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If you’re an American Personal Finance Blogger, you probably hear of FinCon. This conference for Personal Finance Bloggers has been around sinds 2011 and since then has been the place to be for networking, learning and – as I’m told – a lot of fun. I’ve been on the mailing list for this event for a couple of years now, but there were always many reasons to NOT go. So why is FinCon 2018 different? Why did I decide to travel 4,500+ (4,557 to be exact) miles to attend this year’s conference, even though I’m a bit shy and do not feel comfortable networking at all?
Everyone is talking about it (and we don’t have it here)
It seems like everyone is talking about it and I also notice that many bloggers I love experience extreme growth after attending. It’s like FinCon is giving bloggers a boost. And I love that.
Of course, I do have to travel quite a bit to get here. Orlando is 4,500+ miles away. That means that attending FinCon costs me more time than just for the conference AND it costs quite a lot of money: FinCon itself, the plane ticket, a hotel, a rental car (though that’s of course a personal choice, but I would like to travel around a bit prior to FinCon), etc. However, we don’t have anything like this in The Netherlands. Yet.
I checked the program
It’s very hard to not get excited when you look at the program for FinCon18! I’ve also downloaded the app and marked all the workshops and things that I want to attend and came up with no less than 104(!!) items. Since some of them are at the same time, I’ve decided to also purchase the virtual pass, so I don’t have to miss a thing.
I feel stuck in my blogging business and want that to change
As you can see, my last post on this site was from February 2018. I have been blogging (week)daily on my Dutch blog LekkerLevenMetMinder.nl, but I still feel a bit stuck in my blogging business. I am learning and implementing new things, my audience is growing, but I feel like I’m not quite there yet. I’m not completely sure what my unique added value can be.
At FinCon18, I hope to learn more about taking that next step, about doing instead of thinking, and even asking for help and work with others.
I want to meet new people
I don’t really feel comfortable networking. I’m a bit shy and not one to burst into conversations that other people are having. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to meet new people. I do! I love to hear other people’s stories and I love to learn from them.
Meeting a lot of people that are not just nice, but also have the same interests as me, would be absolutely AWESOME! FinCon will hopefully offer me 4-5 days (I’ll be doing some volunteering on Tuesday night) filled with chances to talk about all the things I am passionate about: blogging, business and personal finance.
I want to surround myself with people who ‘did it’
If you’re the average of the five people you surround yourself with, you really want to be at FinCon! This reason is a bit similar to the one about meeting new people, but it adds an extra dimension: I want to meet new people, but I also want to meet people who already made their blog a success. Who might be able to tell me what pitfalls to avoid and how to improve my websites.
On the other hand; I would love to be able to do the same for others. I may not be an extremely successful blogger yet (though my Dutch blog is doing fairly well with approacing 100k PVs/month), I have been an entrepreneur for 11+ years now. So if there’s someone I can help with my knowledge and experience, that would be awesome too. And chances that I meet them at FinCon are probably bigger than here at home.
Home was on board
Of course, it’s also nice to have home on board when you want to do something like this. And even though my BF is going to miss me A LOT, he was actually the one that said that this was really something I should do. That kind of support means a lot to me. After all, he will be the one that has to hear everything until probably the end of time.
Tips for first-timers at FinCon
Since I booked everything on Thursday and will fly out to Orlando on Sunday, I don’t have much time to prepare for FinCon. That is why I did a rampant search for tips for first-timers to attend FinCon, and this is what came up:
- Sleep in advance, you won’t get a lot of time to sleep when you’re there
- Come a few days in advance, so you might be able to meet up with people
- FinCon always needs volunteers, which will not only land you a nice T-shirt (hopefully, I think they said supply was a bit limited), but will also help you meet some people in advance. I’ll be helping with some preparation work on Tuesday evening, so I don’t have to miss anything during the ‘actual’ convention days.
- Bring cough drops. Apparently they are life-savers
- Drink enough water/stay hydrated
- Bring a coat or sweater, since the conference rooms can be a bit chilly at times
- Do NOT bring a lot of T-shirts, you’ll probably get more than you need
- Feel free to approach people and say ‘hi’. They’re also there because they want to meet like-minded people!
- Write down some goals. Who would you like to meet and what would you like to ask them? What would you like to learn? This is a really big event, and you would probably be missing out on a lot if you’re just trying to ‘wing it’.
- Take your ‘introvert time‘ if you need it. You’ll have to make it work for you, and it’s OK to take some time out.
- Make business cards with your photo on it, so you can distribute these. You will probably remember everyone you meet, but it’s nice to have something concrete to remember everyone by. I hope my order comes in today, otherwise I won’t have any 😉 Oh, and don’t just mention your website, but also add your socials! That’s something I forgot.
- Make sure you pack light (and prepare for a heavy return trip), I’m told that there are lots of goodies that you don’t want to miss!
- If you love it SO MUCH that you want to go another time, you should really book your tickets in advance. I paid almost $650 now (including the virtual pass and with a discount code), and Early Bird tickets are about half of that…
Can we meet at FinCon 2018?
I am really looking forward to my first FinCon and would love to meet new people. So if you see me, feel free to say ‘hi’! You’re really doing me a favour 😉 And if you want to get coffee (tea) or do lunch, just send me a message! I’ll be in Orlando on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday as well.
Of course, I’ll also try to do some live reporting, so you can follow everything through my socials as well. Or probbaly mostly via Instagram.
Are you going to FinCon 2018?