Every year, we have hundreds of new people join our FinCon community and attend the event for the first time. With an event this size, there can be a bit of a learning curve, so if you’re a first-time FinCon attendee, this guide is for you.
We’re so excited to see new faces join us, and we know you’re excited, too. But we also know that your excitement may be the nervous kind.
Let’s be honest — It feels overwhelming to be a newbie at an event. So we developed this guide to help first-timers ease their mind before showing up to FinCon.
1. First-Timer’s Orientation
Be sure to attend our orientation! We’ll tell you everything you need to know about FinCon, and you’ll meet other new attendees. Plus, we’ll help you nail down why you’re there and how to make the most of the event.
Trust us, you’ll leave saying, “Time well spent!”
First Time Orientation at #FinCon23 will be held at the following times. These will be duplicate sessions, so you only need to attend one.
- Wednesday, October 18, at 11:30 am
- Thursday, October 19, at 8:30 am
Orientation will be led by Bernadette Joy who was a Big Idea speaker last year. Get more details in the #FinCon23 App.
The real networking happens outside of the programmed events. Attend the first-timers orientation. Everyone is in the same boat and ready to connect with someone.– Kevin Payne, Family Money Adventures
2. Identify Your Goals
As you start to get ready, there’s a crucial first task that has nothing to do with packing. You need to set your intentions.
- What am I hoping to get out of the event?
- Is there anyone in particular I’m hoping to connect with?
- How am I going to represent myself? Am I a blogger, vlogger, podcaster, freelancer, or something else?
Establishing your goals before you’re onsite in New Orleans will help you navigate FinCon with purpose, including what sessions and meetups you attend and how you introduce yourself to attendees and brands.
3. Practice Your Pitch
Whether you’re connecting with brands or with new friends, you’ll want to be able to quickly share some highlights about yourself and your brand. Practice a short conversational talk ahead of time to showcase your work and mission, your skills, and who you’re trying to reach. Work on getting it down to a few, most important points and sharable in under 60 seconds. And don’t forget, be yourself!
4. Help People Remember You
Consider bringing business cards with you! They are an easy way to help people remember who you are after the conference. And they are a great way to network with the brands and other partners who will attend.
We’ve also seen attendees bring stickers, buttons, and other small swag items printed with their brand details.
If printed or physical goods aren’t your thing, consider a digital business card. This could be as simple as an image you create in Canva or PowerPoint that includes your details and can be sent on the spot to other attendees as you meet them.
5. Download The FinCon App
The #FinCon23 app has a range of uses that will help make your first FinCon experience a positive one. It will help you keep track of everywhere you want to be and everyone you want to connect with.
All pass holders have been notified via email how to access the app.
How to get the most out of the app as you prepare for #FinCon23:
- Set up your personal profile to help others know who you are, what you do, and what you’re up to.
- Use those DMs! Connect with other attendees, set up meetings with new friends, and search for other creators by niche or platform.
- Say “hello” on FC23 Feed. Let us know who you are, what you do, and how we can help! It’s the app version of the #FinCon23 lobby!
- Build your own schedule using the bookmarking feature. There are so many great speakers covering topics to help you grow your business. You don’t want to miss the sessions most helpful to you!
Navigating FinCon with the app is strongly encouraged. Do yourself a favor and download it today!
Write down a few things you want to learn or do, and then check the agenda and attendee lists in the app to figure out how to accomplish those goals. The rest is just a bonus.– Kevin Payne, Family Money Adventures
6. Wear What’s Comfortable
It’s hard to know what to wear when you’re new to FinCon. If you’ve been to other financial conferences, you may think you need to wear sharp business attire. While there will certainly be people wearing professional outfits, it’s not the norm.
In fact, FinConners tend to wear whatever makes them feel the most comfortable. We encourage you to come however you prefer. You’ll see a mixture of business, business casual, t-shirts, shorts, flip-flops, and even Hawaiian shirts!
If you feel comfortable dressed to the nines, then dress up. If t-shirts and jeans are more your style, you’ll fit in, too.
Another tip for first timers at FinCon is to remember that layers are a good idea in case the AC is blasting or the heat i set too high. You have a ton of sessions and meetings to attend, so make sure you’re comfortable.
