Over the past two weeks that I've been on the road, I've covered different states, 3 conferences and one vacation destination. So as I'm sitting here in the O'Hare airport, tethered to my Treo for internet connection (because O'Hare fools you into thinking their WiFi is free) as I wait for my flight home which is delayed by two hours (imagine that!), I've been reflecting on the more fun times of my extended business trip.
As search marketers we get to go to some great conferences. From Search Engine Strategies, Pubcon, AdTech, eMetrics to eTail and Shop.org, there's no shortage of great venues to attend to learn more about our industries and what our colleagues are doing that is successful. We learn a lot and we share a lot at these conferences, and there's no doubt each and every one of us comes away with a few nuggets of great information to utilize with our clients or employers.
With that said, there's also the "fun" aspect of what we get to do when we attend the conferences. Every year at SES San Jose, everyone looks forward to the Google Dance at the GooglePlex and the Search Bash that Webmaster Radio puts on. At SES Chicago, it's going for a great steak or some awesome Chicago style pizza and hanging out in an awesome blues bar.
In Las Vegas at Pubcon there are shows, this past conference I got to attend Spamalot at the Wynn hotel and casino, and the Blue Man Group at the Venetian hotel and casino. Both excellent shows, appealing to different sides of things I like (Monty Python and percussion music). The Blue Man group was a lot more than I expected, and dinner with friends before the show added a great touch to the evening entertainment.
Even after the Blue Man group's show ended, the entertainment went on. A meet and greet was arranged and search marketers ended up with blue noses and a bunch of pictures (even some lip balm and a CD). It was a nice added touch, but I think what impressed me most about the Blue Man group was the care they took for the audience members that were disabled. I can't tell you how it can touch your heart to see the attention and care a character who doesn't speak a word, can convey such caring.
Then in Chicago a night of fun, food and music. From great pizza at Giordano's to hanging out at Kitty O'Shea's to finally arriving at Buddy Guy's Legends it was another amazing night of run. Buddy Guy's Legends (just right around the corner from the Hilton), was another great venue to hang out and just network with friends as we listened to the amazing Lindsay Alexander (someone correct me on that spelling if I got it wrong). This guy is so talented and amazing and had an awesome band to back him up. From his amazing guitar playing, to his raspy blues voice, it was a surprising night of great music that I'm glad I was able to enjoy. Mr. Alexander's interaction with the crowd was so fun, and I'm sure Becky Ryan of Trellian can back me up on that! :)
No matter which conference you were at last week, you likely had a lot of fun. I can tell you though, from experience, getting to all the conferences was definitely something I was glad I was able to do, even though I'm still recovering!
Special thanks to Joe Morin for the Vegas entertainment, to Brandy and Daron Babin for introducing me to Buddy Guy's Legends and to Becky Ryan for driving me down Rodeo Drive in her convertible.