I am so excited to announce that I will be attending Pubcon in New Orleans in mid March. I’ve always wanted to go, but this will be my first Pubcon. As a speaker, I almost never attend conferences that I am not speaking at, but for Pubcon I’ve decided to make an exception. If you haven’t ever attended a Pubcon, you’ll probably enjoy reading my series the week of March 18 – from the perspective of a first-time attendee. But in the meantime, here are five great reasons to make Pubcon a part of your budget.

1. It’s Gonna Be Fun

Like I said, I’ve never been, but I have heard great stories from the last 15 years of being in the industry. Did you know that the first Pubcon (WMW) conference was in 2000? As in 14 years ago? Yeah, I’m betting they have fun down to a science. I’ll be attending as many events as I can, including the awesome dinner planned at Mulates for Wednesday night. It’s not Epic, but did you know the last Epic Dinner at Pubcon NOLA 2013 had over 100 attendees? I’ll also be at the Bourbon Cowboy Networking Event on Tuesday night and the Bourbon Street Experience after conference wrap up on Thursday. No other conference to my knowledge offers this many planned, but informal events.

2. There’s Real Knowledge to Take Away

Pubcon is often called the “speaker’s conference” because so many speakers like myself just attend to learn. The cream of the crop of speakers is here, and in case you have trouble convincing your boss to go, Pubcon has created a handy top tips for your boss checklist as well as 101 reasons to go.

3. Phenomenal Speakers

The keynotes this year are amazing. I first heard Peter Shankman speak at an AMA conference, Tim Ash at an SMX conference, and I’ve yet to hear Dr. Robert Cialdini or Danny Bernstein. But at Pubcon NOLA, I get to hear them all at one conference! Not to mention the scores of other fantastic speakers, like Christine Churchill, Eric Enge, Mark Traphagen, Chris Goward, and so many more.

4. It’s Got Street Cred

Add to that list of ways to convince your boss, Pubcon is playing with the big boys. It was named a “Must Attend Conference” by Forbes, was featured on UpCity’s list of “25 Small Business Events to Put On Your Calendar for the Year”, and included in Inc.’s list of “7 Marketing Conferences That Will Help Your Business Grow This Year. As other search conferences wane in attendance, Pubcon had record attendance in 2013.

5. I’ll Be There

I’ll be hobnobbing and networking with the best of them, and with a little luck, I’ll be speaking there next year!

Counting the days, and hoping to see you there!