How to Sneak in Into a 1000$+ Conference for Free

Today I met Tim O’Reilly, the guy who coined the term Web 2.0 back in 2004. Well kind of. First let me tell you how I did it.

The Web 2.0 Expo was in town, in this case Berlin, Germany where I live and work. I’m not the typical expo or conference guy. I do not wear ties you know. I don’t even have a real business card.

I move office and change positions so often that each time I get one it’s already outdated. I guess I should print one with nothing but my URL on it, as it did not change since 2001.

Well, I digress.

So how did I sneak in into the Web 2.0 Expo in Berlin without paying the 1000$ or something entry fee?

Well, you know, all SEOs are crooks and liars! So it was easy for me as I’m even SEO 2.0! Here are the 5 steps:

  1. Pose a someone important, especially if you are a VUP (very unimportant person) like myself, create a website and call it Whatever 2.0 (substitute whatever with your site name), in my case SEO 2.0
  2. Propose a session to the overworked and far too busy staff that only cares for the VIPs not the VUPs
  3. Soon you’ll get an email which isn’t of much help, or rather confuses you. Just reply that it’s OK and that you’ll be there
  4. If you’re a VUP (not a VIP!) you’ll end up on a guest list if you’re lucky, or in my case I was asked to add myself to the Wiki as it’s Web 2.0 and we’re all very modern and all about UGC and participation
  5. Go there, be late to your session, at least 20 minutes and tell the hostess who has got no clue about the expo that you have got no clue where you’re session is but that you are an invited speaker and you are late (more than 20 minutes)


Then you will find lots of people who have no clue either and can’t help you. Especially they have never heard of you or any wiki and they can’t find it on their website.

Of course as you’re only a VUP you can’t find your scheduled session anywhere so you can just dive into the expo and listen to all the VIPs. You can even stay for a free lunch, I hope free, as people who pay 1000$ or more should get food for free I guess.

I did not stay as I was told by another disgruntled visitor that the food sucks.

Before I left I had an interesting talk with a representative of one of my favorite Web 2.0 services, Zoho. As I wrote some weeks ago Zoho offers the best web based word processor among of its by now huge number of advanced tools and applications for online office.

Ian of Zoho introduced me to the Zoho Creator where he dragged and dropped a data base driven email application in front of my eyes. That was awesome.

When you’re in Berlin, stay here for a while and you are interested in meeting a VUP like me I guess we can arrange something. The Web 2.0 expo itself was not a good place to get in touch. Well, wait didn’t you actually tell us that you met Tim O’Reilly?

Do you trust crooks and liars SEOs?

Well, I did and I almost interrupted a TV interview with him in the press room aka speakers lounge or whatever. We had eye contact twice as he probably wondered “who is this annoying guy looking like the Mexican who sells the burritos in LA where I stop by sometimes?”.

I even thought about chatting with Tim but then I was to busy too wait as long. Tim, skip those boring interviews next time if you want to speak to the guy who coined the term SEO 2.0, kind of.