Barry has posted a poll over at SERoundtable on whether people will be attending WebmasterWorld's PubCon in Las Vegas or Search Engine Strategies in Chicago this upcoming December. Now granted I am a little bit biased since I am one of the conference organizers for PubCon. However, I am also a Moderator at Search Engine Watch and the Official SES Party Coordinator as well as a long time speaker at both venues.
I will say however that last year, out of 18 conferences that I attended worldwide, PubCon Vegas was my favorite. It helped having great keynotes and having Danny Sullivan there was an added bonus so it was really almost a twofer ;) Barry gives reference to several facors to help attendees decide including:
I'll let you decide on your own which one to attend and how to give weighting to each category, but there are a few other factors to add to your decision making. Consider the 'Three P's':
Programming - SES Chicago won't be programmed by Danny even though he will be moderating - it won't be his show as he won't be the conference Chair. Brett Tabke does a fantastic job with the programming so I'm giving a hat tip towards PubCon.
Price - SES is typically a more expensive show and when compared to PubCon Vegas all around - the conference price will be considerably less, hotel rooms in Las Vegas are fairly inexpensive in relation to Chicago and flights to Vegas can usually be found on the cheap - especially in the off season. Once again, nod towards PubCon.
Parties - Typically, Chicago SES is terribly lacking on the social front and for the past couple of years the parties have been failry dismal and if it weren't for last minute contributions by a few folks there wouldn't have been anything party wise, whereas with PubCon, there are usually several good sponsored bashes and the last day of the conference is devoted to the 'Pub' portion of 'PubCon' which is where the conference actually originated so staying true to its roots, the 'Pub' is open to all for a great time networking. 'Nuff said - PubCon!
We'll see you in Vegas!