Tips for Speaking, Moderating & Attending #PubCon 2012

by Dana Lookadoo on July 9, 2012

Below are some success tips for those who are speaking at PubConmoderating 1 or more panels, and for everyone attending the coveted search and social media conference. This will be my 2nd year speaking at PubCon Las Vegas 2012 and my 5th as an attendee. It’s a well-attended, multi-day (and night) conference. In other words, there are a lot of sessions, numerous people to see, many networking opportunities, on top of Vegas night life. Here’s how to get the most out of it.

Speaking at PubCon

I'm speaking at PubCon Las Vegas 2012Before I get to the tips, I get to dominate this section by telling you that…

I’m speaking on a panel – Developing Audience Personas for SEO along with Melyssa St. Michael and Michael King.  Focus of my session will be on the persona-development process, early-stage information gathering, and how to track (and keep track of) it all. You’ll learn about:

  • Interviewing key stakeholders for persona development
  • Helping corporate develop content by understanding and considering their audience.
  • Establishing website goals and conversion events based off audience needs
  • High-level persona research

Melyssa and Michael will kick out some outstanding insights for developing personas.

Speaking Tips

OK, PubCon speakers, here are a few tips for you to make the most out of the experience:

  1. Connect with your fellow speakers in advance to ensure you don’t duplicate content.
  2. Attend the Speaker’s Enclave on Monday, October 15, from 1:00-5:00. It’s a brain trust – a roundtable session where the latest industry trends and opinions are shared. It’s also a nice opportunity to connect and meet other speakers.
  3. Put your session times on your calendar, and set a reminder to show up at least 15 minutes early.
  4. Bring your PowerPoint presentation with you on a jump drive. Don’t rely on the Tech Team. Have a backup.
  5. PLEASE… DO NOT do the following:
    • Talk about yourself or your company for the 1st minute. A brief intro is fine. No sales pitches!
    • Chew gum. (Enough said.)
    • Read your notes. You’re speaking NOT practicing your reading-out-loud skills.
    • Show, don’t tell. Provide real-life examples, screenshots, and illustrations.
  6. Prepare your presentation after viewing Rand Fishkin’s Making Presentations Better, remembering rule #1: Bullets kill kittens!
  7. Create a SlideShare account, and upload your presentation shortly after your session. Your attendees will appreciate it, and you’ll enjoy SEO benefits as well.
Ted Ule Speaking at PubCon 2010 Ted Ule Speaking at PubCon 2010

Moderating a Panel

Don’t take your moderating job lightly! I’ve experienced hands-off and involved moderators. The first leaves you with butterflies in your stomach wondering about logistics. The later helps you to be well prepared. At PubCon 2012, I’ll be moderating The Content Engine with Pat StraderAlison ZarrellaArnie Kuenn, and Christina Zila. I’ll be following these tips in preparation:

  1. Reach out to each of the speakers via email to coordinate logistics.
  2. Get an idea of the speakers’ outlines to ensure topics do not duplicate each other.
  3. Reminder speaker’s when their presentations are due, what time they are speaking, when they should arrive. A friendly email may be greatly appreciated.
  4. Make sure you know how to pronounce each speaker’s name. Don’t fumble over it at the microphone!
  5. Pay attention. Take notes during their sessions. Prepare some questions. If the Q&A is a little slow to get started, you don’t have to prime the pump.
  6. DO NOT sit on the panel texting on your cell while the speakers are at the podium!

Attending PubCon

I’m sure most of you know to bring clothes and comfortable shoes. (No streaking in high heals!) What else? All PubCon attendees can enhance their conference experience by knowing the following:

Raven Tools Poker Tournament at PubCon 2011 Raven Tools Poker Tournament at PubCon 2011
  1. Buy Monorail tickets in advance and save! Get discount tickets on the Monorail from October 15 – 18, 2012. The discount expires expires on October 2, 2012.
    • I bought a 3-day pass, equaling a $6.00 savings if just planning to travel from the hotel to the Conference Center two times a day. BUT, the pass allows you to access the Monorail as many times as you’d like in that period.
    • CAVEAT: If you’re staying at Treasure Island, you may not need the Monorail pass, since there is a conference shuttle.
  2. Take a free limo from the Las Vegas airport to your hotel, courtesy SEO Web Hosting.
  3. Go to the networking parties. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not all about free alcohol! Quite a bit of business takes place during the networking events, so bring your business cards and a device to capture insider tips and ideas.
  4. Attend #EpicDinnerVegas. Period. RSVP to Alan Bleiweiss via Twitter using hashtag #EpicDinnerVegas.
  5. Take pictures, and upload them to Flickr as part of the PubCon group pool.
  6. Bring throat lozenges. You’ll be talking a lot.
  7. Tote along energy bars in case you miss a meal or snack.
  8. If you plan to go out to some of the night clubs, some guys may not be ready to put on slacks. Jeans and shorts are not allowed in many establishments.
  9. Power up! Bring extension cords, spare batteries, and charge your own body with some good sleep!
Dave Roher Taking Pictures At PubCon Dave Roher Taking Pictures At PubCon

Okay, it’s your turn. Are you speaking? Moderating? Attending PubCon? What are your tips for a successful conference?

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