Last month I attended the Florida Blogger & Social Media Conference, also known as #FLBlogCon. The conference gathered hundreds of bloggers and social media professionals for a one day conference at Full Sail University in Orando, Florida.
The brainchild of Bess Auer, FL Blog Con is designed to provide a local affordable option for bloggers to come together and learn from the best in the industry. Now in its 6th year this is one of the largest conferences of its kind in the southeast with over 300 attendees. Its focus allows Florida Bloggers to learn from other Floridians who are masters in the market.
As a first time attendee to the Florida Blogger and Social Media Conference, I was determined to make the most of my experience and learn as much as possible. The experience and information acquired more than recouped my initial investment.
Below I share how FLBlogCon paid me to attend the 2016 Blogger Conference this year. You may not be a blogger but in this blog post I will share with you how to guarantee reimbursement of your registration fees at the next conference or workshop you attend.
There is often an early bird discount if you register early. The prices never usually go down so get your tickets early. Annual conferences are usually scheduled a year in advance, meaning the dates are typically available for the next conference right after the last one. Do your research and save some money.
Attend the Sessions & Workshops
You went to the conference you wanted to learn, so going to the sessions where the information is presented is important. The cool kids are not the ones hanging out outside, neither are the smart ones. Even if you think you know, there is often still at least one nugget that you didn’t.
Interact with the Speakers
Speakers are often present at the event for more than just their own session. So your research beforehand and get to know who they are so that you can identify them when you see them. The best time to interact with a speaker is usually before they speak and everyone else now recognizes them. Have a conversation with them and use your conversation to get more in depth on the topic of their expertise. They will often share with you details that will not be included in their presentation for the masses. Utilize this time to establish a personal connection that can be leveraged for additional education or a future opportunity possibly.
Network with the Other Attendees
The guest speakers are not the only ones with knowledge and information. Often times your peers are content area experts as well. Do not underestimate the ability for those seated right next to you to be a resource. Utilize this time to share your best practices, experiences and secrets for success. These interactions can also lead to powerful collaborations and opportunities to mastermind.
Speak to the Sponsors
Most conferences have sponsors who support the conference financially in exchange for advertisement and access to the audience attending the conference. The sponsors are there to support the event and gain awareness for their product or service. Connect with the brands personally and through your social media channels. Sponsors always send representatives to be the face of the brand at the conference; engage with them. These conversations and interactions can help you to forge a relationship with the brand that can benefit you and your brand in the future.
Enter All of the Giveaways
Giveaways equal freebies so you should take advantage of every chance to win. The giveaway prizes range from small items like products to large items like cars. If you win you can definitely make your money back and then some.
Implement the Information Learned
Attending the conference is not the most cost effective way to spend time with friends. The most significant way to make your conference registration pay for itself is to utilize the information you learned while attending the sessions and interacting with others. There is always a take away, something you didn’t know or can implement in your life or business – so DO IT. You went to the conference to learn so using the information you learned is the best way to get your money’s worth at a conference.
Continue to Learn
The allotted time for speakers is not usually enough to give the audience all of the secrets and a complete how-to of the ideas and strategies presented. However, the small portion presented is often enough to get you started. To complete the puzzle, continue to research, connect with other content experts and implement what you learn. Let the conference be a catalyst for growth.
As you can see #FLBlogCon did not literally pay for me to attend this year’s conference but these 8 Tips assured that I made my money back. By utilizing these same tips, you can not only get the most value from the conference but make sure that it reimburses you for your investment as well. I had a great time at #FLBlogCon and I am so excited to implement all that I have learned. Thank to Bess Auer for organizing an amazing conference for us Floridians.