How to Attend a Blogging Conference on a Budget | Tales of a Ranting Ginger

How to Attend a Blogging Conference on a Budget

So you have been blogging for a bit now. You are excited about the relationships you have made, readers you have and opportunities that have come your way. But you are unsure how to take it to the next level. Maybe you know how but you are feeling alone, isolated and struggling with an aspect of this challenging business. Not sure about where to find answers you worry and question everything. Maybe you have no issues, have tonnes of opportunities, already hit the next level but want to see some of your online friends face-to-face?

No matter where you are in your blogging career, a conference is a great option. Blogging conferences are great opportunities to network, connect and grow. They are fantastic for learning, engaging and mentoring. If you have not been to one, I highly recommend attending one. If you have been to one, you already know the benefits and surely see why attending another is a great way to better yourself and your blog.

Over the years I have attended many conferences throughout Canada and the USA. Both large and small, close by and afar. I have spoken on panels with brands and other bloggers sharing my thoughts and opinions. I have engaged with online friends, met some amazing PR people and began great relationships with so many brands. Each time I attend I learn something new and walk away more focused and refreshed.

With a few conferences recently announcing dates I know a few people are trying to figure out how they can juggle the budget to attend. If you want it, it can happen. There are many options as far as saving money and attending a blogging conference. Below are a few I have benefited from over the years.

How to Attend a Blogging Conference on a Budget

Buy early

Take advantage of early bird sales and layaway options if possible. The earlier you buy, the easier it is to budget and spread out payments for other expenses like room, travel and food.

Carpool, take the train etc

Watch for sales on flights, car pool or take the bus or train to cut down on travel expenses. How you get there will depend on how far you are from the venue.

Get sponsored

Pitch brands you have relationships with. Offer a package deal for advertising, representation etc. Many will help you cover expenses if they see a return in their investment.

Share a room

I once shared a room with 4 bloggers, only one I had actually met in person ahead of time. Two shared a bed, one on the couch and one on a roll away. It was a great way to get to know my online friends better and to split the room cost by 4.

Enter to win

Many conferences offer tickets as prizes during promotions and twitter parties. watch for these and enter. Having you ticket covered is a huge expense you do not need to worry about.

Reserve your room through the conference site

When you book your room through the conference link, you will receive a group discount. Be sure to book your room through the link so you can take advantage of this savings.

Speaking and volunteering

Apply to be a speaker or volunteer to help with the conference. In exchange you will receive perks that could include comped tickets and other discounts.

Write it off

Ask your accountant, but you can write off your ticket and other expenses.

How to Attend a Blogging Conference on a Budget

There are many other ways to save money when planning to attend a blogger conference. Read what is included as most offer meals, snacks and have some drinks comped during parties. Sponsors for the conference often will offer swag and door prizes and are always looking to build a relationship. You surely should be thinking about future work opportunities when attending and meeting with them. this is a good return on your investment.

When you are there, make sure you have plenty of cards to hand out. Talk to everyone, not just those at booths. Some of the best relationships I have had, were made from sitting side-by-side to a brand not knowing. Attend all social events and follow sponsors and attendees ahead of time to star the conversation. Afterwards, send a follow up email to all you spoke with. Some may have opportunities right away, while other may take longer. I just got an amazing opp sent my way from a person I met 3 years ago at a conference. Not everything happens overnight!

Be positive and consider options. If you are local and unsure if these budget saving tips will do the trick, consider buying a one day ticket instead of a whole pass. Also be sure to ask about the conferences policy on bringing children. Most are baby friendly and welcome new parents bringing along their little ones. To have doors open, we sometimes need to knock. Attending could be the game changer you need.

Do you have any budget saving tips to share?

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Love this! Thank you! I am heading to my first conference this April and it can be a bit overwhelming to think about! So this helps a ton!

  2. CanadianMomEh says:

    Excellent tips Kim. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Love this post. Great advice that I wish I had a few years ago. Now I do understand the value of attending blogging conferences but, when you don’t, it can be difficult to justify spending the money if you don’t understand the benefits.

  4. I have always wondered if I would ever attend a blogging conference. It is looking likely now, after reading this. Thanks for the tips.
    Have a super blessed day!

  5. I’m excited to be attending my first confernce in Orlando. I live in Tampa so I will save a ton my driving. I’m a bit nervous because I don’t know anyone and going alone and I’m an introvert when around strangers. I’m hoping to change that.

  6. These are great tips! This summer I am turning a blogging conference into a family vacation.

  7. Jeni Hawkins says:

    I have never been to a big conference before. These are great ideas of how to go to more.

  8. These are all great tips to know. I haven’t been to an actual blogging conference before but it would be interesting to attend one.

  9. Shauna Torres says:

    What great tips. I know that I was shocked at how much I spent at my first conference. I was happy to split the room cost with multiple friends at the next ones.

  10. This is great advice! It’s sometimes difficult to attend all of those conferences when you’re just starting out. These are definitely good strategies.

  11. I am always looking for ways to save some money when I go to conferences. I have a few I am going to this year. I will have to try these tips.

  12. These are some great tips. I’m always about saving money too. I have not been to any blogging conferences before, but I hope to someday.

  13. Conferences are the best for curing my slumps. I always end up feeling inspired and refreshed.

  14. I love attending conferences too! I’m feeling refreshed and motivated! Thanks for these great tips!

  15. What a great post! Sometimes these conferences can get pretty expensive!

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