WHAT IS PUBCON AND WHY SHOULD I ATTEND?
Pubcon New Orleans 2013, the premiere social media and optimization conference, is the world’s top week of online marketing. Featuring over 150 leading speakers, major keynote presentations,more than 100 panel sessions in at least six simultaneous daily topic tracks — each its own conference-within-a-conference — a full exhibit hall, a pre-conference training program led by a dozen expert trainers, and the best networking events in one of the most exciting cities the world, Pubcon New Orleans 2013 will bring it all together this April 22 – 25 at the state-of-the-art New Orleans Convention Center for the year’s biggest and best new media and search marketing event.
For 2013 we’ve lined up tremendous keynotes from major industry futurists, including Michael Slaby, Obama for America chief integration and innovation officer, and additional headlining keynotes by Dave McClure, noted venture capitalist and founding partner at 500 Startups, and Chris Pirillo, popular online entrepreneur and founder of digital culture company LockerGnome.
Here are 67+ helpful Pubcon tips for making your week at Pubcon New Orleans 2013 in The Big Easy an unforgettable experience.
CONVINCING YOURSELF OR YOUR COMPANY TO SEND YOU TO PUBCON
It’s easier than ever to make the case for coming to Pubcon, as we’ve grown for more than a decade to become the key conference where the upcoming path of online innovation is charted by the world’s top digital futurists, many of whom won’t go to any conference this year except for Pubcon New Orleans 2013.
In addition to the information in this post, here are some extra ways you can present Pubcon to your company as the must-attend event of the year:
Read Brett Tabke’s piece on convincing your boss to send you to Pubcon
- Prepare a brief presentation about Pubcon for your manager, which can include Pubcon testimonials of those who have already been to a Pubcon conference
- Put out a call on Twitter asking why your company should send you to Pubcon New Orleans 2013
- Each year Pubcon garners more press and media coverage from a wide range of international sources, and we expect this year’s Pubcon New Orleans conference to be by far the largest and most well-attended Pubcon outside of Las Vegas ever.
- Show videos from Pubcon speakers, such as this one from Trackur chief executive Andy Beal, interviewed by Vertical Measures president and fellow Pubcon speaker Arnie Kuenn:
GETTING THE BEST BARGAIN PUBCON PRICE, OR, PUBCON ON A BUDGET
Although Pubcon is already one of the most fairly-priced conference in the industry — pricedsubstantially less than most other events — there are strategies you can take advantage of to get to Pubcon for the least amount of money, by planning ahead and seeking out specials.
- The least expensive time to sign up for Pubcon is during the first few weeks after registration for the next conference opens. When registration opens it’s announced on our blog and on our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest, and other Pubcon social media sites, so be sure to subscribe to the Pubcon blog and our various online hangouts so you’ll be notified as soon as passes go on sale.
- One of the best ways to save on Pubcon is to go with three or more co-workers, which will qualify you for our group discount rate. See the special group discount section on our registration page.
- From time to time special discount Pubcon registration coupon codes are given out to selectPubcon supporters and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and other social media services to keep an eye out for Pubcon discount codes, which could help lower your registration costs even more.
Pubcon sponsors and exhibitors. Take a look at the list of these
- Another way to save on your Big Easy Pubcon week is by finding and taking advantage of specials when you book your room at the officially recommended Pubcon New Orleans 2013 hotels. Some of the bargains often available here can nearly offset the cost of registration for Pubcon, so look through these hotels’ special offers pages and their social media accounts for the best discount rates. Some Pubcon attendees save additional money by sharing rooms during their stay, a plan that can be considered if you’re on a limited budget.
- Booking your flight to New Orleans early and by using promotions and discount codes or
previously-earned frequent flier miles can also be great ways to save on your Pubcon experience.
- It doesn’t make sense to make a special trip to New Orleans for Pubcon if you aren’t planning to purchase a full conference pass, however if you are a New Orleans local looking for the bare-bones entry-level introduction to Pubcon, we do offer inexpensive tickets to the expo hall on Wednesday, April 24 and Thursday, April 25. Once you visit the exhibit hall, however, don’t be surprised if you find yourself purchasing a full-price conference gold or platinum pass once you find out who is at Pubcon and what they’ve got planned throughout the week.
