Pubcon: Attending a Conference without Actually Attending

Pub Con Dallas 2010

About the author: Kaila Strong, an Internet Marketing coordinator at Vertical Measures, is an avid blogger, tweeter, and marketer online. Her interests are in social media, link building, SEO, and the online marketing field.

Every year there are hundreds of conferences across the United States in our field of internet marketing. From sea to shining sea there are Pubcon’s, Sempo’s, SMX’s, SES’s, SXSW’s and more. How can one possibly attend them all? Virtually!

This week Pubcon Dallas 2010 kicks off, and several of the people I follow on Twitter are attending. This has allowed me to sporadically keep track of what is going on, but I still don’t know all. I hate to miss out on information so below is how I keep up-to-date when I’m not actually attending conferences happening in our industry.


A simple Twitter search for the hashtag being used at a conference will yield thousands of tweets about the daily activities at an event. You’ll find people tweeting quotes, insightful information, and the occasional ‘meet me at the bar after’ tweets. Weeding through the tweets can give you great information without actually having to attend the conference. In addition, look for twitter lists. When I attended Pubcon Las Vegas I organized a list of Pubcon tweeters so I could easily follow the conversation happening at the conference I was attending in person, and several others do the same as well.

Live Blogging or Streaming

It seems that most conferences usually have several live bloggers in a variety of sessions at large conferences, and sometimes you might find that they have live streaming as well. Find the live blog posts or streaming sites and check for daily recaps as well. Lisa Barone is usually at several conferences each year and always has a great way of summarizing the sessions she attends. A list of the internet marketing conferences she’ll be attending can be found on the OutSpoken Media blog. Also worth noting are sites like,, and Each do a great job of live blogging, and sometimes they do streaming or wrap up posts when their staff is attending or speaking at a conference.

Speaker Lists

Check out the speaker lists, always listed on the conference’s website. If they’re on Twitter or Facebook introduce yourself. Start following them or fan their pages. Every once and awhile you might get lucky and see a link to their slides or more info on their presentation. You can even ask them to send you their presentation or a link to their slideshare posting (if they posted the slides online).

With so many conferences going on every year in our industry, there’s no way you can possibly have time to attend them all. Make sure to try your hardest to attend some though, as they do provide a great deal of information that you just can’t possibly glean online. But with the resources and tactics lined out above you should be well on your way to finding the best summary information without actually attending a conference.

What conferences have you ‘virtually’ attended in the past? Any tactics/ideas/resources you care to share?

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