Last week I had the opportunity to attend my first Fincon conference in Dallas. In case you didn’t know, FinCon is an annual conference for financial media and bloggers. This year, I applied and was chosen for a new financial blogger scholarship, which earned me a free pass to this year’s event.
I heard of Fincon last year and knew that it was something I wanted to be a part of. Many people I follow online have talked about the value and fun of the conference, so I knew I had to take action and make it happen. This year aligned up perfectly with the free pass and the close location in Dallas (3.5hr drive from Austin).
- The connections and friendships developed with like-minded people.
- The sessions – So much to learn from others who have been in my shoes and have climbed to the top of the industry
- Personal Growth and motivation – Being around other like-minded people help to keep yourself accountable and motivated to stay the course and double down on your passion.
Fincon 2017 Trip Report
I arrived at Fincon on Wednesday evening after a full day of work. Luckily, there was one session left for the day – Pickup basketball at the SMU Rec center in Dallas.
Pickup basketball was a perfect way to meet many new people and get some exercise in before the conference. I had a blast playing with about 40 other Fincon peeps.
I woke up Thursday and didn’t fully know what to expect. I got the Sheraton hotel, and the conference area was packed. The main floor was full of booths for financial services and Fintech companies. The companies ranged from well known like Vanguard, Ally, and Credit Sesame (all 3 had some delicious cookies they were giving away) to new Fintech companies like Tiller and Cinch.
I attended sessions on freelance writing, Facebook strategies, content marketing, video content, coaching, blog content, and much more. The sessions alone were tremendous, and I have a ton of notes that I am planning to apply to my website and side hustles.
Everywhere I looked I recognized my favorite bloggers and prominent names in the industry. It was a pretty cool follows people’s blogs/podcasts/books/youtube and then meet them in person.
The Social Events
I was pretty impressed with the job the Fincon organizers did with hosting of events.
The first night there was a kick off party hosted by Ally. The event was at the “Rustic” in downtown Dallas. The venue was great, along with good food and free drinks made it a great night. It was so much fun to meet fellow finance and travel bloggers. I also found myself at another similar party on Friday night at the Woolworth restaurant/bar.
Saturday there was a Halloween party that was pretty epic. It was great to meet so many people I have been following over the last year. Everyone I met was super friendly, and it was easy to connect because we all had similar interests.
Since this was technically a trip report post, I will share my expenses for the conference. Since I got the free pass and the location was close to my home base I feel like the trip was slightly cheaper than it would be in future years.
Fincon Badge – Free 🙂
Gas/Uber – $35.49
Food/Drinks – $56.74
Hotel/Airbnb – I stayed at the Sheraton for the conference with three other roommates – I paid $164 for three nights + 1 night at Airbnb (Wednesday) $76 = $240
Parking – I got a bill for $75 for parking at Sheraton, but I complained that the front desk guy told me it was free and they took it off ($75 savings from picking up the phone). I spent $7 on parking at SMU for basketball.
Total Expenses – $330.23
Related Posts: Trip Report: Italy and France on a Budget & Trip Report: Washington on a Budget
The Power of Community
Fincon was special because of the new connections and friendships that I developed. The time spent collaborating and brainstorming ideas together was priceless.
It was nice to talk openly about personal finance topics like net-worth, savings rates, side hustles, travel hacking, blog strategies, debt freedom, House Hacking, Financial Independence, and more without making anyone uncomfortable. Not only were people not uncomfortable, but those conversations were the most passionate. I loved it!
Because I had such a good experience, I already bought my pass for next years event in Orlando. I hope to see you there!
Question for You!
What Conferences have you been to and what was your experience?
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Ms. Montana says
I’m so glad you had a great time! It was awesome to finally connect in person!
Ms. Montana recently posted…Mini-Retirement Mastered: Michael and Ellen!
Yaass! Was great to hang out with you too.
Thanks for all the help the last few months. You’re awesome! 🙂
Matt @ Optimize Your Life says
Gary – It was great to meet you and get some time to chat and observe drunk famous people.
Ms. Montana – Gary and I had been talking for a few minutes while I was silently trying to figure out why he looked so familiar. He pointed out that we had originally met on one of the Skype calls that you had organized. 🙂
Matt @ Optimize Your Life recently posted…How I Invest – Accounts
Great to meet you too, Matt. Hope we can stay in touch before the next Fincon!
Physician on FIRE says
I think I missed you somehow, but if you were approached by an overeager partygoer insisting you take a PoF koozie, that was me.
Congrats on the scholarship, free parking, and making a frugal trip out of one that could have cost you a lot more.
See you in Orlando!
Hi POF, haha yes I have one of your koozies 🙂 We met briefly at the doctor panel conference.
Thanks for the comment!
Amy @ LifeZemplified says
Congratulations on winning the scholarship. Sorry, we didn’t meet this year but hopefully, we can connect in Orlando.
Thanks, Amy! Looking forward to it!
Matt Owen says
Way to go with the after action report. I want to put one up also but its been all app and little blogging for a little while.
Also bought our tickets for Orlando next year. Was going to look into an AirBNB house that we can stack some people in to keep costs down (frugal for life)
It was good to meet you!
Matt & Alli
Very nice to meet you both! I’m looking forward to your FI content in the future!
Airbnb sounds like a good idea. I saw the cheapest room is $160 a night (a little too rich for my blood).
I need to figure out what my plan is. My GF will be joining me next year so we might try to squeeze in 3-4 days at Disney before. I might need to open up a few new travel credit cards before the trip to keep costs lower. Heres a pretty cool plan from Brad @ ChooseFI on how to do Disney for free https://www.richmondsavers.com/take-your-family-to-disney-world-for-free-step-by-step-instructions/
Colin @ rebelwithaplan says
So great you won the scholarship! I won it last year and it’s what allowed me to go to FinCon.
The session this year were a lot better and more diverse than last year. I loved them and I wish I had gone to a few more. Patiently waiting for the recordings to come out soon.
See you next year in Orlando!
Nice! I can’t wait to check out the online recordings too.
Cya next year! Keep up the good work on the blog!
It was great to meet you Gary and play some basketball. Next time, let’s get on the same team and we will dominate 🙂
Let’s do it!
Those games really reminded me how out of shape I am. I’m hoping to play more often now, so next time ill be ready for it!
Looking forward to following your blog! Keep up the good work.
Philip Taylor says
Gary, it sounds like you made the most of the opportunity. Really enjoyed reading about your experience. I appreciate you investing to be there and for giving next year a shot as well. See you soon.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to go this year!
Looking forward to Orlando!
Mr. FWP says
Great connecting with you at FinCon, Gary! I’ll be posting about FinCon soon as well.
Great to meet you Mr. FWP. Hopefully, we can meet up in Austin soon! 🙂
Next time there is a FinCon in Dallas, I totally need to attend!
Becca recently posted…How Cold Does it Get in Dallas?
Next years Fincon is in Long Beach. Let me know if you attend!