November 13, 2008

PubCon 2008: Whither the Econolypse?

by tolles at 4:41 PM

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Maybe it's all going to work out OK afterall

I've written before about PubCon, and why its different than most of the trade shows I speak at or attend. Small businesses and site owners making there way, and folks outside of the echo chamber of Silicon Valley. And to be fully disclosed, I'm on the PubCon advisory board.

And the news from here is good.

First, I have it on good authority that attendance is up for the show. More interestingly, while attendance evidently *did* take a big pause right as things melted down with the banks and the Dow, about three weeks ago, signups came rocketing in, and things are ahead of last year, based on recent decision making by the audience of webmasters and business people who see the web as core to their business.

That's right. Small businesses made the call to invest in their businesses by coming here. The people here are still working the land, and making it happen

I'm not hearing doom and gloom. People are being a little cautious, to be clear. Sergio Kajirian, the Executive Director from PEK interactive told me "We're seeing lots of business right now, but people have flipped from asking us to make them money to how we can save them money".

Still, people are excited and paying attention in the panels, working to make their business work on the web. They are not drowning their sorrows at the bar, they're working hard, head's down.

And they seem kinda confident.

Now, maybe all that talk of impending doom is going to hit all these folks in the side of the head. And lots of my peers at Web 2.0 last week seemed pretty confident things were going to get pretty bad pretty quick for a pretty long time.

But.

The folks who came here, on their own dime, to figure out better ways to grow (or at least maintain their businesses), hey, they're carrying our water, guys.

It's too early to tell how things are going to shake out, but Pubcon was a counterbalance to a lot of the negative stuff I've been hearing for the past month or so.