With FinCon 2019 fast approaching, here’s what happened way back in September 2018 at our very first Fincon...
I attended FinCon 18 in Orlando, Florida in September. It was the most amazing experience. I was in the presence of other money nerds and could hang with my tribe. If you have never heard of Fincon it is basically the Comic Con for financial nerds. The slogan for the event is “Where money and media meet” but honestly, it is so much more than just money and media meeting up.
There you can meet the person who gave you the Golden Ticket down the FIRE rabbit hole. A shout out to J. Money from Budgets Are Sexy for my ticket. And yes, I totally fangirled when I met him at the conference. J is a really cool person. As a matter of fact, almost everyone in this community is. They are willing to share resources and tips to help the newbies and old timers alike with their online business. This is not your father’s work conference!
The breakout sessions where speakers gave talks about an individual topic they were knowledgeable in are pretty much the college lecture that you always wanted to attend. The speakers were varied in their topics and incredibly engaging. I only wish I could have cloned myself to attend them all. The more popular topics seemed to always have wall to wall people. Then even more show up and you find yourself sitting along the wall, legs splayed out or crossed furiously scribbling notes. Everyone in the room sat either in their chairs or floor with rapt attention. Bodies were leaning in to drink in every bit of information, soaking like sponges all the information the speakers had to share.
The speakers themselves were pretty engaging people to listen to. They fielded questions from audience members after giving their speech; they shared so many tips and tricks they learned along the way. One tip from Richard Kerr of Award Travel 101 - NEVER make anyone else an Admin of your Facebook group. Apparently admins has the power to kick owners out of their own group! He also mentioned selling the Facebook group that he built to a partner company…..who knew Facebook groups could be sold?!!
Since I don’t have a podcast, I had no plans on attending a podcasting session. But when the session I originally planned to attend was canceled, I opted to drop into the session conducted by Jonathan Mendonza and Brad Barrett of ChooseFI. If you haven’t listened to their podcast, please GO DO IT! The knowledge they and the guests they brought on to share with the community was nothing short of phenomenal! Not to mention if you ever get to meet the guys in person, they both are just super people.
I was a little jealous of all the people that got to hang out by the pool down there in Virginia. Just don’t let them make the meet up plans….just kidding guys! A meet up that Jonathan and Brad organized quickly swelled from about 100 people to almost 200; and get this - the location they chose could only hold 42....whoops! This is just one testament to the community they have cultivated over the last 2.5 years. They are building an exceptional product sourced from their community. Anyone can join, so I hope you do. Having all these experts to help you navigate some financial waters is one of the best perks.
Speaking of perks, Fincon Central was the greatest spot to acquire a year’s worth of T-shirts. Getting one t-shirt is great, but if you go right before they break down the booths, you can snag all the swag that the vendors don’t want to take back with them. If you’re a crafty person like me, one set of shirts can be for everyday wear and another can be used as fabric for various crafts. I can see a Fincon quilt in my future. Since Toad tagged along for this trip, she got her own set of shirts!
Overall, this is a conference worth attending if you are in the online financial sphere. It's actually worth attending even if you aren’t. It was a wonderful experience to meet others in the community that I have been following for years. It was also a treat to make new connections with others who are just starting out like me. Thank you to all the “old timers” who served as mentors for this new batch of personal finance members making their way into this space.