Every year, we have hundreds of new people join our FinCon community and with an event this size, there can be a bit of a learning curve, so if you’re a first timer at FinCon, 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. 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.
This is a diverse community with an even more diverse taste in dress. If you’d like more details about what to wear, check out this dress code guide.
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 is set too high. You have a ton of sessions and meetings to attend, so make sure you’re comfortable.
2. 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.
- Business Cards – Don’t forget to bring some business cards with you! It’s an easy way to help people remember who you are after the conference. And it’s a great way to network with the brands and other partners who will attend.
- Elevator Pitch – Whether you’re connecting with brands or with new friends, you’ll want to be able to share some highlights about yourself and your brand. Practice a quick conversational talk ahead of time to showcase your interests, skills, and personality.
- Athletic Shoes – There are a few attendee-lead meetups like workouts, runs, and even time on the basketball court. If you plan to join any of these meetups, remember a good pair of shoes!
- 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.
- Vacation Gear – In past years, hotels that host the conference have had everything from pools to golf courses. If you plan to take a break in between sessions or are tacking some travel to the beginning or end of the conference, pack your vacation gear, too.
3. Download The FinCon App
The event schedule is packed with opportunities. Thankfully, there’s an app to help keep your schedule and contacts organized! That’s right. FinCon has its own app to help you keep track of everywhere you want to be and everyone you want to connect with during the conference.
The app is available in the app store in. Simply search in the app store (both Android and iOS) for “FinCon” and you’ll find it. Create your account using the email address you used to register for your FinCon pass in Eventbrite, and you’re in!
You’ll have the chance to connect with other attendees, plus the complete schedule will be at your fingertips. The app also lets you star sessions and set reminders for specific events you want to attend.
Navigating FinCon with the app is strongly encouraged. There are so many great speakers covering topics to help you grow your business. You don’t want to miss anything! So do yourself a favor and download the app.
4. First-Timer’s Orientation
If you’re a first timer at FinCon, be sure to come to our orientation held the first day of the event! We’ll tell you everything you need to know about FinCon. 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!”
Use the FinCon app to check the schedule of first-timer sessions.
5. FinCon Central
FinCon Central is the hub of the FinCon experience on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. It will include over 120 booths and multiple content areas. You’ll also find podcasting and video booths, free headshots, 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 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 niche 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.
6. Don’t Leave On Saturday!
A lot of new attendees will mistakenly book a flight for Saturday night thinking the conference is over. But Saturday is a full content day. There’s a ton going on: breakout sessions, mentoring, the final keynote, and, of course, our Closing Party!
Experienced FinConners leave Sunday so they can attend the closing party and hang around the hotel to continue networking. Some of your best relationships will be built on Saturday evening. 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!
7. One-on-One Mentoring
As another perk of being new to FinCon, you can sign up for one-on-one time with a mentor during the event. You can check a box in your registration for mentoring, or you can look for an email to sign up later. Simply fill out the form, and we’ll pair you with a speaker or more advanced FinConner.
You and your mentor will be paired via email before the event. You can find a mutually agreed up time to meet together where you’ll be able to ask them questions, glean from their wisdom, and solicit advice for your own business, blog, or brand.
This mentoring session is free and included in your ticket, so don’t miss this opportunity to talk to and learn from someone in the community who has a little more experience than you!
8. 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 and a video booth, both outfitted with top-of-the-line equipment, available for attendees to use. More information about using these spaces will be available a few weeks before the event, along with the opportunity 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.
9. Never Miss A Talk With The Virtual Pass
We have over 200 speakers coming to FinCon. Odds are, you’ll wish you could be in two places at once. No worries though! The Virtual Pass includes HD recordings of all 100+ sessions presented at FinCon, including keynote Keynote Presentations, Big Idea Talks, Breakout Sessions, and more. It is the next best thing to being in the room to hear the talks in-person. The Virtual Pass is also a great way to re-watch your favorite talks from the event at your convenience.
If you add the pass on before the event, you can still get it for only $99. Click here and use the code UPANDADDEM19 to reveal the Virtual Pass add-on. (Note: This is only for people who have already purchased #FinCon19 passes.)
To hear more about these tips for first timers, tune into episode 84 of the Money & Media podcast, where Nick True, FinCon’s Community Manager and First Timer’s Liaison, and Joe Saul-Sehy, an 8-year FinCon veteran, share their insights.
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Join Us for #FinCon19
Want to meet with other personal finance content creators? Join us for FinCon19 September 4-7 in Washington D.C. Register for your pass today!