If you go to your web browser and search for search marketing conferences or social media conferences, you will see that there are many of them going on every month all across the country. They are, quite literally, a dime a dozen.
A few, however, rise above the rest and offer their attendees tremendous value. One of these diamonds in the rough is PubCon , which kicks off today with special masters group training sessions and launches in its entirety tomorrow.
Listed below are five reasons I am personally excited for PubCon, foregoing the obvious fact that it is located in wonderful Las Vegas, Nevada.
PubCon 2011 promises to touch on more subjects than ever before. No matter what discipline you specialize in—whether it be search engine optimization, social media, pay per click advertising, web design, or online reputation management—there are great sessions to attend and topical experts to learn from. There are a ridiculous eight tracks to follow on all three days, in addition to interactive site reviews that will be conducted throughout the conference.
Simply put, if you are in any way involved with online marketing or new media, this is a conference well worth your hard earned dollars.
Matt Cutts & Duane Forrester
Just a few steps from my office in Los Angeles are two Curry restaurants located on opposite sides of the same street. For some reason I like to think they have a great deal of animosity towards one another, akin to the warring families in Lucky Number Slevin, and I enjoy thinking the very same thing about Cutts and Forrester. Both are scheduled to be at PubCon (Cutts being Wednesday’s keynote ) and both have a great opportunity to get influential marketers to adopt their respective companies latest releases.
Can Forrester get more SEOs to take advantage of recent Bing additions like upgraded webmaster tools? Can Cutts sell the savviest of marketers on the potential of Google+? Will the two of them throw down in an epic lightsaber battle?
I certainly hope for the latter!
Speaking of Google+, I look forward to seeing how people at the conference feel about its future. When Google+ first launched as a “field trial,” there were some ready to anoint it as a Facebook/Twitter killer. After a few short weeks, there were those ready to announce it Dead On Arrival. While I imagine (hope?) that a lot of that was typical blogger sensationalism, I am very curious to gauge the crowd’s mood following Google’s recent announcements, including Google Apps support and increased integration with several of its other services.
Black Hat SEO
This is one of the most scintillating topics on tap and there are two sessions devoted to the “dark side” of online marketing (not to mention all of the reputation management sessions that will touch on the subject). Both promise to reveal frowned upon tactics—and in some cases illegal tactics—but how much will they expose? How candid will each presentation be?
And, perhaps most importantly, how tempted will any of us be to employ such tactics?
Despite the industry’s rapid growth over the last decade, the world of online marketing and new media is still relatively small. One major benefit of this is being able to meet some of the top names in the business. Using nothing more than the power of the #PubCon hashtag , I’ve already had the pleasure of meeting people like Steve Plunkett and Carolyn Shelby (and as I write this, the conference hasn’t even started yet!) in an impromptu pre-PubCon Tweetup.
With plenty of after-conference parties and events scheduled throughout the week, I can’t wait to meet and network with all of the amazing people in attendance.
BONUS: PubCon Chatter on Twitter
Can’t make it to PubCon? Follow @davidcarrillo  on Twitter for all the latest news, information and gossip of the conference!