and precise) answers did mess with the schedule…
    But still, i’m going next year.

  7. Pubcon is a gem, it’s a convergence of ideas and a place where, for the most part, we all stand on level ground.
    The true “pubcon” event is, in my opinion, the real gem of the event….
    Major kudos to Brett and his team.

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