This is a thread I've been meaning to write for a while now. You see, I've been interested in attending UnGagged for a few of years already, but due to some personal issues, I was unable to attend. However, even if I hadn't been dealing with any issues, I still probably would've hesitated for three reasons: I've never travelled to Vegas alone. I wasn't sure what kind of people attend UnGagged. I felt I didn't know enough about UnGagged to warrant going. I figured I'm not the only one who was in this predicament, so I'm writing this thread for those of you who, like me, were hesitating on whether or not you should take the plunge and go. Why I Took The Plunge I don't normally attend SEO events, but what piqued my interest in UnGagged specifically is that I won't feel like a total stranger at the event; I know I'm going to meet some familiar faces (err, avatars), and I know a handful of my friends are going as well. Couple that with that fact that I already have some vague familiarity with it from Black Hat World, so choosing UnGagged was a no-brainer for me. Researching The Event As I mentioned earlier, I was curious to see what kind of people attend UnGagged. My imagination is a bit overactive, so I was imagining A LOT of latex and whips (Oops, right, this is for UnGagged, not Gagged ), I mean hard-core, in-your-face sales associates and extroverted SEOs. Admittedly, I'm fairly shy and don't speak much in-person, so this would be a huge turn-off, especially since there aren't any latex and whips around ! However, I watched as many clips of the event (not the speakers, but rather the reception areas) as I could find and I spoke with some of the attendees about the event. As unsurprising as it may be, the attendees are just regular, everyday people. Some of them are dressed formally, some are in business casual attire, some of them are dressed casually, and I kid you not, there was a photo of a speaker dressed as a penguin. In other words, there's no white tie dress code. If you're more concerned about the speakers and topics that are going to be covered, the UnGagged website and the Twitter feed have some information on that. But again, these resources didn't provide me with enough information for me to feel comfortable enough to go, hence the research I said I did earlier. Planning In Advance Since I'll be gone for about a week, it's important for me to plan this trip in advance. This means getting someone to watch my house and my cat, which I already did. But that's not all I had to plan in advance for... Money Despite how close I live to Vegas this is by no means going to be an extremely cheap trip. I mean, it's not too costly for me to get over there, but the majority of you attending the event will need to save up money and factor in the cost of airfare, food, gas/petrol, car rentals, hotel rates, travellers insurance, and of course that extra money set aside for emergencies. My Itinerary/Travelling I contemplated taking a plane up there, but I ultimately decided just to drive to Las Vegas just because I can. It's roughly 250 miles to get to Las Vegas from where I live, which translates to a four hour drive (I know, not much of a "road chip"). The freeway up there, from what I know, isn't too bad of a drive; it's just a long-stretch. Since I'm driving up there, my AAA membership will come in handy should something happen on the way up to the event or back. When I was looking into taking a plane to Las Vegas, there were some other factors I had to consider, namely that I may not be able to take what I want to Las Vegas due to "airline restrictions". That, and I would've needed to rent a car, take an Uber, or take a Lyft; so that's more money. Vanity If there's something you personally feel like improving about your appearance, an event is a good excuse to work on it. Think of it like getting your car ready for a car show, except you're the car. It could be something as basic as a haircut, but I'm not going to lie, I'm using this event as an excuse to whiten my teeth even more. Will anybody notice? Probably not, especially since I don't smile a lot, but I'm doing it anyway, damn it! What To Pack I'm not necessarily packing all of this since not all of it applies to me, but some helpful things to pack are as follows: 3/4 suits, one for each day (coat, dress pants, dress shirt, dress shoes, watch, lapel pins, sleeve garters, etc). 3/4 sets of casual clothing. Your wallet, ID, credit cards, insurance cards, etc. A toothbrush, deodorants, and other toiletries. Cash; it's always good to have a bit on you. A laptop. Your cell phone and a couple of chargers. A passport (if you're coming from outside of the United States). Sleepwear. Glasses, a glasses case, cleaning cloth, contacts lenses, contact lens solution (if you need any of this). A DSLR. A briefcase. Business cards if you plan on networking. You don't have to bring all or even most of this, though. In fact, one member I was speaking with about the event a couple of years ago pretty much just bought a cheap suit and hopped on a plane to Vegas the next day. From what I understand, he still had a good time. Plans For When I Get There As I mentioned before, I'm planning to meetup with some friends there and hopefully meet up unexpectedly with some of my favourite members of the forum (hint hint ). Some other members I've spoken with about the event have gone there to network (this is where those eggshell with Romalian type business cards come in handy). It's not all just going to be about the event, though. While I'm not a big fan of Las Vegas, that doesn't mean there's nothing for me to do there. For example: UnGagged is in Caesars Palace. You know what else is at Caesars Palace? Hell's Kitchen. I heard there's some decent BLM land near Vegas, so if you're a gunslinger like me, you know it's a good alternative to the range (which Vegas has plenty of, too). Go sight-seeing and walk around the Las Vegas Strip at night! Go swimming! I heard Caesars palace has some pretty good swimming pools, so you already know I'm hitting the pools when I can. The day before UnGagged, there's a "Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival" comic book festival going on. It's not really my thing, so I didn't look into it much. During the last day of UnGagged, The Lion King musical is supposed to happen. The tickets are pretty cheap. For you ladies and dudes who like buff women who can bend you like a silly straw, there's a bodybuilding competition happening the day before UnGagged. This one isn't my type of thing either, but there's a beer festival called the "New Vista's Brews Best Craft Beer" going on the day before UnGagged. Do you like Bull Riding? I don't, but the "PBR World Finals" starts the last day of UnGagged. There's a food truck festival happening the day before UnGagged! It's called the "Sunset Park'd Food Truck Festival". Well, that's pretty much everything I have! I'll write a thread about the event after I attend it in November. So with that said... See You In Part Two, AKA "Journey To UnGagged: The Squeakquel"!