Pubcon- The Good, Bad and Ugly

I’m back from Pubcon (really I got back on Thursday night, but I was busy this weekend) and now have about 20 typed pages of notes to go through and decipher.  Overall the show was once again supremely awesome, but naturally it was not perfect.

Bruce Clay and Ziv Dascalu (The Good): The reality of conferences like this is that there’s really no predicting how good or bad a session will be.  That is of course unless either of these guys are involved.  The amount of relevant information and tactics (both good and evil) that these two brought to the table in their respective sessions was unreal.  Speakers should be required to watch sessions from these guys to see what it means to give your audience value.

Food (The Bad): The lunch line situation was resolved, but the edibility factor was not.  The first day I had a cheesesteak that was far more cheese than steak and really not very good.  The second day I had Mongolian Beef that was pretty gristly and left a taste that no amount of 7&7′s could wash away.  The last day I went with the Kosher meal which was at least edible (not surprising since it was prepackaged).  Seriously, what’s wrong with the standard show box lunch?  I’ll take a roast beef sandwich, bag of chips and a cookie in a box any day over what the LVCC tries to pass off as food.

Reruns (The Ugly):  Now I haven’t done many presentations, but when I get asked to do one, I take the time to make sure my material is new and fresh.  I make my best effort to give the audience their money’s worth.  Sadly, not everyone adheres to the same set of guidelines.

I go to one show per year.  This show.  My company spends a bunch of dough on passes, the hotel, airfare, food, etc.  I don’t expect to go into a show and see the exact same presentation that I saw last year.

Here’s the story.  There’s this gal that’s supposed to be a Facebook expert.  She’s even written a book on the subject and to be fair, probably knows more about Facebook than I ever will.  I went to her session last year and it was really good (actually I went to both of her sessions last year), so I decided to go again this year to find out what’s new in the world of marketing Facebook.  Apparently nothing has changed in the past year, because I got the exact same session that she delivered the previous year.  Even the same dated Ikea picture tagging example.

Moral of the story?  If you’re one of the beautiful people, you get a free pass to put zero effort in.  I wouldn’t know being the bald troglodyte that I am, but that’s sure how it seems from where I’m sitting.  From what I heard, this wasn’t the only rerun at the show, but since it was the only one I saw, it gets singled out.

All in all, it was a great show.  Far more positives than negatives.  I’ll be back in 2012.  I just wish it wasn’t in freaking Vegas.  Out.


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Pubcon Update – Enter Swagman

So here’s the thing. I love swag. Part of it is just seeing how much companies are willing to spend on giveaways. Part of it is seeing if I’ll use any of it. Mostly though, I just  dig getting free stuff. I can’t help myself. As is tradition, there were the standard giveaways (pens, bottle openers, candy).  One place was giving away cash with a dart game (Keven won three bucks).  Teknicks was giving away bottles of 5 hour crack, which was exceptionally rockin’ and very much appreciated this morning, but might have had more impact if it was private labeled (although it is a consumable, so maybe not).  This year though, it was all about the t-shirt.

I scored three sweet tees, with the best once again being from the cats over at Raven Tools.  Those guys are the freaking bees knees when it comes to swag.  Last year (which I wrote about, but then lost when I armageddoned my entire server in the PCN Panic earlier this year) they gave away all sorts of goodness including stress balls, shot glasses and poker markers.  This year, they gave me a shirt that simply said “I’m A Social Tool”.  Totally epic and considering the complete lunacy I experienced in May when I killed my pool blog along with my personal blog and a couple other sites, was quite apropos.

Runner up goes to the Internet Marketing Ninjas who had a spin the wheel game which scored me a really nice tee with an applique stitched logo instead of just a screen print.  I was pretty jazzed about the shirt, but it seemed like the three guys in front of me were even more excited to spin the “hug a ninja” and get some physical contact with a real live woman.

All in all, its been a seriously good show.  Lots of great sessions (except the one with the Facebook chick who just rehashed the exact same presentation as she had last year, even using the same damn Ikea example), met some pretty nice folks but I’m ready to get the hell out of Vegas.  I’ll be back next year, but damn I wish they would do this show in NYC or some other city.  Anywhere but freaking Vegas.  Time to catch a plane.  I’m out.

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