5 PubCon Badge Essentials

If you’ve never heard of it, PubCon is a four-day search marketing conference that features leading-edge education and networking in over 90 sessions and some 200 expert speakers on social media, affiliate marketing, search, SEO and SEM.

My PubCon badge arrived in the mail yesterday. It’s nice to have it in advance and avoid the lines at registration. It’s not an ordinary conference badge either (this thing could double as a mini survival kit). As I like to be prepared for 4 days on the conference floor in Vegas (3 days and one day in the bar), I put together a list of what I consider to be 5 essentials those attending PubCon may want to consider carrying in their badge packages.

pubcon badge front6 pouch PubCon badge with key essentials

The photo above shows the front of the PubCon 2009 badge along with some key essentials. If you take a look at your conference badge holder you’ll notice it has six different compartments. One of the front compartments even has a zipper and there’s Velcro to help keep items in place.

I experimented putting various items in the front pouch like my iPhone 3G which fit snugly within the zippered enclosure. I don’t know that I’d recommend keeping your mobile electronics in your badge pouch as it could put an unnecessary strain on your neck. OK, here’s my five essentials for those attending PubCon 2009 in Las Vegas…

pubcon pouch backBack of pouch with business cards and pens

1) Business Cards — There’s a nice slot in the back pouch to hold plenty of your business cards. I was able to fit 30 of mine in there with no problem. You can never have too many business cards when attending an event like PubCon as there’s numerous networking opportunities.

2) Pen / Marker — Also on the back of the badge is a slot for two pens, pencils or other writing devices. Bring along a good pen (I like my Dos Equis XX pen since it lights up – can come in handy in Vegas) and maybe even a magic marker or some other writing device. History has shown it’s really good to have something like a Sharpie on hand, especially if somebody gives you one of those glossy business cards that you can’t write on with an ordinary pen. Best to be prepared.

3) USB Stick — This one is especially important if you’re speaking at PubCon. You never know what could go wrong, so it’s great to have a backup of your PowerPoint presentation on a USB memory card, tucked away in your conference pouch.

4) Gum — It’s Vegas, I suspect there will be lots of caffeine in the morning, and lots of alcohol in the evening, with plenty of conversation in between. It would do well to have plenty of gum handy (or mints if you prefer) and if you keep it in your conference pouch it won’t get all sticky like it does when you keep it in your pocket.

5) Vitamins — This suggestion may not seem to fit, but for the same reasons mentioned above (caffeine/alcohol and long days/nights), I found it can be helpful to increase the dosage on your regular daily intake of vitamins. Pack enough for your week in Vegas and keep them daily in your conference pouch. I think everyone in attendance will appreciate everyone else being in the best of health, while we all hang out in Vegas.

pubcon business cardsBusiness Cards from people attending PubCon

Aside from the five essentials, there are many other valuable uses for your PubCon conference badge holder. The slot right behind your name tag is perfect for placement of business cards you receive from others. This way, if you’ve had a few drinks while networking, you’ll have a strategy down… your cards in the back and cards from others in the front.

You may have noticed in the top photograph that there is cash shown inside the pouch. There’s plenty of room for cash (and the zippered enclosure makes things even better) but it didn’t make my top five list. Vegas is definitely a place to have plenty of dollar bills handy, especially if you’re taking cabs around town, and having people carry bags for you. So maybe, some extra dollar bills inside your conference pouch isn’t a bad idea.

Did I leave anything off the list that should be an essential? See you in Las Vegas!