It’s hard to believe, but FinCon 2017 is already here. Wasn’t it just recently that I mentioned how I had bought a ticket for the conference?
No, actually that was last December.
FinCon is a gathering for those in the financial media space. I’d say it’s “a conference for money bloggers”, and indeed it used to be known as the “Financial Bloggers Conference”, but it’s grown to be more than that now, encompassing any media entity that’s involved finance.
In short, it’s going to be a total whirlwind, overwhelming, dizzying.
But I’m prepared for this. Going to conferences is a skill, and one that can be learned over time. And I’ve been going to conferences for job-related reasons for over a decade. I believe it’s important to know what you plan to get out of a conference before you go. What are the goals?
Here are mine, written before I head off on a flight to Dallas to find out what it’s all about.
1. Be an equal
I’m going to be at a conference with many people who are very successful. These are people who are making a living from their work, who have a large platform, wide influence, and even name recognition. It’s going to be a struggle for me to be able to go up to A Very Famous Blogger and introduce myself as an equal.
But I also know that it’s important to do exactly that. Because just like your worth is not tied to how much salary you make, my worth is not tied to the size of my audience. And image is very important in the blogging world, so I know that even “famous” bloggers may not be as successful as they claim to be.
So I’m going to treat everyone as an equal, including myself.
2. Be open to influence
I also want to make sure that I’m open to ideas and influence from everyone.
Learning about what others are doing that is working—new ideas, new strategies—is invaluable. While I have my own (strong) opinions and ideas, that doesn’t mean that I can’t learn a lot and be swayed from an opinion or two. I look forward to the exchange of ideas.
3. Be prepared
I’m making sure that I know the schedule fully in advance, so I can attend every session that’s important to me. This is something that needs to be done in advance, because I don’t want to waste precious energy and focus looking through the schedule to see what’s going on next (and where).
4. Leave space for the unplanned
Possibly contradicting myself, but I also want to be able to throw out the schedule in case something promising and unexpected comes along, like a timely conversation, or group outing I hadn’t heard about.
After all, in my life, I’ve found that the unexpected is also often the most rewarding.
5. Leave space for space
If I wanted, I could show up on Monday and go to events pretty much straight until Saturday night (the conference doesn’t start until Wednesday, but there are plenty of pre-conference activities). As a co-worker once told me at a work conference: “you sleep when you get home“.
So know that it’s very easy to burn out in these situations. Networking events are exhausting. And so I want to allow for either pre-planned or unplanned time to go away and recharge.
(The World Domination Summit got this right, I thought, with its Highly Sensitive Person Lounge, a quiet space with hammocks and lounge chairs.)
6. Come away with actions
I don’t just want to learn and connect at FinCon. Instead, I want to take that knowledge and put it into action.
And so my goal is to come away with two, optimally three, actions that I can put into place when I come home. Remember the word “velleity“? (It’s defined as “a wish or inclination not strong enough to lead to action“.) Just like I said when I launched this site, I don’t want to be a “velleitier”. I want to take action and make things happen, have an impact, so as to help you and as many people as I can.
Nearly five years on, I’m still striving. FinCon is, when it comes down to it, my investment in you. I look forward to telling you all about it.
And if you happen to be in and around the Dallas area, or perhaps going to FinCon, hit me up! I’d love to connect.
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