It’s hard to describe the feeling that is *being* in Las Vegas. The places, the people, the parties… it’s quite extravagant. One month ago, I had never even been to Las Vegas, but now, I have been twice thanks to the recent Blog World Expo and most recently, Pubcon Webmaster Convention.
What do you get when you combine Las Vegas, with a professional networking event and a contest called Party Like A Search Engine Rockstar? ANSWER: A ridiculously fun and productive networking experience!
Rolling With The Search Engine Rockstars
Unlike Blog World Expo, UBD did not exhibit at Pubcon, and this time, it was only I who traveled to Las Vegas.
The primary reason for going was that UBD sponsored Shoemoney’s recent contest, Party Like A Search Engine Rockstar. The contest winner was Laura Martin, who won an all-expenses paid trip to Pubcon to party with the search engine rockstars.
This is not the first time that Laura has partied with search engine rockstars, however. Laura was also a contestant on The Next Internet Millionaire and even prior to that, Laura worked closely with some of the top Internet marketers in the industry.
For much of the trip, I hung out with Laura and Tigh Buckles, Shoemoney’s new project manager. Everyone stayed at the Flamingo Hotel on the North Strip.
Tigh Buckles, Me, and Laura Martin hanging out at the Wynn
The Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas
The Flamingo has been around since the 1970s and has recently undergone significant renovation. I was lucky to have stayed in one of the renovated rooms, which included among other things, a flat screen plasma on the wall, a TV in the bathroom, and pillow-top mattresses. Not bad for only $100 per night, heh?
The Pubcon Convention
The Pubcon Convention was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, which is also where Blog World Expo was held last month. The first day of the expo was Wednesday, which was also the day I flew in.
When I arrived at the Flamingo on Wednesday morning, I met up with Shoemoney and Dillsmack where we had lunch and then headed over to the expo.
The number of exhibitors at Pubcon was far less than Blog World Expo. I was first surprised by this, because Pubcon has been around for several years while this was the first year for BWE. In theory, this makes sense because Pubcon encompasses a much more specific industry niche, and it is quite a bit more expensive to exhibit at Pubcon relative to Blog World.
As always, the best thing about these conferences are the people you meet. As far as creating an impression, nothing is more powerful than meeting someone face-to-face. These kinds of events are priceless because there are, of course, unlimited number of directions in which professional relationships can go once conceived.
On the second day of Pubcon, I was able to walk around and talk to a number of the exhibitors at the show. UBD is putting together a Recommended Resources section for our new website, and we have been closely monitoring a lot of the new advertising networks, looking for the best ones to recommend to our clients.
These conventions are the best place to get information about up-and-coming products and services. I even found one advertising network that promises a 75% revenue share!
These conferences are also the best place to get free stuff, including t-shirts, hats, stickers, pens, etc. I will be giving all of that stuff away in a contest which will start tomorrow and go for one week. More details on that later.
Justine and Shoemoney
When Shoe and I first arrived at the convention, we walked into Starbucks where we randomly met iJustine, up and coming blogger and video blogger from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Shoe and I had been talking about wanting to meet her earlier in the day, so it was a total coincidence that we ran into her other at Starbucks. Justine’s video blog is quickly gaining popularity, so she was invited to give a keynote speech at Pubcon.
Me, Alan from Cappex, and Laura Martin
Cappex is a new online service where colleges apply to you. In other words, instead of you endlessly mailing out college applications, colleges find you through their online service.
Tigh, Laura and I met Alan from Cappex where he explained that Cappex acts as a recruitment tool for universities looking for specific qualifications or looking to fill a quota at a particular college.
On the night of my arrival, everyone partied at the Wynn where the Rubicon Project was sponsoring a party.
The Rubicon Project is a new advertising solution which ensures your website is making as much money as possible by optimizing it for not only the highest paying advertising company, but also for demographic/geographical data.
At the Rubicon party, I was also able to meet Elmer Thomas from Thembid.com, a business tool that allows you to seek services and have businesses bid on the contract. For example, if you have a leaky roof and you need someone to fix it, you can post your request on ThemBid and appropriate businesses will bid to fix your roof! It’s kind of like eBay, but for traditional businesses. Awesome concept, guys.
Also at the Pubcon party, I met Brett Carr, who is producing an independent movie meant only for the New Media, called Revoloution, which I will be writing more about on Monday.
Me and Shoemoney
This was my second time meeting and hanging out with Shoemoney. Shoe is an extremely down-to-earth guy and it has been great to work with him over the past few months.
On the second night of my time in Vegas, there was a huge poker tournament being held at the Venetian for all of the search engine rockstars. I am not a big poker player, so Tigh, Laura, Markus from AU Interactive and I decided to go hang out and have drinks at the Wynn.
Later that night, we went over to Bally’s where Laura and Tigh played black jack. I decided to play the $2 slots. Keep in mind, I have gambled less than half a dozen times in my life. First pull, I strike 7-7-7 and win $200. Second pull, I win $2. Third pull, $90. Okay, that’s enough. I cash out with $292 for 5 minutes of time.
I also got the chance to talk to Bill Slawski from SEO By The Sea. Bill writes a great blog on Internet marketing and search engine optimization. Bill has been involved with Internet marketing since 1996 and he is an expert on many search and marketing related topics.
Just like Blog World, Pubcon was tons of fun and contained an incredible amount of professional benefit. I highly recommend everyone goes to an industry conference at least once. I’ve gone to two in the past month, and both times have been worth their weight in gold.
Win All of My Free Pubcon Swag Tomorrow!
As mentioned, I will give away all of the free Pubcon swag I picked up including tshirts, pens, drink holders, mousepads, back massagers, coupons, and even a free UBD tshirt. One winner gets everything. More details tomorrow.