Brett (and assisting staff, volunteers and speakers)...
Wow! Congratulations on an outstanding event!
This was my first PubCon. I live in Orlando (as if you couldn't tell from my handle ;> ) and for me, it all began when I decided to stop by the hotel Wed. evening "just to see if anyone had arrived early" -- little did I know!
About 40 folks were already standing outside the hotel, talking and having brewskies. No swingers arriving on that night, just a great meet and greet that lasted til the wee hours of the morning.
The crowd reassembled early the next morning, and at every break between sessions, and again all night long. What a really cool way to hang out with some really cool people from all over the world.
I highly recommend this event to all Webmaster World members. You will not be disappointed. The level of knowledge and friendly spirit was truly beyond what one finds at other Internet conferences today.
I made many new friends from all over the world and even bumped into a few old ones living right here in Orlando who I haven't seen in years. And I made some great new business contacts.
The speakers and presentations were excellent, without exception. My only complaint - the sessions seemed to end too quickly! Many topics deserved at least another hour, especially the panels with s.e. managers. Oh well.
Of course it was great to hear directly from the product managers of the world's leading search engines. You just can't beat that kind of direct communication. I found all the s.e. managers to be forthright and as direct in their answers as one could expect from any company that is making comments in the presence of its competitors not to mention circling s.e.o.'s listening for any "inside" info that might be revealed :). Not to mention the daily changes that are continuing to shape this still young and evolving industry.
And given that, well let's admit it, it's kind of a "geekfest," I have to say that the SE managers' respect toward SEO's reminded me of the best of the top notch developer program managers that I have met from Microsoft, Intel, and eBay. Which is the way it should be, given that SEO's are as beholden to SE's as developers are to their software platforms. And where would SE's be without SEO's anyway?
By the way, I stopped by again this evening, and what do you know? A couple of PubCon folks outside the hotel entrance waiting for the airport shuttle, and a couple more making plans for dinner. PubCon continues!
If you attended this PubCon and you're ever back in Orlando for business or vacation, feel free to drop me a line and we'll hoist a brew to Brett!
Best regards to all,