I have absolutely devoured all the FinCon13 recap posts in my RSS reader this week! I know some of the writers think they are boring/tedious for their readers, but since I “know” so many of the participants it’s interesting to me to hear about them hanging out together. I am considering buying the Virtual Pass so I can at least learn from the presentations, although I know that the in-person networking is the more important aspect of the conference.
By coincidence, at the same time FinCon13 was going on, I was at a retreat with my church. While there, I met a woman who has an internet business that she launched a couple years ago and she recently became completely self-employed. She was telling me how she has been attending conferences in her niche about every other month and how valuable they are for her business. I found myself wishing to be much more savvy about blogging and marketing than I currently am! It was great to talk with her about the tactics she’s figured out. If I could have such an awesome time talking with a stranger whose business is only tangentially related to mine, how much more fun would I have with my internet friends working to improve all our blogs?
I have been to scientific conferences in the past and found them valuable if exhausting. It really is amazing how much more you can learn from talking with people face-to-face than you will from a paper, and it’s great to get feedback on work in progress. At the last conference I went to I was able to meet up with a previous advisor, which was awesome. If just knowing one person at a conference could be so wonderful, I’m sure I would have a blast at one where I’m familiar with a large percentage of the attendees.
I am setting a goal to attend FinCon14 and pay for it with earnings from EPF. I considered going this year but as we hadn’t even earned enough to cover our expenses yet, I didn’t want to put our own money into it. Last year (the first conference to occur after I started EPF) I just thought it was a weird idea and I didn’t have as many internet friends as I do now so I didn’t think it would be a good time. I think by next year I could really get a lot out of FinCon now that I’m more established and I know a little more about blogging. I sort of want Kyle to attend since I want him to take charge of the behind-the-scenes/business aspects of blogging, but as he doesn’t “know” the people in the PF blogosphere as well as I do it would probably be less fun for him. Of course, he knows so much more about the running of the site itself than I do, and that comes in handy when talking about that part of the shop – as we learned when we met Cash Rebel and Kyle talked more than I did!
This is really a stretch goal for us as we only recently started making any money on EPF and it’s just a tiny trickle. I’m definitely going to have to make some changes to reach this goal and put all of our earning aside for this purpose.
If you have ever been to a niche conference, what do you think was most valuable and did your business pay for your trip? If you are a PF blogger haven’t attended FinCon, what kept you away? What is your current stretch goal for your career/business?