Review of Robert Puddy's Britpack Live Seminar, Coventry, October 2007
If there's anything I've learnt from attending seminars over the last couple of years it's to make sure you get your seminar ticket early, book the train journey as far ahead as possible and reserve your hotel spot as soon as you can.
You need to stay at the hotel where the seminar is being held, believe me... and I would definitely suggest you get there the day before the event starts.
Keeping all this in mind, and after a brilliant 2006 event, I'd booked tickets for Robert Puddy's 2nd UK seminar months before the event. The seminar was due to start on Friday 5th October 2007 but I'd secured my ticket on the 26th June.
As you can probably tell, I was really looking forward to it!
I made it down to Coventry on the Thursday evening in order to be fresh and ready for a 9am start on the Friday morning. Shortly after checking into the hotel I met up with friend and fellow mastermind group member Pete and had something to eat in the hotel bar (and several beers).
At seminars, it's always quite tough figuring out who is a seminar attendee prior to registration and before any name badges have been handed out. I was lucky at this event because I knew a few people who'd be attending.
As it turned out, the bar was pretty empty and everything seemed to be happening in an event room - it was the VIP dinner that Bob had organised for the night before the event kicked off. He'd offered tickets to this session as an optional extra when I first booked to attend but I'd declined - that was a mistake...
The vast majority of seminar attendees were in there mingling whilst Pete and I sat in the bar. It got to about 10pm and some stragglers appeared from the VIP room and picked up on the fact we were internet marketers (must be some strange vibe we put out there). We got chatting and eventually ended up gate-crashing the dinner, which had actually ended about an hour before.
People were still hanging around the room so we carried on downing pints and talking about all things internet. When the barman pulled down the shutters at around midnight I figured they were stopping serving so I called it a night. I know first hand how difficult it can be to get up for a 9am start when you've had a late night "networking" session.
Friday 5th October
I managed to get up and ready and into the breakfast room for about 8.30am. I found the "breakfast club" table that one attendee had arranged specially with the hotel so all the Britpack attendees could sit together in the mornings.
By the time the first session started at around 10am (the timetable had specified 9.30am sharp!) I was in my seat, notebook ready, pen in hand. Pete just about made it in time, then explained that they hadn't stopped serving at midnight but just shut down the one bar. Everyone had continued in the main bar after I retired for the night.
Bob Puddy was first up introducing the "team" (all the speakers) and explaining what to expect from the 3 day seminar.
Now, I've met Mr Puddy several times and, without going overboard with the praise, I have a lot of time for him. At these seminars he always seems completely cool and in control yet at the same time he insists that everything is chaos around him. He does a superb job of getting excellent speakers to his seminars (especially from across the pond) and he goes out of his way to make you feel very welcome.
So, our seminar host took an hour or so to introduce a few of the speakers to us and also fill us all in on why he organises these events - it was a nice, relaxed intro to what was ahead.
We then had a quick break for coffee for "half an hour" (which turned into almost an hour as everybody chatted outside!) then sat down for a presentation from Success Coach Richard Butler - "Setting Yourself Up to Succeed".
I've never really been particularly interested in self-help but this was a great presentation which did succeed in making me think about a few things (and that is quite an achievement to be honest).
Richard's "pitch" at the end, however, was very muted and I'm not sure that many people managed to figure out what it was he was offering. It wasn't very expensive in any case at around £150...
We had an hour for lunch then a hot seat session where my good mate Pete decided to volunteer. He was chosen and went up onto the stage to bare all (his website that is) in order to be told by the speakers where he was going wrong and, more importantly perhaps, what he should do to his site to increase conversion and revenue.
It was reasonably "brutal" but excellent advice and Pete seemed to go away happy.
It was decided that there was time for a second hot seat session and a brave couple volunteered. The lady was a copywriter and wanted some advice about how to improve the site that she was using to offer her services.
Advice was handed out by the experts, some of it was well received, some not so well but, despite some heated discussion, everyone was still friends at the end. It was a great session for the audience, not so great perhaps for the lady who took exception to a little criticism!
At about 3pm we had a presentation from Tracy Repchuck who went through some internet marketing principles as well as some more advanced strategies.
In my opinion she shared some great information and as far as I could tell everyone agreed. Her well-delivered and impressive offer at the end had a lot of takers. The price offered was £1965.
We had another coffee break and then one last session entitled "Interrogate the VIP Experts".
Several VIPs and speakers were herded onto the stage to take part in a "free-for-all" - an open floor session. It was all great information and capped a very informative day.
That evening I tagged along with a group and went down to the local pub for dinner. The 3 people I sat with all ran Traffic Exchanges - a type of site I was previously unaware of - and it was an eye-opener to hear their stories about running and using TEs. 'nuff said I think!
We continued drinking and running up our bars tabs back at the hotel. My memory is a little hazy but I think it was around 1am when I called it a night. I was still in "sensible" mode and thinking ahead about getting up on the Saturday morning. Needless to say, there were plenty of people still up and drinking when I retired!
