What I Learned at Pubcon Las Vegas

This week, 999 or so search marketers, social media experts, fellow tech geeks and I showed up in Las Vegas for the Pubcon conference, by Webmaster World.

So far, I have seen a man put a garden rake into a blender (somewhat disappointing, as he only blended the handle, not the spokes) heard a middle-aged woman sigh in complete contentment on the monorail and say, “Oh Doreen, this is the life,” and watched Brian Carter give away a pony stuffed into a handbag.

I’ve also learned how search and social media go together like PB&J, how online marketing and B2C interaction is changing, and where to scope out your nemeses (or competitors, for the conventional) and learn all their secrets.

I’ve discovered that personalization and engagement are the future of online advertising and confirmed that people are looking for relevant, useful content rather than sales pitches with scads of corporate blather. Also, apparently people, we’re getting smarter.

That last one was a real shocker, because we are the reality TV generation that, at one point, embraced the macarena. But they say we’re actually technologically smarter these days.

Consumers now have websites and blogs. We’re familiar with Facebook or LinkedIn or Digg or Twitter. We read newspapers online, and watch and create shared videos regularly. We have proved our intelligence by uploading episodes of My Little Ponies onto YouTube, so that the Baby Sea Ponies and the Flutter Ponies will never be forgotten.

In addition to the useful content provided by Pubcon speakers, the conference was a hit because I got toys. I got a couple of hats, some silly putty, a very sad chicken salad (but hey, free food), and a first aid kit with many band-aids. I plan to use these band-aids at a later date to create a Great Work of North American Art, which I’m allowed to do, because my degree says so.

Best of all were the little OCD pocket notebooks. How did you know that the color-coded mini post-its would fill the obsessively organized with light and joy? Oh, you clever Pubcon, you.

Overall, nice job Brett Tabke & Company. Great show, and many new things learned.


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