Prior to October, blogging has cost me just the few dollars a month it takes to keep debtblag.com registered and hosted — certainly worth it for as much fun as I have doing it.
That why when I heard of the Personal Finance Blogger Conference (PerFinBlogCon), I was certainly intrigued, but with this much debt, I found it very hard to justify the $250 price tag just for the tickets.
And then, of course, the conference had a flash sale and — impulsive clown that I am — I jumped.
So how much will PerFinBlogCon cost me?
In order to get my money’s worth, I’ll need to draw on previous experiences with professional conferences.
Lessons learned from previous conferences
- Plan! Go over the conference schedule to find which talks I definitely want to attend and use this to start an agenda. Just as importantly, I’ll explicitly write in time in the agenda for networking and for exploring the host city.
- Get the word out to other bloggers and industry participants that I’m attending. That’s the point of this post. Hey guys, I’m coming.
- Stay in the hotel affiliated with the conference. This breaks one of my budget traveling rules because I could have found some place cheaper, but it will save me time getting to and from conference happenings, and allow me to continue networking in a more social setting after official conference hours.
- Bunk with another attendee. Not only does it save money, but it’s one extra person I’ll network with.
- Network hard. My goal is to connect with seven people a day. I’m not great at meeting people so setting this goal forces me into it. I will also make appointments with people I already e-know. Arranging appointments this way makes meeting feel less random and makes it harder for me to hide.
- Make business cards. And not just business cards, but useful business cards. I’ve seen people at conferences fall into the trap of trying to be too creative with their business card design at the expense of them being useful. Look to the right for my draft design. At previous conferences, I’ve brought my work business cards.
- Research the host city. I’ve never been to St. Louis, and since I’m already paying to fly and stay there, I might as well take in the sights! I hear there’s an arch.
If you’re the sort who’s been to a conference before, do you have any thoughts? Have you been to a finance blogger conference and have ideas about what I should expect?