7. What You Should Bring
In addition to your clothes, there are a few other items you won’t want to forget.
- Cough Drops/Throat Lozenges – Losing your voice at FinCon is a common occurrence. You’ll be meeting a lot of awesome people, after all! So come prepared in case your voice starts going out halfway through the event.
- Extra Room In Your Bags – Plan to leave a little extra room in your bags for some of the free swag you’ll receive at the event.
- Comfortable Shoes – Speaking of shoes, plan to bring comfortable shoes for the conference. You’ll be on your feet a lot, and a bad pair of shoes will ruin the event for you. Remember, comfort over fashion.
- Gear to Create Content On Site – If you’d like to collaborate with other creators and make content on your own during the event, bring whatever portable equipment you need. (See more on this below.)
8. FinCon Central
FinCon Central is the hub of the FinCon experience! It will include lots of booths and multiple content areas. You’ll also find podcasting and video booths and a lounge area! Of course, all of our partnering brands will be there to network with you. So take advantage of this area for your business development.
If you haven’t been to FinCon before, you may look at the schedule and think it’s a bit light during this time. But trust us, nothing could be further from the truth. Any downtime in between sessions is the perfect opportunity to network or join platform meetups at the roundtables.
We intentionally designed FinCon so that you’d get as much real value from the experience as you can, and FinCon Central is a key part of that value.
Make sure you maximize your time to build relationships with brands and other attendees in FinCon Central. Sure, that could be done without the event itself, but nothing is better for partnerships than some good old-fashioned face time. FinCon Central is the place to make those connections.
9. Create Content at FinCon
One thing you might be reluctant to do is to actually create content at the event. Don’t be! In fact, you might be surprised how many people ask you for a sound bite or a quote for their own podcasts, videos, or blogs. In addition to contributing to other people’s work, you can create your own content, too.
Bonus! You don’t have to bring equipment. Some people do bring their own, but FinCon also provides a Podcasting Stage (presented by moomoo) and Video Booths (presented by moomoo), both outfitted with top-of-the-line equipment, available for attendees to use. Check the sign-ups section of the #FinCon23 app to reserve a time slot.
Even if you aren’t creating content at FinCon, you can make connections and gather useful information from other attendees at the event. Ask people to give you quotes or establish connections and follow up with them later when you get home.
10. Don’t Leave On Saturday Morning!
A lot of new attendees will mistakenly book a flight for Saturday morning thinking the conference is over. But Saturday morning has some great opportunities for learning and networking too. Saturday is packed with great stuff. From breakout sessions, the final big main stage session, and of course the Closing Party, so you won’t want to miss Satruday.
Experienced FinConners leave Sunday so they can attend Saturday morning’s events and hang around the hotel to continue networking. Some of your best relationships will be built on Saturday. It’s like the end of a fun week at camp. It’s when you get to have one last night of fun before it’s back to the real world. So if there’s any possible way for you to stay until Sunday, we highly recommend it!
11. Advice from previous attendees
Who knows how to navigate FinCon better than previous attendees? Here’s what a few previous attendees had to say about attending FinCon for the first time.
Aim to speak with EVERYONE – not just the most well known people. Everyone at Fincon is amazing or else they wouldn’t be there!– Hassan Thomas, Podcaster & YouTuber
Don’t be afraid to take breaks if you get too peopled out. I have crippling social anxiety and still was able to make it work by doing a lot of decompressing in my room. Also, open yourself up to making new friends. I knew exactly zero people when I attended last year and can’t wait to see all my money nerd friends this year!– Kacy, Punk Rock Money
The sessions are amazing, and if there’s some that you really want to see live of course go, but the in person connections you’ll make just walking through the hallways will make a huge impact on your business.– Tyler Philbrook, Freelancer
Develop a simple and fast way to keep track of the people you meet. I use the notes app to write the person’s name, contact info, what we discussed, and how we can collaborate.– Jarrai Stephens, Rich Like My Melanin
Have questions or want more details about prepping for your first FinCon? Reach out to our team at email@example.com.
Ready to take action? Sign up for FinCon today.