I had the wonderful opportunity to attend FinCon18 earlier this year. It was held in Orlando, FL. This was, by far, the best conference I have attended for my business. I met so many wonderful people and learned so much on how to grow my business and how to broaden my reach.
Once I checked into the hotel, freshened up and headed to the registration table. I got my name badge and pins. It was official - I was at FinCon18!!! I was ready to learn.
I had 3 goals:
1. Meet as many people I can can.
2. Get ideas to monetize both the It'$ My Money blog and The Money Exchange podcast
3. Learn how to grow my client base.
Ok now it is time to grab a bite to eat. Not really knowing anyone there, I went to each lunch alone. I sat down and as I was looking over the menu, then Madame Money walked in. She and I followed each other but had never met in person. We ended up eating lunch together.
Soon it was time for the first timers orientation. I said “this will help me understand what to expect, I can take notes (I am a big note-taker) and then I will be a set for the rest of the conference”. No, no, no when I finally found the room the orientation was being held in I opened the door and there was standing room only. It was overwhelming. There were so many first timers in the room. Oh no, I can’t take notes, I can’t hear, I can’t see who is speaking as there were people taller standing in front of me.
Then someone said the facilitator wants us to introduce ourselves and that broke the ice for me. I actually got excited as this gave an opportunity for me to share who I was and why I was there and to hear the same from those standing near me. Once I finished the initial introduction I turned to the person on my other side and to the next person and continued the introductions for several people. I began to feel more comfortable. I was in my lane!!
Now, I had to rethink goal #1 because there were so many people there that I wished I had done more homework and had a strategy for meeting people and doing more pre-planning for connections. That said, I actually met a lot of people. Many I have stayed in contact with and plan to work with in the future.
Later that evening were the Big Idea and Keynote speeches. I made my way to the front and found a seat - I was ready to learn. Minutes later the one and only Jean Chatzky came and sat down right next to me. Yes, she and I chatted and took a picture together. Now I am even more excited. Then the action began, “The Big Idea” came from they dynamic duo Talaat & Tai McNeely of His and Her Money. Their story was great. They took us on a journey and all were engaged the entire time. Then Jean Chatzky spoke, told her story and she introduced her new venture - Her Money. Next up was Rachel Cruze. If you don't know her she is the daughter of Dave Ramsey. Rachel was very good and such a great storyteller. She took us on the journey from when she use to go around with her dad to her going to remote places for speaking engagements, for free, as she was growing her brand.
I was a little tired so I headed back to my room and went through the conference booklet and it was jammed packed with tons of tips to help grow your business.
Over the next few days, I attended so many breakout sessions that aligned to the goals I wanted to accomplish. The facilitators were awesome and freely shared information and took pictures. I took so many notes. I was fortunate to have some great impromptu meetings and a really good mastermind in the dining area.
The Plutus Awards was also a big hit. The event was set up like the award shows you see on TV. Very well attended. It was great to see the faces behind a lot of the podcasts and blogs that I follow. It was also great to see other colleagues cheered on the award winners.
The last day we were favored by “The Big Idea” from Emma Johnson and Mr Money Mustache and PT followed by the Keynote delivered by the one and only Chris Hogan. It was such a great way to end a fabulous conference. I have been talking about FinCon since I left. I was so motivated to do more in my business. I tried to pour all I learned into the It’$ My Money team. I have encouraged others in the financial space to attend FinCon19.
I collected so many business cards. I have made so made connections with people I met and I look forward to engaging with even more. (HERE IS WHERE I AM WONDERING IF I SHOULD DO A COLLAGE OF PICTURES). Did I mention the swag, I have more swag then I can tell you about. Some of the booths gave me a t-shirt for my husband as well. I also had the wonderful opportunity to be interviewed by Jared of the Podcast Movement. I also spoke to the companies that I wanted to partner with or be an affiliate of. I truly enjoyed my first FinCon experience.
My advice for those considering FinCon19:
1. Do it! You will not regret it. Plan for it now. The dates are September 4th-7th in Washington, DC.
2. Book your hotel room as soon as you get the information. The rooms go fast.
3. Prior to attending the conference, use the FinCon app to engage with attendees, learn more about them and potentially set-up time to meet.
4. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. If you want to bring awareness to your brand, do like I did and wear your brand on your shirt. I know everyone at FinCon18 saw It’$ My Money was in the house.
5. Consider getting the virtual pass as there are so many sessions that you will want to attend and some will happen at the same time and you can’t be at two places at one time.
6. Have business cards with your email address, phone number and picture. This will help people remember you when they get back home and sort through everything they collected..
7. Network, network, network. Meet new people. It is great to see and be with those that you know but you already know them. Use this opportunity to expand your network. I read somewhere: net worth = network.
8. When you get home, or maybe the next day, go through everything you collected - the business cards, materials and swag and make meaning connections. Again, net worth = network.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.