This past weekend I had the pleasure, along with 270+ other individuals, of attending the first annual Finance Blogger Conference in Chicago, IL. The Personal Finance Conference, also known as FinCon (search #FinCon11 on Twitter), was a gathering of financial bloggers, financial professionals, columnists, authors, financial companies, and others who work in or write about the financial industry.
The conference covered a wide variety of topics, including all aspects related to blogging, including writing, marketing, making money, and technical topics; a view of the financial industry; and most importantly, why we write about money to begin with. The later topic was covered in the opening speech, Why We Write, by J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly (read his review of the conference).
A Gathering of Financial Bloggers:
FinCon11 was a smashing success! I heard nothing but praise from all conference attendees, and the most asked question of the event was when and where the next conference will be held. We’re all looking forward to it!
Special Thanks to Phil Taylor from PT Money: Personal Finance. Phil organized this conference and he and his staff did a great job with making sure the conference ran smoothly (thanks Ryan, Ryan, Jessica, & Justin!).
The photo at right shows the boxes of swag that the sponsors gave away to all conference attendees. Phil, his staff and a bunch of volunteers turned those boxes into over 250 swag bags in a matter of a couple hours. Items included a variety of things such as t-shirts, books, pens, etc. The sponsors were generous and without them, this conference would not have been possible. Thanks!
Love Drop and Giving Back
The conference wasn’t just about blogging – there was also an opportunity for conference attendees to do some good in the community. Phil Taylor the guys from Love Drop (J. Money and Nate St. Pierre ) arranged for some conference attendees to support a Love Drop and visit Phil’s Friends, a Chicago organization devoted to helping cancer patients by providing them with care packages, cards, support, and most importantly, hope. A bus load of conference attendees visited Phil’s Friends to help them with some of their tasks and also made a sizable monetary donation. It was an awesome way for the blogging community to give back.
Hanging out with the bloggers
I’ve had the pleasure of calling many bloggers friends over the years, and previous to this conference I’ve only been able to meet and hang out with a few people in the industry ( one of the interesting things about our industry is that since it is an online business, there aren’t many opportunities to meet up with many of the people you work with unless you live close to them).
Some of the people I had already met in person and had the opportunity to hang out with again include Phil from PT Money, DR from Dough Roller, J$ from Budgets are Sexy, Hank from Money Q & A, Adam Baker from Man Vs. Debt, Glen from Free From Broke, Jeff Rose from Good Financial Cents and Soldier of Finance, Ron Haynes from The Wisdom Journal, and a few folks from USAA Federal Savings Bank, including June Walbert, Scott Halliwell, and JJ Montanaro.
I also had the pleasure of meeting some other bloggers I have known online for years, but had never met in person, including Pinyo from Moolanomy, Jeremy from GenXFinance, Lazy Man, SVB from The Digerati Life, Will Chen from Wise Bread, Ben Edwards from Money Smart Life, Kevin Mulligan, Matt Jabs from Debt Free Adventure, Pete from Bible Money Matters, Flexo from Consumerism Commentary, MBH from Mighty Bargain Hunter, Mike from Oblivious Investor, Bob from Christian Personal Finance, and more.
I got to meet our staff writers! As I mentioned, working online is interesting because people are often spread across different states, or even different countries or continents. Although I have been working directly with our staff writers for over a year, I hadn’t yet met them in person, so I was very excited to meet Laura D. Adams (who had a presentation on working with published authors), Miranda Marquit, and Emily Guy Birken.
I’m already looking forward to the next Financial Blogger Conference! Thanks, Phil, and everyone else who participated in the conference!
Want to read more about the conference? Check out these recaps from other bloggers:
- Free From Broke: Financial Blogger Conference 2011 – Meeting the PF Blogger World and More.
- Bible Money Matters: Financial Blogger Conference 2011: Meeting Up With The Personal Finance Blogosphere.
- Consumerism Commentary: How to Handle Meeting Hundreds of Colleagues.
- Lazy Man & Money Three Things I Think From a Financial Blogging Conference (and Personal Finance Links).
- Wise Bread: Share Your Favorite FinCon Moments and Win $100!.
- Don’t Mess With Taxes: What a wonderful financial weekend.
- The Smart Passive Income Blog: My First Public Speaking Experience at the Financial Blogger Conference 2011.
- The Digerati Life: First Ever Financial Blogging Conference Highlights.
- Good Financial Cents: 1st Annual Financial Blogger Conference – Sharing the Excitement!.
I’m sure I’ve left out a few people I met and and more than a few reviews. It was a great weekend and I look forward to next year’s event!