About 3 weeks after first I redesigned John Chow’s blog (mid-September), my business partner, Josh, stumbled upon a tradeshow devoted entirely to bloggers. Being that we had just started UBD and we were starting to experience some early success, we decided it would be an incredible branding opportunity to exhibit a booth at Blog World Expo (BWE), which was held November 8-9 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Immediately upon hearing about the event, we called up BWE and spoke to the chief organizer, Rick Calvert. We all know that on the Internet, word travels fast. Since I had redesigned Shoemoney’s blog shortly after John Chow, Rick knew exactly who I and UBD were and he kindly invited us to speak and showcase our company at BWE.
I have never been to Las Vegas, despite living only a 4-hour car drive from the city. I also have never been to a trade show, let alone exhibited a company at one. Two months of preparation went into our attendance at BWE.
Drive Up To Vegas
Our drive up to Vegas started Wednesday morning at 2am. It took us about 4.5 hours to get to Las Vegas. The drive from Phoenix to Las Vegas is beautiful. We crossed over the Hoover Dam! It reminded me of that scene in Transformers.
As you can see, Matt slept the whole way up.
How Did It Go?
Blog World Expo was probably the most awesome time I’ve ever had. There are few words to describe the non-stop excitement our team had been feeling over the past week. To put it simply, attending and exhibiting Blog World Expo was one of the coolest things we have ever done. The opportunity to present out company and network with like-minded individuals was unquantifiable.
Meeting John Chow and Shoemoney the day before the Expo was awesome!
The Las Vegas Hilton
Start Attending Tradeshows NOW!
I strongly encourage anyone who wants to be successful in an industry to start attending tradeshows. The people you meet and the things you learn are well worth the cost of hotel, travel expenses, and conference passes.
For geeks like me who spend 12-hours a day, 7 days a week working online, meeting new people in real life is something that doesn’t happen as much as it use to. Funny as it was, BWE was the opportunity to meet a lot of other people just like me.
Bloggers Are Legit!
Ms. Danielle was right on when she said “bloggers are a legit group of people.” It was awesome to meet people who I had felt like I had known for a long time. In reality, most of the people I am close to online, I have only known for a few months.
Kickin’ it VIP-style with Gary, Matt, Josh, Dave, me, Danielle and Darin
After the expo each night, I was able to hang out with a select group of friends that I have known online for a while now including: Ms. Danielle, Anthony, Gary, Vinay, Chris, Greg, Darin, Prija, and especially Shoemoney, Neil Patel and John Chow.
The Expo: WAY Cooler Than Expected
The actual Expo was not only productive, but also surprisingly a ton of fun. Like I mentioned before, we secured a booth for BWE in September, so it was very exciting to present our company face-to-face to so many people. We brought my 30″ Apple Cinema Display and Matt and Josh’s two 28″ displays. We used our screens to showcase some of our recent client work.
Meeting John Chow and Shoemoney
The two people I wanted to meet most at Blog World were obviously John Chow and Shoemoney. John Chow was the FIRST blog I ever discovered (on Digg in November 2006). Shoemoney’s blog has always been a favorite of mine, as well. In fact, even during my busiest times where I’ve spent zero time on the blogosphere, I have never gone a day without reading either of their blogs.
Both Shoe and John are extremely nice and down to earth people. They are just as interesting and entertaining in real life as they are on their blogs, if not more so. I am looking forward to attending more tradeshows where they are present, such as Pubcon and CES. In fact, in only 3 weeks from now, UBD and I will be back in Vegas for Shoemoney’s Roll With The Search Engine Rockstar contest at Pubcon.
Prija From Blogging The Movie
My buddy, Prija from Blogging The Movie, was also exhibiting at BWE. I first met Prija a few months ago when he and his PR rep, Huy, drove out to Arizona (from SoCal) so we could design his blog in a day. Within 10 minutes of meeting Prija, I could instantly tell he was going to be successful because of his incredible and energy and passion for his business venture. It is great to meet other young entrepreneurs with big plans and the guts to see them through.
As you can tell, Prija got the Toyota Scion which he will be using to promote the movie and as a giveaway to one lucky winner. According to Prija, Blogging The Movie is coming along quite nicely. Check out the official teaser…
Meeting Two Longtime Friends
Anthony Carbone and Vinay Menon were two of the first people to start reading my blog back in January of this year. Like me, they are both serious exotic car fans, and they run a popular exotic car photo sharing site called MadWhips.com. In March of this year, we created an automotive blog together called Carzi. Needless to say, I have been good friends with both of these guys since January and that is years in Internet-time. It was awesome to finally meet these two dedicated and motivating individuals. It was like I have known them for several years the first time we met up and got to chatting. Look out for big things from these two!
Overall, BWE went WAY better than expected and we had very high expectations. It was an incredibly positive experience. Thanks to everyone who added to its awesomeness.
I met a ton of cool people who I have known online for quite a while now, so it was like meeting old friends for the first time. It is crazy that the Internet can bring people together before they ever meet. Once you know someone online, meeting them in real life is more natural AND exciting!
The John Chow Blogger Dinner – THANK YOU, John!
Danielle taking a picture of me taking a picture of her…lol ^_^
I would like to say thank you to everyone who stopped by to visit our booth. I had a great time chatting with many people including:
Myself and Wendy Piersall (eMom) at Blog World!
As I mentioned before, I strongly recommend that anyone who wants to be successful within any industry attend as many tradeshows as possible. This is true for many professions especially tech and Internet-related ones. Other tradeshows which come recommended are Pubcon, CES, Affiliate Summit West and SES. Tradeshows such as Blog World Expo are awesome learning and networking opportunities that no one should miss.
I am a trade show addict now. See you at Pubcon.
Other great Blog World articles from my clique: