It’s time to talk about yet another seo conference: PubCon Las Vegas. Yet another week of travel. Yet another chance to open the overnight bag and remove the laptop, remove the little plastic bag with shampoo and shaving cream, and remove my shoes so I can shuffle through airport security in my socks (ever notice how filthy that carpet is?). Yet another sterile hotel room. Yet another “opportunity” to eat way-too-large restaurant servings and get way-too-little exercise. Here in the Pacific Northwest we define “exercise” as getting outside in the rain and wind and sun and sea breeze/mountain air, not “climb onto the exercycle in the air-conditioned hotel weight room and watch TV while sweating”. Can you tell I am weary of travel ?
Yet that is what this is… with SES, SMX, several related industry events and now PubCon, we need to seriously consider whether all this travel is worthwhile or an effective use of time. So let’s take a look at PubCon Las Vegas:
- traditionally an SEO/SEM conference heavy on web entrepreneurship (lots of independent operators)
- a very serious annual get-together for many experienced players in the SEO space (at the bars, not at the sessions. Many don’t even register for PubCon). Would I be invited or even aware of these gatherings?
- bigger every year, to thousands in attendance this year (how’s that Friday Pub thing going to work with thousands of attendees?)
- billed as “the affordable conference” , it’s still $900 registration fee, r/t airfare, and 5 days hotel and food/drinks. When you add it up, that “affordable” reg fee represents less than 20% of the total out of pocket expenses for attending
As an independent consultant, I haven’t gotten business from past PubCons. That doesn’t mean they weren’t fun or interesting, and of course PubCon represents another chance to see people from other cities. But if you don’t generate business, is it worth the cost? Remember for me it’s not about “I met so-and-so and the one tip she gave me was more more than my expenses” because I’ve already been to SES/SMX and several related conferences this year, and I interact with lots of these people behind the scenes every day.
PubCon has similar sessions to SES and SMX, although mouch more from the look of the agenda. However, they run concurrent tracks so you trade variety for accessibility. You can still only attend what you have time to attend.
Similar speakers to SES and SMX. I don’t frequent WebMasterWorld so I probably don’t appreciate the opportunity to meet the players behind the handles as much as others might.
Help me out here… why drop another 2-3 grand to attend PubCon Las Vegas this year?
Update: Looking at the PubCon agenda pages, I don’t see any Google party? I don’t see a Yahoo! party, but Yahoo! is a premium sponsor? What about MSN? I don’t see any vendor parties listed at th ePubcon site… seems odd, no? There is an SEOMoz thing, but it is listed as “unofficial” (?) and overlaps the Google “meet the engineers” thing. There was an SEOMoz party at SMX. At SES, there were a few web pages dedicated to party activity. At SMX there was a “networking” section to the website showing events and parties. At Ad:Tech NYC there was a vendor party section, with plenty of activity. Also, I see that there is a “Friday pub” pass available cheap… which means what, exactly? I always thought the Friday pub thing was “exclusive” to conference attendees. Not like there’s any shortage of things to do in Vegas, but surely there are vendor activities other than what is apparent?
Resource: There is a Search Conference Website up, but it isn’t very active yet. Perhaps it is worthy of participation by those looking to plan their conference activities?