Saturday 6th October
Scott Paton was first up on Saturday morning and his hour and a half or so was about podcasting. He gave us a lot of facts and figures about using podcasts to build up your business and he was adamant that this was a great, untapped method of reaching customers. Lots to think about here, I made some great notes.
His pitch was a huge coaching, seminar and home study course package. It struck me as good value for money at £1997.
Following a break for coffee (which Bob Puddy insisted we drink as it was 'ridculously expensive'!) came the turn of Sean Roach.
Sean delivered a very lively and obviously well-rehearsed pitch/presentation about his sites - Rip2It and GotAccess. It was well aimed and persuaded a lot of attendees to sign up for his special deal - £444 upfront and then $97 per month after 60 days.
We took an hour for lunch and then had another hot seat session. Or at least it should've been one according to the itinerary. Unfortunately I've no notes on this so it'll have to wait until the DVDs arrive before I can confirm. Sorry about that! I have a feeling I know who it was but I can't be sure.
Last scheduled presentation of the day came from co-host Pat Lovell. His topics were Search Engine Optimisation, LSI and pyramid and silo website structures. Again, my notes have let me down here but I will watch this section again on DVD and elaborate later. Let's just say it was good stuff but quite advanced...
Pat's special offer was a mixed coaching, membership site and home study course which he discounted down to £500 on the day.
There was another "Interrogate the VIP Experts" session before we were hurried out of the seminar room so the hotel staff could transform it ready for a wedding reception later that night. It was a pretty fancy hotel...
For the evening meal a few of us decided to pop next door to the indian restaurant - when we got there we found that every seminar attendee had had the same idea. This little restaurant was packed with internet marketers. In between the friendly banter and nerdy discussions, I found time to knock back a few pints of premium lager. Well deserved I felt after a day of hardcore internet marketing.
We finished up there and then made our way back to the hotel. There was a "breakout session" from John Delavera and JP Schoeffel in the late evening but I missed it to stay in the bar. Don't ask me what "breakout session" means because I haven't a clue! Pete attended, said it was interesting and that they were mostly fielding questions about their software - which I wasn't familiar with so perhaps it was a good idea I didn't go.
By this time the main hotel bar was rammed with people, the vast majority of whom were there for Britpack Live. For some reason there was a large influx of people on the Saturday afternoon which swelled the number of attendees.
Knocking back the pints I found myself chatting to a lot of different people, even one particular marketer whose products I reviewed badly in the past. Despite me describing his manual as "very disappointing" we chatted for hours.
At one point somebody turned around and said "I don't believe it, it's half 6!". And it was. We'd been chatting away merrily and chucking down lagers and no-one was keeping tabs on the time.
The barman was mad as a wasp with us for keeping him there so late. He had to stay until we were finished and we later found out he only got paid until 2 in the morning.
I figured that quarter to 7 was far too late to still be up drinking and so I went to bed. I left a handful of people in the bar, a number of whom didn't bother with any sleep and went straight to breakfast from the bar - now that's dedication!
Sunday 7th October
Sunday morning was a complete washout for me unfortunately. I had to be woken up by reception as I'd missed checkout by about 2 hours due to my late night... By the time I got to the seminar room it was lunchtime and I'd missed both Martin Avis and Nathan Anderson speaking and also another hot seat.
I did manage to catch Tim Brocklehurst but my notes from that could only be described as 'pathetic'. I was more concerned with trying to rehydrate, much to Pete's amusement.
Tim's special seminar deal was for his software "MyViralSpiral" and other related bits and pieces including seminar tickets, hosting and consultations with "Success Team Coaches". There seemed to a lot to it for the price of £1,497.
After another quick coffee break we had a hotseat session and the "victim" got away quite lightly really as he'd created a good sales page according to the experts.
All that remained was for Robert Puddy and Pat Lovell to give a short speech and "close off" the proceedings. The whole weekend had been a huge success which was reflected in the fact that the audience gave Bob and Pat and their crew a two minute standing ovation.
It was well-deserved.
We formed a long queue to buy tickets for the 2008 Britpack Live event and also DVDs of this event. Pat confirmed that the 2008 seminar would be held on the 17th, 18th and 19th of October 2008 - the location is yet to be announced.
I got to Coventry train station and jumped on a train. The train ride home was hellish as I felt extremely hungover and it took forever to get to Preston... But it was all well worth it.
Yet again I had a great time. Robert Puddy's seminars really are a MUST ATTEND event. I highly recommend you make sure to be at the next one.
Randy Smith wrote a series of reviews of the BritPack Live weekend on his blog. He's got a great sense of humour and his observations of the weekend are spot on. Watch out for Pete appearing on all Randy's photos... (Links open in a new window):
Randy’s Adventures at Britpack... Day 1
Randy’s Adventures at Britpack... Day 2
Randy’s Adventures at Britpack... Day 3
Randy’s Adventures at Britpack... Day 4
Robert has recently announced a new UK seminar which will be held in Bristol on the weekend of the 8th, 9th and 10th of May 2009. Please see the following link for more details: