Pubcon is Coming: Tips on Surviving Vegas

pubcon_logoLast October I attended Pubcon for the first time. I don’t really like to fly so it took me awhile to build up the nerve to pitch to speak, but I did it and went to Vegas. It was really great and I enjoyed the conference a lot. However, there were some things I wasn’t expecting and I learned a lot surviving this Vegas trip. So, here are some tips for surviving Vegas.

Plan and Rest

You need to show up to the conference rested. So, I suggest you plan out clothes and other items you will need a couple of weeks ahead of time and take the last week to sleep as much as possible! Don’t go to Vegas exhausted; I did that and it was a bad idea.

Live in a Humidity-Filled Environment? You WILL Need Water…

…you will need a lot of water! I live in the lower half of Florida. It is humid here, really humid. I did not expect the dryness of Vegas and I had no idea what the lack of humidity would do to my body. Here is a quick list:

  • My skin got very dry very fast (I even felt it on the plane). Bring lotion, hand lotions and perhaps Chapstick.
  • My legs and feet swelled (drink water).
  • I felt weak at times.
  • My curly hair was suddenly very straight (what the heck).
  • By the time I left my skin was wrecked.

It was suggested to me that I drink water and I kind of did, but not nearly enough. If you are not someone that drinks 8 glasses of water a day, you live in humidity and you are going to Pubcon you need to become a water drinker fast. When you are there grab bottles of water and force yourself to drink them; you will be happy that you did. If you plan on partaking in some alcohol drinking you really need to drink as much water as you can during the day and even at night.

The Convention Center is Cold, Y’all

Bring a hoodie, jacket or sweatshirt. Bring something! This tip saved me and I was comfortable the entire time I was there. I would also recommend pants over shorts, but hey, you know best. The hotels and casinos are pretty chilly too, so bringing a back-up jacket is always a good idea.

Shoe Tips

mattsshoesEveryone knows Vegas is huge and there is a lot of walking before night even begins. Take care of your feet during the day because the nights are long!

I got a great pair of tennis shoes before I left and walked all over the convention center in them. It was the best thing I did. A few nights I decided to wear my comfortable heeled boots…

FYI, after standing around talking to geeks and walking around hotels, restaurants and/or night events at the convention center my heeled boots were no longer comfy. In fact, my feet were asking me to just shoot them and end their misery.

There are places you are going to want to look nice and perhaps be a bit dressy, but you need comfortable shoes. Go shopping and find some comfortable dressy shoes and wear them around your house for a few hours first and break them in.

Sleep

Ha, sleeping in Vegas, that is funny. Seriously though, you need to find ways to get some sleep here and there. You have 3-4 days of conference time and 4-5 nights of hanging, possibly drinking and networking. The earliest I got to bed was 3:30 and the late-night networking is so worth it.

Sleep as long as you can at night. Go through the Pubcon sessions and look at the ones you don’t want to miss. If you have an hour where you have nothing to do and you have an opportunity for a nap, take it. I saw people sitting and crashing in the convention center and wondered why; now I know why.

Carrying Stuff to the Conference

When I went I was carrying shirts to give away, a large video camera and my laptop bag. Within three hours I was exhausted. When I go back to Pubcon I will be taking something really small, like a netbook. A 3-4 pound computer doesn’t seem like a lot, but after hours of walking it is. Plus you have business cards, a bottle of water, perhaps a snack, swag…? Whatever you carry, that bag will feel heavy after a few hours. Minimize what you take.

Cash and Cameras

MattCutts-Pubcon 2012Have $1s and $5s. You will need them for tips, beverage machines and coffee/breakfast items in the morning at Pubcon.

Bring a small camera if you want some great pics of cool people. FYI, we saw Matt at the Monday night kickoff party and he was there or the keynote the next day and then he was gone! Don’t miss the kickoff party :)

Leaving Vegas

FYI, the security line at the Vegas airport is extremely long. Extremely, extremely long. TSA is not even slightly friendly at this airport. Do not get to the airport late and hope to catch your flight. I also suggest wearing things that are easy to deal with at the airport. Flip flops, not belt, hoodie. Be a bum and it is easier to get through the line.

 You Will Have a Blast!

The only other recommendation I have is if you are going to be partying make sure you have a friend that will keep an eye on you and make sure you do nothing that will end up on TV or  Twitter.

If you are going have fun! If you are not sure if you should go? I think everyone needs to go and experience it at least once. Just remember, all expenses are tax deductions! ;)

Check out Pubcon Vegas 2013 Events and Party List

About Melissa Fach

Melissa Fach is the owner of SEOAware, LLC that specializes in consulting and training businesses. She is also an associate on the community team at Moz, a writer at CopyPressed, the past Editor of Search Engine Journal and a big cat volunteer. You can find her on Twitter @SEOAware.

Comments

  1. Vikki Fraser (@vikkiorlando) says:

    The Chapstick is an absolute must. This Orlando girl needed plenty of water as well. And ditto on the straight hair (I loved it) Can I add: 1) There’s a Ross Dress for Less on the strip where I got last minute comfortable shoes for 12 bucks. 2) Don’t miss Freemont street, there’s nickle slots and that waving cowboy. 3) Adult beverages were expensive compared to what I’m used to. 4) Freebies to grab: 5 hour energy, Sunglasses, Battery operated phone chargers, water – the rest you will wonder why you lugged it home. 5) Write on the persons business card a word or two about your discussion such as “Lead for X” “Y provider” “Guest blogger” “eBook guy” it makes the Monday back to work much easier. 6) If you see Chiropractor Mike smile and stand up straight.

  2. Vikki, those are awesome tips! Phone cords and backup batteries are a must!!!

  3. If you need a little bit of extra hydration, ask the front desk at your hotel to have a humidifier sent up to your room. I’ve never been to a hotel in Vegas that did not have those available for guests who request them. As for water… buying water at the hotel is INSANELY expensive. Stop by a convenience store and get a liter of water from there, and then keep refilling it. Oh, and bring a power strip (preferably one that has a couple USB ports in it).

    • Brian LaFrance says:

      The Walgreens that’s on The Strip is usually a pretty good place to buy water if you don’t have transportation with you. Way better than hotel prices.

  4. Best part about CVS and Walgreens is that they are open 24 hours. I’m coming from the East coast and had to get a little help with the 3AM wake up.

  5. Kris Roadruck says:

    Fly first class to avoid the long line. Also helps when nursing the post pubcon hangover when you don’t have to be packed like a sardine between 2 folks on the flight home ;-)

  6. Plan your parties and networking ahead of time. If you know there are people you want to meet up with find out what events they are attending. It’s a lot easier to network with multiple people at one event rather than planning a lot of individual meetings.