November 15, 2008
WebmasterRadio.FM's SearchBash Vegas 08 - Biggest SearchBash ever
“Moving the industry to the nirvana of Perfecto at the speed of fiber-light and always on-demand via podcast, we are WebmasterRadio.FM and we are everywhere!”
original photo by Andy Beal We started to relax when we heard the opening track. After two stressful weeks of preparation, the largest industry event WebmasterRadio.FM had ever attempted was finally underway. Held in the vast Palms Hotel club RAIN, SearchBash Vegas 08 was designed to celebrate the unity of search marketing community by creating a communal experience attendees will never forget. Four years ago, WebmasterRadio.FM was introduced at Pubcon. At SearchBash on Thursday, WebmasterRadio.FM proved it has grown to become a full fledged production company. For those who didn’t make it to Pubcon or haven’t already heard or read about SearchBash, WebmasterRadio.FM presented a full scale Las Vegas floor show based on the Paul Oakenfold presentation Perfecto, re-scripted for an audience of webmasters. Consisting of 27 costumed performers dancing amongst, around and above a crowd of nearly 1000 search marketers, the show was a spectacle of choreographed chaos. Imax sized screens above and around the stage showed branded visuals and the customized 4-D sponsors’ loop produced for each show WebmasterRadio.FM throws. Every performer was branded with the logos of our sponsors and many had hand-outs provided by our sponsors to give away. Making the sponsors happy is as important as giving the audience a life changing experience. The sponsors were happy and the audience affected. It was unreal, even by the standards set by previous WebmasterRadio.FM SearchBash events. From the incredible performers to the management of RAIN, everything worked exactly as planned. It should have, given the shear amount of planning that went into the event. Two weeks worrying through 18 hours days paid off. We rewrote an already finely scripted Las Vegas performance to make it relevant to the community. After innumerable phone calls, emails and text messages, several different scripts (each of which required at least three rewrites), sponsorship messaging drops, sponsorship branding opportunities and coordinating it all with the event staff and choreographers, it actually worked! Special thanks to our sponsors, Microsoft Live Search, PRWeb, Position Tech, Weave Met, Idea Launch, and Article Sender. Without the financial support of sponsors, such events simply could never happen. The sponsors were pleased. With branding on virtually every possible surface Microsoft Live Search, PRWeb, Weave Met, Position Tech, Idea Launch and Article Sender were incredibly well represented. The performers were branded, the stage and screens carried branding messages and even the podium below the DJ booth on the main stage scrolled text messages touting each of the sponsors. Similarly, without the efforts of our small army of engineers and technicians, most of whom were working from the WebmasterRadio.FM studios in Fort Lauderdale, the sponsors’ messages and the 4-D loop could not have been produced. While preparing for the largest event the network has ever thrown, many of our staff where crisscrossing the continent covering three other conferences. Over the past six weeks, WebmasterRadio.FM has been in New York twice for SMX East & ad:tech, and at Scary-SEO in Boca Raton. We’ve been working hard but nothing compares to the intensity of planning a mega-event in a very short time. Organizing such an enormous event is a bizarre, often surreal experience. When Daron and Brandy told me about their plans for SearchBash Vegas, the rolling of my eyes must have been as obvious as my suddenly raised voice. “WTF dudes, you want to do WHAT? Are you f’n crazy? You two have been spending like, way too much time in the sun or something,” I probably said. “There’s no f’ing way we can possibly pull this off. You guys are truly messed.” Collectively, we pulled off far more than we expected. Now that it’s over, a few more “f” words might be in order, starting with “fantastic” and moving towards “fun”. I’ve spent over a decade in the search marketing industry. In that time, I’ve worked for small and major corporations and two unique search marketing shops. I have never seen a staff as inspired to excellence as that of WebmasterRadio.FM. They work us harder than most but that hard work produces an excellent product. SearchBash was freakin’ fantastic.