Arriving as the only chick attending the PubCon sessions, I knew my task would be a daunting one. With FIVE streams covering three days with a possible over 70 SESSIONS, there was no way I could be in more than one place at one time.
Starting out with registration, I arrived early – as did hundreds of other people. Lining up for over 40 minutes in order to get my badge, I almost missed the keynote with Craig Newmark. Grabbing some pastries and a coffee, I dashed to the front of the lunch room only to realise the acoustics were so bad I couldn’t hear him anyway.
I wandered off to Social Media Marketing 101 which I was thankful was more of the 201 level. Rand Fishkin started us off with a vote and only 4 or so people wanted real basics. So we launched in to some fun info with him and the other speakers which has all become much of a blur as I got low on caffeine and water. I love the way Rand goes “don’t blog this” and people do anyway. Swift. *snark*
In House SEO was a bit of an eye-opener for me as I had never realised what trouble others faced. I feel like I’m on the cusp of something much worse here at work so always good to indulge. Caffeine levels were returning to normal so I remember much of this session including some great organisational charts from Fox. Jessica Bowman covered some great tips for winning the battle of education in house and Bill Macaitis stepped us all through strategies, information, tips and suggestions. Really though, Jessica Bowman rocks
Lunch I sort-of remember but mostly I remember it came in a box with a tiny bottle of water and I was parched.
Universal search was interesting but I thought it was a really long-winded way of saying ‘hey – SERPs changed and we’re still waiting for news from the lab’. Eye tracking to talk about user behaviour and colourful slides and I’m sleepy. I wake back up for Bill’s talk on his experiences and his points – of which there are always three. We finish with Greg and how he (and I) think(s) that Ask has the better UI and that if you take the search for something like “lions” and plug it in to Google then Ask, Ask does a better job.
At this point I go back to my hotel room as I’m supposed to be going to KA – Cirque de Soliel and not KA the car - and I’d had no news about tickets or information and my constant searching turned up nothing. Leaving then meant I totally missed the cocktail reception and special event but I got a sneaky peek in to one of the tower suites at the Wynn. WOW – now that is just something else! We had to pick up or tickets there but it’s so late and I don’t have anyone’s contact details so I grab chaperone and run down to the MGM to see KA. What a spectacular show! What interests me more is the use of bloggers as journalists to develop a buzz around the shows in Vegas to create a buzz and in the case of KA, encourage teenagers to commit to something. Apparently teens don’t say anything more than “whatever”. I have no recollection of being so sociable as to actually deign to respond to a question so they must have some chatty teens :)
So, after KA sleep was needed and I passed out. No alcohol consumed on day one or day two and now we were fast approaching day three.
Day two at PubCon was a write off. The main content was loaded on day one so I overslept. I don’t remember a single session from that day and doubt I attended one. The auction was just a non-event for me. I’m sorry but $10,000 estimated for SEO News? Please! I was checking the freebies in the expo hall including squishee balls from somewhere, Google yo-yos, best of the web t-shirts, squishee men from Yahoo, other stuff I forget but I didn’t win a single iPod nano. Seriously – no decent goodies from Yahoo or Google and no iPod nano won. I mean, where were the bar fridges? Where were the umbrellas? Where were the stuffed animals? WHERE WERE THE LAVA LAMPS?!?!? People – you are with the geeks who can sway the marketing folk – DO SOMETHING SPECIAL. Sheesh. No one loves the geeks. At least at something like TFM&A or Online Marketing Show or Internet World or the like Google University gives a bag of swag and then you have booths with laptop bags, popcorn (and snarky account managers), stuffed plushie goats, squishee frogs and more.
The Google party was OK but the guy going on and on about how he pwns all domains for lawyers made himself look like he had a micro penis. Seriously boys – all that bluster makes you seem like you have a small penis. Get a life and a clue. I grabbed a Google glowing ball for me and one for office and drank enough to ensure I have all cups before I went off with Nelson to SEOmoz Werewolf.
Werewolf was the highlight of the conference for me. It was loads of fun and we had M&M’s – what more could anyone ask for. I got to be Rae two or three times and got to run a couple of games. We need to run this at SES one night! It was just a great evening and then later on Shimrit and I wandered over to Joe’s place for nibbles and great conversation. Loved everyone I met and hope to meet them again!
Day three brought more potential and no news of a new hotel room. I was in the Planet Hollywood having moved from the Sahara (and their scary security notices on the door) and no news on my Friday night accommodation.
I went to the Matt Cutts keynote for my breakfast and found it interesting. I wanted to go to CSS and HTML coding today but knew I’d never get to use it where I am so I did some hanging with the gals of the con and expo lurking. I think the game invented at the BOTW booth merits some thought as it combines sex and sales.
I went to the interactive site review and there were still people there from the last session waiting for their site to get a review. One comes up called ‘adult community’ and I ask if it is porn. I mean, it looks spammy, has a ranch in the middle of nowhere featured and a gazillion spammy links. It apparently isn’t adult friend finder for larger groups but senior accommodation for those too snobby to live with people rude enough to have children. I mean, please.
Lunch time and I steal a sneaky peek in to the speakers room. WOW! OK… I have to make a pitch no matter what work says! Can they really stop me? OK… I guess they can… or fire me… or worse… but hey – nice perks! I saw Gillian (SEOmom) and she helped me meet some new folks before she rushed off for a session and I delay.
I ended up in the Competitive Intelligence session and it was all sensible stuff. I’ve not (HONEST!) had to use this stuff to spy on my competition. While I’ve never messed with their minds, it gives me ideas… *rubs hands* yes yes… I’m selling chicken feet now you sorry losers!
I was going to go to Tools of the Trade but Nelson said he’d be on to microslag about the party so I grab a gal pal and get ready earlier than I wanted to. I hate doing that – disrupting my carefully laid plans – but I’m overly trusting of strangers By this point though I’m actually getting tired and the music is getting to me. We get there, have trouble but I don’t end up getting it fixed as I just want to get to an isolation tank (but adcenter, never come to me ever again expecting to be included in my ad spend – you’re cut off). We went for tapas where I discovered why I cannot ever sit down in that dress ever again – ever. Shawl across my lap, we had great tapas and reluctantly went off to the Venetian for the poker tournament.
The poker tournament was fun but intense so we grabbed our shirts and Shimrit and I went off with Tony Clifton – one of us on each arm – for drinks where he took my virginity… my martini virginity that is! A great evening was had by all and I wandered back to the hotel at some point. I know Lida D was taking Danny’s role and supplied doughnuts to us but after the third drink it all gets kinda blurry. OK… you caught me. I was sleepy and that’s why it is fuzzy. I’m so not a party animal. Note to self – stop wearing tight clothing – you are not built correctly for it.
The next day saw me out of Planet Hollywood and in to the Westin where they thoughtfully provided me with a rubber duckie for my bath as well as coffee and everything I could need. This was luxury! I had no time to enjoy it as it was an SEO-Chick-apalooza at the Monte Carlo where not only was PubCon on, THE RODEO WAS ON! I mean, what more could a girl ask for? Well, maybe people could have eaten the chocolate I brought but those yummy strawberry things were lovely – YUM! I met some great people, hung with a couple of Brits in the evening and found out Gareth and I were going back on the same MaxJet flight the next afternoon.
So all in all a great PubCon – next stop TFM&A then SES London!