- The primary way you’ll end of saving on Pubcon, however, is through the information you’ll learn over the week — take-aways that throughout the year will help your business succeed.
You can either attend the Pubcon sessions that focus on your primary areas of interest or follow the speakers you most want to hear, or follow a plan that combines the two as you choose where to spend your days at Pubcon New Orleans 2013. Here are some Pubcon session selection tips to help you pick the best bets for you and your business:
- Study the master grid of sessions, organized into subject-specific tracks, and read the session descriptions for those you’re interested in. A mobile-friendly version is available as well. You may even want to read about all 100+ sessions to find exactly which sessions best suit you.
- Each day you’ll essentially need to pick the session you most want to attend in each of the five or so daily session periods. With six or more great concurrent sessions operating at the same time, it can be tough to choose the one you’ll actually sit down and take part in, but to help you keep track of your selections check out the handy Pubcon Conference Itinerary Builder utility.
- Some Pubcon attendees like to choose not only their top choice for every session period of each
day, but also a backup or even a third choice, giving alternatives should you decide to leave a session in progress. Planning ahead saves time, as you won’t need to consult the conference guidebook or website, and can quickly move to your second choice session should you wish.
- Pubcon attendees have a wide range of strategies for picking out which sessions to go to, from rating each one on a scale of one to 10 based on interest or content, to following certain favorite speakers no matter which subject they happen to be speaking about. Whichever system you decide to use, planning ahead can be key to getting the most from a conference as huge as Pubcon New Orleans 2013.
- If you’re the type who likes to make your session choices based on who’s speaking, there are many ways to learn more about every Pubcon speaker before you make your decisions. For each Pubcon speaker you can:
- Read their Pubcon biography
- Visit their website, blog, and social media accounts, linked to on their Pubcon speaker biography pages
- Look for articles they’ve written for the Pubcon Speakers Blog
- View interviews they’ve done for the Pubcon Video Blog
- Check out their past interviews and other videos on YouTube and other video sites
- Connect with them online and ask any questions you have about their sessions
- Read their Pubcon biography
HOW TO TACKLE PUBCON NIGHTS
- There are more evening networking events and parties during Pubcon than anyone could
possibly attend, but by starting out with the biggest official ones you’ll be sure to get plenty of time to interact with the fantastic and one-of-a-kind Pubcon crowds, and still have time for late-night Big Easy Bourbon Street excitement with the after-party events of your choice.
- Following the #Pubcon tag on Twitter is a great way to find out where the events are happening each night during the week of Pubcon, and the locations and times of the big official conference networking events will be sent to all attendees, either by e-mail or here on the Pubcon blog.
- Many of the social media and search marketing firms at Pubcon host their own events, both
private or for all Pubcon attendees. One of the best ways to get in the loop for the private events is to sign up for the mailing lists for all the Pubcon exhibitors, media partners, and sponsors.
- Asking your Pubcon friends and associates about parties can also help you find additional late-night networking action, whether it’s a private rooftop bash or a simple (or even epic) dinner with like-minded individuals. Keeping an eye out in the Pubcon exhibit hall for postings about exhibitor events can also help you find out about after-hours meet-ups, or organize your own dinner or meeting over drinks for the new folks you’ve met during Pubcon.
WHAT IF IT’S MY FIRST PUBCON?
- If this will be your first Pubcon conference, congratulations — you’re in for an amazing week of
immersion in social media and search marketing with the industry’s top speakers, keynote presenters, exhibitors, sponsors, and perhaps most of all, some of the most important and helpful fellow attendees you’ll meet at any conference, who will all help make your first Pubcon a valuable time to remember.
- Many experienced Pubcon attendees have written guides on how to get the most from Pubcon, as have first-time conference-goers who’ve just come away from their first Pubcon, and you can read some of these accounts in the following "What To Bring To Pubcon" list.
WHAT TO BRING TO PUBCON
- Phone and laptop chargers
- Some people bring their own power strip, even though Pubcon tries to provide more than any other conference
- Medications and/or painkillers
- Skin lotion for the sometimes dry air-conditioned rooms
- Throat lozenges or a refillable water bottle to ward off coughing during sessions
- Gear for taking notes, whether digitally or the old-fashioned pen-and-pad way. Remember that
after the conference you’ll be able to download the PowerPoint presentations from every speaker in every session, so focus on taking notes on the tips and strategies that aren’t already shown on the big conference screens.
