08/21/2014 10:03 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

An Interview with Pubcon's Lane Ellis

Las Vegas (my hometown) might well be the conference capital of the world. The types of events run the gamut, although I tend to stick to business and tech conferences. To this end, I recently had a chance to sit down with Lane R. Ellis to talk about the Pubcon Las Vegas 2014 conference this fall.

PS: What is Pubcon?
LE: Pubcon is a growing series of social media and digital marketing conferences that have been taking place in the U.S. and England since 2000. We're one of the Web's oldest and most authoritative series of conferences, with roots dating back to mid-1980s computer bulletin board systems, and our events bring together thousands of tech-savvy attendees with hundreds of the world's top new media and online marketing speakers for a week we pack full with educational sessions, major keynotes, an expo hall, networking opportunities, and a variety of other programs, including our exclusive second-annual U.S. Search Awards.

I like to think of Pubcon as a combination social media Ph.D program, online marketing think-tank, optimization state fair, and traditional high-tech pub gathering all in one, with a spirit of friendly networking that has grown increasingly rare among conferences.

Our founder and CEO Brett Tabke -- who coined the term SERP (search engine results page) -- has a nearly unparalleled 30-year history in organizing online communities, and for the past 15 years he's quietly and steadily grown the Pubcon conferences to international prominence, while also becoming a popular international keynote speaker in his own right.

PS: What kind of people should go?
LE: Social media and digital marketing professionals attend Pubcon, along with many founders, CEOs, and engineers at the online hang-outs and services most of us use daily. Our next conference is Pubcon Las Vegas 2014 on October 6 - 9 which will feature speakers from Microsoft, NVIDIA, Adobe, Google, Bing, Hewlett Packard, Lenovo, Hootsuite, Verizon Wireless, AOL, Symantec, Tribune Company, and Expedia, from a lineup of over 180 excellent presenters.

Over the past year Pubcon has been named a Forbes must-attend conference and an Inc. top conference for growing your business, which have helped bring us to the attention of more people than ever. The number of requests to speak we get has never been higher, and I'm excited about the 180-plus top submissions we've chosen for our big Pubcon Las Vegas 2014 event.

Attending Pubcon is a great way to learn how others in similar situations overcome the obstacles digital marketers face in today's social mediascape, as well as the type of big ideas you write about in your books, and after a week of taking in the latest research our attendees usually go home happily filled with robust checklists of new ideas for their businesses.

PS: How does Pubcon differ from other technology conferences?
LE: With roots dating back to 300-baud computer bulletin board systems, the tightly-knit community of our regular attendees includes many speakers who save their best research solely for Pubcon.

Besides the big-name established keynote speakers we've had, such as Malcolm Gladwell, Guy Kawasaki, David Pogue, Craig Newmark,and Tony Hsieh, Pubcon has also featured many people with brilliant ideas who have gone on to create major technology successes, such as our past keynote speaker Satya Nadella, who is now Microsoft's CEO, and Shakil Khan who helped start Spotify and who is now quite involved in the Bitcoin movement.

When the announcement about Satya's new position replacing Steve Ballmer was finally made public, I thought back on something he'd once said about Pubcon: "Pubcon has established itself as a rich forum for Web professionals of all shapes and sizes to come together to network, learn, and share the latest on SEM topics and more," and I think that rings true today more than ever.

The accessibility of technology leaders at Pubcon is special, too. Having top Google engineers spending over an hour meeting with our attendees after their keynotes has been common during Pubcon.

PS: When and where is Pubcon? Does it cost anything to participate?
LE: Over the week of October 6 - 9 our Pubcon Las Vegas 2014 conference takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and we've lined up keynotes by noted serial entrepreneur Ted Murphy, founder, CEO and chairman at IZEA, New York Times bestselling digital marketing author Jay Baer, Microsoft's Duane Forrester, and Jason Calacanis, CEO and founder of and longtime angel investor. We'll also be announcing a big-name kick-off keynote speaker soon. We offer some of the fairest registration rates in the industry, and have even implemented a volunteer program that allows folks to attend Pubcon in exchange for spending a few hours during the week volunteering.

About Lane
Lane R. Ellis has over 30 years experience working with and writing about the Internet. In 1984 he started operating a computer bulletin board system in Denver, Colorado, which has led him on a long and productive path working with the Internet and, since 1993, the Web. Lane writes the Pubcon blog, press releases and social media campaigns. Prior to joining Pubcon, Lane worked in the Web development and engineering fields beginning in the 1980s with Commodore Amiga software and hardware maker Progressive Peripherals and Software.

When he's not writing about the next big Pubcon conference, Lane enjoys distance running, having run eleven marathons so far, genealogy, cross-country skate skiing, collecting vintage computers, and spending time with his wonderful wife Julie Ahasay and their cats Phineas Faustus and ZaSu Pitts in Duluth, Minnesota.