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SOBCon 2011: Successful Online Business Conference – The Must Be There Conference

sobcon 2011I say this every year, and thank goodness a few people listen and change their lives. Here goes one more time:

If you do anything this year to change your business, go to Successful Online Business Conference (SOBCon).

This year we’re celebrating the fifth year of SOBCon, the life changing business event for bloggers, web publishers, WordPress bloggers, app producers, entrepreneurs, advertisers, marketers, online businesses, ecommerce experts, authors, PR folks, and anyone and everyone personally or financially invested in making their online business a success.

It’s April 29 – May 1, 2011, in Chicago. Be there.

This year, hosts and producers and Terry Starbucker take the event to a whole new level bringing together some of the brightest minds in the business web world to help you learn not just how exciting the web business world is, but how you can embrace it fully.

Before I start sounding like a used car salesman, let me describe your experience. Those who attend a SOBCon event often come away with stars in their eyes, all glowing and enlightened, and unable to really describe what happened without using words like earth-shattering, mind blowing, unbelievable, and changed my whole approach and way of thinking. So let’s get down to what really happens.

You all know that old game, asking each other who you would bring to your dinner table if you could bring anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be? Liz and Terry have answered that question for you, bringing together 150 people into one room, participants, speakers, and sponsors, all together, sitting at the same tables, your own personal dinner table conversation with five or six of the most brilliant minds.

Jay Jay French of Twisted Sisters, Chris Brogan, and Terry Starbucker lead a panel discussion at SOBConWhile there are social events throughout the weekend, beginning with the first night, giving you a chance to really get to know these incredible people, the real work happens at that table. The presenters, like Cathy Brooks of Story Navigation, Derek Halpern of Social Triggers, Steve Farber, Carol Roth, Chris Brogan, Jodi Gersh of Gannett, Chris Gillebeau of The Art of Non-Conformity, Tim Sanders, author of three NY Times best selling books including “Today We Are Rich,” and Michael Port, author of the NY Times bestseller, “Book Yourself Solid,” present short lessons, guiding you through their successful approach and process, then works with you and everyone at your table for one-on-one mastermind sessions where you put together an action plan for you and your business. Representatives from the amazing sponsors join you at those tables, GMC, GoToWebinar, Network Solutions, and more, helping you to ask questions and learn from the best. And you help them. These might be representatives of some powerful companies, but you have a thing or two to teach them.

Chris Brogan and Phil Gerbyshak work on mastermind problems at their table, SOBCon 2010The final day, Sunday, is action day. Four non-profits present their social media and online business challenges, and participants, working in new larger teams, spend the morning putting together action plans for one or more of the groups, their social media marketing plan, taking everything you’ve learned over the past few days, and your own expertise, to come up with solutions that will help them reach out to their members and supporters using the web in new and exciting ways.

Sunday afternoon you are on your way back home to life and job with a new vision, a new plan, and the next steps you need to take with your business strategies.

One of the most exciting aspects for me about SOBCon is the number of people who’ve built their business on WordPress, pushing it to its limits. I get a chance to learn from them on how they make WordPress work within their online business vision, and they tell me what they want to see more of in WordPress, and I pass on the love to the WordPress Community.

Over the past five years, I’ve seen people with great vision but no plan of action become some of the leaders you respect in the online industry. I’ve seen people come together to network and learn a little, walking out with a new vision and business partners.

So how do you describe such an event – forget description. Forget all the other events you go to and classes you take to figure out how all this works. I had a friend who spent $5,000 two years ago on classes and conferences to come away with little more than the recommendation that she had to use WordPress and get on Facebook and Twitter. Sure, she met new friends and expanded her network, but after all that time and money, she really didn’t know what to do next. Last year, she attended SOBCon and came back uttering “blew my mind, unbelievable, and powerful stuff.” And a plan of action. Today’s she’s rockin’ it with a highly successful online business and marketing consultancy, two ebooks, and a powerful confidence.

I won’t name names. She’ll probably be at SOBCon this year, so come meet her and learn how she turned those vague, starry-eyed phrases into success.

I’ll be there with Dave Moyer of and , so make sure you come by to check to see if our heads have exploded.

See you there!

Past SOBCon Reports

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen.


  1. Selma
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I wish we could get something like this going in the UK. I did attend a seminar last year but it was a bit lame and I didn’t get much out of it. You guys in the US seem to have this blogging thing down to a T.

    • Posted March 6, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      This is not a normal conference or seminar, so please do not compare it accordingly. This is unlike anything out there.

      As for the United States having a step up on blogging, I’d have to disagree. There are some exciting things happening the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Israel, Japan, Singapore, Australia…sorry your experience doesn’t tell you that story. Time for you to get out and about! Some exciting things happening right near you, I’m sure.

      There is work to bring SOBCon to the Netherlands and UK. Check their site for updates. And I recommend you check out or the equivalent for your country and get involved with local blogging, social media, web publishing, WordPress, and online business groups and events. There are some exciting people doing great things out there.

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  1. […] SOBCon 2011: Successful Online Business Conference – The Must Be There Conference « Lorelle on Wo… This year, hosts and producers Liz Strauss and Terry Starbucker take the event to a whole new level bringing together some of the brightest minds in the business web world to help you learn not just how exciting the web business world is, but how you can embrace it fully. […]

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