PUBCON: Definitely one experience I won’t forget

For the past 5 days, I’ve been cooped up in Vegas.

Cooped up? Are you asking if you heard that right?

You sure did.

I was cooped up in Vegas for about 5 days, and all I did was attend seminars from 9 to 5. It felt like I was back in college…just without the friends and parties and whatnot.

“You were in Vegas!? How could you possibly feel cooped up? There’s so much to do!”

Yeah, yeah I’ve heard that from just about everyone. Believe me, there was a whole bunch of stuff I wanted to do. I wanted to go watch the shows, go to the parties, gamble, and have as much fun as possible despite the fact that it was a business trip. Life is funny like that; everything was a tease just placed right before my eyes. It’s cruel really. Why? All these excursions I want to do cost money. It’s not cheap either. Everything here is just expensive regardless of what you do. Lunch or dinner for one person can easily come out to $30 here if not more. Of course one of the cheaper pleasures here is alcohol.

So what did I do? I went and bought the cheapest yet tolerable whiskey bottle I could for $30 and became best friends with the bottle these past 5 days.

Granted a 750mL bottle really isn’t all that much for 5 days, but it was probably the one thing that made being here a bit tolerable. The seminars and whatnot were amazing; don’t get me wrong. I loved every bit of information and knowledge that was shared with me at this conference; however, after the seminars were done for the day I just did not have the energy or the money to go out. By the time I got back to my hotel room, it would be close to 6 or 7 PM. One of the days, we had a social networking event during which I got back to my hotel room much later than I would’ve preferred. Having not adjusted to the time difference, I couldn’t help but feel tired at 9 PM Las Vegas time. Sure it felt like I was back in college, but my body itself is no longer at that point where I can stay up till 5 or 6 AM in the morning and still function the next day.

Sleep time is now 11 or 12PM… how sad.

Ok so enough of the complaining. Let me tell you about PUBCON.

The funniest thing I heard on my first day here was what the cab driver had asked.

“Is this a convention for taverns and alcohol?” 

Anyway, if you didn’t find that funny…screw you, because I did.

So from day one it was just simply amazing. The panel of speakers was just fantastic along with the keynote speakers. after listening for the past 5 days, I’ve come to realize that I’m extremely lacking as far as “expertise” in the field. Sure I know the gist of this and that; however, I don’t know enough. It was something of course I knew already. As a health sciences major, I can’t possibly know much about marketing. I know the basic of basics and the idea that we market our business to others in order to make money. Everybody knows that damn it…

These guys at the conference were professionals in the field. I wondered if I was the only one who couldn’t understand some of the things that were being told to me. I felt extremely inferior and tiny my first and second day. I almost wanted to just give up on listening and just hole up in my hotel room until the span of the conference was over.

The thing that turned me around was the exhibits. Why? People spoke to me as if I was a professional. They asked me this and that in lingo I couldn’t understand and yet, it kind of made me feel better. At that point, I accepted my lack of experience and situation and started to tell the exhibitors that I was completely new to the field. I told them that I had very little experience and couldn’t understand more than half of the stuff that was being presented.

Of course, there are the assholes that think of themselves as high and mighty saying, “then I don’t think this is for you” with a smirk that I’d love to rip off. The urge to smack the shit out of some of these bastards was quite overwhelming but yeah, I’m not going to do that. Surprisingly, majority of the people present at the exhibits were extremely cool. I think majority of them told me that the field of marketing is always changing and that people are always learning new things. They put things into terms that I could understand and by the end of that day, I felt as though I had learned something. Not just something but a great big something. Things started to make sense and of course being that we’re in Vegas, we’re all drinking beer on the exhibit hall; even better, it was all free.

I’ve realized that for someone like myself, who has no actual marketing background, such a conference can easily be overwhelming and discouraging. A lot of these people came with their marketing teams and that was how I probably would’ve wanted to do it but yeah, not just yet. The feeling of being alone is accented by the fact that I felt so isolated in a field where I was the newbie within a field of experts. Regardless, I consider this conference to be a great success for me.

Not only have I come away with knowledge, but I have also come away with self realization that money or books just cannot teach or force. Some people may function differently, but I have this tendency to want to touch the flame even if someone tells me it’s hot; I just have to check it for myself. I went and but my hand in the flame by coming to PUBCON, and got burnt. Of course, I pulled my hand away but I managed to learn how to deal and to move forward. That’s the real prize here. I needed something to really tell me that I’m no where near where I need to be. Before I can say that I practice as a professional in my field, I need to study and expand my knowledge as much as possible. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

Sure I may have lost some money and time, considering the work piling at the office, but this was more than worth it.

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