- Cash for taxicabs and Bourbon Street nightlife
- Comfortable shoes for walking the massive New Orleans Convention Center floors during the
week of Pubcon
- More formal clothes, in case you attend a Pubcon party at a nightclub with a dress code
- Abundant business cards
Here are even more helpful lists of items to bring from a variety of Pubcon speakers and attendees:
- Andy Beal’s 18 Conference Etiquette Tips to Build a Stellar Reputation & Avoid Looking Like a Jerk
- Krista Neher’s Rocking Pubcon: How to Get More Out of Conferences
- Cathy Benavides’ Optimize Your Suitcase With Pubcon Packing Tips
- Michael Dorausch’s Five Pubcon Badge Essentials
- Market Street Media’s 10 Ways To Avoid Dying At Pubcon
- Heather Lloyd-Martin’s 15 Tips For A Successful Pubcon Conference
- Dr. Peter J. Meyers’ Seven Tips For Surviving Pubcon
- Lane R. Ellis’ You Never Know Who You’ll Run Into At Pubcon
- Lyndon Reid’s The Conference Goers Packing List
- Loren Baker’s 10+ Tips For a Pubcon Newbie
- "154 Awesome Pubcon 2011 Takeaways, Tips & Tweets" by Kevin Gibbons
- Sean Hecking’s A Newb’s Impression of Pubcon
- David Carrillo’s 25 Things I Learned From Pubcon’s Masters Group Training Day
- Jonathan Heinl’s First Time at Pubcon? Tips on How to ‘Survive’ a Week Long Conference
- Dave Rohrer’s Pubcon Networking Above and Beyond
- Ruth Burr’s PubCon Wardrobe Essentials
- Brian McDowell’s Top 20 Must-Haves to Pack in your Pubcon Survival Kit
- Melissa Fach’s Advice for Pubcon Newbies: How to Make the Most of the Conference
BONUS INSIDER TIPS FROM PUBCON VETERANS
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated throughout the week. From the time you get up in your
hotel room, throughout the day at Pubcon, and while out networking at night, staying hydrated is important. During the day at Pubcon water is available from drinking fountains located near each restroom, and in all vending machine areas. Water and other beverages are also available during breakfast and lunch.
- Some Pubcon attendees pack their suitcase with favorite beverages if they’re unsure of being able to find them at the conference hotel, in the New Orleans Convention Center, or in the various Bourbon Street venues and night hotspots where after-hours Pubcon events take place.
- Don’t miss the chance to register for Monday’s optional Pubcon Masters Group intensivealways sold out before the conference begins because of its personalized nature, is the perfect way to begin your week at Pubcon New Orleans 2013, and many consider it one of the week’s most valuable opportunities.
training program, featuring an astounding lineup with 12 exceptional trainers in three premium tracks dedicated to pay-per-click (PPC) and landing page optimization (LPO), organic search engine optimization (SEO), and social media marketing and optimization (SMM and SMO). The Pubcon Masters Group training, which has
- Be sure to set aside time to visit our Barnes & Noble author book signing area in the exhibit halls, and meet with many of the international social media and search experts who will be speaking at Pubcon and have them sign copies of their latest books for you.
- Keep up with the latest social media and optimization news in the weeks leading up to Pubcon New Orleans 2013, by reading interviews such as this one with Pubcon founder and chief executive Brett Tabke conducted by Todd Malicoat, MarketMotive.com SEO Faculty Chair, looking at some of the latest changes in search and where online publishing is headed.
GETTING AROUND NEW ORLEANS DURING PUBCON
We’ve compiled lots of information on our website to help make your trip to The Big Easy for Pubcon assmooth and efficient as possible, so read up on the venue, hotels, and New Orleans:
- Pubcon New Orleans Venue and Lodging
New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau
New Orleans Online
New Orleans Chamber of Commerce
Official Tourism Site of Louisiana New Orleans
- Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
These 67+ handy Pubcon tips should help you make the most from your week at one of the year’s biggest and best social media and optimization conferences. If you haven’t registered yet, sign up now and join thousands of the world’s leading online innovators this April 22 – 25 as Pubcon New Orleans 2013 becomes the center of the digital universe.
Lane R. Ellis