Blog World Expo 2009 is in the books. The parties have all ended and most people in attendance are either home already or heading in that direction. I'm one of the lucky ones who lives right here in Las Vegas, so my trip home is quite a bit shorter (20 minutes) than most. I do not envy those that have to spend today or tomorrow traveling back to your families. While it great to be at events like Blog World, no matter how you slice it, traveling sucks. I wish you all a quick & safe trip home with no delayed flights!
As for the show itself, I'm going to need to write two different posts to cover it all. This one will focus more on Blog World as a whole. I'll write a follow-up chronicling my experience as the organizer and track leader for WordCamp Las Vegas.
I have now been to all 3 of the Blog World events, and I had attended one of the New Media Expo event a while back. I seem to remember there being at least one or two more aisles of vendor booths at last year's event. This is not really a surprise as all conventions in Las Vegas have seen a drastic reduction in vendors and attendees as the economy has been in the crapper. Even still, there was a decent collection of booths and I enjoyed walking the aisles and checking out their wares.
Since I started recording the Weekly WordPress Podcast a couple months back, I was really looking forward to checking out some of the hardware and software vendors in that space. I was really hoping to find a company that had mixing boards on hand that I could get an idea how they may solve some of my technical issues I'm having. Unfortunately, there wasn't one to be had. I think the podcasting community has such great potential and I would like to see more involvement in that community at Blog World.
If you know me at all, you know that I'm a WordPress junkie. So it should be no surprise that I was quite bummed to hear that the Automattic team, as a whole, would not be on hand for the event. I understand that they have a yearly retreat where the entire company works together from one location for a week, but, the timing of it is pretty darn incredible. I can't help but feel that there is some sort of “office politics” that kept them from being on hand this weekend. The biggest problem I have with them not being there is that it robs the Blog World attendees of the opportunity to walk up and say hello to Matt and thank him for the amazing contributions they have made to the blogging world. I know it means a lot to Matt to hear a heart-felt story of appreciation for the product that he loves and I also know, from experience, how nice it is to say thanks, in person, to one of the people who makes it all possible.
OK, that's enough complaining. With those two negatives aside, I really did have a great time at the event. A huge part of that is getting to speak face-to-face with people that I've met over the past 3 years of Blog World and all the WordCamp events I've been to this year. The networking opportunities this weekend were abundant! Before the start of the day, between sessions and at the after parties on Thursday, Friday and Saturday… Although it makes for a very tired set of feet and vocal cords when it's all over, it is absolutely 100% worth it and I'd do it again next weekend if I could!
Since I was running the WordCamp event, most of the show content that I was able to hear was from those presentations. I think I can safely say that I took more notes and got more actionable items out of this weekend than I did at last year's Blog World or any of the WordCamps I've been to this year. Not taking ANYTHING away from those other events, it's more a function of being able to actually sit and listen! Since the Blog World team was in charge of all stage, lighting, projector, etc…, it meant I could introduce the speakers and, for the most part, have a seat and listen. It was a great experience!
It has been an extremely fun and informative weekend (can you call Wednesday afternoon through Sunday at 1am a ‘weekend') and I am already looking forward to next year's event. Big thanks to the organizers who spent countless hours putting this together! Rest up. You get to start planning again in a few weeks. 😉