I didn’t get to attend FinCon last year. I was pretty OK with the decision….until I went this year and realized all of the amazing knowledge and connections I’d missed out on ALL.YEAR.LONG.
Suffice to say, yes it was great. A nice break from reality for me and also a great opportunity to stretch myself and learn more about blogging. I mixed up the dates of the conference and ended up flying out Wednesday afternoon instead of Thursday. This worked out though, because I got to hang out with all of the bloggers at the bootcamp and
get drunk embarass myself sing karaoke with some pretty awesome folks. Thursday I did work until the afternoon meet up where I had the opportunity to ride to the top of the St. Louis arch (a must if you are visiting.)
Then I attended the Plutus Awards, which is the top honor for those in our industry. For those of you who voted for LBMT-THANK YOU SO MUCH! I didn’t win, but there is always next year, and your love and support is award enough. (Dawwwwwwwwww.)
The classes were on-point, and I have a small notebook filled with my mad scrawlings that I’m trying to decipher through now. I can’t wait to catch the ones I missed on Virtual Pass, which is a Godsend, because honestly making the decisions on which class to attend was like Sophie’s Choice. (Bad analogy?) I also had the opportunity to speak on social media for beginners on Saturday morning. It went really, really well even though I was super nervous. Watching the video will be both a painful exercise and a learning experience, but all-in-all I think I did well and got some great feedback and tweets from audience members. Definitely a “feather in the cap” I’ll be proud to put on the ol’ resume.
The BEST part though was getting to meet all of the people I’ve been corresponding off and on with for over a year now. It’s motivating to meet the people who inspire you, and funny to meet and put faces to names of all the friends you’ve made online. Some people weren’t at all what I thought they’d be like, and others were surprisingly different. Either way, I feel these important relationships have been enriched by the opportunity to meet in the flesh and really, that was why I thought FinCon was like Christmas and my birthday. Everyone was really, really nice.
I also had the chance to strengthen the relationships I’ve made with my local Atlanta bloggers. Definitely a huge source of pride for me to be part of such a close-knit, knowledgeable group of financial bloggers. And they’re in my own backyard! Be very, very jealous
I don’t want to bore everyone with a blow-by-blow. I know last year when I couldn’t go reading recaps made me extra depressed about what I’d missed out on, but I did want to throw out a few superlatives around my favorite moments and people I met while in the STL.
Nicest Guy at FinCon: Mr. Alex Conde. Oh man, the NICEST.
Favorite Moment: This is a tie. The first is when J. Money from Budgets are Sexy read my name tag, realized who I was and threw his arms around me like we were long lost cousins or something. The second was when my idol, Len Penzo, and his wife, Honeybee, bought me a fried cheesecake.
I had the chance to meet a lot of people I’d worked with before including my first blogging mentor, Corey from 20′s Finances, and the ever-helpful Jeremy from Modest Money, Sean from One Smart Dollar, Ben and Shannon and the Ready for Zero team, as well as my staff writers Erin and Michelle (See below for an adorable photo!)
I also met Pat Flynn. And then he gave a beautiful keynote (TED worthy! Really) and then tweeted me about it. I also sat about five feet from Jean Chatzky.
I got to hug old friends from this year including Travis from Enemy of Debt, Joe from Stacking Benjamins, Kathleen at Frugal Portland, J BEEZY and my blogging soul sister Michelle from Sense of Cents. I also made some neat new friends including Jana, Athena and Eric and Agatha. Wheee!!
To everyone else, it was such a pleasure meeting you. The feeling of being in a place where EVERYONE knew exactly how amazing it is to be a finance blogger was indescribable. Christmas can skip my house this year!